It’s all news to me, but Zoom was a popular PBS kids’ series in the 1970s that was created to inspire young
audiences to be active investigators, creators and problem-solvers. Since the nostalgic DVD market for those that came of age too late for the free love era is largely untapped, the debut of Zoom: Back to the 70s seems to stand a good chance of standing out and catching the attention of fortysomething-ish parents looking for a rib-nudging birthday gift. Errr… I think.
In the first TV series inspired, written and performed by kids, the
cast of “Zoomers” used material submitted by viewers to act out plays,
talk openly about their lives, experiment with games and cooking, sing
and dance, and of course have fun just being a kid. Think cable access show, as dressed up by PBS. From Ubbi-Dubbi (Zoom‘s own secret language) to Fannee Doolees and Zoom-games and -plays, nostalgia adventurers can experience the sheer joy of Zoom
all over again; featured segments include original musical numbers like “Zoomers in Wonderland” and “John Henry,” a visit with a girls ice hockey
team, pieces on how to make both stained glass cookies and the ultimate
sandwich, and games like story concentration and the rubber band relay race. This two-disc collector’s edition includes a “Best of the 70s” clip show, featuring every Zoomer from all six seasons of the show, as well as four complete episodes to enjoy just like you did back then. Frankly, upon first glance I thought this set was an elaborate put-on, a prankish ruse orchestrated by Sacha Baron Cohen or someone. But if the most musical zip code in history, “0-2-1-3-4,” means something special to you, then by all means, kick back, drop some acid* and remember what it was like to be a kid in the 1970s.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case, Zoom: Back to the 70s is presented in 1.33:1 full screen. Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes slideshow, printable Zoom cards, a guide to Ubbi Dubbi and downloadable Zoom wallpaper. To order this or any DVD or VHS release from WGBH Boston Video, phone (800) 949-8670 or click here. C (Show) C+ (Disc)
* – optional