More than Nostalgia


I have finally had a chance this past week to sit down and watch a little television entertainment for the first time after a busy start to the spring. I don’t get cable because, well, I would rarely have time for it and I can’t see the value of paying when there are so many channels available these days over the free airwaves.

It’s amazing how many channels there are outside of cable and how many options we have compared to the few I had as a youngster. In fact, sitting here counting on my fingers, I figure we had about seven stations when I was growing up, including UHF, and about 17 channels now. And, those 17 are just the ones I have programmed into my television. I figure there has got to be at least that many over the airwaves available that I don’t watch.

Further, among those channels I watch over the airwaves, I have been noticing that nearly half are playing old television shows – some from even before my time. Their vintage, however, does not matter to me much, as I seem to enjoy watching the shows based more on subject and quality rather than mere nostalgia. I find that just because I watched and loved a TV show as a child, that does not mean I enjoy watching it now. Sometimes, as I’m just now discovering, the acting is worse than I ever realized or the subject is immature, but mostly I think it is because some of the plots of a TV series might generally have been the same week over week with just minor differences sprinkled in from episode to episode.

Yeah, I may be the last person on the planet to recognize that, but it is really hitting me now that my parent’s criticism of some of these older shows was more valid than I realized back then. I am sure this overdue epiphany is age-related or perhaps it has something to with me getting into writing more these days, but I am noticing some real differences of perspective in the quality of the scripts from when I was young to now. This goes for their production values, as well. Apparently, age, and I suppose maturity, really does have me seeing each of these shows in a different way all these years later.

I am not a critic, nor do I like to consider myself as one, but some shows really are mindless time wasters, while others seem to possess at least some value, no matter what year they began airing. Some shows that I once liked, now bore me, while there are others that I still like or enjoy even more. Sometimes, for good or bad, I may just understand them better now.

I recommend that, if you get a chance in your busy, non-stop life, it might be worth looking up some of these older shows, no matter when you were born or decided to grow up. With all these channels, even without the advantage of cable or satellite links, there really is a vast array of television options today for just about any taste, even without cable – that is if you can find time in your busy schedule to watch them.


7 responses to “More than Nostalgia

  1. Hehe you said youngsters. I am a big fan of older shows, some of it may be nostalgia, but mostly it’s because I really just enjoy the shows, even with a bit of the immaturity compared to today’s TV. (But I will take I Love Lucy’s avoidance of using the word “pregnant” to the blatant overuse of sex splashed all over the airwaves now a days.)

    What are some of your favorite old shows?

    • I like watching The Siant, The Avengers ,Get Smart, Hogans Heroes, some of the Brit Coms and when I’m in the mood, Shatner and Nimoy in Star Trek. Don’t tell anyone, but I also like an occasional Bewitched.

  2. As the oldest one in our group, I remember all the old television shows well. While nostalgia sometimes clouds our memories, I still recall a lot of it was awful. Like, ‘My Mother the Car.’
    It’s fun to remember it all, though. Like getting our first color T.V. The technician had to come and set the colors for you. They weren’t right, just out of the box, like now. And NBC, channel 4 up in New York, was the first all color network. Their icon was a brightly colored peacock. “NBC, proud as a peacock,” the announcer would say as the animated bird spread out its rainbow-like tail feathers. Don’t know why I still remember that.
    Some shows I’ll still watch. Like ‘The Twilight Zone.’ That’s something T.V doesn’t do, now. They’ve lost the art of telling a complete story in thirty minutes. No one wants to watch an anthology type of show, anymore. Just as no one seems to want to read short stories, anymore.
    There’s still some good stuff out there, now, however. Without all the censorship that used to control the media, they can be daring and think outside the box, a bit. I mean, I’m not saying that I want to see explicit sex on TV, but I also think it’s ridiculous that they weren’t allowed to show Barbara Eden’s belly-button on ‘I Dream of Jeannie.’
    Okay, this rant went on long enough. I’ll let someone else take the floor.

    • Nah, your rant was just right. I agree with you, back then it was a bit over the top, but now It seems there isn’t much of a sensor at all.

      And wow. My mother the car?!

      • Believe it or not…’My Mother the Car.’ A guys mother dies and she is reincarnated as an antique car. Hilarity ensues.

    • Joe, The Twilight Zone is being played. I think its on 21-2 weekdays at 20:30.

      • Yeah, a favorite of mine. I love seeing some of the actors and actresses in those parts before they became big names. Robert Redford and William Shatner come to mind right away but there were lots of others.

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