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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Painful memories that haunt you

A recent question in Ask the A.V. Club wondered why so many people want to know the name of some band, movie, T.V. show, or video game they vaguely remember from their childhood. Moreover, why do many of these (especially TV shows and movies) come with traumatic memories for the people that ask? Well, as someone who asked a question about a show (that didn't traumatize me, by the way) from my middle school years, I figured I'd offer the following.

In my case, Video Power was a show that, now looking back at it, seemed ahead of its time. Well before TechTV/G4 or video game awards on Spike TV, there was this little syndicated show in the early Nineties. Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, and Turbo-Grafx 16 were the hot game systems at the time, and some producers figured merging these game systems with the game show format would work. It worked, and being very into video games at that time, I watched the show almost every day.

There was something cool and fun about the show. Kids my age would go on the show, play games, and answer trivia questions. Everything about the show was up my alley. After the show went off the air, I forgot about it for quite some time.

A few years ago, memories of the show randomly popped into my head. Maybe it was around the time of Green Day's American Idiot came out and Billie Joe Armstrong lost a very noticeable amount of weight, but my memory's hazy. Anyway, Billie Joe now looked a lot like the host of Video Power, Stivi "Johnny Arcade" Paskoski -- at least in my head. Since I completely drew a blank on what this show was called (and after asking a fellow former Houstonian), I posed the question to the knowledgeable A.V. Club folks.

With my question answered, and more memories of the show coming back to me thanks to YouTube, a nagging curiosity had been tended to. But as far as a majority of questions in regards to traumatic memories with T.V. shows or movies I vaguely remember, I don't believe I have a list of questions. Matter of fact, I don't think I have a list.

I distinctly remember seeing V on TV over at a friend's house and being really creeped out by the aliens' peeling off human skin. I distinctly remember being creeped out by a Murder, She Wrote episode in which a burglar snuck into a house. (Hey, I think I was five years old and my babysitter swore the show was not scary.) I distinctly remember being creeped out by Something Wicked This Way Comes when I watched it in fourth grade. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is, I vaguely remember seeing either a TV show or movie on TV where a murderer dressed as Santa Claus and broke into a house in the opening scene. However, that never scared me away from Christmas, Santa Claus, or Christmas time. So, I really have no burning desire to learn what that was a clip from. (Maybe it was Silent Night, Deadly Night?)

So, I guess I should consider myself lucky that I never watched any Ray Bradbury TV adaptations or Tales from the Darkside episodes when I was really young.

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