What are your favorite TV shows?
Antiques Road Show
One of my favorite programs is Antiques Road Show. I watch both the English one and the American one. The best thing about the British one is the depth of history that they have and the age of the antiques that are often shown. At the time that I write this, Fiona Bruce is the show’s host and I enjoy her very much. On one episode she came up with a jump suit that Diana Rigg wore while portraying Emma Peel in the Avengers from the 1960’s. They are shown together in the Photoshopped picture below.
The American version of Roadshow has its own “star” cast. In the next picture the old fellow has brought in a Navajo blanket, very plain. It turns out it is a Navajo Ute First Phase Chief’s Wearing Blanket, some of the earliest Navajo weaving ever done. It was done in the 1840’s. The appraiser valued it at about $350,000 to $500,000. The older fellow later sold it for $450,000 to an anonymous buyer who donated it to the Detroit Institute of the Arts where it is on display. American Antiques Roadshow is an hour long and usually has two episodes back to back on Monday nights, right after the half hour British Antiques Roadshow.
Finding Your Roots
Finding Your Roots is an hour-long show presented by Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. It usually features 2 or 3 celebrity guests who are curious about their ancestry. The show features a short section about their life and who they are then follows their family tree back with reference to a paper trail. Towards the end of the episode they sometimes refer to DNA data for more clarity.
Masterpiece Mystery and Masterpiece Theater
We started watching this show when it was just known as “Mystery”. Usually it had a short series of episodes featuring a detective, for instance Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple. Later it became part of Masterpiece Theater and was called Masterpiece Mystery. I didn’t like it when that happened because the mysteries were just a part of many Masterpiece shows and ended up having only about half the airtime, but lately, they often have the mystery and regular Masterpieces back to back so there is usually a mystery every week.
Masterpiece Theater has shows that are usually taken from literature. “Last of the Mohicans” or “Pride and Prejudice” are examples. Most are quite good, but they tend to run a lot of shows like “Little Women” or the afore mentioned “Pride and Prejudice” or shows like “Downton Abbey” which I don’t care for at all. For when those shows are on I try to find something else to do. Karen likes them so they are usually on in the background. Longtime host Alistair Cooke is shown below.
Since the advent of streaming television, shows that you can watch whatever day or time you want, for me the idea of a favorite TV show has somewhat become a thing of the past. A favorite show is something that you look forward to. Week after week you wait for the next episode. Unless you still watch shows that are on broadcast television, like the four I mentioned previously, you can and probably binge a whole season in a night or two, maybe you stretch it out for a week. It becomes a point in time thing and not an ongoing pleasure making it somehow less memorable. I think this ongoing pleasure is part of what a favorite show is. Also, streaming shows have to be sought out and selected. Then there is the problem of which of them in your queue will you watch next. Mind you, I like watching shows when I want and the variety of what you can watch is much, much better. I still like to watch the regularly scheduled shows, maybe because that has been the way of things since I first started watching television in the 1950’s. I’m sure my grandchildren will have no concept of this because streaming will be what they have always known.
My dad had first pick of evening tv shows in our house. He liked westerns so naturally, so did I. My favorite was Gunsmoke starring James Arness as Matt Dillon, Milburn Stone as Doc, Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty, Dennis Weaver as Chester, and later Ken Curtis, as Festus. The show was shown originally in black and white and later in color. I loved all the characters and I thought the show was really good. Since I was just a kid at the time, I looked up the reviews and it was also highly thought of at the time. It ran for 20 years on CBS which says something about its popularity. Matt Dillon was huge, 6’7″, and a handsome hero. My favorite character, other than Matt was Chester, his deputy who walked with a limp because his knee would not bend. It was a show our whole family watched together and all of us liked it. I went on to like other westerns like Raw Hide but Matt Dillon always held my heart.
Ed Sullivan – Beatles
Another show that our whole family watched was The Ed Sullivan Show. This show was ho-hum to me until Ed started bringing in rock and roll acts which were thrilling to me as a teenager. Of course the absolute highlight was on February 9, 1964, when the Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. It was a Sunday night staple in our house to have Sunday pie and ice cream as we watched the show. On February 9th we packed into the kitchen with our whole family, which included my Aunt Noma and her two girls, Peggy and Mary Jane who were living with us at the time. We watched the show on a little foot cube portable tv that my sister Diane bought. It was perfect, they had long hair, sharp suits, they were super cute and loaded with cheeky personality! They played five songs, “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” “She Loves You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” I knew all of the words to some of them. I had heard all the songs on the radio and on records but seeing them perform live was over-the-top exciting. They all bounced and shook their hair in the most breathtaking way possible! I was in love! We watched many other acts on Ed Sullivan that I loved but none compared to that memorable night in 1964.
This post is part of the StoryWorth project that I am participating in.
At the ButchieBoy main page click the “StoryWorth” category to see the rest of the entries.