It is hard to believe, but once upon a time there was no such thing as cable television. No pay-per-views, no channels from other states or other countries, and no way to tape a favorite show. If you missed it, you had to wait until the summer to see the re-runs, when the regular programming signed off. There were no new series to fill in the summer.
Our choices were simple – ABC, NBC, CBS, WGN, and maybe, maybe Channel 11 (PBS). Once you started school, there was no more Bozo the Clown. Only the youngest siblings got to see it at noon unless you stayed home sick.
Of course, television programming itself was much pickier as to what and what was not allowed on. No nudity, very little drinking, no profanity, but you could smoke. Heck, Dick Van Dyke & Mary Tyler Moore had separate beds even though they played a married couple – same thing with Ricky & Lucy who were actually married in real life too!
Our first television was black & white; my parents didn’t buy a color television until the late 1960’s, after they were out for a while. Living in the boondocks, reception was okay most days but poor on others as the antenna on the roof only got a signal from so far away.
Was this better? I’m not sure. I do like having a bigger selection of shows, such as the Food Network, BBC America, and the Sci-Fi Channel. I wish the decision-makers used better judgment as to what they allow on TV – so much of the profanity and sexual antics add nothing to the story. At least Gordon Ramsay’s potty mouth gets bleeped out.
It’s interesting though how this medium has changed and evolved into what it is today with the special effects and complex stories (more complex compared to 30+ years ago – such as Star Trek vs. the new Battlestar Galactica). For sure, my daughter would be disappointed in what her dad and his sisters watched in the early 1960’s.
[Note to my daughter – those are your two oldest aunts. If you’re not sure who they are, send me a text. ]
Word for tomorrow – STUDY. If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.
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