Tonight, after supper, I found myself moping on the couch, feeling rotten after a whole day of coming down with a cold, and trying to find something to cheer myself up with on one of the zillion channels on Bell Expressvu. I skipped over all of the Oprahs, Dr. Phils, Rachael Rays, Ellens, even the Young & The Restlesses - tonight I wanted something special. And that's when I hit the TV Tropolis channel, and started watching shows that I absolutely loved as a kid; some shows that I hadn't seen in years. I felt compelled to dedicate this edition of the Blog to some of my old favourites that I love and miss - before there was "Reality TV", or Grey's Anatomy, or even some of my all-time favourite shows like Friends and Dawson's Creek. So here is Jill's Top 5 Favourite "Old" TV shows:
#5 - Beverley Hills 90210
Alright, you're probably thinking that this show doesn't classify as "old". I dare you to watch an episode. I can't believe how dated this show is already! At least, the early years of the show. The clothes, the hair, the catch-phrases...unbelievable! As young teens, many of us grew up with Brandon, Brenda, Kelly, David, Steve, Donna, Dylan and the rest of the gang. They definitely introduced me to what I thought "cool" was. And what girl didn't have a pin-up of Jason Priestly, Luke Perry, or Brian-Austin Green in their locker at some point? Somehow, all those boys in Grade 7 just didn't quite compare...
#4 - Saved By the Bell
It was an after-school hit - once the bell rang and the buses pulled up, every girl (and probably some boys) were racing home to see what Zack Morris and his group of tightly-knit friends were up to that day. I, personally, was a big fan of Zack & Kelly, and often daydreamed about one day having a boyfriend who looked like Zack - mischievous, blond, blue-eyed...I thought he was perfect. Slater, Jessie, Lisa, and of course, Screech, rounded out the gang, and once again, I thought they were just about the coolest kids to ever walk. (Well, maybe not Screech...) My favourite episode, and I still never miss it when it's on the dish, was when they formed a band and a look into the future with Kasey Kasem showed them soaring to success, sort of like an MTV "Behind the Band" feature. I used to listen to my Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers tape in my walkman and imagine Zack and the gang playing those songs. I know, how lame. But everytime I hear "Free Fallin", I can't help picturing Zack behind the mic.
#3 - The Cosby Show
Ah, yes - who didn't love the Huxtables? Cliff, Claire, and their brood of good-natured children who were hesitant to leave the nest - Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, & the adorable Rudy. Now, those kids had awesome parents. Ever see some of the really old episodes where Rudy would have a birthday party and all of her friends got to have a ride on Cliff's knee? He had those kids giggling like crazy. And they weren't acting. The man had a sense of humour that was second-to-none. And Claire always knew when to be tough, and when to be fun. They were the first prosperous black family on TV - he, a doctor, and she, a lawyer, but they never hesitated to put their kids in their place. As Cliff often said to one or all of them, "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out!"
#2 - All in the Family
This show was long before my time, but as a kid watching re-runs, I don't think I ever laughed so much as I did when Archie would come home from work, and Edith would barrel though the swinging kitchen door, charging at him and screeching, "Hiiiii, Archiiiiieeeeee! How was your day?" while he muttered away at her, calling her a dingbat and and telling her to dummy up. The show was so politically incorrect that I'm often surprised they're still allowed to air it. Archie was a bigot, but you had to love the man - he told it like it was, whether you liked it or not. His constant tormenting of his daughter Gloria's husband, Michael - infamously nicknamed "The Meathead" - was the main focus of the show. He used derogatory terms for pretty much everything, and he mis-pronounced a lot of words - but therein lied Archie's charm. His ignorance was somehow innocent, and even sweet. The show tackled some big topics, and it could get heated and tense, but thanks to Archie and Edith, there was always laughter. And lots of it.
#1 - Happy Days
Yup. That's my favourite. If I find it on the dish, I can't help but watch. As a kid, I never missed it. I grew up absolutely doting on Chachi, fantasizing about what it would be like to be Joanie, thinking Fonzie was the coolest guy to ever breathe, and laughing at Ritchie, Potsie, and the rest of the crew. To this day, the Fonz is a television icon - who else could walk into a room, snap his fingers, and instantly have a harem surround him? But while I admired Fonzie, it was Chachi that I can pinpoint as my first real "crush". I still remember when I thought a guy who wore a red bandana tied around his thigh was soooo hot. Hell, I still think he's hot. Of course, he and Joanie had the whole singing thing, too, which I loved. The day they got married was my absolute favourite television moment. So maybe that's why I'm so picky now - I set my standards pretty high way back when I was five. There's just something about that show - it gives me the warm & fuzzies. It's definitely my all-time favourite!
So there you have it! I'm going to add a few honourable mentions in the The Wonder Years & Degrassi Jr. High/Degrassi High - I didn't really like them as a kid, watching TV with my sister (with Kara being 7 years older than me, I usually had to watch what she picked) - but in recent years, I've come to appreciate these shows more. If you think I've forgotten any classics, or if you'd like to leave your own "Top 5" lists in the comments section, feel free! I've had fun with this walk down memory lane - hope you all enjoyed it too.
Cheers, everyone! (And no, I didn't forget Cheers - I never liked that show, and I still don't!)