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terça-feira, 30 de janeiro de 2018

Mork & Mindy

Quando eu tinha uns 13 anos, eu tinha uma amiga cujo filme favorito era “Patch Adams – O Amor é Contagioso” (1994). Eu vi o filme, e imediatamente Robin Williams se tornou meu ator favorito. Felizmente, “Mork & Mindy”, o primeiro trabalho de Robin na TV, estava sendo transmitido na TV brasileira pela primeira vez. Três anos depois, o filme favorito da minha amiga tinha mudado para “Um Amor para Recordar” (2002), e meu ator favorito era então James Cagney. Eu perdi contato com esta amiga, mas meu ator favorito ainda é James Cagney – empatado c0m Lon Chaney. Mas este não é um post sobre mim nem minha amiga, mas sim sobre como eu aprendi a amar Robin Williams.

When I was about 13, I had a friend whose favorite movie was “Patch Adams” (1994). I watched it, and instantly Robin Williams became my favorite actor. It also helped that “Mork & Mindy”, his first work on TV, was being broadcasting Brazilian cable television for the first time ever. Three years later, my friend's favorite film had changed to “A Walk to Remember” (2002), and my favorite actor was then James Cagney. I lost touch with this friend, but my favorite actor is still James Cagney – tied with Lon Chaney. But this post is not about me or my friend, but about how I learned to love Robin Williams.
“Mork & Mindy” estreou na TV brasileira neste momento – por volta de 2006, quase 30 anos depois da série ir ao ar nos EUA. No Brasil, ela era parte do bloco de programação Nick at Nite, com outras séries vintage como “A Feiticeira”, “Jeannie é um Gênio”, “A Família Addams” e “Os Monstros”. A série estreou nos EUA em setembro de 1978, como um spin-off da popular “Happy Days” – Mork apareceu pela primeira vez em um episódio de Happy Days de fevereiro de 1978.

“Mork & Mindy” actually had its premiere on Brazilian TV the time I watched it – around 2006, nearly 30 years after it originally aired in the US. In Brazil, is was part of the Nick at Nite programming block, with other vintage series like “Bewitched”, “I Dream of Jeannie”, “The Addams Family” and “The Munsters”. The series premiered in the US in September 1978, and it was a spin-off from the popular series “Happy Days” – Mork had first appeared in a Happy Days episode in February 1978.
In "Happy Days"
Mork (Robin Williams) é um alienígena do planeta Ork que é mandado por seu superior, Orson – que foi, como você pode imaginar, batizado em homenagem a Orson Welles – para estudar a vida primitiva na Terra. Por primitivo você pode imaginar organismos pré-históricos, mas os animais que Mork vai analisar são na verdade dos americanos de classe média dos anos 70. Mork acaba morando de favor em Boulder, Colorado, com Mindy McConell (Pam Dawber), a filha do proprietário de uma loja de discos, Fred (Conrad Janis). A avó de Mindy, Cora (Elizabeth Kerr), também era presença constante na série.

Mork (Robin Williams) is an alien from planet Ork who is sent by his superior, unseen Orson, – who was, as you may imagine, named after Orson Welles – to study the primitive life on Earth. By primitive you may think about pre-Historic organisms, but the kind of animals Mork will analyze are middle-class Americans from the 1970s. Mork ends up boarding in Boulder, Colorado with Mindy McConell (Pam Dawber), the daughter of a record store owner, Fred (Conrad Janis). Mindy’s grandmother, Cora (Elizabeth Kerr), also made constant appearances.  
Por que uma adolescente como eu gostava tanto de “Mork & Mindy”? Mork era um alien ingênuo e com boas intenções vivendo disfarçado na Terra. Ele em geral criava situações cômicas porque não entendia os códigos de convivência e as tradições humanas. Neste sentido, Mork se parece muito com outro personagem que eu também estava aprendendo a amar quando eu tinha 14 anos, um personagem com o qual eu me identifico muito até hoje: Sheldon Cooper de “The Big Bang Theory”. 

Why did a teenager like me like “Mork & Mindy” so much? Mork was a naïve, well-meaning alien trying to live undercover on Earth. He often created funny messes as he misunderstood the codes of human behavior and human traditions. In this sense, Mork is a lot like another character I was learning to love when I was 14, a character with whom I identify a lot until today: Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory”.
Young Sheldon = Mork
Eu também gosto muito do estilo extravagante de Mork e de tudo a respeito de Pam Dawber: rosto, sorriso, risada, cabelo e franja! O que eu também gosto em Mindy é que ela não é uma personagem excessivamente sexualizada, embora houvessem planos de torná-la mais sexy – planos aos quais tanto Pam Dawber quanto Robin Williams foram contrários. Ainda bem, porque Mindy é simplesmente perfeita do jeito que é – e é fácil se identificar com ela. Mindy é a pessoa séria na série.

I also really like Mork’s extravagant look and everything about Pam Dawber: her face, her smile, her laugh, her hairstyle, her bangs! What I also like about Mindy is that she isn’t an overly-sexualized character, although there were plans to make her sexier – plans that both Pam Dawber and Robin Williams opposed to. Thankfully, because Mindy is just perfect – and relatable. Mindy is the ‘straight guy’ in the show.
Obviamente, “Mork & Mindy” não seria inesquecível sem Robin Williams. O roteirista Brian Levant o descreveu como “um cara que incorporava todos os três irmãos Marx, Chaplin, os Três Patetas e William F. Buckley em um só corpo”. Williams era muito bom com comédia física e também com improvisação, duas coisas que passaram a inspirar os roteiristas. Para equilibrar o lado cômico, havia o relatório final que Mork sempre mandava para Orson, comentando sobre a vida na terra e fazendo críticas do ponto de vista de um forasteiro.

Of course, “Mork & Mindy” wouldn’t be remarkable without Robin Williams. Screenwriter Brian Levant described him as “one guy who embodied all three Marx brothers, Chaplin, the Three Stooges, and William F. Buckley in one body”. Williams was very good at physical comedy and ad-libbing, things that writers drew inspiration from.  To balance with the comedy there was the final report Mork always sent to Orson, commenting about life on Earth and making some critics from the point of view of an outsider.
A série foi muito popular na primeira temporada – tão popular que Ginger Rogers se tornou fã e esteve presente em muitos ensaios. A série gerou um remake brasileiro em 1979 – provavelmente a razão de “Mork & Mindy” não ter sido exibida até 2006 foi porque o remake, “Super Bronco”, era uma cópia deslavada. Apenas os nomes das personagens foram mudados, todas as situações e detalhes eram os mesmos. “Super Bronco” foi um sucesso, mas foi cancelada após uma temporada.

The show was incredibly popular on its first season – so popular that Ginger Rogers became a fan attended many rehearsals. The series was remade in Brazil in 1979 – probably the reason why “Mork & Mindy” was never broadcasted until 2006 was that the remake, “Super Bronco”, was a shameless rip-off. Only the characters’ names were changed, all the situations and plot details were the same. “Super Bronco” was a success, but was cancelled after one season.
Original
SHAMELESS RIP-OFF
A maior razão por trás da queda de popularidade de “Mork & Mindy” foi provavelmente algo que estraga muitas séries: a insistência em focar em um relacionamento romântico entre os protagonistas. Com o tempo, Robin Williams perdeu o interesse em interpretar Mork – e isso ficou visível na tela. Mesmo assim, a série ainda é lembrada com carinho por aqueles que a viram, e nós seremos eternamente gratos porque ela apresentou a genialidade de Robin Williams para o mundo.

The biggest reason for “Mork & Mindy”’s downfall was probably something that makes many shows jump the shark: the insistence on focusing on a romantic relationship between the leads. With time, Robin Williams lost interest in playing Mork – and it showed on screen. Nevertheless, the show is still fondly remembered by those who watched it, and we’ll be forever thankful because it presented Williams’s geniality to the world.


This is my contribution to the Robin Williams blogathon, hosted by Gill and Crystal at RealWeegieMidget Reviews and In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. Nanu, Nanu!

5 comentários:

Gill Jacob disse...

Thanks for bringing this wonderfully interesting post to the blogathon and lovely to hear your memories of him too.

Rich disse...

I always liked the part at the end where Mork communicates with Orson to talk about humans. Though I couldn't have expressed it back when I was a kid watching the show, it made me feel like there was something more going on than just an odd-couple, fish-out-of-water comedy. I think it even made Mork more relatable.

What I can't understand, even after all these years, is who on HAPPY DAYS thought it was a good idea for Fonzie to meet an alien?

Rich disse...

Oh wait, never mind, I just read Quiggy's post. An 8-year-old's idea — makes perfect sense.

Quiggy disse...

The genesis of Mork and Mindy on Happy Days was the focus of my entry in this blogathon... Are you sure you're not my long lost daughter? (Or granddaughter considering the difference in our ages...)

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