Wednesday, June 01, 2011

100 Teevee Memories

Rapt attention, from below

I had a great time putting together my list of 100 Movie Memories last week, so doing the same thing with teevee seems an obvious follow-up. As before, this is a collection of memories about teevee watching, memories of teevee shows, thoughts on the teevee experience, and so on. Yay, teevee!

(I'm watching teevee in the photo, I swear. It's not meant to force my readers to stare up at my nose.)

This post is pretty long, so it's after the fold.

100. I'm old enough to remember when if you wanted to watch The Wizard of Oz, what you did was this: you waited until sometime in March when CBS would air it one time. If you missed it, well, there was always next year.

99. Ditto the holiday specials like Rudolph and It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

98. My family owned just one color teevee until 1984 or 1985. That color teevee was a tiny thing, a nine-inch screen that was very curved at the corners. It didn't show the entire picture, either; if you were watching something with subtitles, the words spilled off the sides of the screen. We had a few other teevees, but they were all black-and-white.

97. The next color teevee that we got was actually a gift my parents bought for me so I could use it with my VIC-20. This one was nineteen inches. They got a deal on it at a local store because it had been a display model, used for the store's display-model VIC-20! Apparently their default program to have running on their VIC was the slot-machine game, because its image was burned into the screen. This wasn't a big deal when watching, though.

That teevee would be in our family -- later my family -- until just a few years ago when The Wife and I finally ditched it. Its main quirk was that at some point it developed this odd habit of ticking when plugged in and turned off. So, we had to keep it unplugged when not in use. We affectionately referred to that teevee as "the clicking wonder". This was also my college teevee, providing many hours of entertainment to my roommates, my friends, and I in various degrees of sobriety.

96. We got cable in 1985. Prior to that, we used antennae. This wasn't a problem in Portland, OR, where we lived well-within the broadcast area of the area's TV stations. But Allegany, NY is not well-within the broadcast area of Buffalo's TV stations, so we had to use one of those giant roof-mounted antennae. Even so, we only got channels 2, 4, and 7; and our reception on 7 was terrible.

[OK, an aside here. It's a long-standing quirk of this blog that I write the kinda-word "teevee" when referring to TV. But I'm going to be referring to television a lot in this post, so here on out, I'm going with 'TV'. OK? Don't like it, your money back.]

95. When we finally got cable, my main desires were to watch MTV and Dr. Who, which was on WNED at the time. Dr. Who eventually went away, sadly.

94. I nearly died with glee when I looked at TVGuide and saw that WNED was going to have a Dr. Who marathon one Saturday afternoon. Huzzah! This, sadly, was when I discovered the annoyance of pledge breaks. Betrayer most foul!

93. I liked The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, which I thought made a killer back-to-back combo on Saturday nights. Sue me.

92. My very, very, very earliest TV memory is a kid's show called Bumpity. My memories are so vague about this show that I decided to Google it before I wrote this entry on this list. Voila: Bumpity!

Bumpity was created in 1971 when the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) asked local station affiliates around the country to air children's educational programming. The ABC affiliate in Portland, Oregon answered them by producing Bumpity, a talking bump in the lawn. It all started when an employee of the station, Bob Griggs, came up with an idea to design a puppet, which he made with less than three dollars.

A talking bump on the lawn? That's some high-concept shit right there, folks! Given the time period, I have to assume that there were some hallucinogenic factors behind the creation of Bumpity.

91. I remember my parents watching this show on Friday nights on PBS.

(Starts at the 1:00 mark, roughly.)

90. In Portland there was an "independent" TV station that wasn't network affiliated. I don't recall which channel it was. This channel had good stuff on after school: The Flintstones, followed by The Brady Bunch, followed by Kung Fu, followed by Star Trek. This is where my love of Star Trek really began (although those seeds had already been sown, as my sister had loved Star Trek as long as I can remember).

89. Some part of me will likely be thrilled by this until the day I die at the age of 108:

88. Before the revealing episode aired, I guessed correctly who shot JR. It was a pure guess, based on very little knowledge of what the show was even about, but still. I was right.

87. I don't want to pretend that my liking of Star Trek and Kung Fu were indicative of keen taste and high standards on the part of my eight and nine-year-old self. My favorite show at the time was Buck Rogers.


86. My other favorite show at the time? This one:

(BTW, check out the Diff'rent Strokes credits when done with horror movie music. Also, in the course of searching YouTube, I'm seeing lots of clips from an episode involving a child molester? I have no memory of this, thank God.)

85. Like most young kids, I loved Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and Mr. Rogers.

And Sesame Street yielded my earliest memory of a pie in the face.

84. "We can rebuild him. We have the technology." (The Six Million Dollar Man, which I loved. I never figured out, though, why it was that when he used his bionic leg to run at super-speed, the show depicted this by showing him running in slow motion.)

83. "Mr. McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." (The Incredible Hulk. I see this occasionally in reruns to this day, and I don't think it's bad!)

82. Things I learned from The Dukes of Hazzard: welding the doors shut on your car is a good idea; some cars survive being jumped over stuff just fine while others (invariably topped by flashing lights) do not; you can get in a world of trouble for driving around with something called "moonshine" in your car; dealing with your county police is a lot easier if you know exactly where the county boundary lines are at all times, so you can duck outside the Sheriff's jurisdiction; short shorts are attractive. (I really only watched the show for a year or two. It really lost its magic when Bo and Luke went off someplace else and were replaced for a season by two dipshit cousins for some reason.)

81. I loved game shows as a kid. Loved 'em. My favorite was The Price is Right, but I also greatly enjoyed Cark Sharks, Family Feud, The Jokers Wild, Tic Tac Dough, and others. Game shows were fun, I tell you what. I started losing my fascination with game shows once Press Your Luck came along.

80. Pretty much until I graduated high school, a new James Bond movie would show up in theaters every odd year. The only other way to see them was to watch them when they were televised on ABC, which happened once every three or four months. It was in this way that I gradually saw the entire series...except that since they were on ABC, and our ABC station was the afore-mentioned Channel 7 with its crap-tastic reception, it would be years before I saw the Bond films in anything remotely resembling the way they were supposed to look.

79. Sunday nights on CBS had a line-up we watched pretty faithfully: All in the Family and its sequel series Archie Bunker's Place, One Day at a Time, Alice, and The Jeffersons. For the most part, we watched the middle two shows because they were between the others, which we wanted to watch more. (I may be mistaken, but I remember that my mother didn't care for Bonnie Franklin on One Day. I didn't care, because by this point -- I was now ten or eleven -- I'd come to the realization that girls are nifty beings, and that I could happily look at Valerie Bertinelli for as long as she was on the screen.)

78. I miss extended theme songs to TV shows. Lots of times I just liked the themes without being terribly interested in the shows themselves. (One TV theme that I always thought was underrated was Cagney and Lacey's theme. Not that great a show, but a terrific theme.)

77. I still think The A-Team is pretty entertaining. I always loved how the bad guys always got the drop on the team, but before dispatching them, decided to lock them in a warehouse full of engine parts and tools.

76. I never really got into MacGyver. I don't know -- it just seemed to roll all of The A-Team into one guy, and he never even needed the warehouse full of engine parts and tools. Some of those things he did were pretty eye-rolling, like one episode where he and some woman are trapped in a chemical factory or something, and MacGyver stops to grab a bunch of candy bars from a busted vending machine. Later on, when they discover that a chemical reactor is leaking, MacGyver uses the candy bars to plug the leak because they're made of sugar which will react with the leaking chemicals to plug the leak. Yeah...and then there was an episode that had MacGyver squaring off against a marching horde of army ants.

75. "Our loyalties are to the species, and to the planet. Our obligation to survive is owed, not just to ourselves, but to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring." --Carl Sagan, Cosmos -- first the TV show, and then the book, which continue to be one of the most important shaping factors in how I view our Universe.

74. "Once you give up integrity, the rest is a piece of cake." --JR Ewing, Dallas. I became a big fan of Dallas during the 80s. I wasn't even bothered all that much by the "Pam dreamed all of last season!" dodge to bring a dead Bobby Ewing back to life. Dallas was fun stuff.

73. Dynasty, however, was more of a mixed bag. It was a lot trashier, for one thing, with constantly over-the-top dialog and scheming by the characters. Everyone was always vowing to "destroy" someone else. "I'll destroy you, Blake!" "No, Alexis, I will destroy you." This use of "destroy" became a running joke in my family: "Go clean the litterboxes." "What if I don't, Mom?" "Then I'll destroy you."

72. The other big prime-time soaps were Knot's Landing and Falcon Crest, neither of which I particularly got into, although I liked Falcon Crest's theme. There was a staggeringly silly Dynasty spin-off called The Colbys, which featured Charlton Heston and Barbara Stanwyck, if you can believe that. One season of The Colbys ended with Emma Samms's character being abducted by aliens. I shit you not. They showed the ship and everything.

71. What about daytime soaps? Well, General Hospital was always a blast, what with spy-adventure summer storylines. I was schooled in As the World Turns, thanks to my mother and sister. Once in college some friends and I were watching some movie, when an actress who had played Margo on ATWT showed up, and one girl and I said at the same time, "Margo?!" Anyway....

70. I was never a big fan of The Cosby Show, to be honest. I didn't hate it, by any means; it just didn't light my fire.

69. I hated Roseanne, though. Ugh.

68. During college, TV dropped off my radar in a big way. The only shows I actively pursued were Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

67. "Let us make sure that history never forgets the name Enterprise!" --Jean-Luc Picard, "Yesterday's Enterprise"

66. "Time has little to do with infinity and jelly donuts." --Thomas Sullivan Magnum, Magnum, PI. I loved this show. Still do, actually -- it was so often just plain entertaining, with a wonderfully written cast of characters and a lot of intriguing mystery stories and occasional forays into espionage thrillers. At times the show could actually become very dark -- there was an episode that had Magnum being called on the phone by a serial killer who would taunt him with nursery rhymes, another that had Frank Sinatra guest-starring as a mainland cop with an agenda. And then there's the episode that had Magnum going underground to go after his daughter's killer -- that's an episode that's going to stay with me forever.

65. I liked both of the fall-1981 shows that sprang from the earlier-that-year success of Raiders of the Lost Ark: ABC's Tales of the Gold Monkey and CBS's Bring 'Em Back Alive. Gold Monkey was probably the more successful of the two, in terms of quality, but Bring 'Em had its charms too.

64. Maverick and Hee-haw were common when I was very young. I suspect that Hee-haw may have been an early source of my fascination with overalls.

63. I didn't develop an interest in sports until my late teens, aside from figure skating, which I liked because my mother likes it. I also enjoyed it back when Wide World of Sports actually covered the wide world of sports.

62. As noted above, entire shows came and went during my college years without penetrating my consciousness. I was only vaguely aware of a sitcom starring a guy named Will Smith, and likewise only vaguely aware of some cartoon show that was on the still-fledgling FOX network. This show followed a family of yellow-skinned buffoon, the oldest child of which was a mischievous boy with spiky hair who apparently liked telling people not to have a cow.

61. The Girlfriend (now The Wife) and I have always had a show or two that we mutually liked a whole lot. The first one was LA Law, which was really good for its first three or four seasons. It got kind of embarrassing pretty quickly, though, after they killed off one character by dropping her down an elevator shaft.

60. Cheers was also a mainstay of college. What a great, great show that was. I remember that we ordered a pizza on the night of the finale, and the delivery guy was jealous that we were watching the show. That finale was one of the first, if not the first, "event" series finale shows, with retrospective before and late-night stuff after. I remember hissing the screen when Bob Costas, ever the clever one, said, "This is the Super Bowl of comedy, with one difference: they'll be laughing in Buffalo." Yeah. F*** you, Bob.

59. Sticking with Cheers for a moment: I will cheerfully admit that I liked Rebecca Howe a lot more than Diane Chambers.

58. Coach: (answers phone) Hey, is there an Ernie Pantuso here?
Sam: That's you, Coach.
Coach: (into phone) Speaking!

57. The Cheers gang gets its final victory over Gary's Old Towne Tavern -- but not really, since they have to beg conman Harry the Hat to do it for them.

56. The only time we saw Vera's face, it was covered with pie.

55. "Hi, I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl." --Larry, Newhart

54. Oooh, I can't forget about Saturday morning TV! I was a big fan of Captain Marvel (my mother even made me a Captain Marvel suit for Halloween one year -- and no, I'm not posting pictures) and the companion show to Shazam!, The Mighty Isis. Other cartoons came and went, but my favorite was always The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour.

53. And don't forget Schoolhouse Rock and In the News, narrated by Christopher Glenn!

52. If this preceded a show, you were in for something good:

51. Scooby Doo never really did it for me. I could never understand why, after however many times the monster turned out to be a guy in a suit and mask, the kids didn't just try to rip the monster's mask off the first time they ran into him. Didn't make sense.

50. I didn't discover The Simpsons until it had been around five or six years, long enough to be in syndicated reruns and have new episodes on. The Girlfriend (now The Wife) introduced me to the show. It's waxed and waned, but I've been a fan all these years.

49. News events I watched unfold on TV: President Reagan's inauguration (our teacher brought a TV in for this), which was immediately followed by news that the American hostages in Iran had been released; the 1981 eruption of Mt. St. Helens; the first launch of the space shuttle Columbia; the assassination of Anwar Sadat; the explosion of the Challenger; the inauguration of President Clinton; the final court ruling in Bush v. Gore; the election of Barack Obama as 43rd President of the United States; the killing of Osama bin Laden. (I didn't see 9-11-01 footage until I got home from work, eight hours after the attacks.)

48. I've never been a big fan of talk shows. Merv Griffin was kind of cool, though.

47. "Sis-boom-bah. What is the sound a sheep makes before it explodes?" --Johnny Carson as Carnak the Magnificent, The Tonight Show. I've been a Johnny Carson fan ever since I was in second grade or so. The guy was terrific.

46. We got our first VCR in 1985 or thereabouts. The first show we taped -- because it was on when we got the thing set up -- was an old NBC mystery series called Riptide. The show was crap, but I watched that taped episode five or six times, because hey, we taped it!

45. Renting movies sure had an interesting evolution. First there were "video clubs", not "video stores". You had to join a club to be able to rent, and joining cost money. I remember that when we rented a movie for the first time, the place required a $50 deposit in case we ruined the tape. (The movie was Raiders of the Lost Ark, by the way.) I remember the first store in our town that wasn't a "club" where you had to pay dues, but you just gave them some info to keep on file and then you paid your four bucks or whatever to take home a movie. This joint was called "Choice Video", and their odd habit was that they didn't organize their movies at all. In any way. No alphabetizing, no categorizing, no nothing. If you wanted a specific title, you had to search the store for it. You could ask the guy at the counter, but he'd just look it up and say, "Yeah, we own it."

44. Since I've already done a 100 things about The Simpsons, I'll just pick one thing from The Simpsons: Leonard Nimoy on "The Springfield Files".

Hello. I'm Leonard Nimoy. The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It's all lies. But they're entertaining lies. And in the end, isn't that the real truth? The answer is: No.

43. Say what you will, there is no TV show better for the brain when one has just completed a closing Friday night shift at a pizza place and it's 2:00 in the morning than Beavis and Butthead. That show could be downright clever in its satire of high school idiots, such as in one episode where the boys are participating in the school's fundraising candy bar sale, selling candy bars for $2 each. The guys sell them back and forth to each other, for the same $2. Loved that.

42. I only watched seasons two, three, and four of The Real World. I liked the San Francisco cast the best (excepting Puck, who was a douche).

41. "Harris, where's the sex?" --Captain Miller on Barney Miller. I loved this show and watched it after school when it was in reruns for a time. This quote comes from an episode where, for some reason, the police department had Detective Harris make a porn movie, which he screened for the squad. But he'd made a film, not a skinflick, leaving Captain Miller to intone, "Harris, where's the sex?!"

40. Little House on the Prairie was fun in its earlier episodes, but like a lot of shows that get popular and last a while, it started to take itself too seriously, and some of the later episodes are so overwrought with depressing crap that the show almost felt like self-parody. Alice Garvey's death was impossible to take seriously, and the whole series ended with the denizens of Walnut Grove dynamiting the town to keep some evil capitalists from getting their hands on it! Wow.

But damned if I don't tear up when I see the "Ernest Borgnine as an angel" episode. Boy Howdy, that one gets me every time.

39. Yeah, The X-Files.

38. "It's my gift. It's my curse." -Frank Black, Millennium

37. I should probably say something about MTV. I grew up with MTV; I was only nine or ten when it first started up, and I saw it the first time only a year or two later, when I started visiting a particular friend after school and for sleepovers. MTV was cool at that point: just wall-to-wall music videos, which I thought were the coolest thing on Earth. My favorite of the original VJ's was Nina Blackwood.

I'm old enough to be one of those who can whine about the gradual shift on MTV from videos to original programming, but at the time that I still had MTV as a viewing option, I enjoyed stuff like The Real World. I have zero idea what MTV is like right now, though.

True story: early in the school year in 1986, my paternal grandmother passed away. She was the first death in the family that really hit me. It was on a Friday morning. That night, the MTV Music Video Awards were on. Out of habit, even though I wasn't much in the mood, I turned them on and watched a bit -- long enough for them to cut to live footage from a Van Halen concert. Watching Sammy and the boys doing "Best of Both Worlds" really helped my mood that night.

36. I liked Caroline in the City a lot more than I would have had it starred anyone other than Lea Thompson.

35. We loved ER so much. That show's first five or six seasons were as good as anything I've ever seen. We eventually fell away from the show (here's why) but while it was good, The Girlfriend (later The Wife) and I moved heaven and earth to not miss an episode.

34. I will forever believe that NYPDBlue is one of the great underrated TV series of all time. It was so good, and so rock-solid consistent. And it had one of the finer finales I've seen in a series.

This isn't the final scene, but it's close. Andy Sipowicz's journey from the show's beginning to its end is a great TV achievement (and acting achievement, by Dennis Franz) that I wish got more credit than it seems to have.

33. Why Mad About You didn't end with the wonderful birth of Paul and Jamie's kid is something I'll never understand. It was such a perfect moment to end on, as the show transitioned from being about a marriage to being about a family. (And, frankly, the show just wasn't that good at being about a family.) Mad About You's second, third, and fourth seasons are all kinds of terrific.

32. We didn't start watching Friends until midway through its first season. We never stopped watching it. Friends is one of my favorite shows of all time. Yes, it probably went on one season too long. I don't care.

31. Wow, there were a slew of crappy shows that tried airing in the post-Friends or post-Seinfeld timeslots. The Single Guy? Jesse? (That one was really bad, especially since it was supposedly set in Buffalo.) Madman of the People? Good Morning Miami? All crap. Only one of those post-Friends shows stands out...

30. beloved Scrubs. This show is one of the things that keeps me from writing off the 2000s as a complete waste of a decade for all of humanity. Scrubs made me laugh and brought me in, emotionally, as no other sitcom has ever done.

29. Scully: Fox?
Mulder: I even made my parents call me 'Mulder'.

For more on my love of The X-Files, see my ongoing series re-watch.

28. Starting with Super Bowl XXV (the Bills' first appearance), I've never missed a Super Bowl game. Yay, me!

27. My favorite cooking shows were Emeril Live and Good Eats. Iron Chef was variably interesting, mainly depending upon the secret ingredient. I remember an oddly compelling little game show on FoodTV called Ready, Set, Cook!, which would pair a regular person with a chef, and in twenty minutes they had to come up with a dish using ten bucks' worth of ingredients provided by the contestants.

26. I watched a fair amount of the first season of Survivor, and I decided that I didn't like the show, because it seemed to me set up to reward a person with a particular skill set that would make that person not all that much fun to be around. I eventually came around, only to be turned off again by the show's fetishistic worship of that nitwit Rob Mariano. I have no idea if I'll bother watching the show when it returns (and I certainly won't when Rob returns).

25. I really miss Whose Line Is It Anyway. Both the British and American versions.

24. Back in the mid 90s, NBC had an idea of doing three action/adventure/thriller shows on Saturday nights. They called it the "Saturday Thrillogy", and two of those shows -- The Pretender and Profiler -- were favorites of ours. (The first show wasn't, and I don't even remember what it was. It was canceled, though, and replaced by something else that we still didn't like all that much.) Both The Pretender and Profiler lasted for several years, and we watched them faithfully, often over Chinese takeout. Both shows were canceled despite respectable (but not great) ratings, because NBC wanted to free up Saturday nights for their next BIG THING. This was the XFL. F*** you, NBC.

23. I never really got thirtysomething, because I was probably too young to get it. But the next show by creators Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, My So-Called Life, absolutely rocked my world. I actually got partially obsessive over that show.

22. MSCL only lasted one season -- f*** you, ABC -- and receded into memory. Five years later, Herskovitz and Zwick would get another drama on ABC: a show about two divorced people who fall in love while trying to deal with the emotional fallout of their splintered families. That show was Once and Again, which would last three wonderful, brilliant seasons, until ABC pulled the plug. Yeah. F*** you, ABC!

21. I mentioned Millennium some entries before. After Millennium ended each Friday night during its run, I'd switch over to CBS and watch the entertainingly silly Don Johnson show Nash Bridges. That show was a lot of fun.

20. The West Wing served up a lot of brilliance over its seven seasons. I recently watched seasons two and three, and I think that Aaron Sorkin started losing steam about halfway through the third season. A lot of those episodes just sit there, never really generating any dramatic heat; characters make speeches to one another as opposed to interacting, and there's precious little drama. I haven't watched the fourth season in a long time; ditto the subsequent years. Season Five struggled to figure out how to exist after Sorkin, but I remember thinking that the show succeeded on occasion. It got really good again in Seasons Six and Seven. Loved the finale.

John Spencer's best moment:

And my favorite West Wing scene ever:

19. I was puzzled by the sudden resurgence of game shows in the early part of the last decade. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was fun, mainly because Regis Philbin knew what he was doing. But it was followed by a lot of crap, like The Weakest Link, 1 versus 100, and the like. I did enjoy Identity, which was kind of an updating of the To Tell the Truth concept.

18. 24 wasn't on my radar until its second season. I watched seasons two and three religiously. Seasons 4, 5, and 6 went by, mainly because FOX aired the first four episodes of each of those seasons over two nights, which put me behind right from the start. I got back to the show with season 7, which was really good until the last few episodes, when it started to sink. The show was mostly fun, even if it was awfully fascistic and cheerleading for a terrorized police state of a country.

17. King of the Hill was overshadowed by The Simpsons, but it had a warm genius of its own.

16. Futurama was/is brilliant. Love it.

15. I'm not a big fan of Family Guy, but I do love the Star Wars parody episodes and pretty much any episode that focuses on the odd relationship between Stewie and Brian. However, my grudging enjoyment of Family Guy does not extend to Seth McFarlane's other shows; American Dad and The Cleveland Show are both crap.

14. Jumping back a bit...I watched every episode of Police Squad when it originally aired. What a great show!

13. I've never liked David E. Kelley. Never ever ever. I didn't like Picket Fences. I didn't like Chicago Hope. I didn't like The Practice or Boston Legal. I consider it a great deed by the TV Gods that his Wonder Woman pilot got scorched.

12. I really need to start doing a Buffy the Vampire Slayer watch one of these days. I only watched two or three episodes during the show's initial run, and I didn't stick with it because by that point it was season three or so and I didn't really want to try to catch up on a show with a dense mythology.

11. I tried watching Babylon 5 several times. Didn't care for it, though.

10. Firefly. Yeah. F*** you, FOX!!!

9. I never watched The Sopranos. I had zero interest in it. Someone once described it as a "soap opera for men". I'm just not that big on mob stories, and shows with lots of "whacking".

8. Ditto The Wire. Way I see it, I don't care how lovingly the meal is prepared, if I don't like the featured ingredient.

7. I'm a Seinfeld fan to this day. What's so great about it is how, with relatively few exceptions, the show simply does not date itself. There are very few topical references in it, and I love its cast of quirky characters and the even stranger universe they inhabit. And I love being able to speak in that special code to other Seinfeld fans, such as saying, "Why don't you just TELL me the name of the movie you want to see?"

6. Huh. I almost got to the end of this post without really mentioning The Brady Bunch. Consider that rectified. Love me some Brady Bunch. Especially that episode where Cindy asks Santa to give her laryngital mother her voice back so she can sing at church.

5. My fandom may have been strangled by the awfulness of this season, but I sure did enjoy American Idol for a few years there!

4. I like NCIS as a fun action show, but I find it hard to take seriously a program that had a bad George W. Bush impersonator playing the actual President in the first episode.

3. "There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers." Castle is my favorite thing on TV right now.

2. If there's ever another TV incarnation of Star Trek, there must be a role -- even a one-shot as a Starfleet Captain would be fine -- for David Caruso. That guy was born to lock phasers on target!

1. We probably watch as much TV on a computer now as we do on an actual TV. I don't think I'll ever be watching TV on a phone, though. I have standards for screen size. But TV in bed, on my computer? That's just awesome! I can't believe how far things have come since that nine-inch color TV whose main nifty feature was its ability to display an image instantly, without that "warm up" period that old TVs used to have. I'm not terribly interested in 3D TV, either...but we'll see where TV goes!


Call me Paul said...

Our early TV memories are very similar. We had a big antenna on a tower attached to the side of our house. I used to use it to climb up on the roof.

In addition to the local Toronto stations, we could get channels 2, 4, and 7, along with WNED on 17. Some of my earliest TV memories include Irv Weinstein on Eyewitness News, and Commander Tom (although you may have moved into the area when you were already too old for that).

I enjoyed reading this, and it has sparked all kinds of memories for me. I may use it as a writing prompt.

Also, I so have to rewatch all my Firefly DVDs.

SamuraiFrog said...

Oh, I thought everyone remembered the Diff'rent Strokes child molester as one of the weirder moments in pop culture. Actually, what's sad is that you said that and my first thought was "Wait, the one where Gordon
Jump gets Arnold and Dudley drunk so he can molest them in the bike shop, or the one where Kimberly gets kidnapped and almost raped?"

Messed up.

Dazee Dreamer said...

I likes so many of the same shows as you. Except for your hatred of The Practice. I loved that one.