Thursday, October 10, 2013

5 Reasons Why the The Incredible Hulk TV Show (1978) is the Best Superhero TV Show of the last 30 Years

I know the temptation is to be smarmy and cynical.  I won't do it.  The Incredible Hulk is and may always be my favorite super-hero tv show of all time.  Here are 5 reasons why:
  1. Each show plays out at a leisurely enough pace to ensure proper and purposeful character development in each episode.  Every show is given a chance to breathe and grow without forcing action.  Action comes - but I never feel like they just needed a ratings Hulk to come crashing through a wall just for an uptick in the Nielson's.  The Incredible Hulk is a testament to the craft of story telling.
  2. The dialog isn't canny and/or corny.  I'm no gamma radiation scientist, but I'm sure some of what they're shooting over my head isn't complete bs.  Also, you can't go on touting the dialog without praising the acting.  Bill Bixby delivered in the role as David Banner.  He played the part passionately, angrily, righteously, and humbly.  As I watch now 30+ years later (and having acted a bit here and there) I really appreciate what he brought to the role of David Banner - he brought manhood.  I cannot leave out the comedy stylings of Lou Ferrigno.  I know that as the Hulk, he was this big, angry, green guy; but Lou Ferrigno played the Hulk as a big, angry, green, guy with a big heart.  Really.  You can see the tenderness of the Hulk when he innocently takes a peanut from the hand of a little girl, or when he sits down and begins petting a tiger cub, or when he sits down and has a meal with a traveler.  Yes, the Hulk is a rampaging beast but he's no monster - Lou Ferrigno captures that.
  3. The soundtrack.  There are few TV show theme songs that can cause such an emotional response as The Lonely Man by Joe Harnell.  In my opinion, only M.A.S.H.'s Suicide is Painless jerks the tears easier.  It plays like a music box that you wind up, press against your ear then slowly open and slowly close just to hear the mechanism engage and disengage over and over.  It reminds you of a slower paced time of your life when your biggest concern was having your homework done in time to watch your TV show because you didn't even know what a VCR was back then.
  4. The introduction.  In each episode (at least in all of the season 1 episodes that I've watched so far) there is a detailed explanation of why David Banner is on the run.  It's beautifully edited and includes the undying line of "Mr. McGee, don't make me angry; you wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
  5. All five seasons are now on Netflix.
I reserve the right to modify and extend my remarks and now yield back the balance of my time.

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