Shows : The Electric Company (TV) - Season 4, Episode 1

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: The Show Must Go On...

This review was first published on: Jan 2010.

Background...

Here we are, with the first ever story of Spider-Man on The Electric Company! Let's hear what our narrator has to say. "OK, true believers, here he is. Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Todays episode... Spidey meets the Spoiler!"

In Detail...

"Spidey Meets the Spoiler"
The Electric Company (TV) - Season 4, Episode 1 (Story 2)
Star:  Danny Seagren (Spider-Man), Judy Graubart (Woman on Bench), Luis Avalos (Man on Bench), Skip Hinnant (Spoiler)
Narrator:  Morgan Freeman
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The mellifluous tones of Morgan Freeman guide us through our story, as Spider-Man patrols the district and comes across... a rubber glove sandwich! And... a fire hydrant with a sign "No Dogs Allowed". A spoiled lunch? A dog's morning walks spoiled? Who else could be responsible but... The Spoiler!

And indeed it is, as the Spoiler, in a ludicrous suit with a shopping bag marked "S", sneaks onto the scene. With cymbals (yes cymbals) in hand, he sneaks up on a park bench where a couple are reading papers, the woman holding an ice cream cone. The spoiler makes his move, and (shown in illustrated comic panel) squashes the woman's creamy frozen food treat. Return back to video, and the woman has a flattened ice cream. Oblivious of the Spoiler's attack she turns to her male companion and asks... "Did you say something, dear?"

But now the Spoiler faces his greatest challenge. Quoth The Spoiler... "It's always been my greatest ambition to spoil Spider-Man's day! I want to hear the world shout... The Web-Head is Dead!"

Spider-Man arrives, and a G-rated push-and-shove fight occurs. "Uh-oh. Is this the end of Spidey?" Cutting once more to illustrated comic panels, we finally see the Spoiler smashed into a brick wall as the narrator intones... "No, web-fans, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man stops The Spoiler... or Does He?" The unspoken warning is clear. While the Spoiler is defeated today... we must forever be watchful, lest he or his like return once more to menace our happiness.

We zoom out on a closing mocked-up comic book cover of "the Amazing Spider" featuring Spidey fighting the Spoiler. The closing comic book at the end of each episode became a recurring feature.

In General...

Ah, what a delight! Flattened ice cream cones, mischievous sandwich tomfoolery, and cruelty to canines... what a wonderful start to TEC's Spider-Man segment. With a climactic fight which blends video foolery with illustrated brutality, the entire surreal exercise is perfectly complete. Or... is it? The ominous overtones of our open-ended conclusion are a sombre reminder that evil... never... rests...

Overall Rating...

Superb! I only saw a couple of these episodes as a kid, and I wasn't really a Spider-Man-Fan at that age, but still the memories linger. These episodes have aged perfectly. They were always tongue-in-cheek, and now they're retro-chic as well. Four fantastic webs.

Footnote...

I found this episode on YouTube as "Spidey Meets The Spoiler."