Did you ever watch a program on TV and imagine how amazing it would be if you had the heroes superpowers or physique or lifestyle?
In the 1950s, we had a limited selection of television programs to watch, but they all seemed to be wonderful. That opinion could have come from the fact that television was new, so all the shows were bright and shiny bits of excitement we’d never before experienced.
I loved everything I saw and almost every show was suitable for all ages. I watched Gunsmoke, The Bob Cummings Show, Dragnet, Father Knows Best, Ozzie and Harriet, Have Gun-Will Travel, The Honeymooners, Lassie and dozens more. (My husband can actually tell you what night and at what time they all aired…I think he sat in front of that box day and night.)
There were a few female characters that stood out above the rest. The roles they played were 3-dimensional and kept you coming back for more every week. Those were the women I adored, laughed and cried with and wanted to emulate.
Between the ages of 5 and 7, I watched The Mickey Mouse Club, which was replete with wholesome kids and stories that were relevant to most ages. At 7 years old, I discovered Annette Funicello on that show. She was the perfect young girl – sweet, smart and self-deprecating. She was a giver and a good friend. She had values and ambitions. Annette was an excellent role model and I wanted to be her! Here’s a clip of one of the shows I loved:
Annette Funicello-Mickey Mouse Club-The Committee
[Around the same time, my parents watched The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. It was mostly G-rated, so we kids were allowed to watch, too. Gracie Allen never failed to put me into hysterics. Even at 7 years old, I could recognize that she was smarter than she pretended to be, but the ‘clueless wife’ routine earned her all the laughs. I wanted her sense of humor. I though making others laugh was the greatest gift a person could have. Take a look:
Gracie Allen – The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
During that same decade of 1950-1960, Lucille Ball was hugely popular for her ‘I Love Lucy‘ show. For me, she was a cross between Annette and Gracie. She was funny, and sweet and always a loyal friend. But, the big lesson I learned from watching her is that no one is perfect and sometimes, no matter how hard you try to do things well, you can still flub it up. It’s best to laugh at yourself and try again, rather than cry or give up. Please enjoy this clip:
Lucille Ball-I Love Lucy-Superman
Watching these old TV shows brings back happy memories. I don’t look at them in the same way, however. I look at them as a writer now. I recognize the ‘hook’, the ‘inciting incident’, the ‘climax’ and the ‘resolution’. I tear them apart to see what worked and what didn’t.
The lessons remain in tact, though. Humor gets you through the tough days and softens the impact of mistakes made. Kindness, consideration and believing in yourself are values more important than popularity or winning.
What television shows from your childhood do you remember fondly? Did the lessons in them stand the test of time?
You know I love hearing from you! I look forward to your opinion!
This Friday I’ll be talking to Donna, who won my prize giveaway at The Life List Club Milestone Party back on September 23rd. Part of the post will be a book giveaway to one of my commenters! Stop in and meet Donna and chat with us. Maybe YOU will be the lucky one who wins a very special book!
Please note: This post was inspired by one written by Clay Morgan on October 19th. Click his name and check out his original post.