Monday, May 12, 2008

On Speed Racer

As a child, I did not grasp the concept of camp. I remember being extremely annoyed at the styrofoam rocks of the original Star Trek, to the point where it ruined any interest I might have had in the storyline.

The same went for Speed Racer. The crappy, repetitive animation and the un-synched soundtrack caused me to wave my little fist in the air and shout epithets. But more than any of these aesthetic failures, I hated Spritle. I hated his concentric-circle cap, especially the fact that it matched the chimp's, which I found inexplicable and somehow gruesome. I hated his stupidity (half the plots, as I recall, revolved around Spritle and the chimp getting into some kind of trouble from which Speed had to rescue them--like he had nothing better to do!). And--above everything--I hated Spritle's voice. God, how it grated. To this day I curl up like a potato bug when I even think of that voice.

Interestingly, I watched a lot of Speed Racer. It never occurred to me to Turn It Off if I didn't like it. It must have been between two shows that I did like, or something. But I'm afraid this says something about me, and possibly about the well-trained young TV viewer.

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