Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is "Fred and Barney Meet the Thing" as bad as it looks?

I think it's fairly common knowledge that I love the Thing.  I love him.  I do!  There's so much that's great about a character like Ben Grimm.  Even though this is true, however, I've never seen the 1970s cartoon "Fred and Barney Meet the Thing".  One reason I've never seen it is that I wasn't alive in 1979.  Another is that repeats are aired almost never.  Another is that it looks like one of the most horrible shows ever made.

Despite how funny it is to see a shark bite the Thing then row away on dry land after its teeth fall out, I wonder who thought that it would be a good thing to partner up the Flintstones with a teenage version of Ben Grimm.  The characters never crossed over during the program - the show featured two 11-minute Thing cartoons followed by an 'updated' Flintstones episode - which is strange, seeing how the intro would lead you to believe the characters all went on adventures together.

Was it just because of the rock corollaries?  The fact that the Thing is made of stones and everything in the Flintstone universe obsessively HAD to use some sort of stone reference (James Darren is guest starring in this episode?  CALL HIM JAMES DARROCK!)?  That's the only half reason I can come up with.

Every once in a while, Cartoon Network's "Boomerang" channel will air an episode or two of the Thing cartoon.  I don't get Boomerang, and thus I haven't see the show.  But if it's anything like this, I might be glad that I'm not able:

Why is the Thing a teenager?  Why does he have "Thing rings"?  Why does he lose his Brooklyn accent when he transforms into "Benjy"?  And perhaps most importantly, why the heck doesn't he just move the truck stuck on the tracks rather than running headlong into a speeding train?

...there's still a good chance I'd buy this if it was ever released on DVD.

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