Classic TV cheese: Out of This World

ootwI know there’s a lot of drug use in Hollywood, but I seriously think there was a raging crack epidemic during the 1980s. How else to explain some of the absolutely crazy shows that got greenlighted during this time?

Take today’s slice of classic TV cheese, “Out of This World,” which began its four-year run in syndication in 1987. A spiritual descendant of another batshit-crazy kids show, “Small Wonder,” this tried to pass off as comedy a woman impregnated by a space alien who has given birth to a daughter that can stop time by touching her index fingers together. Wha? And don’t get me wrong, I loved the heck out of this show.

I can’t tell you how bad I wanted to have this power, which was never used for cool stuff. To my 11-year-old mind, being able to stop time would allow me to acquire all the Sega Master System games in the world, look down the shirts of my seventh-grade female classmates, hit towering Little League homers and other slightly nefarious deeds.

It was almost torture watching Evie (Maureen Flanigan) use this extraordinary ability for such mundane tasks as preventing a paint can from falling or having the neighborhood dogs bark a song in unison.

If “Out of This World” is remembered at all, it’s usually for one of two reasons. First, the theme song, which interpolated Bing Crosby’s “Swinging on a Star” into a set-up for the show (accoring to Wikipedia, footage from the old school Battlestar Galactica is used during the credits).

The second notable thing about this show is that Burt Reynolds was the voice of Evie’s father Troy. Now I know Burt fell on some hard times after his heyday, but damn, this is pretty bad. Of course, Burt had the good graces to never actually appear on the show, saving some modicum of dignity.

The rest of the show was typical three-camera comedy, featuring a painfully loud laugh track and the kind of stilted dialogue and ham-fisted punchlines you don’t see today, except for maybe “Two and a Half Men.”

As is the case with TV shows of the past, fans are clamoring to get this on DVD – I’m not so sure I could sit through 30 minutes of this, much less an entire season, now that I’m not 11. But man, looking down shirts would be SO much better now.

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~ by Elliott on June 15, 2009.

One Response to “Classic TV cheese: Out of This World”

  1. Good Lord…When did this drivel come on????

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