Thursday, September 03, 2015

land of the lost: 'tag team'

I keep writing about "Land of the Lost" as though it were a sci-fi adventure show, and it is; but for all the sophistication underlying the show, it's also a children's show, with all that goes along with that.

Fifth episode "Tag Team" is a lesson about cooperation. When the Marshalls go hunting for vegetables, their neighbors the Pakuni keep raiding their cart and stealing the gigantic carrots and turnips as soon as their backs are turned. (Food plants grow to enormous size in the Land of the Lost. Carrots are 3 feet long, strawberries are the size of basketballs, and a turnip is the size of an Ottoman.)

While the six of them threaten one another and yell about the vegetables, Grumpy returns and chases them away, breaking off pursuit only when they break into two groups; but since Cha-Ka has remained with the Marshalls, the conflict continues. Before long, they're being pursued not only by Grumpy but also by an allosaurus the Marshalls have named Alice -- and then the children all get trapped by themselves.

Eventually things work out, as they always do in these situations, but the episode is made ironically amusing as Rick Marshall explains his rescue plan to Ta and Sa, the other two Pakuni, through the time-tested means of speaking English very loudly and gesturing a lot with his hands in hopes that he'll be understood.

The Pakuni distract Grumpy and Alice while Rick rescues the children, and afterward the Marshalls show the Pakuni how to work together to harvest their own vegetables. Cooperation. It's such a nice lesson to pass on, especially when it involves running for your life from dinosaurs.

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