It’s tough to explain to our children how much the world has changed since we were children. They enjoy movies and radio with just minor variations from us, most of which include cosmetic enhancements and increased frequency of access. Television, on the other hand, has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s as if we were driving horse-drawn carriages while they were given flying cars. Get the Best information about Kundali Bhagya Upcoming Story.
Buying a television, feared by many as the technology that would eliminate the need for radio, was a financial expenditure comparable to purchasing a house, a vehicle, or kitchen equipment during its prime. It wasn’t simply an LCD or plasma panel on a bookshelf like a framed photograph. Instead, it was a substantial piece of furniture. A television set consisted of acoustic parts drawn from radio systems, a small electric motor, a spinning disc, a group of glass tubes to convert electricity, a gelatin-based vacuum tube to project a picture, and a wooden cabinet to house everything. Over time, record players and genuine radios were added to the cabinet, resulting in the first self-contained entertainment “unit.”
It had Lo-Fi mono audio and black-and-white visuals, and you needed an antenna to ‘catch’ broadcast signals from local network carriers – up to 12 of them (the #1 on the television’s manual ‘dial’ was exclusively for emergency broadcasts). There was no remote control available. That dial had to be turned by hand, and a list of TV programs was printed in a weekly book called a ‘TV Guide,’ which you could buy at the supermarket. The networks would begin broadcasting at 6 a.m. and sign off at midnight after the evening news.
They’d go dark after a canned rendition of the national anthem, only to be replaced by a test pattern with the feathered head of a politically incorrect picture of a Native North American. Though television is still a significant expensive consideration, this is because the TV is the size of a sheet of GypRoc and is placed on your wall like artwork.
It’s a precision device can project thousands of pixels per square inch in 4,000,000 colors, with up to 7.1 surround sound audio and high-definition graphics transmitted into your home via a wire no thicker than a licorice stick. There will be no more antennas. There will be no more manually dialing through 500 channels instead of 12. Television networks rarely go dark because it costs too much money from midnight to 6 a.m. Television is now available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Despite this, there is less television now than I was growing up. In any case, the entertainment is of lower quality.
We were limited to an hour or two before heading out in the morning since there was less airtime – most notably for children who attended school – and after school was divided between homework, playing outside until supper, and playing outside until dark. On a weekday, we only watched TV for around three hours. When you factor in the time spent doing the same thing on weekends when Mom and Dad had other plans for us, such as cleaning our rooms, playing board games, shopping, and visiting family, we may have only watched TV for a few extra hours Saturday or Sunday. And according to ‘Morals R Us,’ these hours were eating away at our brains.
They could have been correct. When I count up the hours of television, I’ve had available, they seem disproportionate to the seemingly infinite number of things I’ve seen. School days began with a kids’ variety show called ‘Rocket Ship 7’ hosted by Dave Thomas of WKBW-TV in Buffalo (fun fact: he is the father of ‘Angel’/’Bones TV actor David Boreanaz). Like similar shows carried on stations across North America at the time, the show featured skits, birthday wishes, puppets, a talking robot, and the latest, cheaply licensed kid’s fair. We saw Christian-themed ‘Davy & Goliath’ and ‘Gumby’ stop motion animation shows, as well as Looney Tunes, Merry Melodies, ‘Popeye,’ ‘The World of Oz,’ and a few ‘The Three Stooges’ and ‘Little Rascals’ cartoons.
When we got home for lunch, it was either CHCH (out of Hamilton) or CTV (out of Toronto). I remember watching ‘The Flintstones,’ ‘Rocket Robin Hood,’ and a slew of Canadian-produced game programs hosted by Jim Perry, most notably ‘Eye Bet’ and ‘Definition,’ as well as a Canadian children’s variety show called ‘The Uncle Bobby Show,’ which featured a cardigan-clad elderly Brit. After school, it was a juggling act of homework, outdoor activities, or watching another children’s variety show called ‘Commander Tom,’ which was the afternoon version of ‘Rocket Ship 7’ and featured most of the same shows. However, they also included extended programming with ‘The Addams Family,’ ‘The Munsters,’ and ‘Batman.
Saturdays were a barnstorm of Hanna-Barbara cartoons and live-action children’s shows like ‘Scooby-Doo,’ ‘Hilarious House of Frightenstein,’ ‘H.R. Puffenstuff,’ ‘Liddyville,’ ‘Get Smart,’ ‘The Hudson Brothers’ Razzle Dazzle Show,’ ‘The Powder Puff Derby,’ ‘The Monkees’, ‘Gidget,’ ‘The Brady Bunch,’ ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ ‘The Wacky Races,’ and more Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies than we could ingest.
Evenings brought us sitcoms and dramas: ‘Party Game,’ ‘Mary Tyler Moore,’ ‘The Carol Burnett Show,’ ‘The Trouble With Tracy,’ ‘Starsky & Hutch,’ ‘Love Boat,’ ‘Sanford & Sons, ‘All In The Family,’ ‘Love American Style,’ ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ ‘Bewitched,’ ‘The Dean Martin Roast,’ ‘Streets of San Francisco,’ and, of course, the national standard – ‘Hockey Night In Canada’ on Saturday nights. With religious programs, Sunday mornings were a drag, but we generally saw ‘Movie For A Sunday Afternoon,’ ‘The Wonderful World of Disney,’ and ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.’
Today, TV’s requirement to fill 24 hours of content – bought or made – means an assembly line of reality shows, replays of pricey dramas, and syndicated shows from our recent past (rather than our distant history, which requires an additional set of cable channels). I enjoy having more options now, but I miss the shows that characterized my childhood, even if some were cheesy and barely held up to repeated viewings.
But I don’t long for them; I long for how they made me feel. I still watch television to escape from writing and the exhausting effort to make a livelihood as a hungry parasite on the back of the entertainment behemoth. Depending on your tastes, there are still some good shows available. My current favorites include a mash-up of science fiction, comedy, and reality shows:
Mike and Molly
Premise: Two middle-class working stiffs – a schoolteacher played by Melissa McCarthy (‘Bridesmaids’) and a Chicago patrol cop played by stand-up comedian Billy Gardell – meet at an overeaters anonymous meeting and quickly realize they’re too set in their ways ever to stop eating and decide to make the best of it together.
McCarthy and Gardell have fantastic chemistry together, as his oafish character completely misunderstands every situation, resulting in awkward social interactions. It’s like ‘King of Queens’ but without the drama. Gardell and his cop sidekick Carl, played by Reno Wilson, spend their time plotting one ridiculous idea after another in an attempt to get Wilson’s character a date – without him screwing it up because he’s a self-centered, loudmouthed Mama’s boy who lives with his grandmother. Mike and Molly were planning a wedding this season, while Carl fell in love with an ophthalmologist played by Holly Robinson Peete (ex-21 Jump Street). The regular cast is outstanding, particularly Molly’s over-sexed, widowed, party-packing mother, played by Swoosie Kurtz, the local Rastafarian restaurant owner, played by Nyambi Nyambi, and Mike’s bigoted, self-loathing divorced mother, played by the brilliant Rondi Reed (the therapist on ‘Roseanne’). All around, it’s lighthearted and hilarious.
A Man and a Half 2.0 Plot: Ashton Kutcher’s billionaire software developer Playboy philanthropist takes over Charlie Sheen’s former haunt as the headmaster of a beach-front hedonism house still occupied by the free-loading Alan Harper, played by Jon Cryer and his idiot savant son Jake played by Angus T. Jones.
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