Early last year, I wondered if there was a word for the opposite of nostalgia. Instead of a sentimental longing for the past, I was trying to describe a feeling of embarrassment and shameful revulsion of the past. The feeling you get when you realize that the things you loved as a kid were actually horrible, and you simply were too young and stupid to know any better. I never did find a word for this phenomenon, so I’ve invented one: nonstalgia. (Google-using busy-bodies may find that I am not the first person to coin this phrase, but I was pretty proud of it for thirty seconds, so for the sake of this post, let’s just bask in the shared fantasy of my originality, shall we?)
My latest experience with nonstalgia came when I heard that someone, for some reason, is planning on making a movie based on the abysmal 1983 TV series Manimal. Of course, I say it’s abysmal, but the truth is, I loved it at the time.
Created by patron saint of schlock TV Glen A. Larson (Knight Rider, Automan, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and many, many more), Manimal was about… well, let’s just watch the show’s intro:
Yeah. Drink that in. Dr. Jonathan Chase could transform into various animals, which is a fine idea. The cheese attained Limburger levels during the transformation sequences, which were much longer (painfully so) and more detailed than I remembered them being. And though I give the producers credit for their ambition, perhaps it would have been better if they had gone with something a little more abstract. The special effects of the time simply weren’t up to the task. Observe:
So yeah, that’s what I was into in 1983. The show only lasted eight episodes, so I didn’t get a chance to grow out of it. But hey, I was eleven. Give me a break.