Last night, I was watching some of the streaming offerings on PlutoTV. It got me to thinking about the America that existed when I was a kid. The shows like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, the Wonderful World of Disney, Six Million Dollar Man, Happy Days, Barney Miller, Mork and Mindy, The Love Boat, Three’s Company, and Laverne and Shirley. During the day, we grew up on old shows like the Dick van Dyke show, Andy Griffith, and The Beverly Hillbillys.

Watching music videos on television.

All of it seems like it was so corny, and so wholesome. I know that life had its difficulties. We had the Carter years, the Cold War, and my young adult years were filled with my time in the military, but being young, the world seemed so much better in those days than it is now. Things made more sense then. Perhaps its due to the state of the world today, or perhaps its due to the youthful optimism that we all have when we are in our teens.

Still, there are times when I live in the nostalgia of the years between 1976 and 1996, and long to return to those days. So I think I will sit here for a couple of hours, watch some nostalgia TV, and remember a time when I was young, and the world seemed to make sense. Then I have to go to work.

Categories: Glory Days


WDS · August 14, 2023 at 8:22 am

I had Godzilla flicks on while doing chores Saturday. Really brought back some memories. Ditched DirecTV in 2019 and bought a Roku device. I don’t watch a lot of TV but enjoy history documentaries, old movies and aviation videos. I think I’ve got about 15 or so channels. Saving $1500 a year is nice.

Matthew W · August 14, 2023 at 8:29 am

Most of my “nostalgia” TV isn’t as good as I remember it !!!!

Eagle Rises Again · August 14, 2023 at 9:15 am

Emergency, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Starsky & Hutch, Buck Rodgers, Battlestar Galactica, Dukes of Hazzard, Magnum PI, In Search OF.
MTV was awesome when it first came out and played actual music.
Cable was great at the start and then prices started creeping up with less good “programming” just as USMC grampaw said would happen.
Everything was better in Legacy America.
External enemies are licking their chops and preparing.

    oldvet50 · August 14, 2023 at 1:24 pm

    I remember when cable TV first came to our area (Tampa). HBO, Cinemax and Showtime with no commercials whatsoever! Then they added all the other channels and not only did you pay for the service, you paid to watch commercials – a practice I still do not understand. If I have to watch a commercial, I turn the show off.

      Boneman · August 14, 2023 at 10:27 pm

      Some of the programming was so utterly brilliant. All In The Family comes to mind. Carol Burnett’s stuff was killer. Flip Wilson, Red Skelton. Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson were career launchers.

      There is nothing like that now. And kids programming? I remember Bugs Bunny. Road Runner. Here’s one… AWARD winning Disney Flick that will never see the light of day ever again: Song Of The South.

      Nostalgia Indeed.

        Divemedic · August 15, 2023 at 6:08 am

        Bugs Bunny and Road Runner weren’t originally for kids. They were shorts shown before feature films at the movies during the 40s.

      Divemedic · August 15, 2023 at 6:06 am

      Do you remember TV32? It was an over the air channel in the 80s that played music videos. The time from 4-8 every afternoon was metal and hard rock. We didn’t have cable, so that was how I got my music video fix…(Except for Friday night videos on NBC)

Rob · August 14, 2023 at 9:36 am

Also, people back in the 70’s weren’t fat like they are today. Before the US government stepped in with the B.S. food pyramid and poisonous seed oils replacing healthy animal fats, most people were not obese. Eggs, butter no good lol… lies all of it.

Jonesy · August 14, 2023 at 9:51 am

Growing up in NE Ohio, some of our TV channels were based in Cleveland. One channel had a Saturday morning show with “Superhost”, some almost fat guy who was in a half clown, half superman costume. He would play old godzilla and dinosaur movies, and during the breaks, he would highlight artwork sent in by kids who watched the show. I sent a dozen drawings in over a year or two but never made the show. Didn’t matter, it was 2 hours of adventure with monsters and stuff blowing up.

DM mentioned Pluto TV. I just used that to reach back and watch a show from my childhood – Airwolf. It hasn’t aged well, but it was the shit for me back in the day.

    Noway2 · August 14, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Hey, small world. I grew up in Chardon, OH and remember watching super host on channel 43 on Saturdays. I also liked watching Big Chuck and Little John back when channel 8 produced local content.

Joe Blow · August 14, 2023 at 10:59 am

I too wonder how much is factually accurate recollection, and how much is rose-colored glasses?
Thats one of the hardest things about the current malaise I have found difficult to deal with. You don’t know what to believe, who to trust, all information is suspect… so cling back to your memories, who cares if they’re accurate, your brain says here’s some serotonin for you… LOL.

    Craig · August 14, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    Lots of good memories of those shows. Especially Mutual of Omaha “Jim is going to jump out the jeep onto the running( insert animal) so we can tag and learn about it.” Saturday morning cartoons that were educational:road runner and coyote, foghorn leghorn, etc. Good times.

      Steve · August 14, 2023 at 10:10 pm

      I was thinking the same thing about Wild Kingdom, but my version was a bit more specific, Jim was jumping onto a rhinoceros to wrestle it to the ground so they could study it.

Big Ruckus D · August 14, 2023 at 1:19 pm

I don’t watch tv anymore, though reflecting on TV viewing of my childhood, and through the time I started high school (1988-89), I remember first run shows like CHiPs, The Rockford Files, Six Million Dollar Man ,The Dukes of Hazzard, Airwolf, The A-Team, Magnum P.I., and Simon & Simon (as key highlights) being stuff I enjoyed watching. Saw plenty of reruns of 60’s and early 70’s shows too, with early cable using those as staples of filling hours of airtime. Never got much into 50’s tv, though saw some reruns here and there.

Some of these have aged poorly, and many were always kind of corny, but that was less evident to me as a kid. That said, they weren’t woke, and though some of these series got socially preachy in the mid to late 80’s, they didn’t bludgeon the viewer with wokist crap. Barney Miller had that couple of faggots as periodic recurring characters, and that was played up to the stereotype of the lisping, effeminate sort in a semi-insulting manner, something that would never fly now. I doubt I picked up on that until at least the late 80’s when I’d see those episodes in reruns.

Aside from TV, music was also much better in terms of inculcating a sense of good times and optimism. Sure, there were dreary songs and even downright depressing ones. But 70’s and 80’s rock and pop, which were the staple of my listening at the time, were far more melodic and generally “happy sounding” songs. I can pick out any random song from the 80’s (which was the prime of my childhood, ages 6-16) and there are so many that are upbeat. Almost anything Huey Lewis and the News did meets that definition. When is the last time you heard a good sax solo? Van Halen was great rock (with Dave, Sammy took them in a more serious direction that wasn’t bad either). I could list a lot of bands and songs, but no need to go on a lengthy dissertation. What do we get now that is big and has mass-appeal (to the extent such exists anymore)? Taylor Swift doing her 86th teen angst song (while in her 30’s) about another ex-boyfriend or some similarly vapid bullshit. And parents buying $6000 tickets for their kids to see her latest tour.

Even TV stations got in on optimistic and upbeat music with their image campaigns and news themes. In the early 80’s the composer and producer Frank Gari created a combined image/news music package titled “Hello News”. It’s centerpiece was a one minute jingle performed by orchestra and a vocalist – usually Florence Warner – that was customized for many dozens of stations all around the country. Here’s a link to a version done for Cleveland, though there are many others. Just try to find anything this positive today:

As a kid, I was just at the cusp of the video game and computer age, which was to have had so much promise for a better future. That largely went to shit, having now morphed into another commoditized, corporatized bunch of exploitative, controlling garbage not all that different form previous forms of media technology like radio and tv. And no surprise many of the same old companies that ruined TV and radio are the ones controlling it all still. The promise of the early internet has been largely pissed away in clown world 2023.

We were told of cures for cancer and other scourges, and yet our healthcare sytem has gone to shit, outside of triage which it does well (for now), being a literal racket reminiscent of the mafia (“nice body you got there, be a shame if something happened to it. Pay our protection money (insurance) or get exponentially fucked when you need to avail yourself of our services”). Sure, youthful idealism, and not yet having learned just how screwed up the world really is, shielded us from the cynicism and weariness that we have come to develop in adulthood. But we did at least have some legitimate expectation for a better future based on things that were happening at the time.

Picture the moment when the Berlin Wall fell, and contrast that to the state of geopolitics in 2023. Yeah, we are a long, long way from what we expected back then. Instead, we got (just since circa 2000) multiple major financial cirises, waves of terrorist violence (both from belligerent muzzies, and later bullshit like blm and antifa riots, both of which qualify as terrorist orgs) a pandemic that was obscenely oversold with manipulative fear porn of the highest order, in order to force widespread uptake of a horribly damaging “treatment”, the consequences of which are just now beginning to permeate the mainstream consciousness. And presently, the big one – sexually degeneracy and mutilation – is destroying the minds and bodies of scores of people.

And to cap all that off, we are facing unchecked tyranny and legit collapse of empire in the FUSA and other western powers that were once, so many years ago, to have been the world’s hope of liberating humanity. Heh. See how stupid it sounds to say something like that now? So yeah, the future looks and feels shitty – near to moderate term, anyway – however you care to assess it.

    Craig · August 14, 2023 at 4:58 pm

    I graduated HS in ’84. Huey Lewis was so overplayed I still change the station. Uggh.

      Big Ruckus D · August 14, 2023 at 6:55 pm

      Fair enough, I’ll concede that point. But before his song library got the balls played off of it, it was decent, upbeat music that was enjoyable to listen to. It wasn’t high art by any means, but was solid enough mainstream rock.

      And that was just what I pulled out as a representative example of the era. There was plenty of other good music from that time frame that didn’t get so massively overexposed.

oldvet50 · August 14, 2023 at 1:21 pm

The one thing I can say for sure about nostalgia (for me) is it holds memories of the times that I still had hope for the future. The way society is devolving, every year brings more despair; even for our youth that can see the writing on the wall.

joe · August 14, 2023 at 6:36 pm

i watch, mainly, 4 chans…all over the air…metv, metv+, heroes & icons, and catchy…they are all sister stations…it’s all old stuff…and catchy is all old comedy stuff…no quotas of gays, minorities, just tv…80’s was probably the campiest of all…buck rogers, wonder woman, a team…but it was still good clean tv…

C · August 14, 2023 at 7:46 pm

I’m probably half your age. I think TV from the first half of your life is better than anything on today.

nick flandrey · August 15, 2023 at 12:10 am

The 80s were a more joyful and positive time. We were coming out of the Carter years, jobs were plentiful and paid well. Pop music was upbeat and celebratory, not the funeral march slow whining about mental health and being ‘broken’ that marks today’s music (listen to Alt Nation on XM for a while to see what I mean.) Even rap was largely about partying and having fun.

If you were into it, drugs were available and cheap, they were pure as diamonds compared to the messed up poison concoctions of today.

Sex wouldn’t kill you, and almost anything you caught could be cured with a shot.

People understood that if something was “politically correct” it meant that it was a LIE that you had to pretend was true, not a goal for behavior, and not actually correct. The newspeak was just getting started.

Making money and getting rich was still seen as desirable, and not shameful.

And families were largely intact.

There were standards of politeness and decorum, behavior that was acceptable and agreement on what was not.

There was self control and restraint, sacrifice for the greater good, and a sense of purpose. Look at all the fraternal and service organizations that supported civic and charitable causes thru volunteer work, that are pale shadows of what they were, if they exist at all.

TV was an idealized, better version of life. It was a tool to train (and indoctrinate) the immigrant sons and daughters of a hundred different cultures what it meant to be an American, living the American Dream.

The ‘slice of life’ shows, the gritty ‘ground breaking’ nighttime dramas, the FCC relaxing broadcast rules, and the consolidation in media ownership put and end to that.

And we end up here, with ‘reality’ tv that is scripted, crimes committed and broadcast, lowest-un-common-denominator-niche-marketed garbage that degrades and diminishes everyone who sees it.

The decline in society isn’t just mirrored by media, it was driven by media.


Mark · August 15, 2023 at 5:58 am

Amen Brother. Aaaaaa-men!

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