Saturday, January 30, 2016
The Evolution of Television
On occasion, something magical would happen on an unusual night. There would be a SPECIAL on! I can still remember the animated graphic of the word "Special" that would turn around on the screen. It had some sort of techno/drum music that played with it. When you saw that graphic come on, your anticipation heightened nearly to the extent of Christmas morning! There were going to be cartoons on at night! It might have been Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin. It might have been The Cat in the Hat. Whatever it was, it was pure bliss. We would usually get with our cousins so we could all watch The Special together.
My kids don't get that excited about anything in life! They don't understand how spoiled they are!
At this point of my life, I only knew two people who had cable. One was a poor family in our church. They lived in a crummy house, had shabby clothes, and even smelled bad. But they had cable! They would videotape countless movies and let us borrow them. No matter how bad they smelled, I was willing to borrow those tapes! The other person who had cable was my grandmother. She lived next to a high-rise apartment building and could get no stations with an antenna. She was forced to get cable. This made going over to grandma's even more exciting! She watched her "stories" during the day while she ironed. As the World Turns was her program of choice. But in the evenings, the cousins and I would watch Nickelodeon! That was the greatest thing since sliced bread! There was a show called You Can't Do that on Television where they would slime people for saying "I don't know." More than anything, I wanted to meet Allister and get slimed!
I miss those wholesome shows.
My parents never got cable. They felt that it was an unnecessary expense. After I got married, I felt I was grown up enough to make my own decisions about television viewing. We got satellite. Now, I'm not talking about the enormous, swimming pool sized dish that stood on a huge base in the back yard. (My great uncle in Indiana had one of those....we could never actually find anything to watch on it, but we sure did enjoy seeing the dish rotate around to pick up different stations!) Hubby and I got DirecTV. Over the years, the cost grew and grew. I eventually turned into my mother and realized that this expense was totally unnecessary! I cancelled it.
Now, I don't think you can call it full circle, but we're back to having only the stations that we can pick up with our digital antenna. To be honest, it's not much greater than that huge contraption my dad had anchored to the roof of our house. It cuts in and out quite often, so we just don't watch TV much any more. I've taken to reading instead. Life is better, I'm happier. TV is garbage.
Except for Downton Abbey. Don't mess with my Downton Abbey!!!