Questionable TV

Have you ever watched a TV show and asked yourself serious questions such as:

  • Did you notice that cowboy shot eight times from his six-shooter?
  • That woman was six feet away from the bus when it blew up, but she didn’t die. Is that possible?
  • How can you have an endless supply of space shuttles when you keep crash-landing them?
  • Does the replicator make new shuttles and spare parts?
  • How can a car fly five feet in the air, land on pavement, and keep going like nothing happened?
  • A talking horse? Really?

As you may have gathered from previous posts, Natasha and I are science fiction geeks, focusing primarily on the various Star Trek series. We’re currently in the middle of season 1 of Star Trek: Enterprise, the last of the series, starring Scott Bakula. There was concern that we would find the last Star Trek offering a bit cheesy and hokey, but we’ve actually been very entertained. We both go “Aww, he’s so cute!” when the Captain Archer’s beagle, Porthos, makes an appearance and wonder when the Vulcan is going to quit being so serious and logical.

Its TV Enterprise

We have questions, though, similar to the shuttle question. “Where do they get water for the shower? Why don’t they ever show a toilet? Where does Porthos poop?” Natasha and I eventually roll our eyes and harmoniously exclaim, “It’s TV!” Those TV producers can do what they want, when they want, for however long they want. As long as we believe for longer than five seconds, it must be good and true…right?

About two weeks ago, Natasha and I started watching the very old series of Lost in Spacestarring Guy Williams (also of Zorro fame)(that means something if you are as old as me), June Lockhart and Billy Mumy, to name a few members of the cast. This series aired from 1965 to 1968, with the first year filmed in black and white.

Lost in Space is cheesy and hokey.

Especially the unaired pilot, which is now on Hulu. It brought up many, many questions, such as:

  • Where’s the robot and Doctor Smith? (They both appeared in the re-worked first episode.)
  • Why does the meteor shower look like balls of aluminum foil being thrown at the window of a very fake-looking flying saucer called Jupiter?
  • Why does Will Robinson never obey his father or mother, although he keeps saying, “Yes Ma’am” and “Yes Sir!”?
  • Does anyone else wonder why mom and the two sisters yell at Will Robinson to “stop and come back,” but they never move to chase after him? (Mom was too busy holding the laundry basket.)
  • How does the family not recognize Debbie as a chimpanzee with a funny, horned hat? Maybe it’s the “bloop, bloop” sound she makes?
  • How does Penny Robinson have such a high IQ and, yet, is kind of dumb?


I’m not being mean to Penny. In this unaired episode, in the beginning, the commentator introduced all of the characters. Penny is a bright 13 year old with a 147 IQ. Smart cookie. Fast forward to after the family crash-lands on a planet. The weather is changing to a cold extreme, so Dr. John Robinson orders that they pile into the lunar rover thingie and drive to the southern hemisphere, where it’s warm. Except that Penny is missing. She was last seen playing with horned-hat Debbie and a native turtle. Dr. Robinson throws on his jet pack and flies in search of his daughter.

Well, lo and behold, there’s Penny and Debbie, riding the turtle at a slow snail’s pace. Penny starts to whine. She yells at the turtle, “Why didn’t you stop and turn around when I told you to? Now you have us all lost and I’m freezing!”

Think about that for a moment. I’ll give you a few seconds…

Is that enough time?

So, Penny didn’t think for a minute to jump off the snail’s-pace turtle and go back to camp before they were lost? Really? I mean, the turtle was slow and low and probably didn’t understand a lick of English. She could have rolled off the dang thing and maybe suffered a broken nail. What was she thinking?

Hey, it’s TV!

I could continue the questions with current-day TV series as well, such as my favorite, NCIS.  “How did Gibbs get his boat out of the basement?  How can Gibbs shoot a sniper rifle from what seems like two miles away and then appear five minutes later at the scene to rescue his crew?” There is always something on TV that doesn’t make sense if one thinks too hard about it. Are we to question or simply sit back with our adult refreshment, relax and enjoy?

What do you think, my fearless readers?

Do you watch TV without question? Or does your head hurt from the ??? symbol constantly floating around in your head? Do you have a questionable thought about a TV series, character or plot that you need to share?


22 responses to Questionable TV

  1. Dan Antion says:

    My head was a lot younger when I watched Lost In Space but I thought it was dumb. Still, to this day I will periodically utter “Danger danger Will Robinson”

  2. loisajay says:

    You and my husband…..Much as he loves NCIS, he always laughs at how their GPS’s work in tunnels and how their computers work at lightning speed. Oh, yeah. You two would kill each other pointing out those things that we mere mortals never even notice.

  3. joannesisco says:

    OMG – you and Gilles … drives me crazy when he’s constantly challenging the logic of a show or movie. I mean, really … DO. NOT. CONFUSE. ME. WITH. LOGIC!!!

    Lost in Space was a must see show when I was a kid … and yes, I still occasionally blurt out Danger Will Robinson! Dr Smith was seriously annoying and I would have abandoned him on a remote planet a long time ago.

  4. I seem to have raised a posse of pedants so, yes, the phrase “It’s just a tv show” or, when I’m particularly peeved, a sarcastic “Oh yeah, ‘cos this is real” passes my lips often.

    The interesting thing about having kids is that we have on occasion enthusiastically introduced them to the shows we loved as kids only to sit there horrified at how appalling they are. Like “Greatest American Hero”. I loved that show but when we borrowed it to show the kids, we didn’t make it past the first disc. And the naked girls scene in The Goodies took us by surprise….. I don’t remember that. But perhaps the national broadcaster edited it for family viewing.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I don’t know how many times we have both said, “That doesn’t look fake at all!” (sarcastically) I am thinking we may need to switch to Carol Burnett when the Lost in Space cheesiness gets to be too much.

      I remember “Greatest American Hero”. He had blonde, curly hair…right? So many shows that I’ve watched through time that make us roll our eyes now.

      • I think I developed a tolerance for bad special effects growing up on Doctor Who. 🙂

        That’s the one. Still love the theme song, though. It’s a good one for bashing out on the piano when I’m feeling in need of giving something a good bashing.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I noticed the other day that I can watch episodes of Dr. Who: The Tom Baker years on Hulu. I’m thinking Natasha would get a big kick out it, even though she’s not a Whovian. I loved Tom Baker and his long scarf as Dr. Who despite the hokey special effects.

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