Ep. 50: He-Man & The Masters Of The Universe

Joe finally got his wish! After begging for almost a full year, Gomez finally relented and the boys talk all things He-Man! From the humble beginnings of a hopeful toyline to the massive phenomenon of a hit cartoon series and everything after, we discuss it all. Also this week, late 90s/early 2000s music, Fuck/Marry/Kill, NHL Playoffs and the usual banter. Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and/or Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts! Enjoy!

Daily Cartoon! Josie & The Pussycats: E.5: “Midas Mix-Up”

Welcome to another edition of the Daily Cartoon on Car JoeMez! Many thank yous to everybody who has been coming by and checking these out as our web traffic here has been really good so it’s nice to know that there’s people sticking around to read these.

As always, remember to check out the weekly show, The Car JoeMez Podcast on iTunesSoundcloud or wherever you get your podcasts. Even if you don’t listen, just stop by, leave a review, like a track. But you should listen. We have a good time and you will too.

Today’s cartoon is Josie And The Pussycats which was produced by Hanna-Barbera and had a run of 16 episodes before they repackaged the show as Josie And The Pussycats In Outer Space. Outer space will have to wait for another day, because today we’re focused on the original.

I really didn’t (and still don’t) know too much about this show other than it was a chick rock band and I think they solved crimes between gigs kind of like the Scooby-Doo crew. I don’t ever remember watching this as a kid, but I do recall little snaps of Josie and the Pussycats performing their song about themselves after – now that I think about it – episodes of Scooby Doo. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me.

So, obviously, I did a little research about this show and found out that this came into existence because of the success my double main-man, Lou Scheimer, and his crew at Filmation had with The Archie Show. That was a huge hit and even led to some big record sales, so Hanna-Barbera wanted in on that. Josie was another property of Archie Comics so Hanna-Barbera snatched up the rights and tried to set the stage for a huge animation showdown. Or maybe not. They just really hoped it would be as successful as Archie and lead to good merchandising opportunities with music and such.

It’s probably safe to say that never happened, but it did inspire a live-action Josie movie released in 2001 that starred Rosario Dawson, Tara Reid and the uber-lovely Rachael Leigh Cook who I used to have a huge crush on. I’m sure she reads this blog so that will be embarrassing for me when she sees it. I’m actually a fan of the movie. I like it a lot. I own it on DVD. Shut up, it’s fun.

josie-and-the-pussycats

Let’s watch a cartoon.

Josie And The Pussycats: E.5: “Midas Mix-Up”

Originally Aired: October 10, 1970

Plot:

Let’s start with just introducing our cast of characters since even I’m unfamiliar with them.

Josie – The lead singer and guitar player. Romantically linked to Alan, their roadie

Valerie – Tambourine player and mechanical wizard

Melody – Drummer and airhead

Alan – Roadie and basically Fred from Scooby-Doo

Alexander – He’s kind of the manager/agent of the band also basically Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. He – like Shaggy – is voiced by Casey Kasem so they don’t even try to hide the resemblance.

Alexandra – Twin sister of Alexander, she is insanely jealous of Josie because she feels like she’s the real talent even though she’s not even in the band and she also wants to get down with Alan because, I suppose, chicks dig kerchiefs.

Sebastian – Alexandra’s cat who can be mean, but also helpful.

OK, so now that we know everybody, we open with the entire crew arriving to a ski lodge in a van. The Pussycats are going to be playing here, but will certainly have time to relax and get some skiing in.

There’s a golden castle shown on the top of the mountain and, inside, we’re introduced to Midas. He’s a horrible human being and is hellbent on making all of the world’s gold disappear with his super-spray he’s developed. Why he would want to do this is – as of this point – unclear.

The girls play a quick show on what appears to be a frozen pond and then goes skiing. Alexandra sabotages the crew because she wants to show up Josie and impress Alan and the entire team ends up crashing and landing on a cable-car that takes them to Midas’s castle. Even though they just made a mistake, Midas deals with them as intruders and describes his evil plan. They ask him what good making all the gold disappear will do him, which is a terrific question, and he states that the world will give him half of all they gold or else he’ll make it all disappear. Well…OK, then.

They get slammed in a prison where the floor is opening beneath them. Luckily, Sebastian the cat distracts the guards and frees them all. Look, what happens next is literally a Scooby episode with different characters. It’s not fun, it’s not creative.I mean, literally, you have two characters who are really just Fred and Shaggy under different names trying to save the day from a weird villain and his evil plans.

Hell, the Midas guy even refers to them as “those meddling kids”.

At some point, we get a ski chase to give us time to play a song in the background to hopefully sell some Josie records, but it’s just too long and too stupid.

Spoiler alert, they stop Midas and save the day.

Final Thoughts:

Look, I completely get what they’re going for here and I love the whole idea of a female rock ‘n roll group. But the execution of this is so piss-poor. It literally is just Scooby-Doo with small pieces of the band playing or having a song in the background to justify the whole “them being a band” thing.

I understand there’s a significant amount of time between the two, but this show needed to be more Jem & The Holograms. That show did a female music group right. With Josie, there’s just no depth to the story, characters or writing and it’s a complete issue of laziness to give you what amounts to Diet-Scooby. Garbage.

If you’re interested, I’m sure there’s a Hanna-Barbera Classics DVD collection of this somewhere out there. I, however, found a bunch of these episodes on YouTube in good quality. By all means, go check it out and if you disagree with my opinion, I’d love to hear why. Let’s talk it over. Otherwise, thanks for coming back today.

❤ Joe

Daily Cartoon! She-Ra, S.1,E.14: “Friendship”

Welcome! Trying something new in an effort to not make me hate all the cartoons I loved as a kid. From now on, I’ll just be picking random episodes of random cartoons and doing my synopses. People read this and think they’re fun, so I want to keep doing them, but it gets hard when you begin hating what you’re watching.

Those of you who listen to the show know what a fan I am of the He-Man universe. And, obviously, that would include She-Ra and all the happenings on planet Etheria! Seeing as how the Princess of Power series was just re-added to Netflix, I decided to dial-up a random choice with a short title. That was legitimately my criteria: one word title. So let’s see how this fares on its own.

She-Ra: Princess of Power: S.1, E.14: “Friendship”

Originally Aired: September 25, 1985

Plot:

Because of He-Man, I’m a huge fanboy of FILMATION, the company that produced the He-Man/She-Ra series as well Bravestarr, Ghostbusters and others. Seeing the letters fall into place to form the logo at the beginning of each episode gets me absolutely fired up. I’m not even joking. I love it.

filmation

We get the opening where Adora explains her origin for those not in the loop. Fabulous secrets were revealed to her the day she held aloft her magic sword and proclaimed, “…for the honor of Grayskull.” All great stuff.

She explains how her friends in the great rebellion look to free Etheria from the evil forces of Hordak, the big bad here and his Horde. After all, this is a rebellion and she’s gonna rebel.

So we pick up in the Forest where Adora has received a letter from a woman who was her second in command while still working for the Horde which says she will be put in prison because Hordak blames her for Adora turning babyface and joining the Rebellion. She has to go help. Bow and others offer to come along, but Adora refuses and says she must go alone to make it harder to be spotted while trespassing in the Fright Zone.

She-Ra instructs Swiftwind, her trusty, winged steed to pay close attention because anything can happen. Just as she says this, she is dragged into a tar pit by a cyclops squid monster. She’s pulled completely under, but within seconds, Squidclops (my name, not her’s) is launched into orbit and She-Ra emerges unscathed, but dripping with tar. This is an easy fix as she just spins around really fast until the tar is no more and she’s back to a glisten. But of course.

Cut to Bow who is traveling with Cowl to provide Adora some backup. They’re just worried and want to ensure her safety. She-Ra and Swiftwind encounter an angry pterodactyl looking monster who isn’t happy to have guests. She-Ra reads this thing’s mind and is able to figure out that it has an injured wing. She presses her hand to it and magically heals the beast who is now her friend.The Princess of Power, folks: a cross between Jesus Christ and Mr. Miyagi.

I guarantee this comes into play later in the episode when She-Ra finds herself in a pickle.

She-Ra gets into the Fright Zone and switches back into Adora. She’s surprised by the ease of access as there should be guards stationed around, but plays it off as if they must be on lunch or something. She hears her friend, Lonnie, call to her, but wouldn’t you know, this was all just a trap put in place by Hordak to play on Adora’s kind nature to pull her back into captivity.

Lonnie pulls the ole SUHPRISE and out pops Hordak and the Shadow Weaver. Turns out, Lonnie had no choice as Hordak has been holding her father captive on Beast Island and this was her way of getting him released. But Hordak pulls the okey-doke on her too and won’t release him as promised. Lonnie must feel like shit.

Bow arrives in the Fright Zone and is immediately met by Horde Troopers that he disposes of rather routinely before encountering Grizzlor and a crew of Troopers. Bow outsmarts the shit out of them by killing the lights and is able to locate Adora in Hordak’s chamber. Hordak hits him with some sleep gas and things are looking bleak for the good guys. Cowl, however, is still around and is able to grab Adora’s sword and getting out through the window just before Hordak is able to secure the chamber. Hordak isn’t at all upset about losing the sword as he still has Adora and Bow in shackles.

Hordak takes Adora to Beast Island so the Shadow Weaver can again try to get control of her mind, but Cowl slips into the cell and delivers the sword so Adora can transform into She-Ra. Grizzlor comes to transport the prisoner and is shocked to find She-Ra where Adora should be.

She disposes of the baddies then frees Bow and tells Lonnie to come with them so they can free her father. Lonnie must realllllllly feel like shit.

They find Lonnie’s dad, but Hordak and some Troopers immediately attempt to thwart their rescue efforts. They pose basically zero resistance and She-Ra turns her sword to a lasso to swing up to the cage suspended high in the air to free Lonnie’s father.

Our heroes escape into the wilderness of Beast Island which is roamed by all sorts of monsters. There’s no way they’ll be able to get out of this alive. They’re met by all sorts of monsters who have laser eyes, but of course, She-Ra’s pterodactyl monster from earlier comes in to rescue them and fly the entire crew back to Whispering Woods. Friends come in all sorts of shapes, but we are lucky to have them all.

Final Thoughts:

Yeah, I knew what this was going to be. What a ridiculous concept. If you’re expecting some cutting edge writing or thought-provoking stories, you’re not getting it here. We see how good of a heart Adora has and her willingness to help friends and then we get what I assume is their daily escape from the clutches of the Horde.

When it comes down to it, this was the 80s and, apparently, just what these cartoons were. She-Ra: Princess of Power did get a nice run of 93 episodes and had a pretty bad-ass toy line so there was obviously a market for it; especially at a time where there weren’t very many vehicles like this being presented to young girls.

All in all, if I were watching this series straight through, I can imagine it would become quite the chore as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and M.A.S.K. have for me beforehand, but as a standalone episode, it’s fine to look back the cheesiness of it and just accept it for what it is.

You don’t need to have seen the prior episodes as the background is given during the opening credits so you can just sit back and be thrown into today’s adventure which, to be fair, is not the worst thing in the world.

So, She-Ra, you still got it, girl. But don’t expect me to binge watch you and your friends anytime soon.

❤ Joe