My Secret Identity
Review By: Sheep from Dancing Swines

Like the majority of both the English and American youth, (Canadians excluded, as I have a strong disliking of them), I was raised in front of that glorious 21 inch screen that we call the TV. Before this 17 inch screen won the title, it was the original idiot box, and rightly named due the amount of idiots that it brought us (see Richard Whitely, Ed Tudor Pole and filthy 'Rican Prinze Jnr.). But despite the never ending amount of idiots that were forced onto me, there was always a reason for me to rush that three minute walk home from school.

At first it was just the idea of watching Fun House or another piece of glorified ITV Junk. However, come 1990, my life was going to change dramatically. My parents made a bold step, and we bought cable. Now, cable was relatively new back in 1990, and was lacking a lot of channels that Sky was offering. However, with expansion seemingly forth coming, we signed the deal, and an extra 96 channels were ours. I say 96, but over 50 of them didn't work, and the majority that did work, were performance art channels... why did they insult me so?

So, home from school I would trot...or gallop...hooves to concrete, whatever you want to say, and plop in front of the screen. I would go...*plop* control in hand, and TV screen a mere four inches away from my face, I would ignore terrestrial television for the sake of this new 'cable' that I so adored. With an abundance of good channels, and even less children's channels, it was hard to find something to watch. This was an age before Nickelodeon, so I was pretty much left with Cartoon Network for all my childish needs. But I was an extremely smart child at the tender age of six, I was for a long time - I actually still am smart, and yes, my spawn shall be so smart they shall one day take over the world...but that idea was just a glint in my pre-pubescent sack...what I wanted then was mature TV..and by Jove, did I find it.

My brother was always into geeky stuff, comics, Star Trek, the usual nerd crap (I do not diss it, it makes up 30% of my pointless knowledge archive) and would occasionally switch on the Sci Fi'Channel, hoping to find something good to watch. For the past 12 years he has failed, but one time I found something that I wanted to watch, something that brought a huge smile to my face. I do not know if it was because of the cheesy intro music, or watching a bizarre relationship between a grown man and a teenage boy, or be it unknown homosexual feelings for this god like actor whose career was being born in front of my very eyes...but something about this programme screamed, "Watch me, you English bastard!" So I did.

A simple story...a young boy, spends lots of his time around a crazy scientist who lives next door...accident occurs, and he gets super powers. It's happened to us all, apart from anyone who lives in most Canadians are not smart enough to earn the title of scientist, let alone a crazy one, so the following events are unable to happen. Using these powers, the boy would help people, use his powers for good, and know, get the shopping and other assorted tasks.

But what made this show so special? Well, there is only one reason this show was as big as it was a young man who had already received big screen success as part of Stand By Me, as the ever loved fat kid, Vern. The man who later went on to become Quinn Mallory on Sliders, direct and produce the said show, and even bring his own brother Colin into the show just to prove how fuckin' bomb he is...I'm talking about the man, myth, legend...Jerry O' Mother Fuckin' Connell.

Jerry, who played the shows main star Andrew (and his super hero alter ego, Ultraman) was pretty much tits to its full extent. I don't know why, but watching this series I felt as though I too was close to Ultraman, and if help was ever needed Ultraman would be a saving grace. Subsequently, this was a false belief as he didn't help at all that time when I was cornered by a gang of Asians brandishing dogs as clubs...but still, I felt attached to him, in a way that no self respecting youth should, or any heterosexual teenager should admit. I loved Andrew...and I still love Jerry.

His powers, as Ultraman (his secret identity that wasn't really a secret identity if you take in the fact he would go out of his house dressed as 'Andrew'...and then go fight crime dressed as Andrew calling himself Ultraman) were an array of seen before powers...he was invulnerable, nothing would hurt him, he could run fast - much like Cheetera of Thundercats fame - and he could indeed levitate. Levitate you ask? Why yes! Using his amazing wit, charm, sex appeal, and intelligence, he turned this little gem into a true work of art. With the use of aerosol cans, such as deodorant, or hairspray, he would propel himself into the air and fly. Magical. However, these powers would not be of any use if it wasn't for the guidance of his neighbour, and non-Canadian crazy scientist, Dr. Benjamin Jeffcoate (or Dr J), whom he shared...what can only be described as a 'special' relationship with.

Now, the Dr J was always coming up with weird and wacky inventions that would always be said to better the world, however, someone would always find out and try to sabotage it. You'd think he'd buy a dog or something, but no, he had something better. He had a pubescent young boy to abuse any way he wish, be it mentally, physically, or by sending him after psychos with loaded any responsible adult or father figure would. Obviously, Andrew (or Ultraman) would always do as he was told, as...well...I believe he had a great fear of the Doc...based upon that special relationship that I spoke about...

The show had its flaws though, the main one being the name of the show; My Secret Identity, and as mentioned in the theme music "you'll never guess my secret identity". To be brutally honest, the idea of some kid who beats criminals up, who knew about the doc, and subsequently knew about the kid who hangs around with him, must realise that this kid, who doesn't wear a costume or try to conceal his the same goddamn legend, Jerry O'Connell...but no, they never did. Flaws aside though, this show is one of the few great memories I have of that month long spell I went through of watching this, and is part of the reason why I idolise Jerry O'Connell so much. What a guy.

It's a real shame that the show is no longer on air anywhere though, as it would give me great pleasure to just sit back, relax, and watch some Secret Identity action. However, that doesn't seem likely to happen, so I shall just sit back with my memories, and I'll be happy in the knowledge that I have done the show justice here today. Isn't that right, 'Jer?

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