The boob tube
Whether I really like to admit it or not,
television has played a dominant role
in my life from day one. The fact is we
Baby Boomers were the first generation
to be baby sat by the boob tube. And
as a tot I found little more alluring than
a Swanson's TV dinner on a TV tray in
front of the TV. Looking back at what
I've watched over the decades it's quite
interesting how my taste has changed
over the years. Or... has it really? What
were and are your favorite TV shows?
I've limited my list to two per decade...
And away we go...
While I can't recall watching television
during my initial years here on earth,
I grew up watching reruns of classic
fifties programming. Hence every night
at 7 p.m. I rushed from the dinner table
to watch "I Love Lucy" on Channel 5.
To this day I can practically recite the
dialogue from some episodes. One of
my fondest memories is watching "The
Jackie Gleason Show" as a family. I'm
not sure why we found that fat chain
smoker so fascinating. All I wanted was
to be a June Taylor Dancer... stay tuned.
Sock it to me
While my parents were both more than
conservative, they let their hair down
during the sixties. For reasons I never
understood they both loved Rowan &
Martin's Laugh In. More than risque,
highly relevant, and ever surprising...
both Ethel and Howard roared at the
jokes. My favorite show however
was the gothic soap "Dark Shadows".
After school I ran home in time to tune
in at 4 p.m. for the next segment. And
while I didn't quite understand why as
of yet, I totally adored Quentin Collins.
The A Team
During the seventies the status quo
was challenged by Norman Lear's
groundbreaking "All In The Family".
Watching a bigot like Archie Bunker
slowly embrace the reality of change
was not only entertaining, it taught
us all a few lessons. However our
family also loved to watch the PBS
series "Upstairs Downstairs". Every
Sunday night we joined the Bellamy
family and staff as their Edwardian
moires were challenged. Just what
did ever become of Uncle Arthur?
If nothing else the eighties were over
the top in every way. Therefore it's no
surprise that two of the most popular
series were "Dynasty" and "Dallas".
For many reasons a tear comes to my
eye when I recall shoulder padded
bitches. During this decade I raised
my children, built a career, painted
wallpapered, and decorated several
homes. Plus traveled to India via
"The Jewel In The Crown" - one of
the best series ever. Who knew I'd
soon be literally changing channels?!
From here... to there...
For most of us the nineties were a time
of dramatic change. Initially my favorite
program was the now maudlin "Thirty
Something". Said series truly captured
the way young families like ours lived.
Suddenly much like said series my run
as a traditional husband and dad ended.
By 1995 Frank and I met and soon we
were watching Patsy and Edina's video
escapades on "Absolutely Fabulous".
Within ten years I had seemingly lost
everything only to ultimately meet my
everything. Talk about DRAMA...
Perception versus reality
After the world did not end with the
arrival of the twenty first century -
things got real. Reality television
arrived and I must admit that I got
down and dirty with the rest of
America. I religiously watched the
escapades of Flavor Flav, Brigitte
Nielsen, New York, and Pumpkin
on "The Surreal Life" and "Flavor
of Love". In between I also watched
middle America redecorate on TLC's
"Trading Spaces". However the room
covered in straw was my last straw...
To be continued...
After all of that my life and viewing
habits are still a dichotomy. Hence
it's not surprising that I'm addicted
to "Downton Abbey" and love any
"Real Housewife" from anywhere.
All good things come to an end.
Next spring Teresa Guidice gets
out of jail while we say goodbye to
the Crawley family. Happily I just
discovered binge watching on my
new favorite - Netflix. Thus you'll
find me glued to the tube with my
remote in hand... watching reruns!