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TARZAN TV SERIES ~ 1991-1994
Starring Wolf Larson as Tarzan and Lydie Denier as Jane
Reviews by Charles Mento
53. THE ROCK STAR
54. THE ODD COUPLE
55. THE RETURN OF THE BRONX
53. THE ROCK STAR
“Tarzan does not hate.”
“The wind through the trees is music. Birds are music.”
“You, Roger; me, Starr.”
“Just who do you think you are?!”
Starr wants water so Tantor blasts her with water. Tarzan forces her to help dig a trench. She accidentally hits Roger with dirt. Later, after 45 minutes and another rant from Starr, a raccoon from the cage near her scratches her. Jane tells her to stop whining. They have to strengthen Jane’s roof and dig a ditch.
In an odd scene, Starr files her nails instead of helping push the plane with the men and she fakes that she IS doing it but Tarzan comes up behind her and picks her up over his shoulder while she hits him and calls him a monkey and hairy. He says better to be a monkey than squeal like a hyena. He must gather food for the storm because it may last a few days. She say she is on a diet but he pulls her along to help him. Why?
Tarzan tells her, “In the jungle, you do not sit under coconut trees unless you want to catch coconuts.” He fires an arrow and down a few coconuts that almost hit her. Trying to bribe Tarzan with money, she also offers him other things which I can’t make out what the FUCK she’s saying. Something about Michael Jackson’s stuff?
In another of those bad edits, Tarzan tells her to stay close due to a leopard being nearby and the next second she’s gone from behind him and sliding down into a mud hole!? WTF?
Dan’s journal: Saturday the 10th: 1993 has July and April; 1994 has September and December. 1997 has May. 1998 has January.
Dan notes that while they were preparing for the coming storm, they were unaware that they would get an unusual visitor: their very first rock star. BUT…didn’t they have one in season one or two? Well, maybe she wasn’t a pop star? Tarzan detects another plane about to crash. Roger tells the other two to stay there, “I’m going to go with Tarzan.” Since when is he in charge?
When she emerges without help (for once!?), the female says, “Whoa, guys, rock and roll,” after one look at Tarzan, who diverts his eyes toward her…uhm, chest! No kidding.
As she has Roger take publicity pictures for her near the plane, Tarzan’s face shows growing horror quickly as he realizes the plane is going to explode. He hoists the loud mouth over his shoulder and warns Roger and they both run. The plane explodes and Tarzan has to pull the woman down as she is almost hit by flying debris.
Tarzan tells her, “The wind through the trees is music. Birds are music.” He has not heard her songs, read her book, or seen her movie as he silently reveals to her as she non stop talks and questions him.
As bad as it is to understand Jane, sometimes it’s hard to understand this rock star when she talks. She talks fast and in a British or Australian accent. She was recording in Mozambique and needed a week off “or she was totally going to spit.” Huh?
I’m not sure we get her name but it is Starr Reilly. Roger says it when he privately asks Jane to go on the run with Starr after Jane tells him they have work to do for the oncoming storm. Starr likes to go solo (“At heart, I’m a solo act.”) and needed to get away from her ENTOURAGE. She feels you can’t get more obscure than Mozambique, “Well, maybe here.” She thinks Cheetah smells.
Jane tells her they are fresh out of cappuccino. Dan tries to explain to Tarzan about someone who is famous being known to everybody. “The sun makes people happy. Trees make people happy. Why does a piece of paper make people happy?” He asks about autographs.
Tarzan innocently tells Starr if she is worried about how Tarzan is handling her bags, she should do it herself. When she debates him about this briefly and asks if he’s ever heard of her again, she seems to NOT be wearing a bra!? She asks if he owns a cd player, a radio, or watches videos. “Tarzan watches the jungle, that is enough.” I never thought I’d say this but not only are her questions annoying but HE’S getting annoying with these answers.
She asks him to be her bodyguard. Roger comes in a tank top and is ready to go on the run.
She thinks Madonna put Tarzan on the payroll and is trying to psyche her out. Tarzan did the yell and made her distracted so he ran into a tree.
As they talk, Roger gives Starr the idea to put on a concert for Tarzan using Dan and Roger himself. In one of the most embarrassing moments of the series (yes, again), Starr says, “Yes, you, Roger, me Starr,” and then does a Tarzan yell. Gosh.
Roger needs to cut his fingernails.
Did Starr just seriously consider Tantor her stage manager and call her a he? We see the parrot again up close.
Dan tries to get Tarzan to listen to the concert and try it once. Tarzan says, “Dan has not tried sugar ants.” The concert doesn’t go well as the animals, even Tantor react badly to the song she sings about the jungle. Cheetah pulls the plug on it. Dan refuses to take Starr out of the jungle or fly until the storm is over and tells her none of them are for sale. She storms off in the jeep. Jane just says, “Tarzan?” and he’s off to stop her.
To avoid an antelope she crashes the jeep into a tree.
Starr has a heart tattoo on her back left shoulder.
Interesting new camera angles seem to be par for the course this season and we see Tarzan swing from a tree from underneath the brush! It’s an interesting shot.
Tarzan finds her not badly hurt and she wakes up. He tells her the storm moves as fast as the leopard and that they will go now. Dan wants to know why he lives in a house with no walls in the middle of monsoon territory. Roger jokes the rent is cheap. Jane laughs at that.
“Jane’s jeep became good friends with a tree.”
Tarzan seems to indicate he has a plan not to ignore Starr and deal with her. Roger says, “You’ve got a trick up your sleeve.” Tarzan’s answer, “Tarzan does not have sleeves.” From the mud, she breaks down and cries and tells him that she didn’t realize she talks a lot. He tells her there is much more to learn than to say. He asks why she makes music. From here on out she helps with the preparing and unpacking of the jeep, makes jokes lightly and gets along with the others. Tarzan tells Jane, “Tarzan does not need sleeves to be tricky.”
Starr seems to understand Cheetah when he wants to give Starr a second chance at hearing one of her songs. When Starr asks what Cheetah is up to, Dan says, “No telling with that one.” Cheetah gives her Roger’s guitar to sing a song, “I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING AND I KNOW WHO’S GOING WITH ME.”
When the lyrics turn to, “I know who I love,” Tarzan looks at Jane and the lyrics follow with, “…and the deer knows who I’ll marry.” It finishes with handsome Johnny (her love?). It’s less rock and more romantic ballad?
Production 303 is very predictable but like most of these, it’s hard to dislike it. Teaching the shallow rock star or whatever star is an old hat cliché but it makes for a nice episode if unchallenging. There’s hardly ANY action though. That may be why they waited until mid season to air it. Another storm, another visitor, another jeep crash, another leopard.
54. THE ODD COUPLE
“What does a barnyard hen have that Tarzan doesn’t?”
“The instincts of a mother.”
Dan’s journal: Mon the 6th. Is Dan doing these in his sleep? His voice is low and he sounds tired. 1993: Sept and December. 1994: NONE. 1997: Jan and October. 1998: July and April.
Tarzan wakes up and gets out of his hammock and has his boots already on. Jane is in the bush checking out some newborn lion cubs while Roger is filming a hen (Henrietta) hatching an egg to compare domestic motherhood with that in nature. Jane keeps track of all the new additions to the pod. Roger wants Dan to keep his comments to himself and I agree. Jane wants to call the newborns Roger and Dan. Live footage of a cub’s tail hitting a full grown one is cute and another or the same one putting his paw on the nose of the full grown one is also cute. Wolf does some high swinging here. Still, it is unclear if it is he when Jane stumbles into a net trap and a lion, trying to protect the pride paws at her and Tarzan swings and grabs the trap and pulls it down with him safely to the ground.
Called Ivan the Terrible, the lion is chewing up Jane’s notes. Every time Tarzan or Jane bring a baby animal to the compound, Cheetah gets possessive. Dan remembers a baby cub last month. Tantor seems to scare Henrietta and she leaves. WHY is everyone mumbling this episode? Dan and Roger are anyway. I can’t understand half of what they say. Cheetah goes to watch the egg, spreading his legs? Cheetah is, as almost always, said to be a male. Jane and Tarzan run into Roger. Jane tells Roger that Henrietta will turn up. In this dangerous jungle? Tarzan also claims Cheetah will not be upset if the egg does not hatch.
The baby is born thanks to Cheetah’s warmth. Roger feels he’s got an imprint process going on. Roger names the baby Junior. Tarzan goes not think it will last that Junior thinks Cheetah is his mother. Now, Jane after Dan wonders if the mother is still alive. Roger promised Cheetah he could take the first stray orphan as his own! Tarzan feels they can track the mother at first light. Hasn’t he tracked at night before?
Roger still has scratches from the last time Cheetah had a hissy fit when he couldn’t take care of a baby animal. Dan seems to elude to the fact that Cheetah tried to feed the cub (did he mean or say breast feed?!!?).
It seems to be 2:45 am when Cheetah tries to wake Roger.
We Dan asleep. Where is he?
Later, it is 3: 26 am.
In his sleep, Roger seems to say Julie.
Tarzan in his hammock looking at the picture of his parents in the locket. Is this what he does at night? “The years have passed but Tarzan still remembers his parents. Tarzan knows what is in Cheetah’s heart.”
Morning: when Henrietta returns, Cheetah attacks her with a stick. Tarzan stops him. Roger films this. Is there a plot here?
Dan has Henrietta and puts her back in the cage. Why is this cage open? Is it a cage? Tarzan tells Henrietta he will try to find her chick as Junior takes his turn to run off into the jungle when scared by Tantor. He uses some hooting sound. Tarzan asks Dan to stay with the mother.
Dan wonders if Junior is still alive and says this out loud to himself in front of Henrietta.
Predictably, a horrifying snake slithers toward Junior. Junior gets away. We see, unpredictably, the chick in the same frame as the snake. Dan brings food to Henrietta but she will not eat. Cheetah, earlier, brought milk to the chick or at least something that looked like it was white.
Tarzan talks to what looks like a parrot of some kind with different gawks/hoots.
The others find feathers and while Roger voices Junior is dead, Tarzan is sure he is still alive: there is no blood.
Next, a croc seems to endanger junior who is near a bank near a river or lake. Sigh.
Dan says, “You know, Henrietta, they say a chicken has no real feelings for its young but I guess what they say is wrong.”
Tarzan does not think a croc will bother with a tiny chick and knows the croc has not eaten: his tail does not thrash. Wolf has some scar or mark on the left side of his face near his cheek or on his cheek. “Jane, Roger, Cheetah: stay here.”
Some animals (not sure WHAT they are!?) are running and Junior watches.
Roger decides to go off to look for himself. Sigh.
Tarzan’s boots look lighter in color in this scene as opposed to the rest of the episode. He goes to get Henrietta. He runs from Dan to the jungle again with the mother…and his boots look dark brown again. Maybe it is the lighting. BTW there is NO headband in this episode either and it is a thing of the past, probably.
NOTE: the “incidental” music in this episode is strikingly good, great even, which is surprising for any series in this era. This might be the only really good thing about this episode to be honest.
Tarzan takes a feather from Junior out of his loin cloth so Henrietta can smell it. Roger asks why he didn’t think of that but when Jane moves to tell him he says, “No, never mind, never mind.”
Tantor and Dan pace. No, really. They do.
I’m not sure how they did the next stunt/scene but Tarzan swoops from a vine, scoops up Junior and swings away from the lion (is this Ivan?) before it can eat Junior. At first, they made it look as if it was after Roger, Cheetah, Jane and Henrietta. The stunt looked dangerous for the chick.
As he swings, he does the Tarzan yell.
Tarzan says that maybe Junior needs an uncle.
Henrietta and Junior bond even though they’ve never really met. Tarzan says, “A mother never forgets her child.”
Rogers says, “Guess you’re right, Tarzan, like they say blood is thicker than water.” Not true but whatever. Well, blood is thicker but there are family members who treated better by strangers and non family members than their own family members and adopted kids can bond better with non biological parents sometimes. So this is BS.
Dan jokes that he has chicken salad sandwiches. “Oh, Dan,” Jane scolds. He has fresh berries and fruit so was only joking. He has a toy duck for Cheetah. Tarzan thinks Dan’s toy has found a new mother. They think this is funny and even Tantor seems to laugh.
Production 304. Dan’s a joker here? Roger leaves the cage door un shut (I’d say unlocked but it appears from the many ---MANY!---Dan in the cage scenes that THERE IS NO LOCK) and there is no lock. Thus, Roger causes the problem. He almost feels responsible. Jane tries to not make Roger worry but then moments later thinks that Henrietta could be dead and voices this out loud. This entire thing is repeated with Junior when Junior takes off into the jungle. The night scenes are nice and leisurely but slowly paced. The plot seems bare thin to be honest. I wonder if there is ANY precedent for the hen and chick to bond or for a chimp to imprint on a chick.
This seem to be one of those cheaper episodes where there is no guest cast, few stunts (though the one there is IS magnificently done even if the chick looks as if IT is in real danger!), and a threadbare plot.
It sort of works but it’s a strange one for Tarzan and action adventure as there’s little of it. It’s almost a comedy. That’s not funny. I mean a comedy that’s not funny.
The cinematography and music save the episode which has vivid colors and lively “action” “chase” tunes.
Not the best episode.
Hey, are the credits sped up?
55. THE RETURN OF THE BRONX
“That’s too simple. Roger’s brain does not work that way.”
Roger about inventory, “Say, me and Tarzan make a great team.”
Jane adds, “I’m sure you do.”
Dan’s journal: Wed the 17th: 1993 has Feb, March and November; 1994 has August; 1998 has June; 1997 has Sept and Dec. Since later on we learn that Carlos is out of school for the summer according to his story, 1994 is the best bet. Also 1998 is second choice. We can almost rule out 1997 for this season.
Oddly, this episode aired LAST (perhaps to be closer to the summer months as Carlos is out of school for the summer?) but is only the 5th production. And that’s not the only odd thing about this.
I wrote about this before but the oddest thing here is that the god son of Simon from season one returns in this. Leonardo Garcia as Carlos returns. Now…it doesn’t happen until about 8 minutes in…with an almost plotless sub theme of Roger wanting a raise and working harder. The main thing is that here Simon is not even mentioned and it seems as if Carlos was ALWAYS the godson of…Dan! What? So, this must be an alternate universe from the first season. This begs the question of whether or not season two, three and one are ALL alternate universes from each other. There’s some evidence for this being the case. Most of them plot inconsistencies. THIS ep is the biggest case for that being true.
This is the first time the journal didn’t give away the plot or almost the entire plot. It merely states here, “Today Tarzan showed that the jungle can sometimes solve problems of the heart.”
Roger writes down two Greb (?) eggs he found. NOTE: this show and Ely’s show made me realize my lack of knowledge concerning animals and bird in particular but all animals. Honestly, I don’t know one species of bird from the other by sight or from hearing their names but this applies to the feline and canine species that often appear in both series. I don’t know the classifications as well as the common names or most differences between lions, cougars, mountain lions, tigers, pumas, jaguars, and leopards. Oh, I can spot the differences that are common such as spots and such but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, I would have research to do and if I did that I’d still be on Ely Episode One. It just takes too much time.
Roger refers to the nest as a Patrick nest? I give up. The sub titles on Amazon are too difficult to get to (ads and interfering commercials) and the ones on the DVDs don’t play on my computer. Sigh. Roger mentions doing a water bird survey and Jane would not like that. Why? While Cheetah tries to warn Roger, Roger doesn’t notice the croc sneaking up on him. I admit that the croc popping out the brush like that was a shock. Roger runs and falls right into more water. Another croc (?) comes in after him. Directed by Kevin James? Sorry. What?
Roger clings to a log and later yells for help.
Tarzan is spearfishing…in his dark brown boots!? Cheetah fetches Tarzan. Tarzan throws his spear at the log and as it is attached to a string (?), Tarzan pulls the log. He reels him in and then, smiling, carries him over his shoulder. On land, further away from the water, Tarzan puts him down. Roger seems dazed throughout. Did he hit his head? He passes out and Tarzan catches him and re-carries him.
Jane has on a two piece outfit and a head band. She is with Dan at what seems to be a new jeep. She needs a new box of slides for her microscope(s)? As they walk, a huge spot light hits the back of the jeep, lighting it up some more.
As Tarzan brings him back, Roger seems to be holding Tarzan’s arm?
Roger was trying to surprise Jane or is he bluffing? She wonders why he was at the river. The camera is lost.
Tarzan’s boots are now very light brown as opposed to the scene where he was spear fishing where they were dark brown.
Later, Cheetah fans Roger. Roger is with his shirt off later and in short shorts when Jane checks on him. He wants to pay for a new camera and tries to get up to help her with inventory. What magazine is Roger reading with a photograph of a man with his hands raised as he is attacked by calves? Or steer? Jane and Roger seem to be like sister and brother.
About inventory, Jane says something about hating it and I cannot understand her. Tarzan does not understand her expression. That makes two of us. It sounds like she said tinkling. I guess she said spring cleaning. Jane wonders why Roger has turned into a work a holic. Tarzan proposes she ask Roger. Roger is out of bed to do inventory while Jane does research. This makes her wonder some more. Tarzan was helping with the inventory. He does not understand the term spring cleaning and would not want to live in a house that was only cleaned once a year. So …does he clean his house?
We see the red yellow and blue parrot again but it looks different. Is this the same parrot?
Roger’s shirt on the back says SHARK. Okay, say, did Roger just check out Jane’s butt as he hands her the finished inventory? He also pokes her arm or back with his pencil when he asks for a raise. As Jane figures out that is why Roger has been working like a devil without complaining or grumbling, Tarzan eats a banana. Jane tells Roger that his father holds the purse strings and tells him to ask his father for a raise. Roger tells her that they do not call his father Mr. Tightwad for nothing. Tarzan does not understand this term either, “Roger’s father changed his name?” Jane thinks he is joking, “That’s good.”
When Roger calls Jane an old stick in the mud, Tarzan says, “Tarzan does not know much about women but Tarzan knows better than to call one old.”
Dan then drives Carlos in. Carlos’ piggy bank was emptied to come here and take them up on their invitation to come back. Roger tells them he and Carlos have some serious conversation to catch up on. Roger asks him how the Mets are doing.
Carlos surprised Dan at the airport. He told Dan he persuaded his mother to let him visit as he is out of school for the summer. Tarzan detects Dan does not believe that but Dan says he does.
Carlos gave Dan a compass; Roger tapes of a band; Jane a scarf; and Tarzan a knife sharpener. He has a banana that when shaken plays music and/or sounds…for Cheetah.
In an odd scene, it seems to be morning and Dan seems to be sitting on the end of his bed…having just woken up perhaps? Lt Riker from Bendali calls. Dan murmurs, “Oh no, what now?” Dan has his shirt open. Mrs. Mendoza sent a message that tells them her son ran away from the Bronx. Dan does not tell the Lt that Carlos is already here.
When Dan tells Tarzan and Jane what is happening, Dan says, “Sometimes I’d like to jut crack his head.” !
Tarzan tells Dan that Carlos is like Shama the Turtle. “It is better to coax Shama from his shell than to hit him with a rock.”
Tarzan suggests Jane send Roger with Carlos on the egg hunt. “Young men are like young animals, they only share secrets with each other.”
When Jane worries what kind of trouble the two can get into, Tarzan tells her, “Tarzan will be close, watching.”
The next day on the egg count, Tarzan fires his arrow at a hornet’s nest to scare off a leopard from pouncing on Roger and Carlos. Carlos wears a Survivor shirt. When Roger says they will have a blast hitting NY, Carlos tells him the best heavy metal bands are in LA and San Francisco. Later, Roger tells Carlos that crocs have a longer, narrower snout than alligators. Roger, when he first came to the jungle, wasn’t interested in nature then, he wanted to get away from his dad. Roger tells Carlos that his dad is not a bad guy ---they just don’t see “eye to eye” on a lot of stuff. Roger forgot that when Carlos’ father died it was like the end of the world to Carlos. He apologizes. Carlos tells him not to sweat it and they go to count the eggs.
There are dozens of crocs near them. Roger tells Carlos they may look slow and clumsy but they can haul when they want to, meaning they can “haul ass” which means move fast.
Roger leaves Carlos with a batch of eggs while he looks for another. His advice if “she” comes back is to “RUN.” Sure enough, the croc returns but it’s unclear if she is the mother or looking to eat those eggs. For some reason Roger stops and scares it off (?) while he and Carlos flee. Right into a lion.
Roger pushes Carlos out of the way and shockingly, the lion nudges Roger with his nose (or bites?). Roger hits his head on a rock, falling back and looks as if he’s dying!
Tarzan does the yell. Tarzan checks Roger and for a moment, it feels as if Roger might be dead! He’s not, of course. They walk him out. In the next scene, Tarzan brings Roger some liquid in a leaf. Roger is on a bed of fronds. Did they make a stretcher? Or is it just for him to lay on for a short time? It feels as if something was cut out?
Carlos blames himself but Tarzan, rightly so, tells him it is not his fault. Carlos admits he ran away and when Tarzan tells him only his mother was hurt by that, Carlos tells him that his mother has a new boyfriend that she only cares about. He and his father and mother used to do things together and have fun. He does not feel included by them. Tarzan explains that when Sabor the lioness loses her mate, instinct tells her to get another. When dying, Carlos’ father made him promise to always look after his mother. He feels he can’t keep that promise now.
Tarzan takes him to the apes. Tarzan explains that when his parents died in a plane crash, the great apes took Tarzan and raised him. His new mother Kala raised Tarzan like one of her own but it was not easy for Kala. She had to be careful not to make the other Great Apes jealous. “In time, the other apes learned that because Kala loved Tarzan, she did not love them any less.” Carlos is willing to give his mother and the new guy a chance.
Carlos is leaving next and tells Roger that he is lined up for a vacation. Roger tells him to line up the babes, he will be there. Jane and Roger wave to him but Tarzan does not. Roger laments he cannot get his raise. Tarzan claims he cannot go on the egg count (Roger comment if this is another one of his jokes as if Tarzan has joked on him before); the crocs are still nesting but he has to clean the spring. The wind last night blew leaves into the spring so Tarzan must clean the leaves out so the animals can drink. Roger goes with Jane to do the egg count.
A good episode but is Carlos’ dialog being dubbed?
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