Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Serial Week

Hey folks. Sorry for starting the week on a Tuesday but apparently it was Migraine Monday. Yeah really hope that is not going to be a thing but weather patterns are screwy that way. Well last week got to glimpse some interesting Free-to-Play games on Steam which a handful of them were actually fun... well a few... okay I really only enjoyed one. This time around I thought I would give acknowledgement to a time honored concept that hailed back when going to the movies meant spending a dime and popcorn was also cheap as could be.

Now put on your mittens, Robin. You have to shovel the walk.

During the 1930s and the 1940s short cartoons or even programming of live-action capers and thrillers would shown before the feature length movie. These shows would have a continuing plot that furthers the story from anything from undersea voyages, cowboys and even a few comic book heroes.

These short films were called serials. As one chapter of thrills and spills ended, next week a new one would happen. Giving the term cliffhanger (a plot device in fiction where a main character is in a difficult scenario or confronted with shocking news that will change their life forever) originated in Movie and Radio bringing as much as excitement to their customers and listeners at home and always ending with To Be Continued or The End? The following serial would most commonly begin with a recap of the events in the previous episode to lend it weight to the audience or justify the outcome.

Created by 5 major studios in competition with one another, each trying to bring their own spin of things and persons, Columbia Pictures brought you such titles as: (The Secret of Treasure Island, The Spider's Web, Flying G-Men and Mandrake the Magician) while Universal Pictures had (The Spell of the Circus, The Airmail Mystery, The Lost Special and Clancy of the Mounted) Mascot Pictures and Pathe Exchange were fading out due to the introduction to the age of sound, Pathe stopped production in the latter 20s while Mascot merged with the most known picture racket of the serials Republic Pictures producing shows like : (Dick Tracy, Zorro Rides Again, The Lone Ranger, Captain America and Batman)

So this week we take a look at some of these serials that brought joy, terror and a bit of exhilaration to audiences during the Depression and WWII, because they sure needed it.

We might have some laughs, some elation and possibly be diverted to joy. Let's find out, shall we?

Hello police?  Yeah my sidekick took my bike and shield again.