Here’s a good TV show Idea: Macgyver, a loose Cannon. walks into a bar with some Friends, (I think it was called Cheers). He’s there to meet up with Mama’s Family, for some Good Times, to order Chips, and maybe pilfer the Silver Spoons. It was an Emergency that they discuss some Mission Impossible. Keeping the job All In The Family was proving harder than Remington Steele. It was no Small Wonder when Will & Grace reported The Jefferson’s had discovered The Night Gallery and were going to M*A*S*H it. They stayed there, Lost in The Outer Limits of the well-lit room, long past Twilight. Zone’d out about what to do.Just then The Facts Of Life slapped them in the face as The Fugitive, aguy named Columbo, called for SWAT yelling “Car 54 Where Are You?”
Great idea, huh? No not really. You might say it’s been done, and you’d be right.It’s been done over and over and over again. Only this time, in today’s expanded TV market, they’ve added some serious drama. Even the comedies are all about the drama. Drama shows are everywhere. There are cop dramas, hospital dramas, fire department dramas, and military dramas. And all of them look past the station, to the personal lives of the characters. Those poor people. They have to work in their stressful jobs every day, only to find out their significant other is having an affair with a gang member, their children are snorting M&M’s, and the dog has embezzled the bank accounts so he can run for public office. I even have noted a drama about the drama department, of an arts and drama school. Now that’s a lot of drama.
Now, in truth I’m not a huge fan of TV, but at least there is something for all the complainers out there. Look, in the before time, you could count the number of TV choices one hand and still have a finger left to express your opinion on the show’s quality. Today there are hundreds of stations and still no one produces anything worth watching. That’s why I am so happy of a new trend in TV. Re-Run Channels.
As the opening paragraph suggests, I mostly watch these channels of old, trite, yet tried and true, television. Why? The simple answer is: simplicity. Back then, the shows knew about this strange thing, loosely referred to as an ending. They tied up all the loose ends in the time each show had been allotted. Then next week came up with a whole new set of complications to resolve, which, though similar, had nothing to dowith the first show’s issues. Consequently, if your sons band concert fell on your favorite show’s air day, you could rest easily in the knowledge, you would see the missed episode in the summer slow season. Today all the shows are tied together with the details of each character’s life. If you attend the concert, you’ll never find out what happened with Mary’s complicated hemorrhoid operation, or why Bob’s turtle was assassinated by the mob.
I like that. I like having my TV shows wrapped up in a nice little package. No conflict so complex, it can’t be solved in a half hour is a great mantra. And apparently, I am not alone. My cable company provides me with ten channels of Retro TV. So, many others must be watching it. Think about it. If I receive eighty-six stations and ten are retro, that’s better than twelve per-cent old television being shown. I’m good, but I’m not twelve per-cent of the cable company’s subscribers. If I am, maybe they should hire some salesmen, or better yet find a new line of business. This one isn’t showing much success.
Another thing that keeps my retro viewing habits alive is the growing number of reality shows. I really don’t care about celebrities training to be mercenaries, or ten people fighting on a desert island. It’s boring, and doesn’t even have a laugh-track. It’s getting to the point where these show producers are so needy for something real(?) to show that they’ll put anything on TV. To test this, I videoed my neighbor shoveling his driveway, added music and titles, then sent it off to five different production houses as a joke, calling it Perils Of Living In the Snow Belt. The joke’s on me. Three of them are currently in a bidding war for the rights. But I’m getting abit off topic.
What I’m really trying to say is, retro TV is truly a force for good in this world. Think about it. All the people in all the iterations of Law & Order are deeply flawed. On the other hand, those guys from Chips are just really smiley nice guys, out there, saving people. The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs is a dismal dirge, compared to the staccato beat of Bonanza. Seriously, if we could all be like Andy Griffith, or MacGyver the world be a better place.
And speaking of MacGyver, he is so much cooler than Bull, and he’s so much smarter too. Bull could never make explosives out of soap, sugar and surgical lube. And by the way, isn’t it great that when you’re in the dungeon of a Columbian drug-lord, there is always surgical lube and fresh-squeezed orange juice handy. Just sitting on a dusty, rusty, corroded shelf, just waiting to be turned into a pesticide, or nuclear reactor depending on the proportions and the amount of duct tape you add. Speaking of duct tape, If I’ve learned one thing in this life by watching TV it’s this: always go to the bathroom early. I don’t knowwhat that has to do with anything else, but I thought I’d mention it.
Anyway, the watchers of retro are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Even aswe speak, we are starting to lobby the president for more Gilligan’s Island. I know the president will be sympathetic to our cause, being a TV celebrity himself. We would have produced a magazine, but there was a Wonder Woman marathon onsatellite that day. One must have their priorities straight, mustn’t one? LyndaCarter, Hubba Hubba.
So,watch more retro TV and even more will come. But don’t be fooled by new shows calling themselves Hawaii 5-0, and Magnum PI. They are not the same. And these new guys have more personal problems than Captain Kirk has alien girlfriends. And that’s a lot.
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