The first TV show I can remember is Sesame Street. I was an early math hater and didn’t care for the Count. Big Bird was okay, but I’m pretty sure Oscar the Grouch was my favorite. I think you can tell a lot about my current personality based on my views of this show. I even showed early liberal tendencies by approving of Bert and Ernie’s long standing relationship.
My first TV crush was Shaun Cassidy on The Hardy Boys. I wrote him detailed fan letters on the paper from school that was designed to help us learn how to write. It had big blue lines with the dotted lines in the center so you could control the size of your letters and increase the odds for legibility. I begged Shaun to wait until I was older so we could be together. I pleaded for him to wait at least until my bedtime was past 8pm, but he never wrote back. This was my first lesson in “don’t wait by the phone waiting for him to call, honey- cuz it will be a long wait.” Tragically I would need several more boyfriends before I actually learned the lesson, but I have Shaun to thank for the first heartbreak.
I developed my taste in quality TV from my parents, who if I remember correctly introduced me to such classics as Wonder Woman, Three’s Company and Happy Days. We watched TV together then (back in the stone age), I don’t think we had more than one so we had to agree on what to watch. By the time I hit high school we had two TV’s and I was at the stage where spending time with my parents was akin to being asked to hang out at the leper colony. I retreated to the basement where I would watch Fantasy Island and The Love Boat. Show of hands- how many of you went through a phase were you wanted to be a cruise director because of this show?
In case I am ever asked to write my memoirs- I can remember exactly the first time I saw MTV. A friend had heard about this “new fangled music channel” and we turned it on when it went live. Yes, I was there when Video Killed the Radio Star blared across our collective airwaves for the first time. It’s not quite the same as being there when the Berlin Wall came down, but what can I say? I don’t speak German, the moment would have been lost on me.
I don’t watch as much TV anymore and as a sign of my increase old fogey status, the shows I do like appear on Discovery Channel and the Home and Garden Network. I don’t watch Survivor, Amazing Race or a single soap opera. I will admit to a fascination with America’s Next Top Model, but even there- the blush is off Tyra’s extensions. I just can’t get that worked up about the new season.
If I weren’t so lazy, I would do a psychological study about what judgments we make about people based on the TV shows they choose to watch. Do we assume someone who likes Nova is smarter than someone who likes The Bachelor? Would we lie to hide our guilty TV secret?
What is your secret TV pleasure past or present? (I promise not to judge you- but I can’t speak for the others)