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Welcome to Fantasy Island

Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Dave!My addiction to television is not something new. I've loved television since I was able to watch television. Now-a-days it's mostly used as background noise while I work. But back when I was in school in the 70's and 80's and didn't have to work day and night? It was more like an obsession. What else was there to do?

My favorite shows of the day were comedies, action, and escapist television. MacGyver, Magnum, P.I., The Six Million Dollar Man, Buck Rogers, The A-Team, Knight Rider, WKRP in Cincinnati, Simon & Simon, M*A*S*H, Hawaii Five-0, Three's Company, Wonder Woman, Quincy M.D., Vega$, The Greatest American Hero, The Love Boat, and... Fantasy Island. Stuff like that.

Admittedly that last one, Fantasy Island, was a bit of an anomaly. Mainly because I preferred science fiction, adventure, and super-heroes to fantasy. But there was something... dark... about that show which appealed to me. I always suspected that, despite the pretense, Mr. Roarke was secretly malevolent and evil... and the island was some kind of purgatory. This view was vindicated when the show was rebooted with Malcolm McDowell in 1993, and Roarke's true nature was no longer a secret.

Don't get me started on Lost, which I have long maintained was a shittier version of Fantasy Island except none of the writers knew what in the hell they were doing. They just threw a bunch of shit at the wall in the hopes that something would prove interesting enough to stick. Which was great for one season... but after that? Blergh.

Anyway...

The one part of Fantasy Island which I was indifferent to was Tattoo... Mr. Roarke's sidekick and comic relief. He always felt like a distraction more than anything else. And most times when I was annoyed with the show, it was because Tattoo was doing something stupid. I never gave much thought to the actor behind the role, Hervé Villechaize.

And now there's this...

I've always liked Peter Dinklage as an actor... long before Game of Thrones. He was amazing in The Station Agent... he was my favorite part of the short-lived television show I'm With Her. But playing Hervé Villechaize in HBO's My Dinner with Hervé was a golden opportunity for him which he did not squander. But, then again, I had no doubt that he would be brilliant in the role. The real surprise in all this was Jamie Dornan... somebody I had completely written off when he signed on to the Fifty Shades dreck.

Ultimately the HBO movie was decent enough and worth watching, but felt superficial when it came to actually giving us any insight into Hervé Villechaize. This seems odd considering this is the whole reason people would be tuning in, but I guess something is better than nothing?

Probably. Up until now all I knew was that he was Knick-Knack and Tattoo.

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