A generation raised by TV

Family Watching TV 1968.
Getty

Can’t say this is completely true of me, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that television played a central role in all of our lives growing up in the sixties and seventies.

I mean, you could always tell what day it was and what time it was by what was on tv!  It’s not like this Netflix generation with their DVRs and downloads that watch their shows when they want!  PFT!  We never had that opportunity.  In a way were were ruled by that little box.  If we wanted to see our favorite shows, we had to have our butts in the chair, on time and on the right channel.  And, God forbid, if the tv goes out!  You may never get to see that episode again unless you get lucky and catch it in reruns!

Or so we thought.

We had no idea that decades later we would be able to watch that episode anytime we wanted.  Heck, VCRs hadn’t even been invented yet!

And this generation will never know the JOY of relying on four channels for your entertainment.  We got very lucky and still gained a good bit of quality broadcasting, but still it was limited.  And, if you lived in the ridges of Tennessee like I did, you were lucky to get all four.  I usually always had one channel that the hills forbade me to watch.  And USUALLY it was upon THAT channel that the coolest show ever that EVERYBODY was talking about was on.

And the good Lord help you if YOUR show was scheduled against another show that your parents just couldn’t live without!  I remember never being able to watch Buck Rogers in the 25th Century because of that.

BuckTV

And, unlike the several starting times for new shows and seasons today (along with the binge watching at any time), SEPTEMBER (My birth month) became the most glorious time of year for me, because that was when the new shows and seasons ALWAYS started.  I would always grab the season premiere issue of TV GUIDE (If you don’t know know what that is just google it or something) put out that time of year and pour through the pages at shows I was looking forward to returning to, but, more importantly, I would be looking to discover new shows.  The ads sent my young heart a flutter with the possibilities.

tvguideapes

It also fed my imagination.  A lot of my play time was spent along so I learned to adapt the images and ideas in the guide to my own version in my own world.  I don’t know what happened to them, but I used to draw mock tv ads for shows I ‘made up’ which looked strangely like the ones in the ads.  From the westerns to the cop shows to the comedies and sitcoms, I took ALL of them in.  And, for good or ill, they were a part of my vastly complicated and unpredictable imagination.

I could whine about how things are not as footloose and fancy free with entertainment as they are today until the end of time.  But I can’t deny the effect these shows had on my life, mind and the end product, my own myriad of imaginative worlds to explore…

More to come…

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