Classic Television: What? No Remote?

December 30, 2008
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Whatever happened to classic television? A typical teenager of today might raise their eyebrows in an unsuccessful attempt to determine what the word “classic” means while gorging himself -- or herself -- on 3,000 calorie per serving nachos.

No, classic doesn't automatically refer to a hairstyle, clothing line, or Grecian art. It doesn't necessarily mean it's old, either. (Even though in this case, it may very well be. But not in a bad way.)

The classic I'm referring to are the oodles and caboodles of television shows that graced the ancient world that was forced to survive on black and white non-digital entertainment. Oh, my, yes... and the television sets didn't come with remotes. You actually had to get up from the cozy couch and walk, or crawl, over to the set.

But that's beside the point. Television shows that are great is my definition of the word classic. How do you know if a show is “great?” Well, it has to last more than three seasons, be appropriate for the whole family, and most importantly, the reruns must be aired for decades.

“Whoa -- wait a minute!” you may be thinking. “'ER' had a whopping fourteen seasons and it could very well be aired for decades. Who knows?” True. But that doesn't mean it's appropriate for the whole family, nor is it, um, fun.

Enough of these shows that last one season, and years later no one remembers anything about it. Enough of the dramas that make you want to flinch, or the comedies that are more stupid then real good, wholesome, honest, hilarious funny. Or the reality shows -- oh, sure, those are great and more popular today than ever before -- but will they be remembered in four years? (Forty-six years if we're talking about the overly-successful “American Idol.”)

These aren't the shows that make their mark on the world, or that have actors that will be honored, admired, and posed as for generations. It's the legends, the people that teens and children today need to know about. (That way, if they ever go on “Jeopardy,” they'll breeze right through the category entitled “Classic Television” - and trust me, I've seen that category. Better brush up on your skills, teen champions.) It's these “classic” stars that kids today should be looking up to, not the celebrities of today that all seem to be going down the wrong path.

Do you want your children to remember classic television as a cheesy teen dating show that does no more than rot your brain, or as seasons of shows that featured some of the best stars the television world has ever seen? Hello people? Have you seen Lucille Ball? Buddy Ebsen? Don Knotts? Bill Cosby? It's not too late to turn this modern television world around.

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TreetThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 22 at 5:19 pm
With all due respect, I disagree! How are we supposed to create and become something extraordinary if we keep looking back into the past? Look at Disney's Andi Mack. It's the first show to highlight an LGBTQ+ character! Now, we have non-white characters, non STRAIGHT characters, and even more changes to come. How can you expect us to become better if we only look to the past? Sure, oldies are goodies indeed; but we cannot grow unless we look to the future. Who knows? Maybe we might remake a few ... (more »)
EasleyCadet500 said...
Nov. 21, 2014 at 10:28 am
It is very disturbing how our generation has no taste in television. Sure, it takes some getting used to if you're watching black n' white for the first time, but your eyes will adjust. Mine did. 
TeaCat said...
Mar. 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm
Why do young people think that old things are bad?! Take cute old men for example. They're adorable. And they drink tea.
Erin W. said...
Nov. 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm
I agree with you. I love older television. I don't think we'll be looking back fondly on things like "Deal or No Deal" the way the older generation looks back fondly on things like "Get Smart".
sierra said...
Jan. 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm
Great! All I watch is classic television. I love i love lucy and mork and mindy and dick van dyke and mary tyler moore. Green acres is defenetly the place to be. :-)
Kate said...
Jan. 13, 2009 at 2:48 pm
Awesome article! 5 stars!!! D
guard-girl replied...
Oct. 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm
I agree, especially since the term "family friendly" is being stretched these days to include profanity, inappropriate talk and gestures, and goodness knows what else. The classic shows like I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Little House on the Prairie, to name a few, were clean. The article was very good! :) 
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