The Incredible Hulk: Sideshow (1980) – Marvel SUPERHERO TV SHOW REVIEW

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By Geno McGahee

I feel really bad for David Banner (Bill Bixby). He never gets laid. I know he’s deathly afraid of Hulking up during sex and killing the girl, but Hulk is only driven by rage, not a raging hard on, but I understand the concern. In SIDESHOW, Banner is a horn dog and he comes close to saying goodbye to his no screw rule that he’s placed upon himself since the Hulk incident. Life is so unfair. Banner helps everyone time and time again and he has to retreat somewhere and jack off. Maybe he Hulks up when he does that. If so, he’s very smart not to screw anyone. It would be a disaster.

Banner has had so many different jobs and is so smart that he can adapt to anything, including the stage manager position at the Paradise Park Carnival. He took the job to get close to Nancy (Judith Chapman), a psychic at the show. Nancy is not the only good thing there. David has quite the time watching Candy (Tamara Elliot) strip for him and then asks Nancy to do the same. Keep it in your pants David. I have never seen Banner so forward and Candy had that expression that screamed “his name should be David Boner.”

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As always in Hulk, there is a problem so solve. Religious nut, Benedict (Robert Donner), has lost his son and blames Nancy. He also thinks that God is telling him to kill her and David Boner. As he plans, David meets the owner, Luther (Allan Rich), and the dialogue is very uncomfortable. Luther brings up some dude known as “Cosmos the sword swallower”, and you know what he’s talking about right? Blow jobs. Then this dirty old son of a bitch calls himself the “king of the suckers.” Keep it moving man. I don’t care if you are the king, you’re not sucking today. This was 1980 though and sexual harassment was the thing. People were OK with it. You just put up with it.

Benedict tries hurting Nancy, prompting David into action. He runs into a funhouse and Benedict starts fucking with him, using all sorts of different devices to irritate him. It doesn’t take long for him to change to Hulk mode and tear shit up. Cowardly Benedict runs away quickly but the damage is done. At one point, Hulk looks at a mannequin with some animatronics and punches the head clean off. So much for the Hulk not hurting people too bad. What if that was a child in a Halloween costume? He would have killed the little son of a bitch. In his defense, this is blue-balled David Boner turned Hulk. All the build up would drive anyone mad.

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Luther shows up and is furious over the mess, but David is quick to save the day and offers help. Banner is a great speaker and easily convinces most people. He tries that with Benedict, but the guy won’t have it. God is telling him to kill Nancy and David and that’s exactly what he intends to do. He knocks out Banner and sets him on fire, but that only pisses him off. The Hulk emerges and it’s game on. Benedict, once again, hauls ass, and for some reason, climbs off the Ferris Wheel. I’m guessing the reason is that they wanted Hulk to launch him off of it and he does so by spinning the wheel incredibly fast. It was amusing to see that prick launched, but the Hulk takes off immediately after. I don’t get why the Hulk won’t kill bad guys. He should have walked over to Benedict and ripped his head clean off and then threw it at that annoying midget that’s in the episode here and there. I know little people weren’t treated very well at this time, but when they put them in a role, they always make it annoying. I guess it was better than midget wrestling or midget toss bowling, but the little guy should have not been in this episode. He sucked.

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Before Banner leaves, he gets a little more smooching from Nancy and then takes off. Why tease yourself like that? Banner wanted to get some and Nancy was willing to leave with him and accept his Hulk issue, but he keeps moving along.

SIDESHOW is an OK episode. The setting is cool and I did like the fact that Banner was trying to get some action…he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. There wasn’t a great deal of Hulk in this, but there was enough to keep the fun factor alive and even though they had an annoying midget in this, it didn’t travel into hokey territory as the RICKY episode did. I could have done without the Hulk playing the carnival games, but perhaps he was turning back to Banner and that was the Banner side coming through him. I recommend this, but it’s middle of the road.

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Rating: 6/10

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