- Posted March 31, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The Circle of Life In Television Terms
I have the rare privilege of saying that I can remember, with clarity, the later part of the 1980's. My fondest memories revolve around a couple of different things. The first thing I remember is my Benetton Rugby Shirts and colorful wardrobe. The second thing I remember about the 80's is television and how it was still the cornerstone of family unity to some extent.
The 1980s were a time of apparent progress. For seven years the US Economy flourished and there were monumental ups and downs in society. From AIDS revealing itself as a plague, to a whole new era in music the 80's were a special time. Television became that glue that seemed to hold the old 50's unity model together.
In my experience I remember coming home at 2 o'clock, doing my homework, engaging in the occasional video game and eagerly anticipating the airing of shows like Automan, Airwolf, Father Murphy, and my favorite, ALF. I recall the excitement that ran through me as I listened to the show theme songs normally composed by names such as Mark Post and so on. The level of excitement was something else for me, it was borderline amazement.
Television in those days, nearly three decades ago, was a world of pure fantasy with the historical piece here and there. I remember that during those days the talk of recess was always the awesome episode the night before, followed by the much needed child's re-enactment. Whenever I would see my grandfather or my mom's aunts and uncles, I would point out the plots and some episodes of my favorite shows.
The visits by those we considered older than us would invoke the sometimes uncomfortable Video Killed the Radio Star moment. I would hear tales of The Shadow, The Mercury Theater, and shows like Burns and Allen. I would wonder what it was like to not have color and worse, something to look at. As a child I knew a lot about this fantasy world that was considered dull and not so wholesome by our dear ol' elders.
Looking back at those times I tell myself the I was living the circle of life, television style. No one seemed to understand what we liked back then and nearly thirty years later I can say I don't always get what my 18 year old loves to watch. Today television has a million more channels, new genres, DVR, and it's much less about unity. Television is a reflection of society and its changes.
Society today is more touch and go, less personal, we are bound by the Social Media Code. The Wonder has taken a turn for the technical. This is the circle of life in television, there are no huge, earth changing, moments in the biggest shows. Guys like me will say where are the ALF, Automan, Airwolf and so on shows of our time. Some people will say that they just don't have the time, myself included, and some will say nothing. Television isn't dead, it's just experiencing an afterlife of sorts. The circle of life in a way. Decades pass, acceptable behaviors change, values are re defined and in the end television serves its assigned purpose, however we define it.