Big green guys

There’s something about sensitive men, especially the ones that know how to express their feelings.

It’s not the only reason I spent so many Friday nights in the ’70s getting stoned with all my friends and watching Bill Bixby, the ultimate sensitive guy, morph into the also emotionally evolved Lou Ferrigno (he was the one with the painted-on green skin and mop-top hair). But it is why the newest incarnation of the biggest of big green guys is so satisfying: Not only are the special effects better, but the Marvel Entertainment version of the big guy lost all that Freudian daddy crap and took us back to the basics: sensitive guy, gamma radiation, a beast with a beautiful heart.

The special edition DVD of The Incredible Hulk, like so many these days, focuses on the tech stuff in an apparent endless devotion to insider scoop about how they made things look so good. But the best extra is an animated passage from a classic Hulk comic that became, almost verbatim, the lovers-in-the-rain scene between the smash-man (Edward Norton) and his lost love Betty (Liv Tyler).

Of course, for the purists, the fifth season of TV’s version of The Incredible Hulk is now available in boxed set, with all the gentleman-turned-gentle giant you can stand, usually including two “green-outs” per episode.

But if you really want to dig back there for a huge but nonthreatening guy, go all the way back: Before the screen went green, it went black-and-white with Herman Munster. The complete series of The Munsters, with the biggest, palest, most loveable dude ever to wear bolts on his neck, is out in a special-edition set.

The Munsters only ran for two seasons on CBS but has 72 episodes (talk about a work ethic) and took the scares out of the scary movies. It also had a sly sort of social commentary. I barely remember the first run, though I clearly remember sneaking out of bed to watch from the hallway, but TV Land reruns have made The Munsters the equivalent of comfort food.

This boxed set includes all the episodes, two feature-length movies and a bunch of documentary extras. Even if Herman looks a bit more blue than green in the color shots, he’s more than sensitive enough to count as a big green guy.