A couple of years ago, shortly after my 37th birthday, I stopped into a local video store to see if anything caught my fancy. You know how those video rental places are. You walk around and around for sometimes 15 minutes and nothing really interests you. It's like opening and closing your refrigerator door a dozen times, deciding what you want to eat for dinner.
Anyway, on this particular Sunday afternoon, I stumbled upon a DVD of "The Incredible Hulk". No, not the recently released movies, the old television series from the late 70's/early 80's. I grew up watching that show but hadn't seen it in many years.
I figured I'd give it a shot. It's always fun to go back and re-live a little of your youth. The DVD only contained the original pilot episode and an episode from season 2. I wasn't sure if I'd be interested in the show again. However, it only took about ten minutes into the pilot to realize that I still loved it. I couldn't get enough. I watched the pilot and the season 2 episode over and over again for the duration of time that I had the DVD. I was hooked.
This time as a man in my late 30's, I appreciated the show from an adult's perspective. Sure, it was silly in a way. I mean, it was a story about a man who turned into a giant, green monster, but the way the late Bill Bixby portrayed Dr. David Banner was touching. I'm convinced that Bixby was one of the greatest actors of our time and was never truly appreciated during his short life. He was an actor in the truest sense of the word.
In the ensuing months, I went back to that video store repeatedly in the hopes that they would expand their Hulk inventory and add some actual seasons, but sadly, they never did.
Fortunately, my girlfriend was a surprising enabler in my new obsession and bought me season 5. Months later, I purchased season 2 and enjoyed every episode multiple times. Months after that, I bought seasons 3 and 4 back-to-back. And finally, for my last birthday, my girlfriend book-ended her Hulk purchases with season 1, and now I have all five seasons in my possession.
My obsession reached its peak in late '09, but I still enjoy watching a few episodes here and there.
For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Dr. David Banner, physician, scientist, is a man on the run, presumed killed in a lab explosion. He must let the world believe that he really is dead until he can find a cure for the raging beast-within.
This beast-within came about one night when Dr. Banner used a high-dose of gamma radiation on himself in-order to try and find the hidden strength that all humans possess. Well, he got more than he bargained for.
Now, Dr. Banner must travel from town-to-town, across the country, under assumed names while he tries to find a cure for his affliction. Since people think he's dead, David Banner can use any alias he desires. However, he always keeps his first name and chooses a last name that begins with the letter B.
A typical show has David in some town working an odd job. Even though he is initially seen as just another drifter looking for work, the people he encounters in his travels eventually lean on him for guidance and support. It doesn't matter that David Banner, I mean, Bentley, is just a janitor. He just so happens to be a very charismatic and well-groomed janitor. He is also very well-read and intelligent. Occasionally, someone needs medical attention, and even though David Bar is only a busboy, he always convinces those around him that he has a "medical background", and they step aside and let him take-charge.
Even though David Bricker is a well-intentioned store clerk who is only trying to avoid trouble, he cannot help but influence those he encounters. As a result, unfortunately, he often ruffles the feathers of some crime lord who sees David as a threat to whatever evil scheme he has going. Naturally, this crime lord has henchmen, and these henchmen don't mind breaking bones in-order to send a message. The crime lord sets his henchmen loose on David Bannister. They corner David just as he's closing up the library for the night. He looks at the henchmen and says something like, "what's the meaning of this?" The henchmen retort with a grunt or something and tell David that he must leave town or suffer the consequences.
David refuses to back down and tells the henchmen that he's only trying to help the hot, young woman that he encountered that episode. The henchmen are in no mood to haggle with Bradshaw. They grab him by the arms and throw him into a dumpster. Their warning considered heeded, the bad guys walk away laughing. Soon, however, they hear this strange growling coming from the dumpster. The bad guys turn around just in time to see a huge, green creature burst out of the dumpster. The monster is 7-feet tall and mean as all get out. However, since he's the alter-ego of David Banner, I mean, Brickhouse, the hulking monster really doesn't do much damage. He just picks the guys up and throws them into a pile of garbage, or whatever. The two henchmen look at each other in amazement as the creature takes off into the night. Yes, they're shocked at what they just saw, but for whatever reason, they always quickly forget about the most amazing sight in the history of mankind. Instead, they wonder where that Beasly character disappeared too. Did the green creature eat him or what?
The henchmen go back to their crime lord boss and tell him what happened, but the crime lord doesn't want to hear about any 7-foot green monster. He's more concerned with taking care of business and only wants his guys to take care of this Benson fella once and for all. The crime lord tells his men to "do what you have to do." The henchmen nod back at him affirmatively. They know what needs to be done.
Meanwhile, David Billingsly has just transformed back into his old-self somewhere in a dark alley. He finds some clothes in that brown, leather bag he always carries with him. It's amazing how much stuff he jams into that little bag.
David goes back to the hot, young woman and asks her what is going on. She apologizes to David because she didn't mean for him to get mixed up in everything.
Well, involved or not, David must leave town because once the creature has been seen, that pesky investigative reporter, one Jack Mcgee, is never far behind.
Well, that's half of an episode, anyway.
What about you guys? Any childhood shows that you fell in-love with all over again as an adult?