Top Stuff 11
I spent a great deal of my childhood playing games I made up in my head. My imagination was my best friend. That being said, like any kid, I loved watching television. Some really great cartoons were on when I was a boy. I liked all sorts of television, watching shows from the late 60’s like The Wild Wild West, Star Trek, some Perry Mason and the Monkees, to the biggest hits of the late 70’s. These shows added fodder to my imagination and gave me interesting avenues to explore. A few of these shows stick with me and I have fond memories of watching them. Today’s list-
Top stuff 11- 70’s TV I liked as a boy.
Love Boat-Hard to go wrong with a cruise ship full of love starved people, beautiful scenery and a bald, fat captain. I remember watching this right before Fantasy Island (which I never really liked. Sometimes it was too scary). I had such a crush on that damn Lauren Tewes (Julie). I was never much for Vicki. Her voice was too soft for me. Plus, Julie was a bit more androgynous. I knew she was a woman, but she had the short hair, small breasts. I own the complete first season on DVD. Sheryl and I watch them together, laughing at the 70’s celebrity cameos, clothes and cavalier sexual attitudes. The story lines are actually decent from time to time. Also, anything that has John Ritter (in drag), is worth a watch.
Chips-I have fond memories of riding my motorcycle (bicycle) around the streets giving people a thumbs up and chasing down bad guys, just like my hero, Jon Baker. So many fantastic car chases and spectacular freeway crashes, the show was intense and funny. I have to admit, this one is harder for me to stomach as a grown up. The drama is often way overdone and I still struggle with the extent of crime solving these highway patrol officers are involved in. Every routine traffic stop results in a high speed chase. Drug dealers and bank robbers have their plans foiled by Ponch and Jon. It is very over the top. Still, throw in the standard freeze frame ending with faces caught in laughter, surprise or amazement, and you have some classic 70’s TV.
Battlestar Galactica-I have talked about this show before. It seemed this show was on for at least five years. It seems impossible it was not even two seasons. I loved Star Trek, and this show was a cooler version of that. This was about warriors, not explorers. Adventure and space battles, robots and danger, this show had everything I wanted from my science fiction. This one has moments that hold up with my older self, and I still wish there was more of it. Lucky for me, the 2004 version satisfied my cravings and then some.
Buck Rogers– Another show that seemed to be on for the entire decade, but really only ran for two seasons. Buck Rogers was and still is, a good way to remember the 70’s. The cast was pretty (oh, Erin Gray) and they wore such tight clothes. The producers of the show decided that the clothing, hair and music of the 70’s were the epitome of human culture as they somehow survive the nuclear disaster of 1987 and find perfection in the 25th century. People dancing to bad electronic disco music, wearing shirts with the top seven buttons open, women with curtain hair styles, men with thick chest hair, it is wonderful to watch. Many of the stories are riddled with sexism and some covert racism, others are poignant and well done. I bought the both seasons in a single package for 10 dollars. Worth every cent.
Eight is Enough-Man, how I wanted to be Tommy Bradford. All the girls thought he was the cats meow. Plus he had great hair and was in a band. Tom Bradford seemed the perfect father, knowing what to do and say, even when he claimed not to know what to do or say. This show was serious drama for me. All the perils and pitfalls of growing up in a big family and how easy it was to get lost, make mistakes, find redemption. It was still cheesy, but so much better than the sap fest that was the Walton’s, Eight is Enough was one of my favorite shows. I haven’t seen many episodes since the 80’s when it was in syndication. Perhaps it is much worse than I remember.
And because it was a great cartoon, I am adding Battle of the Planets to this list. Mark was the coolest and I loved Princess. Many a good afternoon was spent imagining myself as part of this awesome team. The Japanese do Animation right.