Oh, Me!

Published 3:40 pm Thursday, March 22, 2012

There are, I suppose, some bad things about wanting to be caught in a time warp, but I'm having a difficult time thinking of them.

Whether it's from a forgetful memory or simply rose colored glasses, I don't know, but things just seemed to be better then-though I somehow think our parents think the same thing about our generation.

Buffy! Jodie! Sissy! Mr. French! Uncle Bill!

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Recently, the satellite-less Chapman home had the joy of turning back the clock with some classic TV. For those inclined such as us (by choice, of course) and still operate with an antenna tapping into the free broadcasts over the air, Me TV (which stands for Memorable Entertainment) has helped us do exactly that with an offering of classic television series. It airs on channel 12.2.

Oh, hi Bob…How are things at the office? Howard keeps looking for you. Are your patients well, or is your patience wearing thin like mine.

Channel 12 out of Richmond offers the service with a plethora of viewing options dating back to such black and white classics as the Rifleman and Twilight Zone to more contemporary (and we use the term loosely) offerings.

Chip, tell Robbie and Ernie that three sons are enough. We're not going for eight-that's too much.

Sometimes, old TV shows evoke memories of bean bag chairs and recliners and non-remote TVs. Still, sometimes they seem a bit more hokey than what you remember watching them as a child. Not that that's a bad thing, given modern day shows that inexplicably throw in a profanity now and then (even some of the promos are offensive).

Colonel Hogan, Papa Bear has another mission for us.

Today, most children have cable or satellite TV waiting for them when they get off the school bus. We used to have three options-six, eight and 12-for TV viewing. CBS, ABC, and NBC. Of course, they used to show things like Hogan's Heroes and F-Troop and The Beverly Hillbillies as reruns instead of the news after school. It really damaged us to be exposed to such simplistic drama and silliness. I know my sense of humor has never fully recovered.

Come ride the little train that is rolling down the tracks to the junction. Petticoat junction.

Still, there was also some profound thought in some of those old shows, along with the humor. Some things funny are not necessarily locked into time. Then, too, Star Trek, for example, worked-and still works-on multiple levels, appealing to both adults and children. Why else are folks still watching something made nearly 50 years ago?

I'm a doctor, Jim, not a TV personality.

What is also so striking is how simple and limiting the sets were. An entire show was often filmed in what appears to be a couple of rooms and had the feel of a stage performance. That alone necessitated some good writing and acting-developing characters that were likable, even if a bit skewed.

Stop honking, Felix. I would, Oscar, if you would wipe your chin.

Bad guys got their come-uppance, good guys came out on top. And viewers were apparently obsessed with private investigators, with such unlikely heroes like Cannon and the anti-hero Jim Rockford. I still remember The Rockford Files airing Friday evenings.

Oh, excuse me (mister murder suspect), one more thing…

The old shows also show us how much styles have changed. Just check out the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

It's a time warp, for sure, but a pleasurable one.