Monday, March 30, 2009

Re-Run's On My Mind! (and I don't mean the chubby guy from What's Happenin')

Ever have those evenings where even with several hundred channels to choose from, there’s nothing on that you want to watch? This is one of those nostalgia blog entries, you know, “When I was a kid...”. So, when I was a kid we had seven TV channels - 2,4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13. If you had a rabbit ears antenna (or a clothes hanger) hooked up to the TV, with some patience and positioning you could pick up a few fuzzy UHF channels, usually Spanish ones. Obviously, viewing choices were limited so the majority of shows were common knowledge even if you weren’t a regular viewer. By that I mean even if you weren’t a big fan of a particular sitcom, you kind of knew the theme song and the characters because with such limited choices, sometimes you simply watched what was on. Of those seven channels, in the NY/NJ area, 2 was CBS, 4 was NBC, 7 was ABC and 13 was public broadcasting. The others were local affiliates and their schedules consisted mainly of local news, sports, lots of movies, and reruns, which is the subject of this post.
There were about a dozen sitcoms that were in perpetual reruns (much like The Simpsons and Seinfeld today) with I Love Lucy (the favorite of brother Pete and I) frequently on twice a day. The others were Gilligan’s Island, The Munsters, Addams Family, I Dream of Jeannie, Dick Van Dyke, Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and The Honeymooners.
There were other series that were broadcast often, but stations would occasionally put them on hiatus and bring them back a few months later, unlike the aformentioned which were on almost constantly. These would be Get Smart, My Favorite Martian, Make Room for Daddy, Petticoat Junction, Mr. Ed, My Three Sons, Leave It To Beaver, F Troop and Hogans Heroes.
I thought of a few more that don’t fit into either category, they had short shelf lifes in the re-run world - Hazel, Father Knows Best and the Mothers-in-Law. The Abbott and Costello Show was on alot, more than these three but not as often as the others.
The Little Rascals were movie shorts, not a TV series, but they were a staple, particularly in the a.m., and we watched them a million times. Unfortunately they were butchered to fit two episodes in a half hour. Last Christmas, Pete gave me a DVD set of The Little Rascals, restored and uncut, and he had it autographed by one of the originals, Dickie Moore! He works in the same building as Pete or something. Now, here’s the weird thing - I’d be watching an old Little Rascals short that I haven’t seen in maybe 20 or 30 years, yet I could quote what was about to come out of the characters’ mouth before they said it!! I was a little freaked out by this (much the same way you might hear a song you havent heard in ages but can still sing the lyrics) and it made me wonder just how much all of those hours of TV, especially watching the same episodes over and over, is buried in our grey matter, sitting dormant, just waiting to be brought to the surface!? Kind of weird, kind of sad, and kind of amazing all at the same time...

1 comment:

Scanman said...

I definitely get frustrated at early evening TV. I recently hooked up to to watch the tree stooges, barney miller and mary tyler moore.