Thursday, May 14, 2009

Weekend Assignment #266: TV that Mattered

Hey, Karen picked one of my favorite subjects; TV of my youth. I did a lot of TV watching when I was a kid but it didn't rot my brain at all. 

Weekend Assignment #266: The release of the blockbuster Star Trek prequel movie reboots a franchise for a cult tv show that had a huge impact on generations of sf tv viewers. Is there a tv series from your youth that you remember especially fondly?

Does she mean only one? Wow, that is near impossible for me. I'll talk about a few, with one being the most fondly remembered. Sound good to you? 

Now, some of these shows may not match up with my age since I watched in reruns, but I don't think that matters. 

One show I watched all the time, and still do, is M*A*S*H. Since this show was on forever I watched it as a combination of reruns and first run episodes. I clearly remember recording (on a Betamax!) the finale for my mom since it was her bowling night. I believe I was in eight grade then, so it was okay to leave me alone, don't go calling the cops on her. 

I think I like the first few years of the show the best. With the team of Hawkeye, Trapper, Henry and crew, it was just the right mix of comedy and seriousness. Maybe a little to heavy on the comedy in the beginning since I thought it would be fun to be in a M*A*S*H unit when I was young and impressionable. 

I think the last few years of the show, especially after Frank and Radar were gone, weren't quite so fun, but it was still interesting to watch. But, really, wasn't Col. Potter just a bit old to still be running things out there. When I watch it now it looks like he was in his 70's. Maybe he wasn't, but shouldn't he have been a desk jockey somewhere? 

I also watched Magnum PI all the time. Though, at the end of the show I was out of high school, so I watched it less. Wasn't that a perfect show for a teenage boy, though? A guy lives in a mansion, gets to drive in a Ferrari to catch bad guys, and has friends that run a bar and own a helicopter? Who wouldn't want to be Thomas Magnum?! Oh, and he lived in Hawaii! Jeez. Actually, my ringtone on my cellphone is the theme song from the show. Jenn found it for me, but I kept it. Too bad I'm going to lose it when I get a new phone. Did I ever mention that when Jenn and I were in Hawaii a long time ago I wanted to rent a Ferrari for the day? That would have been great, and expensive. But, mostly great. 

The last show I'll mention is one the Jenn rolls her eyes at every time I watch it. It started off as a Movie of the Week thing a long time ago, actually the pilot debuted before I was born, but the show continued in various formats for a long time. That show was Columbo.  This is one of my all time favorite shows. 

I don't know why I like this show so much. I love watching Columbo trap the supposedly smart bad guys and bring them down in his own charming, bumbling way. No guns involved, by the way. I don't think I've ever seen him fire a gun. 

Sure, some of the movies from the 90's and later weren't as good as the classic episodes, but they were still good. I think a lot of it had to do with Peter Falk himself. He knew the character so well that he could just slide into it, good script or not, and make Columbo come alive. 

You know, I'm sitting here trying to pick out a favorite episode, but I can't. It's not that I don't remember any, it's just hard to pick a favorite. I think that is a sign of a good show. At least that is my opinion, and I'm sticking to it. 

To make it easy on all of you I'm leaving off Quincy, Mork and Mindy, Speed Racer, and many, many more. 

Extra Credit: Have you bought the aforementioned tv series on DVD? If not, would you if it were readily available at a reasonable price?

No, I don't have any of these shows on DVD. Shows that I do have are, for the most part, shows that won't come back and were cancelled early in their lifespan. Plus, Columbo is kind of expensive on DVD. At least last time I looked. 

What are some of your favorite shows? 


Florinda said...

Since you mentioned it, I've been meaning to ask this for awhile anyway: Is Quincy named after Quincy?

I actually don't remember Columbo very well, but I loved M*A*S*H. I like the later years a little more, but the way the wrote out Henry Blake is still a shocker, especially for a comedy.

It was hard to pick just one show for this assignment, no argument. But considering that there was plenty of junk TV in our youth, we're lucky to have had good shows to choose from.

Mike said...

Florinda: Yes, he is. Actually, Jenn came up with the name, she knew I'd like it.

You don't remember Columbo that well? Well, you need to go find some reruns. :)

Karen Funk Blocher said...

I've said for a long time that MASH was the greatest sitcom ever made. That's largely because it's barely a sitcom at all - nobody sits around in a living room making wisecracks, and it just doesn't have any of the standard sitcom trappings. But mostly it has to do with the writing and the great characters and the actors who played them. Yes, the end was a little weak, but I like BJ better than Trapper, and later Margaret better than early Margaret, and Charles better than Frank. I guess the middle of the run is my favorite!