Jul 2, 2009

This is what happens when I let family members influence my television viewing habits.

1.1: Joey Finds a Friend

Befriended by Jim Newton, a recently widowed horse rancher, Joey and Fury become fast friends at the Broken Wheel Ranch, where, along with their pals Pee Wee and Pokey, all their adventures begin.

The other day I was talking to my mother about My Friend Flicka, which got her talking about Fury like it was the pinnacle of horsey television. For anyone looking at that DVD cover dubiously, your first instinct is correct. It is not the pinnacle of horsey television. It is a rip off of The Black Stallion, actually. But I'll get back to this in a minute.

I haven't been around in a while, and for that I apologize. I sort of got derailed with watching Supernatural to this scary obsessive degree (Jensen Ackles likes horses...think on giving me something to blog about over here, Jensen), and then I started up the editing of the manuscript again because it is so close to seeing the blissful light of day. Anyway. Don't worry, the blog is not in hiatus or will ever be forgotten. And eventually I'll post another book review. However, for right now I bring you Fury.

No, I am not going to go through this episode by episode. I wouldn't survive that. Fury started up in 1955 and ran to 1960. It is about a boy and the wild black horse who loves him. Apparently it is out in DVD to some extent, and you can buy it on Amazon if you just can't help yourself. For some reason my scary big library system has the first five episodes, of which I'm only reviewing this one, entitled Joey Finds a Friend. Well, the third episode is titled Joey's Dame Trouble, so I might watch that one for obvious reasons.

Fury starts out with Jim the rancher of what I keep wanting to call the Broken Spoke for reasons that have everything to do with my being from Austin, Texas. Anyway, Jim has his heart set on catching the wild black stallion that roams his property, and eventually captures him using a fancy trapping method called luring. With the stallion caught, Jim's evil ranch hand decides he's going to gentle that horse right the hell now, and he's going to do it by beating him with a stick!

This doesn't work out, again for obvious reasons. Shamed, the evil ranch hand is then immediately left alone because Jim has to go to the city for some vague reason, but not before another ranch hand can not so subtly inform Jim that the ranch really needs a washing machine (aka "a dame") to spiff things up around here a little. Jim is mortified! Why doesn't anyone understand that his wife died? Surely no other dame could ever clean his clothes as well as his dead wife. And then he flounces to the city, where he seems to be spending all his time staring at young boys instead of doing something productive.

Joey is the lucky kid who catches Jim's eye, because Joey is busy beating the living crap out of another kid on the sidewalk. Of course, this is expected because random fist fights are required in any visual media from this era. Joey appears to win the fight, but then the other boy picks up what looks to be a wrench and flings it at Joey's head. Oh, 1950's violence! I love you so much.

The wrench, or whatever, misses Joey by nearly a mile and smashes into a store window. Joey is immediately blamed for it and hauled to delinquent court, where Jim also happens to be. Jim is creeping me out right about now, especially when he manages to get the judge to just randomly hand Joey over to his care. Because that's a fantastic idea! Give the troubled orphan to this stranger who just walked in off the street. I would be shocked if this sort of thing wasn't a formula from this time period. Judges seemed to hand delinquents off to just about anyone back then.

While Jim is off in the city, the evil ranch hand manages to tack up Fury and ride him. This also doesn't go well. Shamed, the evil ranch hand has to face Jim, who berates him for about two seconds before he is immediately placated by the evil farm hand's innocent look. Joey knows better, of course, and tries to make friends with Fury by giving him an apple. The evil ranch hand picks this moment to walk into the arena with a whip. Because where a stick and bronc riding failed, a whip will surely succeed! He walks in the arena like he's Batman, picks up Joey and actually tosses him in the general direction of the fence, and then starts whipping Fury.

Fury isn't having this shit, people. He does what he did the two other times, and chases the evil ranch hand out of the arena, accidentally stomping on Joey's head as he goes. Somehow Fury escapes. Whatever. Jim later berates Joey for being a child and not telling the truth. Surely Joey is wrong and the evil ranch hand is right when he says Fury randomly attacked Joey. I mean, obviously.

And then they discuss how a dame would clearly be able to take care of Joey far better than they could. Hey, there is that school teacher lady who lives down the way! Surely she's just waiting to nurture something! And that's how Joey gets a surrogate mom.

Joey, however, is displeased and decides to walk home. To the city. And he runs into Fury, who appears to have a giant fungus growing on his leg. Or possibly was drawn on with chalk. Only this is called a cut, and I totally didn't get it. Jim finally realizes the error of his ways because the dame is totally cool with nurturing when Jim doesn't understand it at all. He fires the evil ranch hand, but in a cruel twist of fate the ranch hand finds Fury and decides he'd like to shoot him while Fury can't defend himself. So Jim has to launch himself off of his galloping horse and pummel the evil ranch hand with his fists. And all is well.

So that is two fights, one randomly evil antagonist, and one comparison of women to washing machines. It's high drama, and 100% inadvertently hilarious.

And I don't care what my mother says. My Friend Flicka is so much better than Fury.

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