Magnum P.I.

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Mike. Fucking. Post. Can you even pick a fave from his TV themes? Likely impossible, but since hearing “Magnum” makes you wish you were riding on the landing gear of TC’s chopper, even all these years later, it definitely makes the top five. It’s part “Hawaii Five-0,” part “Live and Let Die,” and part disco-era strings, the latter easing back the song’s midsection but still making it sizzle like teriyaki sauce on steel. It’s Post on all cylinders. Continue reading “Magnum P.I.”

Styx, “Mr. Roboto”

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The lights fade up, and the keyboards come in. Oh cool, Naomi Watts is in this video. Ah crap, it’s actually Tommy Shaw. In the Kilroy Was Here backstory – in Dennis DeYoung’s grand vision (or illusion) – Shaw plays Jonathan Chance, a young rebel of a dystopian future where music is suppressed by the Falwellian Dr. Righteous and DeYoung – of course – is the rock star, Kilroy, that the doctor and his goons have Continue reading “Styx, “Mr. Roboto””

Johnny Sokko And His Giant Robot

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UHF was the Internet of our youth. When hulking console televisions lurked in living rooms like a CDC 7600 for every American family, all we had to do was crank that top dial over to UHF and spin the bottom one until it landed on F-U-N. That’s no cliche. UHF really was amazing, especially in comparison to the choking desert sands of contemporary daytime television. Next time you’re home sick, you’ll long for Speed Racer’s goofy old Charlie Chan Continue reading “Johnny Sokko And His Giant Robot”

The Six Million Dollar Man

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TV show intros are usually all about the good times. “The Six Million Dollar Man” says fuck that. Tension is hardwired into this sequence. Letters appear on screen like circuits being soldered methodically into a board. Radio squelch and technical chatter murmurs in the background. Hulks of analog equipment, a time-code silently pacing the action, and jargon pull-quotes like “We have separation.” It’s only 15 seconds in, and you’re already shaking with Continue reading “The Six Million Dollar Man”