6 November 2002 | Brett_Buck
Must see TV
This is my favorite 15 minutes of the week! Hapless, second-rate H-B superhero Birdman is now a hapless second-rate lawyer, defending various twisted former H-B stars like the cast of Jabberjaw and the now clearly homo-erotic Jonny Quest, etc. Race Bannon (well, sort of Race Bannon) suing Dr. Quest for custody of Jonny, Hadji, and Bandit after a, uh, lover's tiff? Hapless and hyper-paranoid former Birdman antagonist Dr. Reducto opining over the good old days ("Back when I was a kid, if a someone brandished a Shrink Ray, he'd get some respect!"), becoming smitten with a witness ("No one told me your feet would be so - tiny!"), and threatening everyone in the courtroom to "Back Off! I'll make you travel size!"?
Most people would be completely mystified as to why this would be funny. I thought about it for a while, and I think unless you had watched the old series' on which this show draws, you would have no idea whatsoever what the heck was going on. You pretty much have to be a male between 38-42 to truly appreciate it. That's a pretty small target audience.
Even if you do recognize the characters, it's so surreal that you will be amazed. Seeing a giant grab and the mechanical spider/eyeball monster testifying to Race Bannon's bond with the kids defies description.
One odd thing about this series is that the characters are much better defined than the originals. Back in the 60's, the writing was almost non-existent. Somebody must have written up one or two story outlines, and just randomly used them to generate every episode of Birdman, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, etc, by substituting characters. Could have done it with a computer. This show fairly well written and I think this is what ultimately makes it funny - these absurdly flat characters you remember have internal lives, and for some reason this makes it funny.