Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, June 03, 2016

On some TV channels, everything old is indeed new again

Finding something worth watching on TV these days,especially during the lull of early summer, can be daunting at times. Even with the vast array of channels, clicking your way down the small screen list of options turns into a dreary affair.

However, the latest trend in specialized channels seems to be old school TV; whole networks devoted to showing nothing but series of all sorts from the fifties to the 1990s, including those quirky gems long since thought to be forgotten by the new generation of viewers. Let's take a look at three of them to see what's on their schedule for today:

COZI: This channel seems to love action adventure shows, as Charlie's Angels, Miami Vice and The A-Team are a regular part of their line-up.

One show that they've brought back is an old favorite of mine, Quantum Leap, that time traveling drama with Scot Bakula as Sam Beckett who enters the lives of various people(and yes, even animals on occasion) in order to change their fate for the better with the help of his pal Al(Dean Stockwell).

 My sister was the one who told me about QL being back on, as she started to watch it every now and then and asked me about certain show details. A few times, we've watched it together and while I don't recall everything about the series, so many plot points(such as an Evil Leaper story line) came flooding back.

 One night, they aired a Halloween themed episode that I recalled fondly that actually had Stephen King being inadvertently inspired by Sam's escapades(a rather fictional Stephen King,of course, but I do wonder if King ever saw that one?). Getting to share this series with my younger sis is a special pop culture bonus that can't be beat:

BUZZR: This off-shoot of Game Show Network sticks to the classics, even going back as far as the b&w edition of To Tell The Truth and What's My Line. A good portion of their programming is from the seventies and eighties, with the likes of Press Your Luck, Card Sharks and Monty Hall as the host of Let's Make A Deal.

People really seem to enjoy those classic game shows(even ABC is bringing back new versions of a few of them this summer) and while I do get a kick out of Steve Harvey on Family Feud, it's fun to watch  Richard Dawson strut his stuff in those past episodes.

Another charming bit about seeing these former game shows are the commercial endorsements for such classic staples such as a set of steak knives, wall to wall carpeting and Rice-a-Roni, the "San Francisco" treat. That extra touch of old school advertising means so much:

METV:  The "me" in MeTV stands for Memorable Entertainment and a strong portion of their regular line-up certainly is to me. Shows like Chips, Wonder Woman and The Carol Burnett show all bring back a lot of my childhood days(yes, I was that young back in the 1970s).

One show that's sort of a guilty pleasure for me is Mama's Family, a syndicated spin-off of a regular Carol Burnett skit featuring the moody Eunice that focused on Vicki Lawrence's character of Mama Harper and her goofy bunch of relatives and friends.  Carol Burnett herself only appeared as Eunice in the first season but even without her, this sitcom is a nice slice of silliness to savor.

The promos for various MeTV programs often have some of the stars of these shows in them, such as Marion Ross of Happy Days, Dawn Wells from Gilligan's Island and even Vicki Lawrence as Mama making the most of her moment in this syndicated sunshine there:

There are plenty of other nostalgia themed TV channels on the air, including Antenna, Bounce and even RetroTV, all of which offer a treasure trove of shows and series that still have that bright gleam of entertainment glory for old fans and new.

Sure, we will be getting some new series for the summer as well as several that are still in their midst of their seasonal runs such as Game of Thrones and Outlander. However, taking a dip into the calmer waters of old school TV can perhaps get your summer weary imagination to start up and take notice of what off beat joys a blast from the past can bring:

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