Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wizards and Warriors

For those who missed it, Wizards and Warriors was the proto-Xena. It was fun, exciting and silly, and I loved it. I loved it because I loved everything swords and sorcery, because it was great to see Jeff Conaway filling a nice guy role after rising to fame by playing arrogant jerks like Kenickie and Bobby Reager, and because my sense of humor was, and still is, distinctly Muppetarian.

It ran for eight episodes in 1983, then was uncerimoniously cancelled and forgotten by all but a tiny handful of fans.

Why did it flop? Well, one reason is that most people weren't into the fantasy genre back then, it wasn't cool to be a geek. And the people who were into the fantasy genre took it very, very, seriously. Notice that movies such as Excalibur, Conan the Barbarian and Dragonslayer, along with all their myriad low-budget cousins, were played completely and totally straight. No mugging, no camp, at least not intentionally. That was what made Wizards and Warriors so much fun; they knew it was ridiculous, but the deadpan acting was what made it hilarious.

The world would have to wait another ten years for the oh-so-ironic 90's to give us TV shows such as Hercules and Xena, Warrior Princess. By that time, it was too late, as far as I was concerned the moment had passed. I never liked those shows

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jeff Conaway, 1950-2011

What's really depressing is, everybody remembers Grease and Taxi, but nobody remembers Wizards and Warriors.