On the Lighter Side: What I watched as a youth on TV

If you look back at TV in the mid 80’s to early 90’s, you’ll see a lot of things that you probably wouldn’t see now. As a child, I can vividly remember watching many TV shows that no longer exist, mostly because it’s been 20+ years and the entertainment landscape has changed. So, without further adieu, a brief list:

  • PBS – Because we didn’t have cable right away – I was watching TV through an antenna when I was young. Also, because of family rules, we were only permitted to watch certain shows. “Sesame Street”, “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”, “3-2-1 Contact”, “Nova”, and anything else educational and non-violent was usually par for the course.
  • Eyewitness News and the Evening News with Dan Rather – Again, because we initially didn’t have cable, we were restricted to watching only a few channels, one of which was the local TV station operated by CBS. The “Evening News” and Sunday football games were usually watched frequently.
  • When cable came, the whole TV experience changed – Suddenly, there was ESPN, Fox, CNN, and the Weather Channel. Also, there were more local broadcast networks. Going into Adolescence, “The Brady Bunch” re-runs, “Star Trek” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “Saved by the Bell”, various Cartoons like “Dark Wing Duck”. TV Time began to get delegated as the family size increased, so there were increasing fights over who’s turn it was to watch a show.
  • In the teen years, since cable was well established, “The Simpsons”, “The X-Files”, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, The Discovery Network, CNN, the OJ Simpson Trial, “Seinfeld”, and lots of other sitcoms.
  • One day, my little brother came to the dinner table and repeated so foul language he heard on MTV’s Beavis and Butthead. My Mom had long awaited this moment: She wanted any excuse to cut MTV because she thought it was “gross” and “rude”. So, the next day, a cable lineman was up the pole installing a block on the channel.

    This didn’t stop us from ocassionally seeing MTV when they were changing the channel lineup (which effectively removed the block my mother had installed), but for the most part, we were left with a more tame VH1.

    Writing a complete post about TV watching habits would probably take hours, so this is just meant to be one of those entries where the light bulb goes off in the head and you say “Oh yeah… I remember watching that, too”.

    Today, with the evolution of cable and satellite TV, I watch tons of other shows and Networks, mostly News, HBO, Cinemax, or The Movie Channel, CNN, Discovery, the Sony Station, The WB, and more.

    We’ll get back to BPD in the next post… I just needed a rest 🙂

One Reply to “On the Lighter Side: What I watched as a youth on TV”

  1. Some of the shows you mentioned continue to obsess me to this day. Not so long ago, I had a “Seinfeld” re-runs-fest: evenings of lying and falling asleep on the couch watching an episode I otherwise knew. Sitcoms don’t make me laugh, but I think now it has something to do with knowing the episode… feeling in control, ultimately. Anything “unpredictable” (new movies, new shows) tends to rather stress me out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.