Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why Hulk Make Lousy Movie and TV Show

I have a theory. Movie franchises or TV shows where the heroes are either 'lost' or 'on the run' are usually lousy.

There are exceptions, of course. There always are. For example, 'Kung Fu' and the new version of 'Battlestar Galactica' were good shows. And comedies like 'Gilligan's Island' don't suffer from the premise of the heroes being behind the eight ball. Same with semi-comedic shows, like 'Alias Smith and Jones'.

Shows where the hero has a 'secret' is another category (like 'Smallville') but those don't have the same issues as protagonists who are 'in trouble'.

But look at all those Irwin Allen shows, where the premise has the heroes in a jam. Or shows like 'Lost' or 'Star Trek: Voyager'. They start out kinda good, but get tired. The jury is still out on the AMC show 'Walking Dead', which I really dig, and hopefully it will be one of those exceptions.

The 'Planet of The Apes' movies are sucky and depressing. The first one was good, but I never cared for the sequels. I watched them. I wanted to like them. But I didn't.

The Universal movie monsters, like Frankenstein and Wolf Man, had huge success but petered out after a couple of sequels.

We like our heroes to be heroic. We want to be like them. The Jason Bourne movies are interesting, but how long can you keep up the whole amnesia thing? James Bond, on the other hand, can go on forever.

Which brings me to The Hulk. The reason the Bill Bixby show and the movies are bad is because the hero is tragic. He's like Frankenstein with super-powers. The Thing in the Fantastic Four, a similar character, has a tragic element. But he's likable. The Hulk is just a dumb, angry guy who has the entire US Army after him. Who wants to watch that?

The old comic book (the Herb Trimpe, 1960's stuff) was good, but comics are a different ballgame. Marvel comics from that era were all about the art, the snappy dialogue and the supporting/guest characters and of course, the villains. And besides, it was a 12-cent/15-minutes a month investment. We weren't expecting much in the first place.


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