Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sitcom Nostalgia

Gentle Reader,

Okay, I know this is going to sound crazy... but I haven't been a daily TV watcher since 2004.  In fact, I haven't even owned a television set since 2010.  This isn't some kind of crusade with me, it's just how my life turned out.  When I moved out on my own in 2004, I couldn't afford cable, and I had a crappy old TV that didn't always work.  Over time, I just kinda got... weaned off of TV.

Now and again I have occasion to see a bit of TV and  I am amazed by how it has changed.  I think that, with the exception of reality shows, TV is a lot more cerebral than it used to be.  There's a lot more edgy or ironic humor, and I don't mind that one bit.  Even so, I have a soft spot for the sitcoms that were own in the mid-80s to mid-90s, when I was a kid growing up and gorging myself on the culture around me.

Here are just a few of my favorites, courtesy of the Wayback Machine known as YouTube.

Who's the Boss?; ABC, 1984-1992

Dear John; NBC, 1988-1992

Wings; NBC, 1990-1997

Empty Nest; NBC, 1988-1995

And last but certainly not least...

Cheers; NBC, 1982-1993

I could probably do a whole essay on the opening of Cheers--but I'll spare you, just this once...  Firstly, the use of colorful Victorian drawings and nostalgic photographs really helps to establish the mood of the classic "friendly bar."  The images are also nicely set against the personalities of the characters, especially in the case of the oft-antagonistic Sam and Diane.  There's also the song itself, which, while a bit sappy, conveys a sentiment shared by all of us.  We all want to find that place where everybody is always happy to see us, don't we?  In all, it's a brilliant send off for an excellent show.

I miss old TV!  Thank goodness for the internet!

Ever Yours,

1 comment:

  1. I don't think you're missing out on much.

    Breaking Bad is tremendous; the idea of a high school chemistry teacher who begins funding his cancer treatments by cooking crystal meth is very original and fascinating.

    Also worthy of note is Parks and Recreation. It's quite a well written sitcom and its casting really works. Especially with the stunning aubrey plaza.

    Those older series still run on several retro networks. Your list also reminds me of the "Taxi" series with Danny DeVito that I enjoyed as well.

    Take care.


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