It's a universal experience, the sense of "did I dream this while being overtaken by The Consumption, or was this a real thing that existed in my childhood?" And, my friends, it is usually always the latter, particularly if you are a child of the '80s and early '90s.
Recently, I offered up MAC's family from MAC and Me as a Chosen One entry to the chaotic gods we serve here. And as I gazed at their hideous visages and weird bodies, I remembered something more. That something was the short-lived (but forever etched into my very soul) Saturday morning television series The Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys starring unrelated chaotic god Howie Mandel.
I remember nothing specific about this program, only that normalized sense of childhood horror that comes with growing up knowing this kind of stuff was ever-present, but apparently it involved three Sea-Monkeys (the brine shrimp novelty pet popular in the '60s and '70s and wholly confusing to children born after such a time) named Bill, Dave, and Aquarius.
And also Mandel as the professor who pulls them from their briny home into the real world like some kind of literal actual nightmare considering the creatures known as "Sea-Monkeys" exist in a lifeless state of "'cryptobiosis' meaning they can enter a state of suspended animation in times of adverse environmental conditions." Adverse conditions like A CHILD'S PLASTIC-ASS CONTAINER THEY BOUGHT FROM THE BACK OF A COMIC BOOK or HANGING OUT WITH HOWIE MANDEL.
For something so indelibly branded into my mind, the show only ran 11 episodes. Eleven episodes that would terrorize the children who viewed it well into adulthood. I mean, how do I come back from this? Is the Eternal Sunshine technology available yet? Please can I have it, just a little, as a treat?