Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vintage TV


Within a week, two things reminded me of how much I love everything old, even TV.
The Hallmark Channel had a "Lucy" marathon, and then Andy Griffith passed away.

I have always loved "I Love Lucy." When I was a little girl, my mom always had the re-runs on, and I grew up laughing at Lucy's antics. I still enjoy watching "Lucy" re-runs when they are on, and I always encouraged Big Girl to watch them too. During the recent marathon, Big Girl was sitting on the couch, watching them on her own, and laughing and laughing. It made me happy to see her enjoying it. Good TV really does stand the test of time, and span generations.

As a mom, I can get pretty aggravated when the Disney Channel overtakes my house. Although Big Girl seems to enjoy many of the programs, she did say something interesting in the car one day:

"Mom, I sometimes think when I'm watching something on the Disney Channel, 'Would Walt Disney approve of this?'"

I asked her what made her think of that.

"Every since I read his biography, I remember how he made things for families. And sometimes Disney isn't appropriate, or for families."

I told her she was right, and that I was so happy to hear her say that.

As much as I love Disney things (and Disney World!), the Disney Channel definitely disappoints me often. It seems too "old" for tweens, much of the time, and many of the characters have sassy attitudes and the mouths that go along with that.

And many of the programs present characters who walk around thinking, acting and dressing like rock stars instead of kids. And kids idolize these characters.

I do let Big Girl watch the Disney Channel, because as someone who follows pop culture, and remembers what it was like to be a kid, I want her to somewhat be in the loop. That said, I voice my displeasure when I think something isn't right, or nice, so she can recognize it. It seems to have worked.

I also try to create a healthy balance by exposing her to what I consider good TV, and some of it includes old stuff, like "Lucy." When Andy Griffith passed away, I thought about searching out some re-runs of his old show -- although I have to admit I didn't enjoy it as much as a kid. We do watch "Little House on the Prairie" re-runs because of my Laura fascination, but I avoid certain depressing episodes (and always, always, the two "Sylvia" episodes which involve rape).

There is another show that has particularly appealed to Big Girl: "The Brady Bunch." I thought she might like it, so we got her some DVDs a few years ago and we have really enjoyed watching them as a family. We have all the seasons now except the last one. It's fun to re-watch this show now, as an adult and parent. (Oddly enough, my husband and I were shocked when Mike & Carol let Marcia just go out on a date in 8th grade, by herself, walking home alone... Seems like such a ridiculous thing to allow now with all the psychos out there.)

I'm always on the lookout for decent family entertainment. Big Girl did go through a "Full House" phase, watching the re-runs. I'm thinking of trying to get her to sample "Gilligan's Island," another favorite of my youth. I'm sure "Bewitched" might be fun too.

And of course, she clearly does enjoy "Lucy," and asked to watch the DVD when we were in Vermont recently (where there is no cable). We had a bag of DVDs, and she still chose the vintage show.

If any TV producers are reading this, please, please, please create some appropriate programming for families and kids. We need decent laughs today, fun family stuff. We need a Mayberry. We need a cast of characters who remind us how to be decent individuals. We need something we can all watch together, and all enjoy. There's not a lot of that out there lately.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right about the Disney Channel. So much snark and I think the kids are styled very maturely. We also love to watch Little House on the Prarrie. I loved that show growing up and I have to say I still get a kick out of Laura when she gives Nelly a good shove for being a bully (even though it isn't quite PC anymore)