Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Show: Fat Albert

Episodes: Thirteen 21 minute episodes
Clips: None
Studio: Entertainment Rights
Rank: A-

Hey, hey hey!

I imagine everyone has at least some awareness of Fat Albert, the dramatically obese kid who hangs out with his friends, plays basketball, and watches "The Brown Hornet" every chance he gets.

The show embodies Bill Cosby's philosophy of what constitutes good, clean fun. Albert and his gang of goofy friends walk the line between keeping it real and being a good role model to the poor black kids of America's inner cities.

If it was created today, the show would raise just as many eyebrows as it did in the seventies, what with the big, rubbery lips of the black characters, Rudy's pimp walk, and a street smart vernacular that borders on a parody of ebonics.

But you don't even have to scratch the surface to see the good-natured intentions of Cosby and the other creators of the show. The first episode is all about CPR. When wayward Rudy spurns a voluntary CPR class in favor of basketball, he gets a quick (and unlikely) comeuppance. His basketball buddy has a heart attack, and poor Rudy is left without the skills necessary to save his life. Of course, Fat Albert hears Rudy's panicked cries for help, and shows up in time to save the man's life. There is an overt CPR lesson packed into the episode so that anyone watching will learn how to handle this kind of emergency.

When I watched the Casper cartoons recently, I was struck by how perfectly the cartoon captured the spirit of the 50s. Well, this is an equally compelling portrait of the 70s. Dig it?
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments: