By: Jessica Sanders
As a child, I never had cable, unless I went to Grandma and Grandpa’s (that’s when I’d get my dose of Disney and Cartoon Network). What would I do with my TV time at home you ask? Nothing but the good old oldies filled my childhood. I watched classics like The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, but my all time favorites had to have been Little House of the Prairie, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Charlie’s Angels.
As of late, many of my favorite stars from these shows have already passed on or have recently left the world we live in, living us with the many recordings of the shows and movies they acted in. I remember Googling whether my the actors were still alive, what other things were they in? I was heartbroken to learn that not only did Michael Landon die shortly after Little House ended, but so did his close friend Victor French, both being two of my favorite male characters on the show. I was devastated, even though I was watching the show about thirty or so years since it had first aired.
Maybe it is because I grew up watching older TV shows, or perhaps it is something else, but I am an older person at heart. I would much rather be in one of the generations I grew up watching instead of the one I grew up in. I admired the dancing and singing in Singing in the Rain, everything about Happy Days (clothing, food, jobs, etc.). I wanted to be Laura Ingalls bouncing down the hill in the opening credits of Little House on the Prairie. My sister and I loved Little House so much that our parents took us to Walnut Grove, MN where we fangirled so hard. (If that was even a thing at eleven years old.)
Another Minnesota favorite of mine was The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in downtown Minneapolis. Mary was quite modern for her time, if I remember correctly. She was one of the few women I can remember watching on TV who did not have a husband and lived alone. She did not need a man in order to support herself. I admired her strength. Mary Tyler Moore, unfortunately, recently passed away, joining another favorite of mine, Debbie Reynolds.
I honestly do not think I would be the person I am today if I had not had these older TV shows to watch instead of more modern shows. I got to watch what my parents watched growing up. Not only did I get to watch less controversial shows, but I was also to connect with my parents, especially mom (sorry Dad, Twilight Zone was not my thing). My mom loved The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Charlie’s Angel’s, both shows I watched because of her love for them.
If you are in the mood for a good show to binge, do not turn on a newer show; watch a classic. There are SO many out there. Land of the Lost, Seinfeld, I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, The Brady Bunch, Laverne and Shirley, Gilligan’s Island, Webster, The Beverly Hillbillies…
Jessica Sanders, from Woodstock, Illinois, is a junior majoring in English with a concentration in Secondary Education. Jessica is a member of the IC Women’s Chorale and is the Editor in Chief of The Rambler.