The entertainment I like would be considered old-fashioned by some. Okay, fine. It would be considered old-fashioned by everyone.
I feel like maybe I have an old soul (of course, now at 44, my body is getting old as well). I have always liked shows like The Dick VanDyke Show, Burns and Allen and The Andy Griffith Show, and other old shows that were on the air long before I was born. Part of the reason I like these shows is that I was exposed to them at a time when there was nothing else for me to watch.
They hold sentimental value for me.
Growing up, we had an antenna on our back porch and four TV channels on an old black and white TV. Sometimes Dad would have to go out back and adjust the metal wiring that was supposed to be an antenna. I think he might have even put aluminum foil on it one time to try to improve the quality of the signal. I don’t remember it working.
I’m not so old that we didn’t have color TVs back then. Our family was just poor. We did eventually get a color TV from my grandmother, but we still only had four channels because the local cable company wouldn’t bring their lines to our house since we lived about three miles outside of a town. That same cable channel now has the internet and still won’t bring their lines up my parent’s road (which is across from the creek from where we used to live) to replace the inferior internet service they have now.
The four channels we could get were ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS. When I came home from school, there were either after-school specials to watch or the news so I often turned to PBS. Our local PBS channel used to rotate between The Dick VanDyke Show and Burns and Allen at 6 p.m. Around 4 p.m. they showed Little House on the Prairie or The Waltons on PBS (they rotated these too) and I would watch that too.
Because I had nothing else to watch, I found myself actually watching the shows, focusing on the comedy, the facial expressions, and the easy-going way they delivered their lines. They didn’t need to yell or be biting or sarcastic or crass to make everyone laugh and I liked that. Now that I am getting “old” I find myself gravitating to those shows as a way to find comfort in a crazy world.
When I am down or the world is swirling too fast around me, I turn on The Dick VanDyke Show or The Andy Griffith Show, which I only watched later in life. Sometimes I’ll take about any old comedy show – Green Acres has even popped up on my screen a time or two. My husband used to watch Hogan’s Heroes and The Mary Tyler Moore Show too.
I stay clear of the mystery or crime shows from the 60s to now as much as possible lately. I find they can sometimes pull me deeper into depression. Perry Mason from the 60s isn’t as difficult for me to watch since it’s mostly about the battle in the courtroom than anything else. Once the shows started to get into modern times they began to focus more on violence and crimes that are all too real for me and while I do like crime shows of today (Brokenwood Mysteries, Father Brown, McDonald and Dodd, etc.) the days when I am looking for comfort, I avoid them.
Sometimes my brain needs to quiet down and remember a simpler time of comedy. Was life perfect in the 60s? Of course not. There was still all the sadness of today, simply packaged differently for the world to see. It was all there. The abuse, the drug use, the murders, assaults, war, etc. The world hasn’t ever been perfect since Adam and Eve messed up in the garden. But what is nice about the shows from the 60s is that they focused on the quality of content. They care more about putting out a quality product, not about just kicking out the quantity to fill up the airwaves for commercial dollars. Sure, there were bad shows out there too, don’t get me wrong, but the high-quality shows overshadowed them and still hold up today (though not all the references do, the overall storylines do).
Are there old TV shows that are a comfort to you? Probably not as old as mine, of course. *wink* Then again, I do have some readers here who are “old” like me!
I thought I’d close with a clip from my favorite episode of The Dick VanDyke Show.
And here is a documentary about the show I bumped into on YouTube while looking for clips.