Classic TV - WKRP - "Oh, the humanity!"
A friend of mine posted this mashed up video of what was one of the funniest bits in TV history on Facebook yesterday and I had to repost it. As did several others. I also sent it out to my team at work for a little pre-Thanksgiving Day fun.
One of my co-workers and I went off on how much we loved this show. We both crushed on Andy. I admitted that I wanted to be as cool as Johnny Fever. What was amazing, considering it was on the air from 1978 to 1982, was how much I remembered of it.
I rattled off the characters' names like they were members of my own family. Andy Travis, Les Nesman, Herb Tarlek, Mr. Carlson, Mrs. Carlson, Bailey Quarters, Venus Flytrap and the aforementioned Johnny Fever. The only character's whose last name I couldn't come up with was Jennifer's. I even remembered Herb's wife, Bunny.
There are some TV shows that I watch now and that I've been watching for several years and I can't name all of the characters. Detective Ryan's first name on Castle? Can't recall. Seriously. I know the actor is Seamus Dever so I got that going for me.
Why is that? Is it because these shows were on when my brain was still young and capable of remembering better? Have I filled my head with so much useless trivia that there's not room for new stuff? Is there so much more in the world competing for my attention that I'm not able to store all the data?
I suspect it's a little of each of those theories but I believe the main reason is that TV was so much better in those days. MASH, All In The Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi. All great shows that managed to be intelligent, funny, culturally relevant and thought provoking at the same time.
Not all shows were all that great, I admit. Remember Manimal? Or, even the original Battlestar Galactica?
I'm not trying to be the cranky oldster, "Back in the day..." There are some good shows on now. But, it's hard to find that same originality that we had back in the day. There, I said it.
Come on, how many versions of American Idol, NICS, CSI, Big Brother and Dancing With The Stars do we really need? I need none (except for competitive cooking shows but that's just a seriously crazy addiction of mine). However, I would love more shows like Arrested Development, Deadwood and the new Battlestar Galactica.
I guess I should find some comfort in that at least I have my memories, Netflix and a lot of potential DVD re-watching of the old "classics".