No matter what, television has always been an eye opening experience for me and remains so today. Growing up it was a lusted after wonderment since we were encouraged to spend time outside after school. We were only allowed to "waste" one hour a day on television. This was most generous considering that I had friends whose parents allowed no television. Their parents upon returning home would feel the television to see if it were hot from use.
There were terrific and often loud discussions between my brother and me as to what shows we could best agree upon for our magical hour. We would usually end up on the repeat station. Here are a few of our favorites.
|One of my favorites on the repeat station|
-though when seen in later life, had I been Samantha,
the grumpy Darrin would have been turned into a barnacle.
|Speaking of barnacles -|
My father found us watching this one day
and informed us with a shake of his head
that we were "loosing IQ points."
Who can forget the opening?
|More on theme songs...|
I got in trouble for teaching my niece this one when she was three.
Dare I admit that I preferred Felix?
There was just something about his neatness and personal presentation.
Felix, where are you today?
As much as these shows were considered fluff back in the day, what on earth are today's shows? Obviously, without cable, I am not a connoisseur but there seems to be boorish behaviour, body counts, really unattractive personal presentations for which one would once have been recruited for a circus, and other sordid topics. Television was never opera but it used to be a little more high culture. Whatever happened to the variety show or happy, wholesome television special?
Upsetting too that there is the assumption with today's television that the viewer has no short term memory - but perhaps this is true after 14 - 17 (yes, count them) commercials after every 7 - 10 minutes of show . I noticed that once many shows - even reputed news shows - start up again after the commercials, the entire show is recapped. This happens over and over again so that most of the "show" is commercials and recapping.
Do not get me started on the news. The morning news here is hosted by three seemingly 12 year old orange personages who rather than spending so much time in the tanning booth should learn not to drop their "ings". "We are lookin' forward to seein' you back after the weather." There have also been unfortunate gaffes like the one where "tentacles" should have been used rather than another word.
Sometimes I will turn on the evening news. As if the news itself is not frightening enough the commercials only add to the terror. Most of these are for drugs. Folks whose problems have been miraculously solved by the featured drug are shown romping about while one listens to a list of potentially devastating side effects.
Commercials in general err on the side of too personal. My father used excuse himself from the family room when the rare commercial for undergarments was featured. Cannot imagine his chagrin and embarrassment now over the commercial featuring the feminine product that is is used to stop the leak in the row boat. Furthermore, a colleague at work recently shared the story - and his ire - about how he skirted the issue of responding to his 6 year old daughter's inquiry about a commercial citing a potential 4 hour gentleman's problem and why two people were in separate bathtubs in a field.
Up until we were forced to make the transfer to digital television, we had really old televisions. The one in our kitchen was a tiny, old black and white one that was handed down and was at least 40 years old. It was in perfect working condition and was good enough for weather and news, but alas could not be used for digital. Sadly, it was brought to the free Earth Day collection of such things at our local Whole Foods.
Folks are always talking about "Dancing with the Stars", the latest "Bachelor", pawn broker shows, Mr. McDreamy, and others. As a result, they know all the celebrities featured on the gossip magazines at the grocery checkout. When chats like these occur, I remain silent and mind my own business - after all these are their choices and not mine. Unless I am in a hotel, I do not have the television on very often and I am happy to remain blissfully ignorant.