Friday, May 01, 2009

Flipper Friday Season 1 [Episode 2: Red Hot Car]

Flipper Friday
Season 1 [Episode 2: Red Hot Car]
Original Air Date: September 26, 1964

Last Friday, I introduced "Flipper Friday" and I pointed out we would be watching each episode of Flipper in chronological order and not only examining the Rolex watches worn on the show, but also exploring the historical ramifications of the show itself.

Deconstructing Flipper

Today, I am going to go a little deeper into exploring the characters and storyline. I think this is appropriate because we are starting at the begging of the series.

It is important when trying to put Flipper in context, to remember it originally aired in September of 1964. U.S. President John F. Kennedy had only been dead 10 months and the world was still in its idealistic clean-cut, early 1960s, mod mode.

Porter Ricks character was played brilliantly by actor Brian Kelly. Porter Ricks character was the Warden of the fictional Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve in South Florida. You can see Porter Ricks wearing his trademark Rolex Submariner in the photo below.

Porter Ricks character was part Andy Griffith, Part cowboy–with his boots and gun–and part almost, Jacques Cousteau. I say Jacques Cousteau because of the aquatic aspect of the show. His figure was also kind of like an athletic, super-hero, but he did not transform into a cape with leggings, he was almost always in his khaki uniform, which make him an authority figure.

Porter Ricks was also part, Father Knows Best in the relationship he has with his two sons, Sandy and Bud. You see Porter Ricks wearing his Rolex Submariner in the photo above and below.

Deconstructing Flipper make me realize as a small child growing up in the U.S., I was exposed to Rolex Submariner watches being worn on a very idealistic figure from a very young age. I don't know how much of an effect this had on me subliminally, but it is definitely worth noting.

I LOVED watching Flipper when I was a young boy. As I mentioned last week on Flipper Friday, I was about the age of the boys on the show, so I related really well to the show.

I remember thinking how cool their clothing style was. As we see in the photo below, they primarily wore slip on Vans-type-tennis-shoes with cut-off jeans and polo or hang-ten T-Shirts. This style had a very clean-cut, California, early Beach Boys vibe.

I think I was blown away as a young boy with Sandy and Bud, because, like their father Porter Ricks, they were also like young super hero's, as we see in this shot below where the brothers are scuba diving by themselves–with Flipper. In retrospect, I realize I developed a fondness for the aquatic lifestyle and probably the Rolex Submariner from watching Flipper.

It also dawned on me that it is a supreme irony, that on the show, Flipper was supposed to be a male dolphin, but in reality, Flipper was typically played by 5 different female dolphins, because female dolphins were far less aggressive than male dolphins.

In this next photo we see another character from Episode 2 wearing a Rolex Submariner.

It is interesting how–at least in episode 1 and 2–there is a recurring theme of the bad guy being a young man who made a big mistake and then profoundly apologizes for making his big mistake.

You can watch this episode by clicking on the play button below and once the show starts, you can hit the button in the upper right hand corner to make it go full screen on you computer.