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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Elvira’s Incredible Longevity

When approaching the Mistress of the Dark,
don't let the gargoyle bite off your toes!

I never cease to be fascinated by what captures and holds our interest.  Take police procedurals, for example.  These TV shows, featuring heroes who safeguard our neighborhoods, appeal to a large portion of the viewing audience.  They consistently score high in the rankings.  Yet, unless they are extraordinary in some way (such as “Miami Vice,” for example), they are typically forgotten.  Even the best are regarded as disposable items.  Who needs yesterday’s cop show, when you can watch the current version?

Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror shows usually score lower, and appeal to a narrower portion of the viewership.  Yet something in them excites and inspires viewers in a way that more mainstream programming doesn’t.  You’ll find far more clubs, forums, and conventions held for these shows than you will for police procedurals, dramas, or comedies.  When was the last time you attended a “Miami Vice” convention, belonged to a Ricardo Tubbs fan club, or purchased any related merchandise?  And forget “Hunter,” the series I’ve been watching lately.  Why should anyone care about “Hunter?”  It was just another cop show, right?

Bounce an Elvira check today,
and you'll pay for it for eternity.

At Stan Lee’s Comikaze, an area of the main floor was devoted to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.  Examples of the many collectibles produced over the years were on display.  Two game stations had been set up so attendees could try out the latest Elvira video game.  People waited in line to approach Elvira, on her Victorian settee, and pay for her autograph.  Fans continue to seek out her books, videos, and a plethora of licensed products. 

In the last post, I wrote about the connection Elvira forged with me.  It’s obvious I was merely one among many.  “Elvira’s Movie Macabre,” a pleasant weekend comedy-horror show, with a likeable hostess, started on a small, independent TV station in Los Angeles and became a national phenomenon.  The police procedural “Hunter,” on the other hand, started on network TV, was seen by more people, and lasted far longer in its initial series run.  But who wants more “Hunter?”  How many even remember “Hunter?”  What do people want?  Who continues to fascinate children of all ages?  Who continues to win new fans, provoke discussion, and sell related merchandise?  Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.  That’s who.

That’s the power of Sci-fi, Fantasy, and yes, even Horror.  (Now, if someone could just explain this to the TV executives who consistently cancel these popular and enduring shows)!

Dragon Dave

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