Friday, September 16, 2005

TV FAVORITES

It's still locking up my PC when I try to publish pics! AARGH! Got these, though!

Well, the new TV GUIDE fall preview issue is on the stands but here at the Library, we tend to look backward, not forward. In this case, let's revisit early 1971 when the book TV FAVORITES by Linda Beech was marketed to the youth of mainstream America through Scholastic book clubs in schools.
Beech profiles the shows she thought meant something to kids at the time. Thus we have whole chapters on
1) Dark Shadows(yes. My friends and I loved it)
2)The Bugaloos (Oh, please! A little Martha Raye is too much!)
3)Glen Campbell (Hard to be hip in a suit with Led Zeppelin and Elton John fast defining rock music at the time)
4)Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (a cocktail party version of hipness that works sbetter in nostalgic retrospect)
5)The Bill Cosby Show (the slow moving sitcom where Cos was a high school coach. I watched it but it was duuuulll!)
6)Ice skater Peggy Fleming (who inexplicably starred in lots of TV specials when I was a kid!)
7)Ivan Tors, the animal trainer for GENTLE BEN, DAKTARI and just about every other animal show at the time.
8) The Partidge Family (Again, cooler in retrospect but hey, we all enjoyed it at the time anyway!)
9) Julia (forever after known as the first sitcom to star an African-American woman, giving short shrift to the fact that this was, in fact, a genuinely funny show with real characters and real heart.)
Note the absence of youth-oriented dramas such as MOD SQUAD and YOUNG LAWYERS. Note also that only the Partridges and Dark Shadows had much of an afterlife.
In fact, for a more realistic viewpoint of this period than Ms. Beech's undeniably interesting puff pieces provide, check out the take no prisoners writing of Harlan Ellison in his classic collections of columns musing on television and writing, THE GLASS TEAT and THE OTHER GLASS TEAT.

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