January 28, 2012

"Possibly the biggest gap between how much I loved it as a kid, and how unwatchable I'd find it now of any show."

From a discussion of "Welcome Back Kotter," on the occasion of the death of actor Robert Hegyes (who played Epstein).
On his website, Hegyes wrote that he modeled the swaggering, skirt-chasing Epstein after Chico Marx, whom he played in a national touring production of "A Night With Groucho." He was a big fan of the Marx Brothers: "They were immigrant Jews, and I was an immigrant Italian. Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo, and Zeppo were intellectuals ... They all played the piano and took music lessons, and they were all juvenile delinquents; I could definitely relate."
It's sweet to see that connection to the Marx Brothers tradition of ethnic characters played by actors whose own ethnicity is at odds with the character's ethnicity. Heyges came from Hungarian and Italian ancestry and the Epstein character was Jewish and Puerto Rican.

"Welcome Back Kotter" wasn't a show I watched. I was in my 20s in the 1970s, and didn't watch much TV in those years. It's the TV shows of the 50s and 60s that are seared into my memory. Are there shows that I truly loved that I'd find really unwatchable now? Maybe "The Red Skelton Show."

86 comments:

Sorun said...

Star Trek (the original).

TMink said...

I find some of Red Skelton's work timeless.

Your post reminds me of how well some of the Doors music has aged for me while some of it is so dated as to be almost unlistenable.

Trey

traditionalguy said...

On behalf of the seagulls, Gertrude and Heathcliff, you are being hurtful.

Red Skelton was a friendly Indiana guy. He may have had red hair, I don't know because his shows were in black and white.

Irene said...

"Are there shows that I truly loved that I'd find really unwatchable now?"

Bewitched.

Rex said...

How about the Howdy Doody Show? Or Pinkie Lee?

Bender said...

No one who was ever really a fan would ever say Star Trek TOS is unwatchable. Someone who never really cared for it might say that, but then, they would have said that back in the 60s and 70s too. (Unless, of course, they are fans of the horrid early years of Star Trek TNG, with Picard the wimp and Riker the over-sexed creep, before Roddenberry died and they could Kirkify Picard and start making the series watchable.)

Bender said...

Many of the shows from the 70s are unwatchable, especially the political ones -- All in the Family, Maude, the later MASH seasons -- are all insufferable.

Mark O said...

Seared?

traditionalguy said...

I loved the Bob Newhart shows, both of them.

The second show had characters called Darryl and my other brother Darryl.I identified with them.

PaulV said...

I was born in 1949 and found Red Skelton unwatchable when it was on. My brother, 3 years younger, liked it.

edutcher said...

Agree with Bender on the 70s stuff, although I have to say the last season of Trek was also pretty ghastly.

The two that surprised me regarding how they don't hold up were Bat Masterson (intended to be Maverick with less humor and more girls) and Have Gun, Will Travel (where Gene Roddenberry cut his teeth) which comes across as heavily contrived and incredibly pretentious.

PS A number of TV people have died recently, James Farentino being another (ironically ,the night before, they ran an old Alfred Hitchcock with him along with John Carradine and Vera Miles at her most lusciousest).

The Crack Emcee said...

I love television of the past. If I can't watch them straight, as I did as a child, then I can them ironically.

Can't stand the Doors anymore, BTW. Give me the remixes. The originals suck.

SteveR said...

I never cared for Kotter, I never thought is was funny, and I was in my late teens, at the time.

Wild Wild West was one I liked but now don't. Star Trek was fine but for Kirk's constant weakness for females, which I suppose was thought to necessary.

Kurt said...

Bender is right. I don't even want to think about having to re-watch many of those shows from the 70s when I was a kid. I can think of only a few exceptions, and those are exceptions mainly because they are, as you say, "seared" into my brain. The biggest exception, for instance, would be "The Brady Bunch" which would be unwatchable if I hadn't seen just about every episode (and many of those more than once). Of course it is campy and cheesy and hokey and any other such words one might choose to describe it, but that's also part of what saves it from being completely unwatchable. There's a certain train-wreck aesthetic about it, I suppose.

I think that the 50s and 60s shows which I saw in reruns would fare better if I were to watch them again now. By the time the 70s rolled around, time had separated some of the wheat from the chaff and we saw some of the most beloved shows from the earlier decades in reruns.

wv: gawst--a noise made by viewers of some hideous old reruns.

Bender said...

Star Trek was fine but for Kirk's constant weakness for females, which I suppose was thought to necessary.

Would you prefer Torchwood, with Capt. Jack Harkness making out with a bunch of guys?

Ann Althouse said...

Funny how much we loved redheads when the shows were black and white. Red Skelton. Lucille Ball. It wasn't about how they looked, but the ideas that were attributed to the color.

My original hair color was red, and as a child, I was affected by these messages about what red hair meant. It was often disparaged.

Other redheads: Howdy Doody. Alfred E. Newman. Bozo. Woody Woodpecker.

Basically, you were an outcast, a fool, but you might be able to make it as a clown.

Bender said...

Recently I've been seeing It Takes a Thief, with Robert Wagner, on cable.

I hadn't realized how much Tony DiNozzo on NCIS resembles Alexander Mundy. I guess that's why they had Wagner play his dad on NCIS.

William said...

Red headed men face far worse discrimination than red haired women. Red haired women are said to possess a sexual mystique. There have been many female movie stars with red hair. Red headed men, when they are given roles at all, are strictly for comic relief.

NYTNewYorker said...

Red Skelton was funny and performed until very late in life and yes his niceness always came through.

wild chicken said...

Like Bender, I thought M.A.S.H. insufferable for many years, too, but lately my husband has taken to watching the nightly reruns...andI have to admit they did some awfully good stuff. They never let the focus drift from war & the operating room. But yeah we get it, regular Army gung-ho Bad, innocent slacker draftees Good..

It's Alda's self-conscious pacifism that damn near ruins it.

sydney said...

Recently watched all the original Star Trek series on Netflix. Found it even better than I remembered it. Kirk wasn't all sexed up until the last season. Then he slept with everyone. Before that he was very restrained, always a gentleman.

Saw an old episode of MASH not long ago. Loved it as a youngster but couldn't believe how much I disliked it now.

Bender said...

Talk about your sexed-up exploiter of women -- Dr. Hawkeye Pierce aspired to be one of the greats.

______________

In other news, I guess I Love Lucy was good back in the day, back when nothing else was on.

But Lucille Ball was way much better in the movies, before I Love Lucy and before she dyed her hair flaming red. In her early movies, including dramas, she is a quite good actress.

Kurt said...

William wrote: Red headed men face far worse discrimination than red haired women. Red haired women are said to possess a sexual mystique. There have been many female movie stars with red hair. Red headed men, when they are given roles at all, are strictly for comic relief.

I remember reading something interesting a year or two ago that documented the seemingly disproportionate number of redheads among the famous and successful. While William's observation might apply in some respects to redheads in film or movies, it is not the case among the population at large, where redheads often distinguish themselves in other ways. I don't have time to look for the article at the moment, but this list is a starting point for reflecting on some famous redheads. It's a weird list, though. Carol Burnett is number one and Lucille Ball is number two. Now I love Carol Burnett's work, but in what universe would she be ranked above Lucy as a famous redhead in entertainment? Thomas Jefferson doesn't appear until number 16.

WV: demon (in red type). Apparently blogger has its own opinions.

traditionalguy said...

I think that the Irish gift for blarney was associated with redheads, but many Germans also came redheaded and you don't want to underestimate those.

The Cincinnati Bengals got them a red headed QB, and he is no clown.

SteveR said...

"Would you prefer Torchwood, with Capt. Jack Harkness making out with a bunch of guys?"

Not sure, I just never thought a Starship Captain should jeopardize the fate of civilization because he had the hots for a green woman with nice cleavage.

Stephen Snell said...

"Other redheads: Howdy Doody. Alfred E. Newman. Bozo. Woody Woodpecker."

Was that Bozo the District Attorney?

Bender said...

The only time the fate of civilization was on the line, Kirk let Edith Keeler die.

(I could have done without the whole Carol Marcus thing, and her whiny punk kid too.)

Jay said...

Can't imagine watching Kotter now.

Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Charles Angels all unwatchable now.

Canuck said...

Get Smart - saw on rerun- fun.

Battle Star Galactic! Dr. Who! Carole Bernett show! The Muppets!

Bikes without helmets. Lots of outdoor time. Come home at 6:00 for supper. Good times.

commoncents said...

We have pictures posted of Mark Levin's hugely successful Book Signing of Ameritopia at Tysons Corner Mall in Northern Virginia. Check them out here...

http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com/2012/01/pictures-mark-levins-tyson-corner-book.html

DADvocate said...

I couldn't stand "Welcome Back Carter." As a kid (same age as Ann), my TV viewing was strictly regulated by my father. He refused to by a TV until I was 8 years old. We were allowed to watch 2 hours a night max and only approved shows.

I though Red Skelton was goofy. I like him more as an adult. Bonanza and most of the Disney movie stuff come closest to shows I can't stand now.

YoungHegelian said...

Aren't we being a little hard on those shows we consider "unwatchable" from the 60's & 70's?

It's not that they were all that awful, it's we who have changed. I can't imagine sitting in front of a TV for hours now like a I routinely did as a kid. Back then, time was all I had. Now, a 24 hour day is too short.

Can your young children, nieces, nephews, & grandkids stand to watch "Happy Days", or WBK, or whatever. That's the real test.

Mark O said...

Ozzie and Harriet with Ricky, backed by James Burton.

The Twilight Zone

The Mickey Mouse Club--Spin and Marty.

Bandstand (Jerry Lee Lewis singing "Great Balls of Fire)

Not, Art Linkletter's House Party.

Mark O said...

Killer on Bandstand:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lidFipyLG8k

Canuck said...

Buck Rogers!

But you had to be in elementary school to fully appreciate the brilliance of these shows.

LarsPorsena said...

Still love ST TOS but cringe at ST TNG's political correctness. Although, I still enjoy the two TNG episode where Picard is tortured. Perversely find myself cheering for his Cardassian tormentor.

EDH said...

Are there shows that I truly loved that I'd find really unwatchable now? Maybe "The Red Skelton Show."

Literally, the only TV show that made me pee my pants laughing -- on my mother's living room sofa, no less -- was The Red Skelton Show.

That was about 45 years ago.

I figure that in about another 25 years, I could find myself in the same situation watching The Red Skelton Show, but not because I still find it particularly funny.

t-man said...

I used to really love the old "Battle of the Network Stars" specials when I was a kid. Now, the only way I could stand such a show would be if it was a battle to the death.

rcocean said...

The Norman Lear stuff (except for the first years of "All in the Family") is unwatchable.

I liked "That Girl" as a very small child, but its simply awful. Marlo Thomas has zero talent and Ted Bissell is a complete mediocrity.

I don't like Skelton on TV, but he was good in the movies.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

The sheer volume of primetime garbage that I soaked up as a child in the 70s is really depressing. With the exception of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, the Bob Newhart Show, and the Muppet Show I think they all stink. Taxi was good, too.

OTOH, older shows like the Rifleman, the Twilight Zone and Route 66 all hold up and seem shockingly sophisticated by comparison.

EDH said...

My guess, Titus was into the Sweathogs.

Me, I did watch Kotter as a kid, but really wasn't into it.

His wife character in the show acted like a real smug bitch. Not in a loyal nag you forever until we die together kind of way, which was the comedy staple of the time.

But in a new age, boomer you're not good enough for me kind of derision. You just knew she would eventually dump him.

Though she has a sense of humor, she often wishes Gabe would take matters more seriously. She is occasionally upset with the amount of time her husband spends with his students, and she is troubled that he allows them to visit their apartment regularly; in the two-part story arc "Follow the Leader" the Sweathogs' constant intrusions led Julie to separate briefly from Gabe and even seriously consider divorce.

Originally from Nebraska with a college degree in anthropology, Julie eventually became a secretary, and later a substitute teacher at Buchanan after Gabe's promotion to vice-principal. She makes several references to her "world famous tuna casserole", a common meal at the Kotter dinner table, which Gabe (and the Sweathogs) dislike.

Gabe: "Did I ever tell you about....")
Julie: " No, but you will."


BITCH!!!

edutcher said...

Redheaded women were very popular when Technicolor came in (think Rhonda Fleming, Arlene Dahl, Jeanne Crain, Deborah Kerr, etc.). The hair color and the milk white complexion showed up very well.

Among other things.

Redheaded men (e.g., Robert Horton) could look a little silly because of the freckles.

And, yeah, always liked Red Skelton.

Kurt said...

Bender is right. I don't even want to think about having to re-watch many of those shows from the 70s when I was a kid.

I think that the 50s and 60s shows which I saw in reruns would fare better if I were to watch them again now.


The Encore channels show a fair number of shows from the 50s and 60s and GoodLife and RetroTV used to; most hold up pretty well. I think the cutoff for good material was in the 65 - 67 timeframe.

After everything went color the quality just wasn't there, for some reason.

YMMV, of course.

Bender said...

I still enjoy the two TNG episode where Picard is tortured

Chain of Command, Part One (Act Five) and Chain of Command, Part Two are some of the best television ever made. David Warner and Patrick Stewart are spectacular.

"I know nothing about Minos Korva."
"But I've told you that I believe you. I didn't ask you about Minos Korva. I asked how many lights you see."
(Picard stares at the four lights intensely, then pauses and glares at Madred)
"There are four lights."
"I don't understand how you can be so mistaken."


Roddenberry, who died the year before, would have hated those episodes and probably cancelled the series before allowing them to be produced.

Meanwhile, one thing that REALLY annoyed me about the early TNG is one scene where they were talking about some earlier mission of the Enterprise and the crew acting like "Kirk who?" rather than rightly being in awe of THE James T. Kirk, who had been the hero of the Federation who knows how many times. DS9 understood it though right from the get-go.

William said...

There's an aesthetic theory which states that 90% of everything is garbage. I would put that proportion much higher for television.

edutcher said...

Irene said...

"Are there shows that I truly loved that I'd find really unwatchable now?"

Bewitched.


The first season or two, when Dick York was Darrin, were a lot more grown up. It got kiddiefied after that and, yeah, pretty silly.

Chip S. said...

Groucho Marx's old "quiz show" holds up pretty well, IMO.

EMD said...

Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Charles Angels all unwatchable now.

Laverne & Shirley was immensely better than Happy Days, and I think (from repeat viewings on The Hub) that it still holds up quite well. It's basically I Love Lucy with 2 working-class women. Many sitcoms today eschew the wonderful physical humor of shows like these.

EDH said...

Jerry Garcia had little routines he used to follow when on tour with the Grateful Dead, some more benign than others. Before the show, he'd go to his little pipe-and-draped area on the stage.

Outside the curtain, first you'd smell the high quality weed. Then you'd overhear the audio from his VCR tapes of Groucho Marx's "You Bet Your Life".

Show prep.

Jerry would have loved YouTube.

Icepick said...

Star Trek was fine but for Kirk's constant weakness for females, which I suppose was thought to necessary.

GREEN SLAVE WOMEN FROM ORION! Any red-blooded male would react the same way!

And I believe the theory states that at LEAST 90% of everything is crap. For example, 100% of crap is crap, even when it's fertilizer.

shake-and-bake said...

By the time the 70s TV shows came along I was well into porn.

As we used to say: "Red on the noodle like a pecker on a poodle."

ken in sc said...

Until recently, I did not know there was any prejudice against redheads. I have always Loved them.

Bob_R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob_R said...

Althouse: Ginger passing for blond.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Gingers get shit on in the UK.

Seeing Red said...

My kid calls redheads "ginger." It must be the new thing. I recently read redheads are a dying breed. The kid loves Lucy and likes Laverne & Shirley.

I can't stand The Honeymooners, and I loved that show. Bob Newhart would stand up, Carol Burnett would stand up, not too many would stand the test of time.

Kranmar's Delicious Mystery Appetizer.

And Ralph's take on taxes is still valid, see the show when they bought the TV together. I think that's the one.

wv: fixopair? LOLOLOL

Peter said...

Today it is totally forbidden for a non-minority actor to play a character who is supposed to be a minority. Even a half-minority character like Epstein.

On the other hand, no one would raise an eyebrow if a minority actor plays a non-minority character.

Peter

Pogo said...

The only good thing about Welcome Back, Kotter was the theme song.

Worse, it introduced John Travolta, soon followed by Sat Night Fever and the hellish sound of disco by the Bee Gees.

The horror of the 70s pushed me into punk and New Wave and Brian Eno etc. etc., so I guess they were a boon after all, in the same way that poverty, ignorance, and bad food can inspire transcendence.

That is, Salieri's role.

Bender said...

Today it is totally forbidden for a non-minority actor to play a character who is supposed to be a minority

Is there really such a need? If it is essential that the character be a particular ethnicity, they can always find an actor who is actual that to play the part.

No need to have Laurence Olivier paste on black-face to play Othello, just get Laurence Fishburn to play it.

(Same goes for characters that are Korean or Vietnamese -- get actual Koreans or Vietnamese to play them, don't just grab a Chinese or Japanese and think that it is the same "since they all look alike" (same goes for Puerto Ricans or Cubans or Mexicans (they ain't all the same).)

sleepless nights said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LarsPorsena said...

"........No need to have Laurence Olivier paste on black-face to play Othello, just get Laurence Fishburn to play it..."

Except that Olivier in black face is exponentially better than Fishburn regardless of racial authenticity

Peter said...

Today it is totally forbidden for a non-minority actor to play a character who is supposed to be a minority

Is there really such a need? If it is essential that the character be a particular ethnicity, they can always find an actor who is actual that to play the part.

Perhaps things haven't completely changed. George Clooney has an Oscar nomination for playing a part-Hawaiian character in The Descendants. Granted, the character is supposed to have only a small degree of Hawaiian ancestry, something like 1/16th, but you can be sure that if a character in a movie today is supposed to be 1/16th black there would be a fully black actor cast in the role.

PackerBronco said...

Bender said...
Many of the shows from the 70s are unwatchable, especially the political ones -- All in the Family, Maude, the later MASH seasons -- are all insufferable.

Maude - agree

M*A*S*H - mostly agree, though they were still producing an occasional great episode right up to the end and I still think the series finale was superb.

All in the Family - mostly disagree. I think in its first few years the writing was terrific. I do find myself siding more with Archie now-a-days than I did as a kid.

Bender said...

Except that Olivier is an overrated hack who overacted in every scene he played. Jon Lovitz's way over-the-top "master thespian" on SNL was more restrained than Olivier.

When you watch Oliver, you know that you are watching acting!

EMD said...

Not a huge fan of Norman Lear, but for me, All in the Family might be the best sitcom ever.

Chip Ahoy said...

Picard driving a company van for a sewing-machine repair shop:

Make it Sew

LarsPorsena said...

...When you watch Oliver, you know that you are watching acting!"

Hamlet
Richard III
Henry V
Othello
Merchant of Venice
King Lear

I know I'm watching the gold standard against all others are measured. Well, maybe Branagh's Henry...........

Steve Austin said...

I loved Kotter as a kid. I wonder if when Epstein reaches the pearly gates, he'll "have a note".

On the topic at hand, all the old TV shows and movies seem bad. This is partly because our brains now move much, much faster thanks to what it is conditioned to over the past 20 years.

Web, action films, cable, caller ID, cell phones, etc. Our brains are just conditioned to move faster and want more per minute stimulus. Older TV shows weren't geared for this.

Phil 3:14 said...

Are there shows that I truly loved that I'd find really unwatchable now? Maybe "The Red Skelton Show."

Goodnight and God bless.

Are there shows that I truly loved that I'd find really unwatchable now?

For me its "Laugh-In" and much of "M*A*S*H".

rcocean said...

I hated MASH as a kid, and like it better as an adult.

I was kinda shocked how bad "The Doris Day show" is. And I love Doris Day.

Joe said...

For real entertainment, go to Hulu and watch the first episodes of shows. It's interesting to see how some shows clicked right away. I recently watched the pilot for what became the Dick Van Dyke show; it was awful. Carl Reiner reworked it and produced a very good show.

For the truly unwatchable, go no further than the original Battlestar Gallactica. I thought it was cheesy back then, but not as horrible as it is. Due to going to college, I didn't see the "third" season, but it is among the worse television ever made.

I never liked Dukes of Hazzard, but a former co-worker remarked one day that he loved it as a kid and found it putridly bad when he recently watched an episode.

Harrington said...

@Jeff with 1 "f": My daughter, who lives in the UK says the same thing. I can't think of one reason why this should be so. The Scots, for example, run to red hair, so do the Irish. They're all in the UK. 'tis a puzzlement.

Joe said...

Several months ago, two TV stations in the area were showing MASH. One started from the beginning, the other had already gotten to the episodes after Henry Blake left. I found the difference in quality astonishing. The early shows had a grittiness to them that started going missing after season 3. By the time Frank Burns/Larry Linville left, the show became unwatchable for me.

wyo sis said...

Really good stuff survives political correctness, silliness, age, perspective etc because it's really good. Even differences in personal taste haven't caused great TV to become unwatchable. Bad TV was always unwatchable, we just didn't know it at the time.

I never understood the redhead thing. I guess you had to be one to get it. I never thought about it unless it was pointed out.

Craig Howard said...

I hated the Red Skelton Show as a child and suspect I still would. My grandmother used to make us watch Lawrence Welk when we visited. Now, that was "real" music. I thought I'd lose my mind.

This was the same grandmother who was appalled that my mother let me watch "Picnic" when it was first broadcast and who walked out of "Valley of the Dolls" because of a scene where "they were making violent love under the sheets." I had the distinct impression that Grandpa had left only under duress.

Ira said...

just wondering

Ira said...

from the 1950's... the first 26 Abbott & Costello Shows are still pretty funny (the episodes which had them in front of a curtain and apparently in front of a live audience)...
No one mentioned Phil Silvers' Bilko Show or the Burns & Allen show (Bilko is a vague memory, Burns & Allen sometime get rerun on PBS)
"Honeymooners" is one of those shows that's always funny, if you find that kind of comedy funny.
Other shows like "Dobie Gilles" (did I spell it correctly?) are a vague memory...

Ira said...

1960s... "Car 54", "Addams Family" and "The Munsters" (I still think ther Munsters were funnier than the Addams Family: Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis worked very well together.) I suppose one needed to be older to fully appreciate the Dick van Dyke Show.
Flintstones, Jetson, "Top Cat" and the other Hanna & Barbera stuff.

Ira said...

1970's... no one mentioned "The Odd Couple"..? Klugman and Randall (after the first season, anyway) were one of the best comedy acts of their time. Classic.
Anyone besides me remember the "All in the Family" episode that introduced Maude..? Everyone is sick, Edith's cousin Maude comes to take casre of them, everything is taken care of and Maude sits to have a tea. She and Archie start to squaable about politics; Archie puts his head in his hand and says, "Oh, geez dere, you ain't gonna start talking about dat dere Franklin deeLAYno Roo-sevelt, are you?" and Maude points a finger at him and almost bellows "He Saved This Country..!"
But Reagan was a dope.

Ira said...

"Married with Children" -- one of the best.
"Unhappily ever After" -- almost as good as MwC.

Redheads... Pam Dawber was very beautiful on "Mork and Mindy" (a great show to study if you want to learn how to ruin a comedy) and the once fabulous Nikki Cox ("Unhappily", until she ruined her looks a few years ago with what seemed to be collagen injections to embiggefy her lips.)

Carnifex said...

Stuff that holds up over the decades...

Carol Burnett. Will we ever see a comedy skit show with such talent again?
Twilight Zone. The stories hold up because they dealt with people.
Barney Miller. Best situation comedy before Seinfeld, again, because it dealt with people.
Rocky and Bullwinkle. Because it's fun to try to see all the levels of comedy working.
The Three Stooges. Although formulaic, the slapstick hits a man in his funny bone(not for women).
Monty Python. Genius gone wild.
Ernie Banks. If you haven't seen Percy Dovetonsil's, you haven't lived.
Jack Benny. Timing so perfect he can kill with one word and a look.

Stuff that didn't hold up...
Lost. Gilligans Island with out Ginger, and Mary Ann. Or Bob Denver, or Jim Baccus, or...
Battlestar Galactica II. He's a cylon, she's a cylon, I'm a cylon, wouldn't you want to be a cylon too,
Benny Hill Show. Yackity Sax was funny the first 10 years...
Lost in Space. Who lets their 10 year old son go prancing around the universe with a mincing pedophile? John Robinson, that's who.

Bender said...

I recently watched the pilot for what became the Dick Van Dyke show; it was awful.

Worse even than the first several episodes of Seinfeld? Talk about your duds that were lucky to survive long enough to bloom and take off.

_____________________

A good show back in the 70s was Hawaii Five-O. Extremely cool and watchable back then.

But Hawaii Five-0 is awful. Awful mostly because you can't tell the Steve McGarrett character from any number of other bland-looking vanilla actors. Jack Lord he ain't.

purplepenquin said...

As a child I thought Hogan's Heroes was one of the best things on the air. The secret tunnels and such was really cool to a geeky kid like me, I'd even spend part of my school day drawing my own lil' maps of imaginary tunnels all over the school.

I recently watched a few episodes and wow...that show really sucks.

Canuck said...

"As a child I thought Hogan's Heroes was one of the best things on the air. The secret tunnels and such was really cool to a geeky kid like me, I'd even spend part of my school day drawing my own lil' maps of imaginary tunnels all over the school."

I also loved Hogan's Heroes. The 70s were a great time to be in elementary school.

But, yeah, I bet they don't hold up, except for Taxi, Mash, Muppets, and some older stuff like the Prisoner.

When was Greatest American Hero? Another good show for kids.

ChRanier said...

"As a child I thought Hogan's Heroes was one of the best things on the air. The secret tunnels and such was really cool to a geeky kid like me, I'd even spend part of my school day drawing my own lil' maps of imaginary tunnels all over the school."

John Banner is timelessly hilarious. As for the rest: "anachronism".

gerry said...

Kotter was nasally-whiny yuck. I was in my twenties. Now in my sixties, and Kotter is still nasally-whiny yuck.

Amartel said...

Loved Hogan's Heros. So much better than Hawkeye's Heros. Less self-love and sanctimony, more larfs.

At the time, I loved Welcome Back Kotter but didn't care for Kotter. Even and despite "Vinnie Barbarino is a straight A stoooodent" (from the hypnosis episode). The Sweathogs were great, though, especially Epstein (signed Epstein's mother) and Washington (Mistah Kottairrrr). Most of the shows from that era now seem so slow that it's tough to sit through an entire episode. You know how it's going to end before it even gets going. And the "very special" episodes are insufferable and actory.