21 May 2013

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Plastic Man Recap

Although it had its moments, for the most part Plastic Man is not a series I would eagerly revisit. I realize the show set out to be ridiculous and often succeeded, but that didn't automatically make it good. Don't get me wrong, there were elements of the show that I enjoyed such as the villains, Plastic Man's super powers and even the character of Penny, but the 20+ minute running time was asking a lot and resulted in the stories often being stretched too thin. The 10 minutes episodes were often just as solid if not more so than the longer ones because the main difference was that they cut out about 10 minutes of slow paced globetrotting chases.

While it may be expecting too much for a show of the era, the series would have benefited from some progression in the Penny-Plastic Man dynamic. The gags about him not noticing her only made Penny look desperate. Hula Hula was also not a great character who often seemed to be deliberately sabotaging the team. If he really was so unlucky, why bring him along. His comic relief just wasn't funny to me even if he was a likeable enough guy. And at least for a stereotype, he was an unusual one. But it wasn't the stories or characters that made good episodes in this series, it was the villains. Some of the baddies were incredibly creative and had great designs - even if their plots were ridiculous. Its a real shame that most of them were only used once. Recurring villains could have given the series a bump. In the end, there is fun to be had with this series, just in small doses.

Essential Five

1. Plastic Mummy Meets Disco Mummy - There is an element to this show that is hard to quantify. Some villains were so ridiculous that they were horrible. Others, like disco mummy, were so ridiculous that they were brilliant. 

2. The Minuscule Seven - This episode was another that lived by the strange villain concept and the fact that the tiny terrors were a basketball team. The irony was delicious.

3. Terrible 5 + 1 - Maybe not the team up I wanted, but the team up I probably deserved. I am very glad the series did at least one supervillain team even if the lineup could have been stronger.

4. The Kitty Kat Kaper - Could be my love for Catwoman, but I enjoyed Miss Kitty and her antics. Again, the bizarre ability to turn people into cats was stupid... in a good way.

5. Plastic Man Meets Plastic Ape - There were lots of episodes that could have squeaked into the list based on the concept of their villain alone, even if the episodes themselves were not that great (Thunderman, Carrot Man, Honey Bee, the Hippotist) but being a sucker for large monkeys the stretchy ape won my vote.

Series Stinker

The Maniacal Computerhead - There were a few stinkers mostly determined by flat villains. Without a strong villains, the episodes were all pretty formulaic and this was the biggest offender.

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