Back in the day, when I was a kid, TV was a big deal. Seriously—it was. The family gathered either in the finished basement, or in the family room to watch, what is now considered to be a very small screen, TV.
No wonder we all wear eyeglasses! And no remote! How did a family of seven ever sit around this console to watch an evening of TV?
We had our week planned by the shows that would both entertain us and be the topic for animated conversation at school the next day. TV Guide was literally, a programming bible. And every Saturday when my parents went food shopping, the Guide was just as important, if not more so, than the bags of groceries that came home to feed our family of seven!
The covers of TV Guide were always great photos..but..
We would argue on which show to watch if times were conflicting and usually one of the parents, rather than the children won.
On school nights I looked forward to Patty Duke and dreamed of what it would be like if I had a twin cousin with a British Accent.
When I was in third and fourth grade, I wanted a British twin cousin so bady. I had to settle for a sister that was two years younger instead.
On Saturday evenings, I would pretend that my bedroom was a Genie’s bottle—just like Barbara Eden’s in I Dream of Jeannie!
Who cares HOW sexist this show was. Barbara Eden was super-cool and her digs were even better. I would take that bottled real-estate any day!
And on Sunday’s, that one hour of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color was the best way to end the weekend and look forward to the next one!
I loved the way Walt Disney would have his little speech before the segueway into the hour-long show. And the color was so bright!
We didn’t need a clock to tell us when bedtime was because while the ending credits of The Ed Sullivan Show were displayed across the TV screen, we were already on our way upstairs to brush our teeth and go to sleep.
Who could ever forget this????
…and look at the marquee–‘Topo Gigio and Alan King!!!!
Family programming meant watching Ed, and The Hollywood Palace, Carol Burnett, Tom Jones and Dean Martin—all had great variety shows.
The infamous Gone With The Wind parody on the Carol Burnett show is, quite possibly, THE funniest skit in the history of TV!
Booyah! Tom Jones with Janis Joplin–what a duo of voices. I’m still crushin’ on Mr. Jones!
And I must admit. I wanted to be one of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers. Hmmmm perhaps this is what started my love for wigs!
And back in 1967 or was it 1968, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In caused a comical stir and had everyone repeating catch-phrases such as “You Bet Your Bippie” in everyday life.
…one ringy dingy! Lily Tomlin ROCKED Laugh-In!
Do you remember the party scenes on Laugh In?
In my opinion, this was one of the greatest TV shows of all time. I need to Google to see where I can get a set of the series!
As I entered my teen years, activities and a social life—along with more homework and studying, cut down on the TV time. But—the TV was my babysitting buddy as I watched Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Saturday Night Live and, if it was a really late babysitting night, SCTV!
I felt as though I KNEW MTM and the rest of the cast because I spend many Saturday evenings with these guys!
My son Roman may work for SNL these days, but my heart belongs to this cast!!!
But truth be told, I preferred SCTV to SNL–I laughed more at the cast. This show was epic!!
And in the late 1970’s through 1980’s I don’t think I ever missed an episode of Cheers. Or Taxi. And when Seinfeld made his debut, Thursday nights were spent glued to the antics of the New York circle of friends—and if I was busy, I could record the episodes on the VCR!
I was lucky to find this photo of the original cast of Cheers–where have all the adult network shows gone? Ohhhh to Netflix–that’s where!
Taxi’s Jim Ignatowski remains my favorite TV character of all time. After giving birth to my son Jake, who, at ten pounds, made me sore–I watched an episode of Taxi in the hospital and laughed so hard that the nurses had to give me Tylenol because I was in such pain from laughing so hard!
And this—remains one of the funniest Seinfeld scenes of all time!
Then a strange thing happened along the way—Cable TV was created.
I remember where I was when I saw MTV for the first time. I was at a friend’s home and we were astounded at the concept—I mean…who would sit in front of the tube watching music videos (Answer-Me!!!)
Was a time when the video premieres were a very big deal!
My favorite music video of all time–Men Without Hats. The Safety Dance. This guy was meant to wear a man bun!
And then came The Food Network—which, back then may have been a simpler and more basic channel but it was far superior than it is today. TFN today is nothing but reruns of food shows, I love The Barefoot Contessa but I’ve seen every episode around thirty-five times; lame food competitions and the annoying Guy Fieri.
The Food Network was worth viewing when Two Hot Tomales were on! Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger proved that women could be serious chefs. Now we’re stuck with Guy Fieri..
..and his backward’s sunglasses. He’s become a parody of himself.
Don’t even get me started on Network TV these days. Maude would be deemed politically incorrect and offensive. Archie Bunker would be arrested and Sanford and Son would be called exploitation.
Norman Lear’s Maude covered topics such as menopause and abortion in only a way that Bea Arthur could add humor..but in today’s “overly sensitive” and “offended-at-anything-and-everything” world, Maude would be banned! I can’t stand network TV!
Archie Bunker–fuggetaboutit! He’d be banned too! We’ve lost the ability to laugh at people we know who were like Archie!
Today’s overly-politically correct, self-righteous and non-offensive network programming is boring and bland and the comedies aren’t even funny.
I know that I’m in the minority but this show but Modern Family is so friggin’ ridiculous and contrived. And I can’t stand when TV shows have overly-precocious kids. Ugh!
And this one about the harried and stressed housewife. I can’t even…
I want The Jeffersons back–it’s better family programming!
I’m sick of police shows and hospital drama. Cable networks leave much to be desired because I can’t stand the freaking commercials. The advertising is mostly for pharmaceuticals, specialized hospital centers for life-threatening diseases—and only those with stellar healthcare can afford that, and various non-profit entities begging for donations.
I am a hypochondriac. I refuse to watch medical shows.…
And I refuse to watch these hour-long commercials for prescription drugs that announce all the BAD things the drugs can do for you…yeah. Lyrica isn’t for everyone and neither are these sickening and lengthy ads!
I can’t watch CNN and MSNBC because I get too upset with that orange thing that they refuse to stop focusing on simply because of ratings.
So, what’s left? Netflix and Amazon Prime!
We’re bingeing on the cold, frosty evenings watching our favorite series. Among them that I highly recommend:
Grace and Frankie—Fonda and Tomlin. On Netflix. Is there anything else to say? Now in Season Five, I can’t wait till this weekend to binge! If you aren’t familiar with the premise, Grace and Frankie, complete opposites and frenemies, found themselves the unlikely roommates after their husbands divorced the women only to marry each other!
The show is hilarious and, at long last, finally a well-written, witty and spirited series focusing on the older woman!!
My girls–Lily and Jane! Best comedy due since Martin and Lewis! I love these two!!
Dix Pour Cent—In English “Call My Agent” Another great Netflix series. This is a French comedy/drama set in a talent agency in Paris. You don’t need to speak French to love this series—read the subtitles! The ensemble cast is perfect and every character is so well-defined that by the end of the second episode of Season One, you feel as though you really know the characters’ personalities and their nuances.
If you are familiar with French film, you’ll recognize many of the guest stars playing themselves. Who knew Isabelle Huppert had such a great sense of humor!
Season Three just ended and we are eagerly awaiting Season Four! This is my favorite show!!
Hands down! THE best French import since my husband! This show better be renewed for at least ten more seasons!
Remember this name–or in English, ” Call My Agent”. A MUST SEE!!!! I DEMAND IT!!!
The Kominsky Method—Netflix is really hitting it outta the park with intelligent and mature programming. Michael Douglas plays a rather curmudgeonly acting coach and Alan Arkin his best friend. It’s a comedy and it’s not a comedy. It faces some serious subject matter such as death but the show is just so well-written and the dialogue is so true-to-life. This show made me a fan of Douglas and Alan Arkin is always a good idea! Not as funny as Grace and Frankie but the subject of aging is addressed in a very entertaining way.
A new and improved version of grumpy old men–and intelligently funny!!! These guys are great!
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—If you watched House of Cards (and after Kevin Spacey left, the show stunk), then you are familiar with Rachel Brosnahan as the ill-fated Rachel Posner.
As Midge Maisel, Brosnahan plays a rather—privileged Jewish, New Yorker who literally falls into stand-up comedy. She goes through divorce. She gets a job. There’s a lot going on and it’s done so well. This series has everything. Set in the late 1950’s, the clothing is freaking phenomenal. It’s like a visual fashion history lesson. The cast is crazy great. Remember Tony Shaloub from Wings? He plays Midge Maisel’s dad and he’s fantastic! Mad TV’s Alex Borstein—she of incredible talent, plays Midge’s manager, Susie Myerson. Season Two is what we are currently watching and we’re taking it slow because we don’t want it to end!
This show has everything–including great clothes!
So—what are you watching? Share your faves so we can all discover new TV shows!!