Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Walk Down Memory Lane, Via The Boob Tube

Have you ever sat back and thought about all the TV shows that made some kind of impact in your life? I've just recently been thinking about this and decided to make it into a blog post. Nowadays a lot of parents restrict the amount of TV their children watch, but back when I was a kid in the 70s the TV was a constant babysitter. I'm not saying my Mom didn't pay any attention to me, just that when there was no one to play with and Mom was doing her thing, I always had TV to keep me company.

Anyway, I just thought it would be fun to share with you the TV shows that I watched and loved throughout the years. You may find that we have some favorites in common! I've included some theme songs in my Playlist to go along with your journey, so turn up the sound!

Of course, the first TV show that I watched with any regularity was Sesame Street. I'm sure most of us have this in common! My favorite character had to be Oscar the Grouch, mostly because I was so intrigued by the fact that he fit an entire house in that little aluminum garbage can. I used to wish I could crawl through the TV, jump in that can and see where he lived. Animations - clipart cartoons sesamestreet 002

Of course there was Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and The Electric Company, but aside from Sesame Street, my other all-time favorite children's show was The Magic Garden. This show initially was only seen the NY area, but I do believe they expanded the viewing area after a couple of seasons because of its popularity. I loved the "chuckle patch" and the treasure box especially.

Time went on and I got a bit older and my taste in TV changed accordingly. I loved The Incredible Hulk and Get Smart (I wanted a shoe phone too!) and of course, The Brady Bunch! As a kid I thought their house was so incredibly ugly, but now thinking back on it with an adults view, I realize it had a spectacular layout! And hey, there was room enough to employ Alice the maid just to make their perfect life a little bit more perfect. I wonder if she and Sam the butcher ever got it on in that bedroom of hers that we never got to see?
And who didn't love the Addams Family? I think my favorite character on that shoe was "Hand". I don't know why, so don't even ask. But I also loved Cousin It and Lurch, even though he scared me.

Another monstrously divine family was The Munsters. Herman was a total dork, but I just loved uncle Fester! And how cool was the outside of that house?

Okay, last kid-like show that MUST be mentioned, even though it should go down in history as the DUMBEST show ever aired. What is it? Gilligan's Island of course! Funny how over the years they received so many surprise visitors to the island but they never managed to find their way off it, hmm?? And come on ladies, you know Ginger's sequined dress would have been in tatters within a week of having to walk through a jungle. Stupid from beginning to end, but endlessly entertaining!

Now it's weird, because some of the following shows I always considered part of my generation, but now thinking back, I'm wondering if I saw most of them in reruns. Anyway, in my estimation, the most wonderfully ground-breaking situation comedy of all time was All in the Family. At the time it first aired, there was no other show that broached the subjects that this show did. Equality, sex, racism, political issues, etc. It was really so ahead of its time and so wonderfully written that you felt a part of the Bunker family. And let's not forget to mention that this was the first time that a toilet was heard flushing on national TV! And from one good show, cropped another; the Jeffersons. "Weeeeeeeeeeezieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" What George Jefferson lacked in height, he made up for in mouth.

Then along came another vastly stupid show; Three's Company. It was just so incredibly silly that you had to love it. And oh, the crush I had on "Jack"! And the man could cook! Never did like Janet, she was too uptight for me, but Chrissy and her snorting laugh were a hoot!

Now comes a show that was always very near and dear to my heart. Mostly because I used to often watch it with my grandmother. She passed away 20 years ago this past May, but I still think of her almost daily and miss her like crazy. But anyway, back to the show that we both loved to watch. The Love Boat!!!!!!!!! To me it seemed like the world's best luxury to be able to live on a huge ship like The Pacific Princess. I had a slight crush on Gopher, yes, I'll admit it, even though he was a total dork. I tuned in each week, excited to see who the guest stars would be, what they'd be wearing and what sorts of trouble the crew and guests would get into. And the romance! Ah, it was the perfect introduction to romance for a kid my age.
I still remember that Love Boat was on at 9:00 on Saturday night, and directly after came Fantasy Island. Our family used to laugh because Tattoo so resembled my uncle David, except for the height difference and the funny accent. Do you remember this line? "Da plane! Da plane!!!!!!!!" I can still hear his voice so clearly in my head. Many a Saturday night was spent enjoying these two shows, one that made me go Ahhhhhhhhh, the other that creeped me out a little with all the mysteries that happened on the island.

There are probably a dozen or so shows I watched and loved that I'm not mentioning here, but I don't want to make this into a novel. It's getting long enough as it is. So now I'll skip to when I was about 18 years old and got addicted to Nick at Night. I became fascinated with the really old shows from the 50s, like The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Donna Reed. And ooh, The Honeymooners! "To the moon Alice! To the moon!" What a great cast of characters, huh? And it always amazed me that nearly every episode was filmed from right there in Ralph Cramden's kitchen. Sure, they'd do some scenes outside, or at the bus station, but mostly it was that tiny little kitchen with the tiny little icebox that intrigued me so. I remember wondering why they didn't at least paint that dingy little space. Ya know, spruce it up a bit. But I guess that was part of what made this show special. They lived in an ugly apartment, but it was always clean and they were always together. I was in awe of this incredibly poor couple who still managed to keep their sense of humor and their uncompromising love of each other.

One more ground-breaking show was The Cosby Show. Oh my goodness, there are black people that are wealthy? One a doctor and one a lawyer? You know these thoughts weren't going through my liberal mind, but I bet you a bunch many other people thought it. Let's face it, Bill Cosby is a comedic genius and it shined through in every episode of this program. I think together as a nation we all fell in love with Huxtables. They were the ideal family! They had a gorgeous house, gorgeous children and no money worries. And in a hilarious way, each episode taught some kind of valuable lesson for the viewers to learn. And tell ya what, Cliff Huxtable had the biggest wardrobe of sweaters I've ever seen!

Let's just skip to the 90s now, shall we? There are really only a few shows that stand out in my mind right now. One show I think we can all agree on that became a kind of phenomenon was Friends. Not only was the writing for this show spectacular, but the dynamics and energy between each of the cast members was incredible. How many of you have talked in Chandler Bings' vernacular? " Could you BE any dumber?" And I bet if I told you to sing Smelly Cat, you could do it word for word, no problem. Sometimes, when soaping up in the shower, I still play through a conversation between Joey and Chandler when Joey has just licked a spoon and put it back in the drawer. When Chandler calls him on it, Joey says something like, "Well, what about soap? We both use the same soap!" And Chandler says, "But soap is self-cleaning!" And Joey says, "You just remember that the next time you take a shower. Think about the last body part I washed and the first one you are washing." And will we ever forget that heart-wrenching episode when Ross thought that he and Rachel were "on a break" and cheated on her? And how they stood in the living room breaking up while the rest of the friends were in Monica's room listening, with their hearts breaking? When Ross knelt before Rachel and rested his head against her stomach, begging her not to leave him. Oh my, gives me chills even now. For such a funny show, that one scene was so intense.

Okay! Funny funny funny, and CRAZY show, called Ally McBeal. Jimmy and I used to watch this show faithfully every single week and used to laugh our butts off. It was on Ally McBeal that we were introduced to that crazy computerized dancing baby. Remember when that was going around the internet like crazy? Let's just say Ally had a very vivid imagination. But the very best character on this show had to have been John Cage. Just his toilet practices alone were enough to have me rolling on the floor. His remote control toilet flush... so the toilet would be fresh when he got there, his nose whistling in court and his bathroom stall "dismounts" are among some of my favorite memories of the show. And wasn't it uber cool and progressive that they had a unisex bathroom? Do I think this would work in the real world? Hell no! But it made for some great scenes. Don't want to forget Richard Fish either. His absolutely hysterical wattle fetish was just over-the-top hilarious. I'm really surprised this program only last for 5 years. It was really something else.

It seems to me that in the past 8 years or so, most of the TV I watch is reality shows. I can admit it, I'm totally addicted! For a while there it was The Osbournes, but that grew old quite quickly. But there are some that I have stuck with for years. Of course the number one, being Survivor. Some seasons are better than others, some locations are better than others, but all in all I still love the whole premise of this program. From that very first season when Richard Hatch walked around in the buff, to just this past season's Fans vs. Favorites, I've watched and enjoyed them all. Favorite player of all time? Hands down, Rupert!!!!!!!!!!!! He was a scuzzy looking guy but what a complete sweetie! I swear, some small part of me was half in love with this man!

Most sexy Survivor in my opinion? That honor definitely goes to Ozzie. Yum yum YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't say I've watched every season of it, but I do adore Big Brother. This past season was great, and I'll scoot down in my chair now and say timidly that I had a slight... minor... crush on Adam. He was just so cuddly-bear looking. I know, I know, his eyes did weird things and he isn't the best looking man, but he just looked so huggable! I do have an all-time favorite BB player too. Evel Dick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wooooooooo hooooooooooooooo! How could you not love a man in his forties with bright pink streaks in his hair and tattoos all over his body? Okay, so maybe you wouldn't love someone like this, but he's right up my alley!

My very favorite reality show right now has got to be Ghost Hunters. It's on the SciFi network on Wednesday nights and I love to turn out the lights, snuggle up with my body pillow and watch the TAPS team in action. This is a real ghost hunting corporation that has a stellar reputation in their field. TAPS stands for The Atlantic Paranormal Society, and was founded by two Roto Rooter plumbers, Grant and Jason.
The most compelling thing about TAPS is that they study a supposedly haunted building with the intention of debunking a haunting, or in other words, they set out to prove a place is NOT haunted. But many times they have to admit, "Yep, it's haunted alright!" They go in with a team, carrying the most sophisticated equipment available and sometimes scare the poop out of me with their findings. Some of the creepiest stuff is from EVP... Electronic Voice Phenomena. These are voices or sounds that are not heard by the human ear, but are picked up on very sensitive recording devices. TAPS has investigated many historical and famous buildings, including prisons, insane asylums, revolutionary war sites, and near and dear to me, the St. Augustine lighthouse. And as if this wasn't good enough, there's also an International TAPS team, and their new episodes are starting next month. I love the little guy that's squatting down. That's Andy Andrews and that little sucker is afraid of NOTHING. He will crawl into the deepest, darkest hole to investigate without batting an eyelash. Crazy little booger!

Just a quick paragraph here on my favorite HGTV shows. Hands-down favorite on HGTV is House Hunters. I don't know why, but I just love the show, love Suzanne Wang, love the whole premise of it. The best part is when they forward to months later and you get to see how the buyer decorated their new house. Fun stuff!

For some great design work and lots of delicious naked chest, I get my fix by watching Color Splash. Yes, I know David is gay, but I don't care. He's hot, and the tattoo on his left arm gives me the warm fuzzies, with a couple of tingles mixed in for good measure. Do you have "THE list" with your spouse? You know, the one where if you met a certain celebrity in your lifetime, it'd be okay with your better half if you slept with them? Well, David Bromstad is at the top of my list, and if I have to convert him into a hetero for a few hours, dammit, I'll do it! Slurp!

And now... a drumroll please... (yes, this is finally coming to an end!) My all-time, very favorite, most missed show is... Northern Exposure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you'd never watched this series, I feel horrible for you because you missed one of the most well-written, quirky, zany, crazy programs ever to be put on TV. There wasn't a boring character to be had, and in Cicely Alaska just about anything could happen and did happen. I can't tell you how many hours of pure enjoyment I got out of NE, both while it was being aired, and then later in reruns. If you've never seen it, go to and watch some of the scenes and you'll see why I loved it so much. And of course I must mention that John Corbett, who is a MAJOR hottie was one of the stars and played their radio DJ, Chris. Oh my word, this man has the smoothest, sexiest voice of just about anyone I can think of, and even now when I'm watching a commercial and he's doing the voice-over, I just melt. You may also remember him for his recurring role on Sex and the City. Mmm. What a man!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this very long walk down TV's memory lane with me. Believe it or not, it took a long time to get this post together, but in my opinion it was well worth it just to go back and reminisce over all these wonderful shows that have made me happy over the years. It's been a long walk, and now I'm tired, so...

Until next time, Justine :o )

20 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • Bridget

    You've mentioned many of my favorites. I'm sure you were watching many of them in reruns. I remember being quite young when shows like Donna Reed and The Munsters were on. I can't believe you included Evel Dick! LOL

  • EvelDick

    why thank you very much

  • Raxx - A day in the life

    This was fun! The only TV show listed i am not familiar with is NE oh and The Magic Garden (never heard of it) I loved electric company! It was funny!

    Hmmm... shows that i miss are
    Definitely Ally Mc Beal
    And yes! I admimit it! I watched Beverly Hills 90210

  • Buffie

    LOL! I really enjoyed to "tome" you wrote yesterday!!! Seriously It could've been a book it was so long! But a really good book! lol. TV just ain't what it used to be if you ask me! : )

  • mrsben

    Hi Justine: I really enjoyed this little walk down T.V. Memory Lane.
    Realize it took a while to put it all together and you did a great job. Many of them were also 'my' favourites as well.....scarry thought eh? (Smiles) Re John Corbett, I agree....hunk-a-hunka. Wishing you a week full of sunshine! -Brenda-

  • SchmeckyGirl

    LMAO! Whoa! You watched a lot of TV! And apparently so did I!

    By the way... I saw Alice's bedroom. The one where she got hurt and the whole family went in two by two to try to make her feel better because she couldn't go to the dance with Sam.

    Did you know Morgan Freeman got his start on Electric Company? He was the guy on roller skates that read signs. Love him. Loved that show.

    Did you watch Zoom? It may have been a NY show too. Loved Magic Garden!

    I loved Rupert!!! He was awesome. He let me down the second time he was on though.

    Adam. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Yikes. Between his eyes and his mouth... not sure what you see in him.

    My little sister wanted to marry Tattoo. She didn't realize he was a Little Person. lol.

    I can't believe my parents let me watch All In The Family! That's so not a childresn's show. lol. Loved George Jefferson too! Florence was the best. Mr. Benson was the guy that painted letters all over the place on Electric Company. Remember that?

    I still get the Munsters mixed up with the Addam's Family.

    Alright, I'm done reminiscing with you.

    Oh and it's "I wonder if SHE and Sam the butcher". Gotcha! tee hee hee

  • SchmeckyGirl

    Hey I just remembered what else I was going to write.

    Maybe Oscar the Grouch was too much of a bad influence on you... maybe that's why you hate cleaning!

  • SchmeckyGirl

    I think you should call this your Froggy Bloggy. What's with the Cafe thing? All the coffee? I pronounced that Caw-fee.

  • artis1111

    I wish thy still had Northern on. They have too much crap on now. That is why I don't mind going to bed early.I can still catch some on or I do not like game shows! Kathy

  • Tootsie

    wow...did my hair inspire you? some of those shows are as old as my mullet! lol...
    this was a wonderful idea justine...thanks for the trip down memory lane to some of my favorite shows!

  • SchmeckyGirl

    You would think that with no email you would have all the time in the world to post your comments. You don't need email to do it... just go to your dashboard of your blog!!!

  • SchmeckyGirl

    Spending time with family instead of us? That's ridiculous!

    Oh and I know how much time I saved you with the google "images"!!! YOU OWE ME BIG TIME MISSY!

  • Justine

    Okay, who's messing with me, posting as Evel Dick? Whoever you are, cut it out. Got me all veklempt there for a moment! LOL

    Justine :o )

  • SchmeckyGirl

    Yay! You changed it to Froggy Bloggy! I'm so influential! Anyway, I have no idea how to change the email. Can you just to to my account in your dashboard? Your account of course, not MY account. ;)

  • French

    Too funny so many of my favorites too! Love love Big Brother!!! Hey how about this one maybe is was Canadian only but sure makes you wonder what the heck where they thinking??? You Tube it if needed
    HR Puffnstuff~~~lol French;)

  • SchmeckyGirl

    She and Sam! She and Sam!

    Hey did you ever see the Buggaloos!?!??!

  • Patty

    Northern Exposure - one of my all time FAVORITE shows!!!!!!

  • Penny

    What a fun blog. I know I'm older than you and I watched Gilligan's, The Munsters, and The Adams Family over and over. The weird thing is I never watched more than 5 episodes of Friends. I'll have to buy the DVD's one day. Northern Exposure totally rocked. Except for that slit eyed goober of a doctor that never really had any fun. They could have written him off and I wouldn't have missed him. I think it's cool you have "the list". That is such a riot! My list has changed over the years as the one's I used to like have gotten older right along with me. HOWEVER, whoever Rod Stewart is married to at the time can just step aside should we ever meet and do a little greetin'. HA! HAVE YOU EVER SEEN PICTURES OF ROD STEWART'S HOME? It was featured in Architectural Digest a few years ago. Drop dead perfect, except that they used the same floral arrangement in about 3 pictures. The Evil guy is sexy in a tough way, but I bet he's really sweet for all you girls to be swoonin' like you are! Thanks for the fun post! You really do know how to orchestrate the photos girl. Penny

  • mrsben

    Knock, knock is Justine home? I am still waiting for you to post a baby picture of yourself. -Brenda-

  • Elizabeth

    Hi! I found your blog through Gollum. I, too love David B. and Northern Exposure. During the writer's strike, I got all the season's of NE on DVD and watched them again and they still stand up. Chris is still interestingly existential, the tension between Joel and Maggie is still there, and Marilyn is still an enigma! You are very funny; I'll be back!