A windy night… perfect for reminiscing

1-Mike Staton

Yep, it’s me — Mike Staton.

As the wind roars outside my window, I’m contemplating a discovery… two fun TV channels – GetTV and Cozi TV.

 

For a Baby Boomer, they’re golden, as in specializing in the Golden Age of Television.

As I sit at my computer desk, I have on Cozi. I’m watching Hart To Hart. For all you folks thirty years old and younger, that’s a TV series that ran on ABC from 1979 to 1984. The show featured Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers who played Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, a wealthy couple who led a glamorous jet-set lifestyle as they worked as amateur detectives solving crimes that they invariably become embroiled in.

Hart To Hart

Hart To Hart was a sugar cookie iced with sweet romance, not really my style back in the day.

Back in the day when I watched first-run episodes of Hart To Hart, I enjoyed the lovey-dovey dialogue built around the mystery plots. As I watch it now, thirty-two years after the show debuted, the dialogue is as flirty today as it was decades ago. The plots, though, are pretty lame. Maybe I wasn’t as critical back then. As I type, I see that Hart To Hart has ended and Murder She Wrote is about to start – another show that featured an amateur detective, this one a mystery genre author played by actress Angela Lansbury. The CBS series ran from 1984 to 1996. Lansbury’s character, retired schoolteacher Jessica Fletcher, solved murders that took place in her hometown, Cabot Cove, Maine, the murder capital of the world (hey, I’m kidding).

 

Sometimes, when I get skin-crawly sick from watching all the ridiculous Reality TV shows dominating Cable and Satellite, I am more than glad to slip back into a time when I was in my twenties and thirties and could play fierce games of tennis and racquetball. These time-travel shows can open all kinds of memories of loved ones no longer with us.

Andy Williams Show

I admit… when I was a kid growing up in Southern California I liked watching the Andy Williams Show. Umbrellas out… I wonder what he’s singing.

While Cozi TV is an American digital multicast TV network owned by NBCUniversal, GetTV is a TV network from Sony Pictures Entertainment. It specializes in old movies, but in recent months expanded its fare to variety shows from the 1960s and 1970s. I’ve tuned in and watched the Merv Griffin, the Judy Garland and the Andy Williams shows, all staples from childhood. When my family lived in Southern California in the 1960s, I’d watch the Merv Griffin Show in the late afternoon after getting home from school. I have to admit I actually looked forward to the Andy Williams Show. I guess I’m a sucker for a good musical variety show.

 

The TV fare has sure changed over the last few decades. In fact, nowadays the classic network seven-day lineup may perhaps be in its death throes. So many shows are appearing on subscription services like Hulu and Netflix. Welcome to the Digital Age.

Let me end this blog post with two words: Forever Young.

#

I’m the author of a fantasy genre trilogy, Larenia’s Shadow, available on the websites of Amazon and Barnes And Noble. I’m writing a Civil War novel, Blessed Shadows Dark And Deep. The novel have been published through Wings ePress, an ebook publisher that has been in operation for nearly fifteen years.

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30 Responses to A windy night… perfect for reminiscing

  1. MIke,
    I’m with you on the old TV shows. There’s another new one, Antenna TV – it plays mostly old sitcoms like Dick Van Dyke (my favorite show of all time) and Newhart, Burns & Allen, Odd Couple. They also show Johnny Carson Tonight shows. There are some new good shows on, but I still love the old ones.
    Thanks for sharing,
    – Stephen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Staton says:

      I liked the Dick Van Dyke show today. Fascinating seeing Mary Tyler Moore in her early days on TV. I can remember watching Burns & Allen as a kid, probably no older than seven or eight.

      Like

  2. Joe Stephens says:

    My birth year is toward the end of the baby boomer generation, but I remember the shows you mentioned. We have a network here called My/MeTV. It shows old run shows like the networks you talked about. I find myself watching Emergency once in awhile. It wa a spinoff of Dragnet and you can tell it was written by Jack Webb. I enjoyed Bonanza and Gunsmoke too, but find I can’t watch them anymore. Same with my favorite show from that era, The Waltons. I realized even back then that some of those kids just couldn’t act and it’s even more painfully apparent now. But I still love the shows that feature John Boy. He was my writing hero.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wranglers says:

      We watch Cozy too. Love it. I didn’t like Murder She Wrote the first time through. Had no desire to watch that old lady author solve crimes, but now that I am an Old lady author I find her interesting. Watched Roy Rogers took me way back and The Six Million Dollar Man back to my children’s yourh. I fall asleep with one old show and wake up with another. I hadn’t thought much about it, thanks for the memories. Lol Cher’ley

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      • Mike Staton says:

        That’s funny, Cherley, not liking Jessica solving murders in her home town — until you got older and enjoyed the series on reruns. To be honest, I would watch the show, but I was a fanatic about it. I was always a fan of William Windom. He had a TV show in the late 1960s — didn’t last long — called ‘My World and Welcome To It.’ Didn’t last long, maybe a season, but I thoroughly enjoyed… based on Walter Mitty. He was a cartoonist whose imagination was so fantastic his drawings would come to live.

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    • Wranglers says:

      Joe, you are a lot younger than me, but I watched those same shows. I still love Bonanza and Gunsmoke. I listen to Gunsmoke on XM Radio. Cher’ley

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Staton says:

      Same with me as to John Boy. I really identified with him. I did like the concept of an Appalachian family living in the Great Depression.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fun to reminisce, Mike. I loved Dragnet, Colombo, Father Knows Best, The Merv Grffin Show, and The Andy Williams show, just to name a few. And of course, in our household on Saturday night it was Lawrence Welk (my Dad’s favorite) and on Sunday nights Lassie and Bonanza. Haven’t seen any of them for a long time, but in their day they were fantastic!

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    • Wranglers says:

      Linda, I love all old Westerns, I watched all of the Columbo series on Netflix and Del has several of the series on DVD. I loved Father Knows Best, but I did want to smack Kathy a little bit. In our family Mother Knew Best and she would never had let us get by with so much. Lol Cher’ley

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mike Staton says:

        Columbo was very creative. Peter Falk was a great actor. Since you liked Father Knows Best, do you remember the John Forsythe in ‘Bachelor Father’? It ran from 1957 to 1962, and I can remember looking forward to watching it.

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    • Mike Staton says:

      I guess TV fare can in some ways reflect the society we live in. Look at those Reality shows… beautiful, vain women screaming at each other. Kind of like politics nowadays. Lol. You know what I liked on Saturday night. The old Walt Disney show, and in color when most of tv fare was still black and white.

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  4. Neva Bodin says:

    Funny how our perceptive/tolerance for types of actors and shows changes, either with age or cultural influence. I love most of those old shows too, Mike. We get “ME TV” where I live that features them also. Loved Carol Burnett, George Gobel, Andy Griffith, Dean Martin, Happy Days etc. Seems there was either pretty clean humor or a take-away from those shows. Reality TV is a sham in my opinion. And I know a character who was paid to go on a show and pretend to have problems that didn’t exist on one of those relationship bamming shows that are supposed to be real. “Thanks for the Memories…”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Doris says:

    Give me an old Western and I’m pretty happy. Like you, I miss those days when stories, no matter how thin, were the framework for some great interaction between great actors. Thanks for the memories. Doris

    Like

  6. I’ve heard of most of the shows mentioned above, especially Hart to Hart. I did watch Happy Days as a kid and loved the Fonz. Incidentally, I saw him at the LA Times Festival of Books a couple weeks ago. He was signing his kids’ book and everyone was standing around taking his picture, me included. I kept thinking “it’s the Fonz!” As I grew older, I loved Moonlighting and Cheers. (It was great fun to sit at Norm’s spot at the original bar recently!). Cheers became our study break in college. We’d all sit and watch it for 1/2 hour and then resume studying. My dad and I would watch it together too. It was one of the rare times I saw him laugh uncontrollably.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Staton says:

      Liked your anecdote about your dad. Mine passed back in January 2015, and I sometimes think of the days when I was a kid and we’d watch TV together. Off the top of my head I can think of us watching shows like Dobie Gillis. He didn’t like the western Big Valley… he said the characters in it were all ‘do-gooders.’

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember Hart to Hart and Murder She Wrote. I liked the former but didn’t much care for the latter, although my grandmother liked it. Thanks for the memories.

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    • Mike Staton says:

      You know what my Grandmother really liked? Lawrence Welk Show — a big fan. When the family moved back to Ohio from California in 1965 and I’d stay the night with the grandparents, Grandma liked to watch Peyton Place, the original evening Soap opera.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. katewyland says:

    Haven’t thought of a lot of those shows in a long time. I used to love the old westerns–Bonanza, Rawhide, Have Gun Will Travel, etc. It’s funny how are perceptions change over the years. I enjoyed most of the shows just fine when they originated, but cringe when I see them now. In spite of the awful reality shows, tv productions have come a long way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Staton says:

      You’re right. The production values are so much better nowadays… and often the acting too. I remember dad telling me a couple of years ago that back in the 1950s he like Wagon Train but when he watched it nowadays it was the same plot over and over again. Needless to say, he stopped watching it.

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  9. We have something called ME TV on one of our over-the-air channels; I watch it often. Love Bonanza, Rawhide, CHiPs, Emergency, and others from the 60s and 70s! I also enjoy Inspiration network, with Dr. Quinn, Bonanza, and Big Valley (I loved westerns, too, Kate!) So glad there are many opportunities to watch “the good shows” instead of the nasty stuff they have on now.

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  10. Kathy Waller says:

    I’ve been watching Murder She Wrote this week. It’s fun seeing actors not around any more (where I can see them). The best–Robert Reed doing a wonderful imitation of Clifton Webb’s Waldo Leydecker in the movie Laura. I loved the Jack Benny Show and wish I could binge-watch the Carol Burnett Show from season 1 through the last episode. Car 54, Where Are You? and Grindl. Do you remember Pinky Lee? I was watching the day he had a heart attack in the middle of the show. They switched to a documentary of sorts, something about sail boats, very boring when compared to a heart attack. I was pretty disgusted.

    Like

  11. I remember when I used to enjoy watching Murder She Wrote with Angela Lansbury, one of my old favorites as a kid. It is always enjoyed, remembering the ones who are not here with us physically. The memories are awesome. Times sure are changing. The old days are beginning to be missed more and more.

    Like

  12. Nancy Jardine says:

    I used to watch the Andy Williams show as well, Mike. And Murder she Wrote. If I got around to watching TV these days, it wouldn’t ever be reality shows or the infernal cookery and DIY that’s on our British TV. channels. I’ve missed a lot of good recent TV series’ that I’d try to locate and would do a ‘goggle fest’ like I did last January when I got Outlander series 1 as a Christmas gift. I watched the whole series plus extra bits over 3 days and that was the most viewing I’d done since I did the same with the HBO Rome series’. (I wouldn’t have bought Outlander for myself but I enjoyed watching it, though historical time slip isn’t my favourite genre to read)

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  13. S J Brown says:

    I never jumped on the reality show ban wagon. Since we use an antenna for our TV reception we have a channel that specializes in shows from long ago like Mash, and Chips. Another channel is called the justice network, and features Alaska state troopers and other law enforcement based shows. We tend to watch those networks as much if not more than the big 3.

    Like

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