March 11, 2010

TV Shows I Miss - Five Decades

Hey, Blog, we all have TV shows we loved so much that we’d look forward for a full week to seeing the next episode. I picked two of mine from each of the past five decades: one you may well have loved too, and another that is not exactly a household name. I tried not to go for the absolutely obvious here. Like “Star Trek” ruled the 60’s for me, but it’s hard to miss it when you’ve seen the eps 20 times each in syndication.

Remember these, Blog? How about you, readers--have a show you’d really love to see again?

The 60’s

Maybe You Miss It Too: “The Twilight Zone”

I realize you can catch it in reruns all the time, but still, I wish Rod Serling were still alive and making this show. I watched his “Night Gallery” in the 70’s too but it was not as good. Many of the episodes scared me, but even as a tiny tot I recognized great storytelling, Blog.

It’s Obscure: “CBS Children’s Film Festival

When I was really small, Kukla, Fran and Ollie hosted this series of children’s films on Sunday afternoons. The movies were from all over the world, superbly done, and chosen for their messages as well as entertainment value.

The 70’s

Maybe You Miss It Too: “The Waltons”

I’m not sure what it was that made me obsessed with a show about a rural family during the Depression, but I just adored it, Blog. Had a bit of a crush on John-Boy, I admit it.

It’s Obscure: “Room 222”

I think because it was about a high school and I was IN high school, this show really excited me and was always a mood-lifter. Integration on TV was just catching on back then, and I loved that theme. A treasure from the talented James L. Brooks.

The 80’s

Maybe You Miss It Too: “St. Elsewhere”

Man, I loved this show, Blog! Funny, engaging, and chock-full of terrific characters played by superb actors. I forgive them for the bizarre “it was all a dream ending.” And best TV theme ever? This video has the full length version by Dave Grusin.

It’s Obscure: “Two Marriages”

Bet no one else remembers this one. It was about two suburban Iowa families and featured Kirk Cameron and C. Thomas Howell in the cast. Lasted only one season (1983-84) on ABC. I adored the theme song and actually had the sheet music years ago. Wish I could remember how it went!

The 90’s

Maybe You Miss It Too: “Ally McBeal”

My fave at the time, and inexplicably I’ve never seen the series finale and don’t know what happened with Ally and the guy played (so gorgeously) by Jon Bon Jovi. Best thing about the show EVER though was Robert Downey Jr. Drama, humor, singing and dancing, Jane Krakowski and Josh Groban, c’mon, was the best!

It’s Obscure: “Kids in the Hall

Not so obscure really, I just had to include it. This show was absolutely beyond hilarious. The Chicken Lady, 30 Helens, Bobby Cole, Cathy and Kathie, Simon and Hecubus...OMG, why did they ever have to leave TV, Blog? Saw them live in 2009 and they are as hysterical as ever.

The 00’s

Maybe You Miss It Too: “Firefly

Worst. Cancellation. Ever. I will never get over it.

It’s Obscure: “Property Ladder”

This HGTV show will no doubt become a laughable classic as it features the pre-recession obsession with house-flipping. We loved it because it consistently featured clueless fortune hunters, with a nicely sarcastic voiceover pointing out their idiocy. You would have narrated it just the same way, Blog.

Anyone out there with me on one of these? Click the “right on” box, or share a loved-and-lost show in the comments.


  1. Ally McBeal and Firefly are the only two of these I know! I was always a bit sad when a show I enjoyed ended, because I wouldn't be able to "visit" the worlds they created anymore. But, on the other hand, shows that run on past their ability to deliver good stories were saddening as well. So when I say I miss the following, I don't mean that I wish they were still on! My list would include The X-Files, Xena Warrior Princess, Babylon 5, Strange Luck (pretty obscure D.B. Sweeney show which had a few very well-written episodes) and Raven (a very obscure show that featured a sexy ex-ninja in Hawaii searching for his long-lost son).

  2. You're just too young, my dear! LOL Your point is well's hard for shows to avoid one of those or the other. I adored X-Files till IMHO it jumped the shark. And I actually watched Strange Luck! I'll watch just about anything that includes D.B. Sweeney. :-)

  3. Sigh...Remember "Night Gallery"? Good stuff, those shows. Shame we don't see as good now. Love most of your list.

    Let's see what I remember... NBC had the Mystery Movie on Sunday nights, rotated "Columbo", "McCloud", "MacMillan and Wife". I got hooked on good TV mysteries early.

    Let's see, CBS ran some great comedies, too. In the 60's we had Lucy, Doris Day and the beginnings of Carol Burnett. In the 70's we graduated to MTM and Rhoda. In the 80's (different network) Barney Miller, WKRP in Cincinnati (a place I would have loved to work). I cut my teeth on M*A*S*H. Reruns aside, I still love it.

    We had some great talents in front and behind the cameras, not to mention networks who were willing to try something new. Sort of...

    Thanks for the memories!

  4. Very cool, Janet! I just loved "Columbo," "Carol Burnett" and "MTM" too. Thanks for adding your memories to the bunch!

  5. Do you want me to send you the last episode of Ally Mcbeal? I have all of them in European DVD format. I really liked that show.

  6. Thanks, Alanna...but I'm not in Europe so don't think that would work! You know, though, I could just rent the disk from Netflix sometime. Really need to do that! I just saw Gil Bellows on "Flash Forward" this week (Billy), and that really took me back.

  7. I have to agree about the canceling of Firefly but the silver lining to that is we now have "Castle" with Nathan Fillion which I absolutely adore. One of the best shows on TV

  8. Barb, I'm really going to have to try out the "back issues" of "Castle." I love Nathan and have heard so many good things about it.