Do you have one of those things from your early childhood that has remained firmly planted in your psyche, but no one else seems to have held onto? I sure as shit do. It’s called “Out of This World”. Come on! You remember Evie, and her charismatic mother, Donna? Please, tell me you remember this show!
“Out of This World” was on the air from 1987 until 1991, according to the IMDB page. A four year run isn’t that bad for a show, particularly from that period, right? I’m also guessing the show had syndicated reruns. The show stars Maureen Flanigan as Evie, a half-human, half-alien adolescent just trying to live as a normal teenager and get through pubescence with some dignity intact. Also, she has some pretty awesome powers like the ability to freeze time, and teleport. She can also “gleep” things into existence with some strenuous blinking. The show always presented bizarre and comical scenarios, quirky over-the-top characters, and totally gnarly 80’s style. The hair-do’s alone are worth checking it out for. So why, you might ask, would a silly sitcom from my early childhood still remain so well integrated into my mind? I DON’T FUCKING KNOW! But it is. At least once a day I find myself singing “Hey Buffalo Breath, is that what they call you?” Watch the following clip if you’d like to know to what this refers:
I rarely meet anyone who remembers “Out of This World”. The most I’ve ever gotten is tame acknowledgment and mild confirmation. “Oh, yeaaaah….” This show somehow shaped my childhood and no one else seems to give two shits?! Matilda humors me, but does not seem to ever have been truly moved by the show. Maybe it’s a generational thing, or perhaps I’m just now discovering the oddity that is memory.
I’m not saying by any means that there was something spectacular or unique about “Out of This World”, but it was cute and for whatever reason it was highly entertaining for a 4 year girl. What I really don’t understand is why this show, more than any other from that period in my life, has taken precedence in my powers of recollection. Sure, I remember Fraggle Rock, but only vaguely. I couldn’t sing the theme for you or remember any specific plots. I remember SOOOO MUCH from “Out of This World”. I remember multiple plot points from episodes and even dialogue. And that fucking buffalo breath song!!! What else could explain my lifelong and pervasive love for all things Burt Reynolds, besides the fact that he’s the voice of the alien absentee father, Troy Garland, who was always channeled through the odd sugar cube pyramid thing?
I can’t explain why “Out of This World” has stuck with me so strongly for so long, but I’ve come to accept that it’s something I have to appreciate by myself and remember it as I saw it as that tiny girl. Watching clips on YouTube does not bring that back. Instead, I find myself cringing and the creeping feeling that what I’m watching is, actually, pretty shitty entertainment. But, oh, how I remember it! Magical! Whimsical! Hilarious! The colors! The zany characters! The anticipation every time Evie brought her forefingers together… Hilarious mayhem was about to ensue!! This show is something I can’t experience again, and it’s not something I will really be able to share with my children. Any attempts would be a sad display of sitting them down in front of a screen for scratchy, blurred clips from a lost generation. I can already picture it. “Their hair looks like french fries.” and “This is the dumbest thing ever.” No! It was wonderful! Damn you, sands of time!
If you have a similar cross to bear, I’d like to hear about it. What cultural anomaly had a notable impact on you, but has faded with the likes of acid-wash jeans and hair kinks? If only I were Evie, I would gleep those things back for you, and we could have a marathon in our Winnie the Pooh pajamas sitting on the shag carpet!