Sunday, May 31, 2009
My sometime (OK, one time) pen-pal, original Land of the Lost star Wesley Eure, has written a lengthy post on his blog about attending the premiere of the new Will Ferrell comedy based on the classic '70s kid series.
It's kind of a sad post, on several levels. Eure seems like an incurable optimist, but as he writes about paying for parking ("How the mighty have fallen!") and wandering around the glitzy premiere as a guest instead of a star, it all sounds a little Galaxy Quest. Philip Paley (Chaka) was there, but there's no mention of Spencer Milligan (Rick Marshall) or Ron Harper (Uncle Jack.) It had to be a bittersweet evening.
The most conspicuous and troubling absence is Kathy Coleman, who played his sister Holly on the old show. In Eure's words, Coleman did not attend because "she has had a difficult life and Marty Krofft and Universal were afraid for her to show up and embarrass them. Kathy has faced a difficult life that many child stars have battled. I was very disappointed she was not there. She should have been there! Her performance on LOTL was a main reason the show was a hit! It felt very empty without her."
Eure doesn't go into detail about Coleman's troubles, but he says that she will reveal her story this week in the tabloids. As a fanatic for the original show, I have to say that reading Eure's comments about Coleman saddens but doesn't really surprise me. Coleman was such a talented young actress (she could really sob with the best of them,) and I always thought it was strange how she vanished from the public eye so completely after the show went off the air. Watching her in the extras on the Land of the Lost DVDs, you somehow knew this was a woman who had seen some hard times.
I've had a lot of fun hating this stupid (stupid, stupid) movie based on this show I grew up loving. But Eure's been a very good sport about the whole thing, and if the star of the show can laugh it off, I suppose I should try to be a little more forgiving too. This show meant a lot to me when I was growing up and I still wish somebody had tried to make a proper remake instead of a spoof. But in the end it's a piece of pop culture, and as such it's fair game for spoofs. The movie is generating a little PR for the original series, and that's not a bad thing.
(But still. Showing the Sleestaks mating... That's just wrong.)
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