So I may be thought of as something of a stinker, taking a break from Batman with Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, which is a pretty deliberate clone of Batman! The show was originally one of the three installments of the umbrella series The Krofft Supershow, which ran on ABC in 1976. It was created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, who would later form their own production and animation company and unleash many terrible cartoons upon the kids of the late seventies, and mostly written by Dick Robbins and Duane Poole, who turned in dozens of scripts for the Kroffts, Hanna-Barbera, and the like in the day.
(Speaking of “in the day,” it’s worth looking at the Supershow first season’s opening sequence on YouTube to see what Atlanta looked like in the summer of 1976, when crowds were steadfastly avoiding the Kroffts’ doomed indoor amusement park. That breathtakingly ugly brown building you see was the Omni, then the city’s premier concert and sports venue, located next door to the building that housed the park. David Bowie played at the Omni about three months before they taped this.)
Anyway, Deidre Hall, who was still a fresh new face in the cast of Days of Our Lives at the time, played Electra Woman, and Judy Strangis, who was eternally-young Helen in Room 222 for four years, was Dyna Girl, and Norman Alden, best known for his voiceover work on cartoons, played their assistant Frank, who programmed their computer gadgets. Most of the actors who played baddies had their biggest roles ahead of them; Michael Constantine, who hams it up as the Sorcerer in the first story, had previously starred with Strangis in Room 222, but is best known today as Gus in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
But is it any good? Objectively, no, but it sure is fun. It’s just a goofy, silly, zero-budget romp with traps and villainous threats, mustache-twirling and eye-rolling overacting, and a whole lot of chromakey for every conceivable special effect, even the things that probably could have been accomplished without it. A little of this show goes a long way, which is why it’s a good thing they only made sixteen episodes (each about twelve minutes), comprising eight stories.
It is charming to see how the goofball superhero logic of faster-than-light travel across the country and villainous plans that simply do not make any sense at all – bear in mind that Robbins and Poole were veterans of Hanna-Barbera’s equally insensible Super Friends – impressed Daniel. The cliffhanger, in which our heroines are about to be attacked by a tiger, had him hiding behind the sofa for safety, but he loved the climax, in which Electra Woman and Dyna Girl use the latest addition to their Electra-Comm wrist gadgets to repel the Sorcerer’s hypnotic mirrorball and zap him instead.
So yeah, this is a fun little diversion. Seven of these eight stories are cute and fun. Unfortunately, the turkey is the very next one. We’ll take a deep breath before we watch “Glitter Rock.”