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Published:October 17th, 2009 22:24 EST
Entertainment of the Past in Prime Time

Entertainment of the Past in Prime Time

By Ron G Anselm

  With the new analog switchover to digital television now, when you scan your channels to get the channels set on your viewing arsenal, you get lots of different types of channels that are now out there in the television world. I was watching one channel called RTV the other night which stands for Retro Television. It shows a ton of past television shows we once watched from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

     The channel takes you back down memory lane when you watch the once popular A-Team with BA Barackus and Colonial Hannibal Smith battling the bad guys as if they were back in the jungles of Vietnam, and Howling Mad Murdock acting crazier than a Fox with Dirk Benedict who played Faceman on the show always getting the raw end of a deal. These past Army Commandoes played some of the funniest parts in the show and had some of the funniest episodes. I used to watch this show when I was in the Army and even modeled myself after Hannibal at times.

     The funniest thing I loved about the A-Team is, in any of the shows no one ever got shot. The characters could be standing two-feet away from the bad guys having a gun fight and no one was ever hit, or a car would be traveling 100 miles an hour in a chase scene, end up flipping over and the characters inside would climb out of the window of the upside down car and dust themselves off without even a scratch on them.

     This is what made the show fun and entertaining because it was modeled more for the prime time television family viewing audience. Steven J. Cannell wrote some good and entertaining stories for the A-Team which I know I still enjoy watching today.

     Another show that was on just after the A-Team was Rip Tide which was another one of Steven J. Cannell`s prime time shows. The show featured Joe Penney and Perry King who played two detectives who were ex-Vietnam vets and Thom Bray who played the cunning computer wizard.  The plot of the show took place in my home state of Southern California and had some of the best entertainment on television since these detectives always had to solve a case that seem impossible to even tackle. The episodes kept you guessing.

     One of my favorite shows as a kid in the 1970s was MASH. It is still shown on lots of channels today and still is as popular as it was three decades ago. Being ex-Army I can relate to a lot of the MASH episodes because a lot of those episodes were as real as it can get to the real thing in combat. Also, the show combined the drama of war in the blend of comical humor and had some of the best actors playing parts that they molded into.  This is what really made the show popular because the actors played their part perfectly.

     A good show that was perfect for prime time viewing back in the decade of the 1980s was Crazy Like a Fox. It starred Jack Warden and John Rubinstein as detectives fighting crime like two super heroes.  It had fun episodes but really never lasted long. The show was written for the family viewing audience. Like most shows in prime time in the 1980s decade, they were tailored around nightly viewing in a family typesetting which is why most of the shows back then were humorous and fun to watch unlike a lot of shows today where the plot is focused on either horror or extreme violence.

      One of my all-time favorites was Charlie`s Angels, yes I was one of the millions of fans that had a crush on Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Ladd and was probably the reason I watched the show is because of the sexy detectives playing the parts but it did have a lot of good and entertaining episodes in it.

     We had more dramas like Columbo, Dallas and the Famous Who Shot J.R. Episode which seemed to be a huge mystery for weeks back then until the episode that revealed the culprit was aired. Other drama`s were The Incredible Hulk with the giant green Super hero that made people cringe every time the character David Banner would get mad and turn into the green, bulky monster. Other shows like the crime fighting duo Starsky and Hutch and the famous Ford Torino that roamed the inner streets of the city rounding up criminals and bad guys like they were herds of cattle and Huggy Bear the grumpy Police Captain that seemed to always have a chip on his shoulder but added to the great entertainment of the show gave us something to look forward to weekly.

     I loved other shows like the Bionic Woman and the Six Million Dollar Man that were almost like high-tech shows at that time because those shows were basically the introduction of more drama`s that featured more entertaining plots and actors.

     There are a barrage of other shows from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s I could write about all day but if you sit back and remember some of these shows I mentioned it takes you back to some of the good times we experienced in those years and takes you back down memory lane on prime time entertainment.

     Watching some of these shows on RTV lately made me think about the comparison of the quality of the shows back in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s compared to the current television shows of today. In my opinion, the quality of the picture was different three decades ago, the sound and audio of the shows is not as good but the stories and plots for the shows back then compared to today`s shows had more entertainment and creativity than a lot of the shows on television today and the shows back in the day were very fun to watch with that always, never fail humor blended into the plots.

     If you have digital television and get the Retro Television channel, sit back and take a look at some of these shows. It is almost like you are sixteen years-old again on a Friday night wondering which party you are going to crash with your six pack of Budweiser or in my case back then, Lowenbrau Beer and takes you back to waking up on that Saturday morning with the biggest hang over you thought at that time was the worst you ever had and then thinking to yourself after waking up with that bad hangover, "Man, this is the last time I will ever drink again." Yea, right - you were back out again that night with your once again six pack of beer just after you watched one of your favorite shows from the 1970s.