Saturday, May 26, 2012

Flashback to TV Sitcoms

Who remembers all these old TV shows?  Anybody remember what it was like to grow up in the seventies and  watching all the old shows?  It was great and today they are classics.  A sign of the times and how things used to be.

 Of course Everyone Loves Raymond came later, but was still great.  The grandparents made the show.  There was always something to laugh about.  And the brother was dorky and funny, in a goofy sort of way.
 I can't begin to think of how many times I saw all these shows.  And the first time, I saw each one, I always would think they were gonna make it off that darn island.  And of course the Ginger and Mary Anne had all the men but Thurston swoon.  And Gilligan was always doing stupid things.  And the doctor was the most handsome.  But we were little kids.  Who cared?  All we wanted to see was for them to get off the dumb island.

And the catchy tune of their theme song had us from the beginning.  You weren't a kid growing up in the seventies if you didn't watch all these shows over and over.

The worst one was the Brady Bunch.  My dad would come home from Oakhurst Dairy and would hear that show come on.  Must have seen all the episodes a thousand times.  Marcia, Marcia Marcia.  Jan getting glasses.  Jan doing tap dances and flunking at every thing she did until she ended up (liking writing? forgetting what she ended up excelling at).  Cindy losing Kitty Caryall.  Peter's voice cracking.  All of them singing on stage.  Bobby rescuing a stray cat.  Nosy Alice and her Butcher boyfriend, and the most stupid one where Dad's architect plans got mixed up with the silly poster and it shows them all running all over the park to get the right one to him.
And must we not forget the reunion episodes.
My Dad hated that show.  Maybe that's why when he came home from work, he would change out of his work clothing and hide out in the bedroom and read his baseball books.  And Mom would join him for a little bit.  R & R.  LOL.

 The Golden Girls were awesome.  I really can't remember watching too many episodes when I was growing up.  Maybe it wasn't a favorite show of mine at the time.  But last fall, I discovered myself watching a lot of the episodes for a few weeks.  They were quite funny.  The oldest one was always as blunt as could be.  Betty White is awesome and still is.
 When I was growing up, I also remembered watching this show in the early years.  I remember the theme song the most.  And I remember her accent.  I don't remember a lot about that show, except that he loved the country and she begged for the city life.  Sound familiar?  This probably still happens all over the world even in today's world.  One half longs for a simple life outside the city and the other likes the more busy lifestyle of living in a big city.  And I guess when he put down that pitchfork it must have meant they were to stay in the country.
 I remember watching this one a lot too.  Loved the song to this one and the old fashioned theme of the show always seemed to fascinate me.  I forget who was who.  Jed?  That's about all I remember.  I was definitely younger.  The one in the back with her short hair always seemed a little prim and the older woman was an image of an old spinster that most of us girls at a young age never wanted to be when we were older.

Back in our day, we still worried about being an old spinster even as a young girl growing up in the seventies.  Many of the shows in our day and all the older black and white shows that we grew up with, but probably were years older than we were always had an old spinster in it.  It was common.  Along with Nuns.

You don't see too many Nuns in the black and white garb nowadays.  Women that didn't have children.  Took the sacred vows.  There are some today, but they are modernized and dress like anybody else.
But there aren't as many as there were years ago.  It was more the norm that a young woman decided to lead a path to Nunnery.

 Laverne and Shirley was a favorite.  Loved their opening song.  Lenny and Squiggy were always hovering.  Squiggy used to creep me out.  Lenny was just as moronic but not as bad.  We always thought that the guys were going to get some action, but no.  Not on their life.   And of course the girls were always getting into trouble.

Kind of like a modern day Lucy and Ethel.

I Love Lucy was awesome too.  We were always watching those shows too.  And then a few months ago, I found myself watching I Love Lucy Marathon evening one night.  And they were really quite funny.  One episode they were camping at a cabin trying to get some alone time (Lucy and Ricky) and suddenly a famous couple had rented the cabin for the same week, so they all stayed together.  And then the two women ended up losing their men to fishing.  And of course dressed up to get their attention.  Didn't work of course.  Then they left and Lucy and Ricky thought they were going to get privacy and then Ethel and Mert show up for the next week.
And the other funny one was Lucy and Ethel in a hotel room and Lucy sees a hole in the wall.  And she peeks through it and sees a famous actor in his bathtub.  Then Ethel wants to see too, so Lucy goes and gets a fingernail file so they both can see.  Then the wall suddenly must be made of paper and she accidentally makes the hole a lot bigger and the actor suddenly sees both women poking through the wall.  And he says, "I need a bigger fan." or something like that.

The Love Boat came a little later, but was still awesome.  Loved the theme song.  Was always hoping that Lauren would end up with one of the two guys.  Gopher and I'm forgetting the other guy's name.  And couples were always ending up in love even if there was a fight or a spat.  The crew made sure that love was in the cards.
Mr. Rogers.  A classic.  I made sure at least my first two kids watched his show.  In my mind, I think every child should grow up on his show.  He always knew just what to say to make every child special and wonderful just the way you are.  I think that was his most important value that remained throughout all his shows.  And didn't we all know he was going to waltz in that door every day with one of his trademark sweaters.  Take a coat off and hang something on his coat rack or maybe he put it in a closet.  I didn't realize until I was older that he was quite tall.

And looking into that picture on the wall would take us to so many places to learn something new each day. And the trolley train would take us to a sort of fantasy land where puppets talked.  I would have to say that I sure was afraid of Lady Elaine.  Or was that the actual woman that was in the show.  I'm thinking of the puppet that controlled the carousel.  She used to be in my nightmares.  It had to be her nose.  It freaked me out.

And the owl that popped out of his tree.  And the life sized panda bear.  A little scary too.

I was very little when Captain Kangaroo was on.  I vaguely remember him.  Mr. GreenJeans doesn't even ring a bell.  All I remembered from that show was the bunny.  I must have connected with the bunny.  I was in Nursery school at that time.
Three's Company was also another great one.  This seemed to be a more flirty show.  Jack and his friend, Larry always seemed like they wanted to score some girls.  And there was that nosy Mr. Roper who was always hoping something would happen to his wife.  It always seemed like they were nagging each other.  And she was always in the perpetual old lady robe.  And Crissy Snow was the first classic Dumb Blonde way before Reese Witherspoon started in her two Barbie Type Stupid Blonde movies.

RIP Jack Ritter.

And some of the other sitcoms that come to mind are The Facts of Life, Welcome Back Kotter, Good Times (Jay Jay was really funny), The Jeffersons (his maid was funny), that other show with Bowzer in it.  I had a best friend in grammar school that would crack up laughing every time my dad would imitate him.

Who can remember Tootie coming in with her roller skates.  And it wasn't until recent years that I realized George Clooney started out on that show.  All actors and actresses start out somewhere.

Seinfeld was another great one.  My favorite from that show was George.  But they were all funny.

And then later on, my mom developed a liking to Mad about You and Everyone Loves Raymond.  And maybe Friends too.

And then there was 90120 and Melrose Place.  My sister and I were watching those two when we shared a first apartment together.

And then moving on to more present day, but still in the past for a few there was In Living Color, the Drew Carey Show.  The bald guy was so funny.

And more recent is Curb Your Enthusiasm.

I bet all those shows in the seventies kept us watching for hours.  OMG I'm almost forgetting another fav.  Happy Days.  Who didn't want to love the Fonz?  He was the coolest of the cool.

And who did all of us little girls want to fall in love with?  Shawn Cassidy!!!!  Okay, he's music, but so what.  He was of the seventies and we had his posters.  I remember growing up spending hours in a tent made from mom's best quilts hung on the clothesline for the whole day all summer.  And what did we do?  What else?  Play with barbies and sew up a Shawn Cassidy doll.  Okay, that was me.  It took me all day to make him.  Probably my very first sewing attempt.

Lest we not forget The Partridge Family.  Those four colorful characters sliding down a slide (forgetting that one).  It was some show that came on in the afternoon shortly after we got home from school.  Banana Splits.  Also the After school specials shows.  I'm remembering one where there was a girl that pretended she was 18 so she could have someone like Peter Frampton like her Leif Garrett or some other young music star of the time.  And she was really 13.

Well that's all I can think of for all those shows right now.  Feel free to mention shows you remember and like.  You might jog our memory.  Way too many good ones to count them all.

And they all taught us a great lesson in life.  Laughter is the best medicine.

Jennifer Jo Fay

May 26, 2012

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