My Two Darrins: A Little Ado, A Lot of Nothing

Now and then I start thinking about an old out of date topic, make some idle remark on it, and learn that I have uncovered a passionate opinion that others will not ever let go. Humanity: maddening, yet sometimes adorable.

Darrin Stephens, fictional husband of fictional Samantha, star of Bewitched, is one such topic. Such intensity. And it’s my own fault I remained slightly mired in it.

First, Twitter is forever. Well, kind of. Not if you used Brizzly or Twitpic. But anyway. Nearly two months ago I came out in favor of Darrin number two, because he doesn’t stress me, and oh, what an unpopular opinion that turned out to be. Only I accidentally removed the most fired up tweet from this combined screenshotTweeting

So after the third person hearted the disagreement over a month after I shocked (a super tiny part of) the world with my heavy-handed proclamation, I got to thinking, “That must mean someone is doing a Twitter search for this very topic.” And why? Therefore, I examined Darrin number one further, which I hadn’t done in awhile. I forgot what an imposing physicality he possessed. Maybe that was attractive. Was it? For research purposes I typed into the Google box, “Was Dick York fit” or maybe I typed “did people think Dick York was sexy,” or honestly, I don’t remember. It was three or four days ago. And this was the top result.  Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 8.00.05 PM

I kind of thought that sometimes he looked like an old lady with a rictus grin, but maybe if he’d have taken off his shirt during the show, I’d have forgiven him that and his general daily wailing. He looked good with a beard in Wagon Train. Bearded dick

As an aside, I’ve read that the term beefcake was originally used to describe the unbelievably handsome Guy Madison. I ran across a picture of him in later years the other day, and golly, he really held up.

Anyway, recently, between the first thing and this thing, Antenna TV asked on Facebook, as they do, “which replacement actor did you like better?” and I don’t usually answer, but wasn’t thinking clearly, I guess, and I said, “Aunt Vivian and Darrin Stephens.”

And that whole thing went on for too long.
Facebooking
What on earth possessed me to remain in the conversation and make sure I finished it? But I’m sure no one disagrees with me about Aunt Viv.

It’s not that I found Darrin number two attractive. And he wasn’t very…butch, I guess, is what I mean. Without falling into the trap of discussing who was in a better situation, Jeannie or Samantha, because that’s a fiery hotbed of disagreement, let me tell you, I had to wonder who Samantha, the character we know, would prefer in bed. (I've forgotten how this relates to Astronaut Tony Nelson, to be honest. Maybe another bit of blather sometime.) Whiny Darrin or Exasperated Darrin. I just have to believe Darrin number two knew things that Darrin number one would never have been able to imagine. And I don’t think Dick Sargent was so wealthy he’d have a 37 year-old boyfriend at the time of his death for that reason alone. There’d have to be other perks. Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 8.00.43 PM
But I don’t want to “argue” about any of that ever again, because it’s a super weird thing to do. Also, let it be known, in case those Twitter ladies find me, that I think Dick York was swell, and it probably wasn’t his fault about the overabundance of sclera, or that he was made to look like a useless tool in an oddly fitting suit coat.

For someone funny who agrees with me, sort of, click on the picture.  Read the comments so you don't think I'm making this all up.Two darrins


To Tell the Truth

This morning on To Tell the Truth, we saw the first woman to sail alone across the Atlantic, ten years earlier. I have a pretty good batting average for choosing the correct one as they walk onto the stage combined with their reaction as the votes are shared. But the reasons the panel choose who they think is the true person vary from great sense to nonsense. Today, Peggy Cass chose the same one as me, but her reason was that the lady was so incredulous at all their questions, she must think they’re boobs. And she was the right one. I picked her because she looked like she’d spent time in wind. Also, she wore a black dress and pearls. The others were trying to look like tough women don’t bother.

ANYWAY. I had this little scenario going in my head during which a small gaggle of 14 year-olds were watching this show together at a sleepover, during a school break, perhaps, and talking about which panel member was dreamy. First, of course, none of them were what you'd think a 14 year-old would find “dreamy.” But girls will be as they are. A girl begins by gushing a little about Bud Collyer, because he highly resembles her Algebra teacher, Mr. Sullivan. The other two squeal and rock back with laughter. He’s so old! But Linda says, “No, not really so old. I’m sure he’s younger than Dad…” And the other two laugh some more. Bud
Pat says, “Well, that’s much too old for you, Linda. Besides, Johnny Carson is much more…” I should find a word that girls might use in 1962…they spoke so strangely back then, didn’t they? “…much more handsome, although ancient.”

Sharon jumps up and says, “You don’t think he’s ancient, you want to kissss him!” She grabs a cushion off the sofa and hugs it to her face, twisting around and making smooch noises.

Linda grabs another cushion and jumps around with it, saying, “Oh, Johnny, you’re so gorgeous!”

Sharon laughs and says, “She calls him Johhhhnn!”

Linda drops to the floor hugging her cushion and says, “Johhhhnnn, darling!” Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 9.21.27 AM
Pat looks disgusted and says urgently, “Be quiet, you two! I don’t want Bobby coming in here and pestering us!” Bobby, of course, being Patricia’s 12 year-old brother. I suppose he ends up face down in a jungle swamp in a few years. Or maybe he gives up his lifelong interest in aviation engineering to study finance and gets to stay at college until well after his number comes up. But that’s another story. 

The girls squeal and scurry to replace the cushions and sit back down, and Pat says, “If you dare mention that name at school, Linda, I will tell every single girl we know that you dream about kissing Bud Collyer!”

Linda replies indignantly, “I never said I want to kiss him! He just reminds me of Mr. Sullivan…” She stops, realizing what she’s said.

“You want to kiss Mr. Sullivan!” Sharon yells gleefully.

“Shhh,” Linda and Pat both say, “Be quiet!”

Sharon says, “Okay, okay, besides, I’ve Got a Secret is next, and Kim Novak will be on it tonight. I want to see what she’s wearing.” Her cheeks are a little pink, worrying if that sounds casual enough to the other girls, but they don’t notice.


The Night of the Shirtless Agent

Yeah, I never claimed to be original all the time.

A friend on Google Plus was sharing tidbits from The Wild, Wild West today, which got me thinking two things. First, as I have been wanting to do some weekly themes, Thursday might be a good day for posts such as this one here. Which I am doing because something you might not know about me is that Bret Maverick was not entirely my first crush. He shared that privilege with two others:

Speed

Jameswest

though my heart actually belonged to James Garner, and a piece of it always will.

I really loved The Wild Wild West. Well, actually, Artie always made me super uncomfortable, but James West captivated me for awhile. So I watched it after school when I was a little kid. It's definitely ironic that CBS had to can the show because of a congressional uproar over violent programming, but I was just watching it at 4 in the afternoon a few years later, for my own little reasons. Poolstick
As a child, I never thought of the show as violent. I mean, none of it seemed real to me or particularly visceral. It was just TV. Beltbuckle
But The Wild, Wild West was actually extremely violent at times, to anyone who was paying attention to the actual events taking place. Am I saying I've always been kind of shallow? Probably.
Cuffs
James West as portrayed by Robert Conrad set the standard for how the good guy should be treated by villains. He was super fit and rarely tied up or pinned down until he was shirtless, but he always had a couple gadgets in his pockets he could use to free himself before the bomb went off or the bad guy came back from having wandered off to tend to his minions, dressed or undressed. This is how these things should operate. Imagine if Adam West had been so fit as Batman. Dynamite
In The Wild, Wild West, two guys traveled around together in a private train car, wore fancy clothes, and one of them was nearly always wearing a disguise. The other one was always finding himself tied up. Those were the good old days I grew up with. The Wild, Wild West was born the same year I was, actually. It was a very good year.

Here are a few more shots from the show. If you expected me to note which episodes they came from, I expect you're at the wrong blog. But you can watch many of them on YouTube, and collect your own favorite shirtless/torture moments. Also, you can read this blog post written by a friend in 2005, which actually discusses the show and its production.

Colosseum

Escape

Aching

Hanging

Untied

Strappedin

Traincar

Steamy