Monday, July 16, 2007

Greetings From Boston!

By Mitchell

Yes, we're on the road again, this time back in Boston for the first time in nearly twenty years, and since I'll be in workshops and seminars through the week, we'll be looking to our Hadleyblogging partners to carry the load, which I'm sure they will do nobly.

Before turning out though, I'll leave you with some cultural archaeology to while away the hours. The great TVParty site has another of those features that catches my eye, this time a rundown of the 1964-65 TV season. For those of you of an age, it's fascinating to go back and look at all the familiar names, the shows that we remember as classics. (While, as Billy points out, also recalling that this was the era of Newton Minow's famous "vast wasteland.")

I think TV of this era serves as something of a transition between the 50s "Golden Age" of television and the more contemporary 70s. For example, the classic TV series The Fugitive enters its second season. It may be hard to realize, but there was more than a little controversy to this series when it first started. Creator Roy Huggins points out that some network executives were appalled at the idea of a series that started from the premise that the police were wrong, that a jury had convicted and sentenced to death an innocent man, and that the viewing public was going to be asked, week after week, to root for a hero whose success (and thereby the satisfaction of the audience) depended on him escaping from the police - many of whom were decent law enforcement officials just doing their jobs - and occasionally breaking the law to do so. Now, in this age of The Sopranos and the TV antihero, this might seem like a pretty tame idea - after all, from the very first appearance of the opening credits to The Fugitive, it's established beyond any doubt that Dr. Richard Kimball is innocent. We're even shown the man who actually committed the murder for which Kimball was convicted, that of his wife. So it's not as if we're actually cheering for a bad guy, after all.

Nonetheless, for the early 60s, this was apparently a pretty radical idea. By the end of the 60s, when respect for authority was a shambles, I doubt anyone would have noticed if Kimball had not only killed his wife but one or two others as well.

But enough of this analysis. While I enjoy the week in Boston (at least that part of it outside the classroom), take a gander at the list of classic shows that made the scene in 1964. and have fun!

1 comment:

  1. 1964, March, was the year that I entered the Army for my four year hitch. So I missed many of these in prime time, but caught some of them in re-runs.

    Top 25
    TV Shows:
    1964 - 65

    1. Bonanza - never watched much because a program on an opposite channel had better reception for us. But I think it was the first "adult western"
    2. Bewitched - RRs- didn't watch
    3. Gomer Pyle, USMC - RRs watched a few. He had a great voice.
    4. Andy Griffith Show - RRs - Great show; watched lots and would watch again.
    5. The Fugitive - Great show - didn't watch too many though in RRs.
    6. Red Skelton - Show was beginning to become tired in the 60s. But he was a very talented man.
    7. Dick Van Dyke Show - Watched lots in RRs and probably would again, for some unknown reason. Very talented cast.
    8. The Lucy Show - I loved "I Love Lucy", but the "Lucy Show" didn't do as much for me.
    9. Peyton Place II - Didn't watch at all.
    10. Combat - Didn't watch. Vietnam was live and in color at 5:30.
    11. Walt Disney - Watched most.
    12. Beverly Hillbillies - Watched a few mostly in RRs
    13. My Three Sons - Didn't watch at all
    14. Branded - Never heard of it
    15. (tie) Petticoat Junction - I met a woman once who was one of the floozie stars. Nothing came of it. Watched a few times.
    Ed Sullivan Show - Senor Wences!
    17. Lassie - Couldn't stand Timmy, but she was a great dog. Actually, I think it took about 6 dogs to film the show.
    18. The Munsters - Watched a couple of times.
    19. Gilligan's Island - For some stupid reason, I lusted a bit after the floozie and found it to be somewhat humorous.
    20. Peyton Place I - Didn't watch. I was Catholic!
    21. Jackie Gleason Show - Top notch show. Extremely talented man and the Honeymooners bit was the best. And his skits (bartender, etc.) were the best.
    22. The Virginian - Never watched.
    23. Addams Family - Never watched.
    24. My Favorite Martian - Watched once. Never again.
    25. Flipper - Never watched.


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