Green and Yellow

The Classic TV History Blog

Oliver2

Along with dubious social skills, there’s one thing that unites nearly every classic television buff I’ve ever encountered: a crush on Susan Oliver, the beautiful, sad-eyed blonde remains best remembered for a one-off role as a scantily-clad, belly-dancing, green-hued alien in the 1965 pilot for Star Trek.  Almost everyone I know who has seen a bunch of the hundreds of television episodes Oliver guest starred in between the fifties and the eighties has fallen half in love with her.

The crotch-vote factor among pop culture enthusiasts is perilous territory.  Denying it is a kind of intellectual dishonesty.  But for every writer, like Pauline Kael or Manohla Dargis, who can articulate a carnal response to art within the context of serious criticism, there are a dozen essays or interviews or conversations where it just comes out sounding icky.  (As one reader recently pointed out, this recent Paul Mavis review of

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