They say that TV rots the mind, and if so, I guess mine should be almost gone by now. I remember watching quite a bit of TV as a child, and loving it. I also loved writing books, and took a lot of ideas from the TV shows I watched (I know, sounds like I was a budding plagiarist, although I didn’t even know of the concept).
When I was pretty young (maybe about 5?) we got our first color TV. My dad kept telling me we were getting a surprise, and his only clue was that it said, “It’s ten o’clock. Do you know where your children are?” This didn’t help me at all, and I kept guessing I was getting a Grandma doll.
Ten shows I remember loving:
- The Flintstones. My mom said I was so excited when Wilma was about to have Pebbles, I didn’t want to miss the show.
- The Jetsons. Their futuristic house was so cool, and here we have the “video phone.” I remember my mom once saying that someday we probably would be able to see the people we were talking to on the phone, and this idea fascinated me.
- Family Affair. You couldn’t feel too sorry for orphans Buffy, Jody, and Cissy – who wouldn’t want to live with nice Uncle Bill in his ritzy big-city apartment? And doesn’t everyone want a housekeeper like Mr. French?
- Leave it to Beaver. You had to love this show, where life’s difficulties were wrapped up so neatly in 22 minutes. It was just so wholesome – Beaver would be unbelievably distraught over something like stealing a cookie from the cookie jar. You also had to love Mr. Cleaver always in a suit, and Mrs. Cleaver rocking the nice dresses just for a day at home.
- I Love Lucy. Here is another vintage goodie. I remember laughing so hard at some of Lucy and Ethel’s exploits.
- The Brady Bunch. I remember watching this one a LOT. My sister had a special Brady skill: within 5 seconds of an episode beginning, she could tell you which one it was. Who wouldn’t like a friendly housekeeper like Alice, or like taking trips to the places they did?
- Lost in Space. My sister and I were really into the drama of this one: evil Dr. Smith, Penny’s angst, the budding romance of Judy and Don …
- Land of the Lost. As I look at these photos – wow. Special effects and costuming have really improved, haven’t they? I remember those sleestacks (how the heck did they come up with a name like that?) that seemed pretty darn creepy at the time I was watching …
- The Waltons. My mom would watch this one with us, and we watched it for years. We had a lot of fun calling goodnight to each other like they did: “Goodnight, John Boy …”
- The Lawrence Welk Show. My sister and I (and often Mom) would watch this on Saturday nights. My favorites were the dancers, Bobby and Cissy. We loved it so much that one year we got a tape recorder and my sister and I would tape some musical numbers. I remember our stress in the minutes before a song would start: should we tape this one or not? We would have loved the concept of the VCR.
- Little House on the Prairie. I read the books, and was so excited when they came out with the TV series. Sure, the show differed a lot from the books, but seeing Laura and the gang “come to life” was pretty cool.
- How could I forget Gilligan’s Island? My sister, a friend and I acted out several episodes of this for our parents. I loved Gilligan’s Island!
What TV shows do you remember growing up?