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EISENHOWER ON ACID: BLUE BOY VS JOE FRIDAY ON 'DRAGNET 1967'

Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday on DRAGNET 1967: The LSD Story Rating: ****

The 1950's crime-series DRAGNET epitomized the 1950's more in the 1960's revival than it did originally. The title alone represents the Eisenhower-era B&W  noir aesthetic with deadpan narration when bad guys were bad and good guys were usually cops: Thus making DRAGNET 1967-1970 (each season titled after the year) that much more of a bizarre and entertaining time-capsule treat... 

It's basically two 1950's cops suddenly thrust into the psychedelic 1960's, no longer dealing with the simple days of edgy armed robbers but pampered young drug dealers, drug takers... or in the case of THE LSD STORY, both in one person, the first villain in the first episode, and his nickname is Blue Boy...

Michael Burns as Benjy 'Blue Boy' Carver on DRAGNET

Quite befitting since, while on LSD he paints his face blue, eats tree bark and literally hides his head in the, um... tree bark... And either way he's not just an antagonist for taking and selling drugs...

Played by the TV-laden teen actor Michael Burns, he's as much (if not more) of an annoyingly smug smart-ass as any hippie kid in the perspective of war veterans who'd seen practically everything in life, being scoffed at by punks pretending they're almost tired of living it, and before the age of twenty...

Michael Burns as Benjy 'Blue Boy' Carver on DRAGNET

It's the beginning of many REEFER MADNESS style plots where drug users become psychotic or dead (in the next season a suburban couple smoke so much pot their daughter drowns in the bathtub)...

But nothing quite matches THE LSD STORY for the culture shock camp value that brings Jack Webb's Joe Friday and Harry Morgan's Bill Gannon (both had appeared in 1950 noir DARK CITY) from their timeworn Winter of Discontent straight into the Summer of Love...

Shari Lee Bernath and Heather Menzies on DRAGNET

And, foreshadowing Say No To Drugs, from Friday's vain lectures to Blue Boy and two young girls coming down off acid (arrested by the late character-actor Jerry Douglas), it's both a preemptive and cautionary tale..

Heather Menzies plays one of the teens, and ironically, in the first episode of the following season, boyfriend Jan-Michael Vincent gets ACTUAL acid poured on his jacket... 

Michael Burns as Benjy 'Blue Boy' Carver on DRAGNET

Overall, experiencing these stiff-suited cops battling the kids that their very own generation conceived in post-war droves makes for a terrific ride; and there are plenty of above-par episodes as well...

But with LSD STORY you can see colors, man... Well, Blue Boy could... But don't look too hard for them; you might become a junky... A dead junky.... Are there any other kind?

Michael Burns as Benjy 'Blue Boy' Carver on DRAGNET
Michael Burns as Benjy 'Blue Boy' Carver on DRAGNET
Michael Burns as Benjy 'Blue Boy' Carver on DRAGNET
Michael Burns as Benjy 'Blue Boy' Carver on DRAGNET
Harry Morgan on DRAGNET 1967: The LSD Story
Jerry Douglas and Alfred Shelley on DRAGNET 1967: The LSD Story
Shari Lee Bernath and Heather Menzies on DRAGNET
Shari Lee Bernath and Heather Menzies on DRAGNET
Jerry Douglas on DRAGNET
The Sunset Strip from DRAGNET
The Sunset Strip from DRAGNET
The Sunset Strip from DRAGNET
Shari Lee Bernath and Heather Menzies on DRAGNET
Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday on DRAGNET 1967: The LSD Story
Jack Webb and Harry Morgan on DRAGNET 1967: The LSD Story
Jack Webb and Harry Morgan on DRAGNET 1967: The LSD Story
An Acid Party from DRAGNET
An Acid Party from DRAGNET
Harry Morgan on DRAGNET 1967: The LSD Story
Harry Morgan on DRAGNET 1967
Harry Morgan and Jack Webb on DRAGNET 1967: The LSD Story with Don Ross
Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday on DRAGNET 1967: The LSD Story
Michael Burns as Benjy 'Blue Boy' Carver on DRAGNET
Michael Burns as Benjy 'Blue Boy' Carver on DRAGNET
Shari Lee Bernath and Heather Menzies coming off acid on DRAGNET
Next Season Heather Menzies beau Jan-Michael Vincent burned by acid on Dragnet
Next Season Heather Menzies beau Jan-Michael Vincent burned by acid on Dragnet
Johnny Aladdin on DRAGNET 1967: The LSD Story

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