TV Review: Dinosaurs
Watching “Dinosaurs” on Netflix. I didn’t really give this show much attention as a child because the Baby dinosaur scared me.
I was young! The first episode I saw was the Halloween one with the exorcist joke. After that, Baby Sinclair TERRIFIED me.
Anyway some observations
1) WOW that’s some AMAZING puppetry. Like…holy jeez wow. Henson, you guys are FANTASTIC. The animatronics are impressive on their own, but there really isn’t that huge a range of expression on these characters. They mostly just blink, move their brows, can twitch the edges of their mouths (slightly) and flap their lips. Not a tremendous amount of range by itself, but pair it with the fantastic puppeteering and lively voice work and you’ve been given characters with more facial range than even your average TV cartoon show.
2) The sets are so detailed and well thought out. This show could easily just aped Flinstones, and while it does have the same “carved from rock” appearance, it has its own color palette and distinct design choices. Just having to accommodate those enormous rubber outfits requires a lot of room, and yet they manage to fill a room full of visual appeal without making the set barren and “safe”. Watching an actor walked down a flight of stairs had me holding my breath, sure he was going to take a tumble. But nope.
3) I love the writing. It takes some serious stabs at sitcom tropes. But at the same time it’s somewhat dated. Remains as funny as ever, but listening to characters mope about gender roles and housewifery and being a bread-winner and etc has me realizing just much television has shifted. A character mentions she’s divorced and has fulfilling career and the other characters (including the daughter) gasp. Given that this is a satire of generic sitcoms, it’s an expected joke. But I feel like because this show existed culturally closer to the old style of sitcoms than the new style, its that much more biting. Every time they take a dig at things like gender roles, myopic environment management, and the drudgery of manual labor, the show feels like both a time capsule and a crystal ball. And because the cartoonish nature hides the seriousness of some of the dialogue, the show gets away with discussions on religious dogma, oppressive tradition, and anti-intellectualism. Not typical topics for your average sitcom!
So go give this show a watch. It’s kind of fascinating where it goes and the designs are just GORGEOUS. I take special joy in seeing that the mother character is the most dinosaur-y looking of them all. And Mr. Richfield is THE BEST EVER PUPPET. Good lord THAT MOUTH! THOSE EXPRESSIONS!
Unless you hate Elmo. Elmo voice….Elmo voice…
7 months ago · 6 notes