I have become so disheartened with the news and other programs on television that I simply cannot continue to watch them. They are so filled with vile, on all sides, that they send me into a fit of depression. So, I have found “MeTV” and reverted to the programs I watched ‘back in the day.”
I recently rediscovered “Monk” and Tony Shalhoub as he and his group deal with his obsessive-compulsive disorder and solve mysteries. Its sometimes poignant, mostly funny, and doesn’t make you think. What a relief.
Then there’s Love Boat. It’s the most underrated program on television. It features actors who are reaching the ends of their careers but still have it. Its fun, doesn’t take itself seriously, and almost always leaves you feeling good, almost. From time to time they will drop in an episode that does jerk a few tears, just to keep you on your toes.
How about Perry Mason. How can you not be taken by Perry, Della, Paul, and even poor DA Hamilton Burger who just can’t seem to get it right, but nevertheless is honorable. Yes, the production company was honorable, too. Although extremely ill, Ray Collins, Lt. Tragg, was kept on the cast as long as possible, and then his name was listed in the titles to keep his moral up and to ensure he received his union medical benefits.
And how about Cannon. I like it because it was shot all over Southern California and you can recognize many of the locations. And it proves you don’t have to be slim and tall, and handsome to be a successful detective. I met William Conrad (Cannon) when they filmed an episode in my home town. He came up and introduced himself. “Hi, I’m Bill Conrad” and stuck out his hand. Most of these guys won’t give you the time of day. Oh, and they needed a location for a newspaper office. Mine didn’t look enough like one, so they used the local museum instead.
I sometimes refer to lines from the “Big Bang Theory” here on the blog. Sheldon’s “Oh, Gravity thou art a heartless bitch” Or George Takai when asked how he could possibly know anything about man/woman relationships quips “I read.” Can you sing “Soft Kitty?” It helps if you are a gamer, or a sci-fi nerd, or have some knowledge of physics to get some of the in jokes, but let’s face it, any program that can have Stephen Hawking playing himself as a recurring character can’t be all bad.
I think that the reason these shows had such a large following was the sense of family. The chemistry between the leading characters led to a feeling that this is a family to which you can relate. Perry was a father figure, Della a chaste mother or older sister, Paul the rakish younger brother, Tragg that friendly uncle. Its all there. In each of them, the core characters are truly family. And we need family now more than ever.
I commend these and other shows of the era, some long gone, some barely into reruns, to you as a relief from the horror that surrounds us today.