Classic television will never be completely forgotten or out of style as it brought so much to television screens in living rooms across the country. Watching reruns of classic TV shows will never fall out of fashion either. Not with those of us who grew up watching and learning from these classic TV shows. And not with the new generation of classic TV fans that the re-airing of these classics in television are creating now.
Some of us can remember that being youngsters in the 70s we rushed home from school to get started on finishing our homework right away so that we could watch such classic TV shows as Gilliganís Island and I Love Lucy before suppertime. Some of our primetime classic TV selections included Bewitched, Happy Days, The Brady Bunch, Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and The Partridge family. Some of these classic TV shows were still being filmed into the 80s and were joined by what are now also classic television shows we remember fondly and still enjoy watching today. Laverne & Shirley, One Day at a Time, Welcome Back Kotter, Barretta, Starsky & Hutch, Hillstreet Blues, and Mork & Mindy. When Cagney & Lacey hit the classic TV scene in the 80s, young women were empowered to dream of going into professions usually reserved for males as these two women fought crime on the mean streets of NYC and in the sometimes equally mean environment of the male dominated workplace. Our Saturday mornings were reserved for Fat Albert and the Gang, Scooby Doo, and the Jetsons. Sunday evenings we watched classic television such as Hee Haw and Disney Family Showcase Theatre.
The raunchy, pushed to the limits reality television programs that have replaced old TV shows on most networks today have nothing on those classic TV shows from the 70s and 80s. We learned true family values from the Bradyís the Waltonís, The Ingals Family, and the Partridges, not to mention the Cleavers in Leave it to Beaver, and Timmy, his Mom and super canine hero and friend, Lassie. These classic TV shows from the 70s and 80s continue to teach the family values that would otherwise be lost to the generation of children now growing up in broken homes, in families headed by only one parent, or in families in which both parents are forced to work just to make ends meet.
Those old classic TV shows taught the importance of moral values and the strength and wisdom found with several generations of a family living together or close by to one another .We learned how to share with one another and how to make friends. We learned that it was important to never lie to our parents and that they would always love us no matter what mistakes we made. We learned that there were solutions to every problem, no matter how big or small they might be. We learned to believe in ourselves and to dream big. We learned about falling in love and how to mend a broken heart. We learned all of this and so much more from these classic TV shows that will live on in those of us who have come to love them and through the television networks still brave enough to provide a platform for quality, family values shows like classic TV shows.
For many of us these shows are so ingrained in our memories it is as if Ritchie, Potsie and Mouth were our high school chums and we were right there with them throughout all of the teenage angst and mischief they got into. At the time many of us would sit and wonder what it would be like to be a Brady or Partridge. Who among us didnít wish we owned the General Lee and could do some off- roading that rivaled that of the Duke brothers? Mork made us hopeful that it there was life on other planets, that they would be as hilarious and ready to make friends as he was. Oh and how many of our big brothers shot BB guns into the ground when Mom wasnít looking because they were intent on finding oil and becoming millionaires like good olí Jed Clampitt did? Okay so not everything we learned from these classic TV shows was something Mom was thrilled to find us reenacting. But is sure was a whole lot of fun. Classic TV encouraged you to use your imagination. Not at all like the mindless stuff that permeates television and our children our bombarded with today that spark little, if any imagination.
No, classic television will never be completely forgotten or go out of style. There are too many of us old and young who will keep the demand for these old TV shows alive.
~Ben Anton 2007
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