Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Television Memories Lost
Talking about The Addams Family got the old Curmudgeon thinking about the television shows that he grew up with.
When The Blog was a mere blogling, he could have, charitably, been thought of as a television addict. From the time I got home from school until the time I went to bed, I was absorbing cathode rays.
Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. Dinner time, homework time and, in my teens, a job, took me away from the "small screen."
But, in an era before VCRs and DVRs, all of my favorite shows were "appointment TV." I planned my schedule around television. If an episode was missed, you had to wait until summer reruns. And if you missed that, you would have to wait until the show went into afternoon syndication.
It's no real surprise that I wound up with a career in the television industry.
About a year ago, The Blog became the last person in America to, finally, hook up a Tivo.
And, what a gem Tivo (and it's more generic DVR siblings) is (are)!
The Blog hardly ever watches "live" TV anymore. He, mostly, wastes his weekends catching up on the previous week's shows.
But, Tivo has brought with it, what the political talking heads call "unintended consequences."
You see, when I first started programing the Tivo, I threw in a bunch of show titles from my distant past. Favorite shows of the 1960s and '70s. What a wonderful trip down Memory Lane that would be!
What Tivo has really shown me is, God Damn! Most of the TV I loved as a kid was seriously God-awful!
Not all of it.
But, oh, so much of the rest.
But, Holy Shit! What an awful show. The Blog would be amazed if he learned that more than $15 was spent producing an episode! Ridiculous plots, awful dialogue. But, produced and directed by directing greats like Bob Rafelson!
The worst insult to The Blog's nostalgia trip?
Back in the day, your old PC wanted to be Keith Partridge. He wanted to make-out with Laurie and be BFFs with Danny.
So, watching the show decades later was a bit of a punch to the groin. As a 50 something year old, I found myself wanting to slap the whiney, self-absorbed, precociousness out of all three of them.
I now find myself relating to Rueben Kincaid. That poor, long suffering bastard.
(Okay, I admit that I still like their music, too. Not as awesome as The Monkees and 98% more Milli Vanilli. But, I make no apologies.)
One more thing. And this will be heresy to many....
There. I said it.
Sure, there are a few iconic moments. The chocolate factory. Wine stomping. The encounter with William Holden.
But, the rest? None of it comes even close to Mary Richards at Chuckles the Clown's funeral. Or WKRP's Thanksgiving turkey fiasco.
The bottom line?
Today's television, (The Jersey Shore, Big Brother and The Real Housewives of Anywhere aside,) is so much better than the "Golden and Silver Ages" ever were.