My good friend J.E. from Moment to Moment http://jimmyrf.blogspot.com/ posted this fun list a few days ago. Now we all know that I am a sucker for a good list! As J.E. and I have many of our likes and dislikes in common, it's fun to compare our answers. But when it comes to TV, however, I haven't watched TV regularly in about 8 years (give or take a year!) So some of the original questions in J.E.'s post that relate to current programming are complete unknowns to me.
Oh dear, what to do? What to do??
I know, I'll make it into a journey through Nostalgic TV-land....back to the days when there were programs even I watched religiously. There was not much need to censor what my daughter watched or what I watched either! There wasn't much that was too grim or gory or violent, or adult, or stupid to watch. The glory days! You remember the good old days, right? I miss those days of TV.
(Just to clarify all of my answers refer to entertainment shows only, not news, documentaries, interviews, live coverage or breaking news!)
1. Name a TV show series in which you've seen every episode at least twice: M.A.S.H., Friends, Dick Van Dyke.
2. Name a show you couldn't miss: The Carol Burnett Show
3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to watch a show: All the actors in the shows I watched. The Cheers crew, the M.A.S.H. ensemble, Tony Randall & Jack Klugman's Odd Couple, Mary Tyler Moore and her gang, Dick Van Dyke's show with Rosemarie, Morey, Amsterdam, Mary somebody, Carl Reiner, et al., plus the Bunkers and the Stivics! and of course, Laugh-In. Both Bob Newhart shows ( the tag ending of the last of the 2nd Newhart show was pure unadulterated brilliance!!) All the big name actors in the dramas presented by Hallmark, and so many more! They were all Actors with a capital "A"!
4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to watch a show: Probably anyone born after 1970!
5. Name a show you can, and do, quote from: Cheers, M.A.S.H. and All in the Family, and Laugh-In! ("Here come de judge!"--Sammy Davis and everyone else!) and of course, WKRP ("As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly"--Arthur Carlson) (Nearly every sentence Les Nessman ever said!)
6. Name a show you like that no one else that you know enjoys: Wings (in reruns....before it got too dumb for words!)
7. Name a TV show which you’ve been known to sing the theme song: Designing Women (This isn't really a fair answer, Designing Women's theme song was Ray Charles singing "Georgia"....which is just flat out a great song!) And of course, "Gilligan's Island" theme was such a catchy little ditty!)
8. Name a show you would recommend everyone to watch: There were many but many of the ones I like were quirky and disappeared before they could build an audience! Sports Night. for instance!
9. Name a TV series you own: None, I do, however, have the last episode of M.A.S.H.
10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium, but has surprised you with his/her acting choices in television: I can't think of anyone specifically right now.
11. What is your favorite episode of one your favorite series? There were so many, but the funniest single episodes I ever saw included.....Laura trying not to open Rob's package....Rob convinced they had the wrong baby.... Niles trying to stay awake after taking a strong sedative accidentally on Frasier.
12. Name a show you keep meaning to watch, but you just haven’t gotten around to yet: None, I don't watch any TV anymore.
13. Ever quit watching a show because it was so bad? How much time have you got?? There were so many that were great, but stayed around too long and just got worse and worse....i.e., All in the Family, Designing Women (sorry, J.E.), Wings, Rockford Files, Becker, The West Wing (after Aaron Sorkin was forced out as the writer), and on and on.
14. Name a show that’s made you cry multiple times: M.A.S.H.
15. What do you eat when you watch TV? Potato Chips with onion dip! (See how long ago I watched tv! I haven't had chips and dip in YEARS!)
16. How often do you watch TV? Never
17. What’s the last TV show you watched? It was probably something on HGTV, but I don't really remember.
18. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of TV? I could have watched musical variety shows all day long! I liked some of the game shows (who doesn't like Jeopardy??) Still I loved a well written sit com where the characters developed and grew!!
19. What was the first TV show you were obsessed with? I don't think I was ever "obsessed" with a tv show!
20. What TV show do you wish you never watched? None, I didn't ever watch things I didn't like.
21. What’s the weirdest show you enjoyed? Deep Space Nine, I just loved that show. You just had to love Quark and his brother/cousin (whose name I can't recall.)
22. What was the single most memorable progam you ever saw on TV? A production of "Ethan Frome" with Sterling Hayden, Julie Harris, and Kim Stanley from 1960 Dupont Show of the Month. Unbelievably good. It was stunning! I was only 14 years old, but I knew I was seeing genius! I have never seen a better production of anything ever!
23. What is the funniest TV show you have ever watched? ALWAYS funny....Soap, M.A.S.H. for the best funny overall.
24. What show was canceled too early into its run? Sports Night....it had great potential and a great cast. What a shame.
Well, there in a rather lengthy nutshell are the shows I loved that are no more. Thanks for accompanying me back to the days when TV entertained. Without them (or others of the same caliber) TV is nothing more than that "vast wasteland" that Newton Minnow described way back in 1961. His exact quote??
When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there for a day without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.
-- Newton N. Minow, "Television and the Public Interest", address to the National Association of Broadcasters, Washington, D.C., May 9, 1961.The man knew whereof he spoke! Well, at least in my opinion. :)