Wednesday, March 08, 2006

HUMP DAY: Where things could go either way

First of all I'd like to take this moment to thank everyone whose comments in the last couple of days gave me a pat on the back or a kick in the ass. I desperately needed both. Here at Half House things are always crazy and disorganized and heavily laden with testosterone (I'm outnumbered 4-1) and I've accepted this as normal. But normal is really just an umbrella term for all kinds of other stuff that 's likely to happen.

Unfortunately, I'm a "glass half empty" kind of person and this state of mind usually intensifies as my birthday draws near. It's a time of re-evaluation for me and if life's great "To Do" list doesn't have enough items checked off on it...well...I tend to emulate my old college suitemate whose dark moods could be detected by the incessant playing of one particular song...over and over an over until we threatened her with physical violence. Coming back from class you could hear the familiar strains of Elton John's "Funeral For A Friend" all the way down the dorm hallway and we just knew things would be dodgy until...well...until they weren't anymore. So...nothing's changed really except my attitude and that's really half the battle, isn't it? I've been mulling over the notion of changing my template for Half the Sky and I've run into a bit of a problem. Blogger's description of the template designs available for our use are described online as "gorgeous"--but--oh my god--nothing could be further from the truth. Have you seen them? Really...just a rearrangement of the same colors over and over. Boring, boring, boring. Or in some cases...hideous. I've changed this template once before, but that was back when I had no blogroll listed and I've been advised that any change will only save my text...but none of the customizations. If I end up going to the plain white one (Minima?), it'll be a while before I can put all the other junk on there. By then it will be absolutely necessary for me to have some kind of header backgound pic up there to keep my blogpage from looking as blank as a sheet of Kleenex. Mignon's sent me the code for a header background, but my tiny dinosaur brain cannot comprehend it.

In the meantime, I offer something that I thought of when commenting on Chris' site. He told his readers to ask him any questions we might want to and so I asked him to imagine that he was in charge of one television station. From 7-10 p.m. this network would play only the shows he wanted and they could be as old as he liked. Some of his answers mirrored mine and it inspired me to use this as a post on my own site...with one change: I'm going to name 12 shows that I've enjoyed. All are in syndication and some can't be found anyplace on television. This station would air all of these shows (and more) for my own comfort and enjoyment. I invite you to compile your own list:

1) Love American Style- This was an hourlong show that my parents mostly thought was too old for us. (Kinda like the idea behind the fact that I wasn't allowed to read Seventeen Magazine until I was almost 17 ...and by that time I didn't care anymore.) This show was a series of vignettes about dating and romance.

2) The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd- Blair Brown and a young David Straithairn. Single woman. Lived in New York. Worked in a bookstore with Straitharn's character. Perfect.

3) I Love Lucy- Yes, in retrospect the limitations of her life were sexist and every show belabored the idea that she was some kind of incompetent nincompoop, but find me a show from the 1950's where that wasn't the case. The reality was that she owned half of Desilu Studios and was a shrewd businessperson. And funny. Plus the writing was good. ("I know he's half your kid, but when I hid my half, yours went right along with him.")

4) Friends - Just because.

5) The Andy Griffith Show- Please don't confuse this with Mayberry RFD. Just give me Andy and Barney, Opie and Aunt Bea. If you don't laugh after seeing the "Pickle Episode" or cry during "Opie the Birdman" then you have a heart of stone.

6) The Dick Van Dyke Show- Famous writers from the old "Cid Ceasar Show" and "Your Show of Shows". Carl Reiner was a any show about people who write for a living makes me very, very happy.

7) Seinfeld- Do I really need to explain?

8) The Mary Tyler Moore Show- It was a great idea that was cancelled way too soon. Betty White was brilliantly repulsive as the "Happy Homemaker" and the arrogance of Ted Knight's news anchor character is only exceeded by his lack of intelligence. Sorta like Bill O' Reilly...but without the sex scandals.

9) Newheart- Not the one where he's an innkeeper, but the original where he's married to Suzanne Pleshette and is psychiatrist to Mr. Carlin. The drinking game "Hi, Bob" originated with this earlier show.

10) My World and Welcome To It- I'm betting there are very few people who remember this show. Based on the art of James Thurber, it was about a cartoonist and his family. Way ahead of its time for 1969.

11) St. Elsewhere- Way before ER or Chicago Hope there was this show. Check it out and you'll see a very young Denzel Washington.

12) The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau - Who knew that watching a skinny, little Frenchman scuba dive could hold my attention as long as it did? Calming and educational. I named my first pet fish after him. Unfortunately, someone failed to warn me that male Japanese fighting fish can be violent. That was revealed to me when I came home from work and found Jacques' roommates, Lucy and Ethel, dead and with their eyes and fins gone. I don't hold a grudge.

I could name a bunch more (Laugh-In, Monkees, M*A*S*H,), but I'm curious about the shows you miss. What would be on your personal television station?


Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

I absolutely loved Bob Newhart and wanted to be Susanne Pleshette cuz she was so pretty! I still to this day talk about chewing my food 32 times. My children look at me strangely.

I loved the Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island and Bewitched probably the most while growing up. I would come home from school and thats what we watched (reruns after school). I also still do the Peter voice for "Pork Chops and Applesauce" and again, my children cock their head and look at me strangely.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous jon deal said...

My personal TV network from 7-10:

Sports Night -- Best "dramedy" ever.
Friends -- Don't hate. It was funny.
Dick Van Dyke -- and not just because of MTM in the capri pants.
The Daily Show -- Jon Stewart is my new best friend.
The West Wing -- But only if Aaron Sorkin is back doing the writing, if he can tear himself away from his coke habit.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Two that you've probably never heard of: Lottery, where two guys go around delivering lottery winnings to unsuspecting people (canceled after 1 season, I think), ER, and not the Clooney vehicle, but an earlier sitcom with Elliott Gould and the woman from Passion Fish. And of course Friends, Law and Order, the original Who's Line Is It Anyway (British version), and ALF. Just kidding.

Debbie, I always do that porkchops and applesauce voice to my confused daughter too! And I can honestly say the only Newhart episode I remember is the 32 chews one.

(What a perfect post to find - completely takes my mind of the events of the last 24 hours... and look at you and your fancy paragraph colors.)

1:15 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Oh yeah...the Daily Show for sure. I just didn't mention it because it's still on the air. I remember Sports Night, too.

Debbie- The old b/w episodes of Bewitched were the best.

Mignon- Mom always said, "Don't play ball in the house"

1:51 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Oh I love your list. I think Lucille Ball was a comedic genius.

Okay, I would add:
The Mutual of Omaha nature show Wild Kingdom, with host Marlin Perkins the original Discovery Channel.

Grizzly Adams. I. Loved. That. Show.

Some sort of musical variety act show, like Lawrence Welk or Hee Haw

The Little Rascals

Marcus Welby, MD

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Heidi said...

My World And Welcome To It? Oh, you're the other person in the world who remembers it! It was excellent. I was a big fan of James Thurber's (who?) and was amazed when the show came about. Ah, good times...

7:37 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Oh, I forgot My So-Called Life. How could I forget that? Ack my fingers aren't working - ending my comment now...

9:21 PM  
Anonymous jess said...

Oh! I loved jacques cousteau! All i really wanted as a little girl was to be an "oceanographer" just like him. My whale tattoo on my ankle is my ongoing vigil to that dream.

Also, mash and the muppets. I have fond memories of sitting in front of the tv with my whole family watching those shows.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Rude Cactus said...

Excellent list! Bob Newhart? Awesome. The Moo Goo Goo Goo episode is a classic. As is St. Elsewhere, which boasts the single oddest series finale ever.

4:56 AM  
Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

I was big on My-So-Called-Life too. For as long as it lasted.

The first Newhart was excellant, but I loved the way they ended innkeeper series. You know, where he woke up next to Suzanne Pleshette and realized he'd dreamed the whole thing? What a great way to finish it.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Lisa Ann said...

Love American Style! I was too young to get most of the references & innuendo's but I loved it anyway.
Haven't thought about that in ages.

I would definitely need more than 3 hours to fit in all my beloved tv shows. I'm sure to think of another 20 after I post this.

*My So Called Life
*Freaks & Geeks
*Sports Night
*Homefront (with Kyle Chandler - does anyone else remember that show?)
*Once & Again
*Cagney & Lacey
*Mary Tyler Moore
*The Shield
*Sex & The City

7:05 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Yeah, Blogger templates suck which is why I chose to bite the bullet and teach myself how to create my own using MoveableType (

11:30 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Oh I forgot Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom!!! It came on Sunday nights and my whole family would watch it.

I refuse to say out loud that we also watched Hee Haw.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Rock said...

I remember "My world and Welcome to It" very well.

I have to tell you thought as a kid baby sitting my younge brother many Fridays my trilogy was The Odd Couple, Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore Show - and I'm not sure they ALL came on that night but enough of them did. I loved Bob N. crossing the bridges in Minneapolis - I always felt safe with him.

11:53 PM  

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