Monday, November 13, 2006

Michael Landon’s hair always reminded me of ground beef.

So, as I lie a-bed, I have discovered all of the reruns that show up on the higher channels of my non-cable TV. This week I saw bits of “Charlie’s Angels,” “Hawaii Five-Oh,” “The Brady Bunch” and “Little House on the Prairie,” among others.

The thing that’s been amazing to me is how well I remember them and the lyrics to their opening songs, how awful they are (and I didn’t notice it back when I was watching them originally). I can’t believe how familiar they all are—did I actually watch all of these things in my childhood? I started trying to get a rough idea of how much TV I watched by simply trying to sing their songs. Here’s a list of songs with which I am way too familiar:

Brady Bunch
Three’s Company (yikes!)
Love Boat
Happy Days
Eight is Enough
Facts of Life
Silver Spoons
Different Strokes
Family Ties
Golden Girls (yikes again!)
Fantasy Island
The Jeffersons
Welcome Back, Kotter
Charlie’s Angels
Gilligan’s Island
Cosby Show
. . and probably a whole lot more, including Saturday cartoons and dumb evening shows like “Ripley’s Believe it . . . (pant, pant) . . . or not!”.

I remember thinking that Gopher was incredibly attractive, Sabrina was the best angel (I never liked the blonds) and Jo was much better than Blair. Denise Huxtable was the epitome of all that was cool. Alex P. Keaton was darling and Fonzie bugged me. So did “Wajoo talkin’ bout, Willis?” and that horrible new kid they brought on to be Willis’s and Arnold’s little brother. (I also hated the new little dog—Scrappy?—they brought onto Scooby Doo. I guess I didn’t like innovation.) And the worst show in the world was that new one (meaning it began when I was a teenager and not watching so much TV) with the all the obnoxious kids—can’t remember the name but Mary Kate and Ashley played the awful little girl. Oh, and that horrible robot show—Small Wonder? ICK!

Amazing that I hated so many of these shows . . . BUT STILL WATCHED THEM!!!!! Explain that?????? It’s called loser life, I guess.

Anyway, you can see why I let my kids watch so little TV. Maybe by pure will I can make them into anti-losers, make their lives more interesting than the trash on TV. At least I can make sure they know more primary songs than TV theme-songs!

Question for you: what are your vivid memories about TV when you were a child?


Marj said...

How funny that you should write about this because my husband and I had a similar conversation last night when my kids were watching one of their favorites, "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody." We were talking about how different the shows our kids watch are so different from those we used to watch. I remember coming home from school and watching Brady Bunch (my favorite) and Charlie's Angels. My husband said his favorites were Gilligan's Island and Scooby Doo. And that show with the Olsen twins - Full House. John Stamos is on ER now (my current favorite) and I must say that he was and still is very much a hottie.

Ilove2travel said...

I remember as a kid everyone in the family gathering around to watch All in the Family. As a teenager I started watching soap operas in the summer when my Mom was at work - I still keep up with Young and the Restless a little bit. I remember trying to get sick so I could stay home to watch Dark Shadows - the vampire soap.

My kids like to watch The Simpsons, I banned it for a while, but it was like forbidded fruit, so I decided it wasn't worth the results.

Jennifer B said...

Wow. I had no idea we had so much in common where TV is concerned. (I think in school we just jabbered on about stuff like Tolstoy, Salinger, and Bono). I am in complete agreement with all your likes and dislikes--right down to Scrappy! Why did they do that? Except now that I think of it, I did like to pretend I was Cheryl Ladd occasionally.

My embarassing memories include eating pizza and saving the crust so that when my siblings and I went back in to the family room to watch Different Strokes (or Silver Spoons, or whatever inane show was on) it was extra special to gnaw the leftovers while watching our current favorite program. Weird.

Also, we used to have this funky local kid show called "The Froozles" that my sister and I watched. Every week they would pick postcards from viewers and send them way cool toys. We sent postcards, but never got picked. Think it might have helped if we had used stamps? Better stop there. I'm afraid I could go on and on. I watched A LOT of television!

Maralise said...

I remember watching Johnny Carson propped against my dad's belly. My parents got satellite when I was young (you know the huge dishes that were as big as a hottub?) and Summer School played, I'm not kidding, for the entire year that the dish worked. I think I watched it 20 times. It's an awful movie on many levels, but that didn't seem to stop me!

queen serene said...

I loved Gopher too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See Darlene, all that dumb TV and look what an intelligent woman you turned out to be. I tell myself this all the time when my kids quote movie lines or eat white bread (often simultaneously--or pizza crust, ha ha)-- I grew up on it, and I like the way I turned out. So bring on the Simpsons.

Darlene said...

Mara, I've never seen Summer School. Maybe you could quote the entire script to me.

So what I'm wondering is what our parents were thinking???? Did they notice we were watching that much TV? I feel no resentment towards them about it, but I'm just curious if they ever thought about it. Maybe all the research wasn't in yet.