The Bugaloos 1.6 – If I Had the Wings of a Bugaloo

In the dopey old kid shows of the sixties and seventies, you used to see a lot of what I call a “magic path plot.” That’s when a character wants something, is prevented from getting it in one episode, and never mentions it in any other episode. I call it that because Sid and Marty Krofft used it a couple of times in H.R. Pufnstuf and Lidsville, where the heroes’ “way home” was blocked by the villain in what appears to be a temporary, one-episode setback, but the heroes never bother trying it again.

John Fenton Murray does this plot from the villains’ perspective in this story, which also features Martha Raye doing a really funny ten-words-a-second parody of the sort of cornpone characters that audiences would have seen on Hee Haw at the time. It’s a best-not-to-think-about-it story where Benita decides that the way to fly is to cut off one of the Bugaloos’ wings so that she can wear them. So she has a goal, albeit a gruesome and grisly one, and it’s stymied because I.Q. is rescued by his friends, but unless I’m misremembering, Benita never tries to kidnap our pals for their wings ever again. She just goes off the idea between episodes. Every other time, she will have short-term goals: win a beauty contest, get on Peter Platter’s show. You’d think, having set her mind to something like this, somebody would need to tell her “this will not work; you cannot fly by wearing other people’s wings on a backpack,” otherwise she’d just keep doing it.

You’d probably also think that I might be overthinking things a bit. I should probably repeat to myself that this is just a show and I should really just relax.

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