Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Idiot Box?

We love it and we hate it.

We want it, and yet we also want less of it.

We have too many. We don't have enough.

The one you have isn't good enough. Must have flat-screen. Must have HD. Must be plasma. Must be fresh. (Little Shop of Horrors humor there).

We got a new TV in 1996. We are still using it. Every other television that we've had has been a hand-me-down from someone upgrading their system. And while our older models aren't the most user-friend any more, what with the digital cable, DVD, converter box, and the Wii all needing to be plugged in, we know that Radio Shack will continue to supply us with everything we need to keep our dino's from extinction. We don't have TiVo or DVR. We're talking dark ages. Not bunny ears land of old, but compared to most folks - ancient.

Last night was the premier of the final season of "LOST". Yes, I am a fan. I was so excited about the event that I made sure to have popcorn on hand. George knew to get his own bag. After a drizzle of olive oil and a shake of Parmesan, I sat back on the couch to watch the recap show and the 2 hour premier. 3 hours of TV. More than I watched all last week.

See, we don't watch a lot of TV. So last night was indeed a big deal. As I was planning my evening, I began to get flashes of television shows from the past that warranted the same reaction I have to "LOST" - the one's I couldn't bear to miss and would have to rely upon a VCR to record if I wasn't home to watch them.

My earliest memory of looking forward to a favorite show was "Romper Room". However, the show stressed me out, for that d*&% "magic mirror" NEVER revealed that I was sitting out there in "televisionland", waiting, and hoping, that my name would be called. I also loved "Captain Kangaroo". As for "Zoom"? No. I was always too jealous that "those kids" got to be on TV.

Fast forward to the "Land of the Lost" years. I was totally a Sid and Marty Krofft kid. After school. Never did quite "get" what "HR Puffinstuff" was all about. Or the "Bugaloo's", but I was hooked.

There was "The Donny and Marie Show", a smattering of "Sonny and Cher", "Wonder Woman", "St Elsewhere", a little "Remington Steele" thrown in, "The Cosby Show" and "Family Ties", "Seinfeld" to be sure, "Star Trek: the Next Generation" (getting my geek on), "Arrested Development" (Americans don't understand/appreciate comedy), currently "Glee" and, of course, "Lost". Claiming the Best in Show? Joline's People's Choice Award? The mother load?

"The Gilmore Girls".

To make "The Gilmore Girls" even more special, imagine my joy while watching it one night only to see one of my commericals run during the episode.

I could now say that I shared the screen with Lauren Graham. Well, kind of. Only she was in the fictitious Stars Hollow, and I was in the former Marshall Fields store downtown Chicago.

I wonder what television shows my kids will remember. Frankly, I don't allow TV during the week - although I have been know to let Zane watch Dinosaur Train, and Harper - some Biggest Loser and Chopped here and there. It's funny, though, for I know I watched way more TV growing up then they do now, and yet, those shows mentioned above are the ones that immediately came to memory when I began to think about television.

I don't think the television is an Idiot Box. But I do agree that it can certainly dumb one down if hours are spent in front of it.

Take me. 3 hours last night. I can hardly type a sentence. And I'm still in my robe.

What television shows made a lasting impression on you while growing up? Do your children have any favorite weekly shows now? What about you? What will I find you watching while lounging on the couch with a bowl of popcorn?


karen said...

Loved The Cosby Show--watched it regularly. When I was younger than that, I watched Today's Special. My dad and I have seen every episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show ever made, numerous times. I now own the DVDs and my daughter watches them with me--multi-generation bonding.

Since Gilmore Girls is over (sniff, sniff), the only things we ever watch now are on Food Network (I heart Alton Brown) or HGTV. Oh, and DD loves Curious George on PBS.

We don't usually snack while watching TV though. Although I've taken to occasionally whipping up homemade peppermint mochas or gingerbread lattes of late as a special treat from time to time.

Joseph said...

I think "West Wing" was one of the best written shows ever. Great dialogue and an intelligent show.


Anonymous said...

There are only two shows where I own the whole series and both are mentioned here in your posts: Gilmore Girls and West Wing.

The Gilmore Girls are awesome - I would put on an episode whenever I wanted to wrap presents for Christmas, fold laundry etc - so nice to have something funny to listen to while doing other things. I do miss it.

- E