Even though most of us focus on the fabulous television shows of today, there are plenty of classic shows that took their final bow long ago. We've said goodbye to numerous TV friends, and we've sworn off networks when they cancel our favorites before their time. Television has provided us with so many moments over its more than fifty year history. We've laughed until we made our selves sick, we've cried until we were literally out of tears, and we've stared at the television with our mouths agape at the scene that just transpired. At its core, television is there to entertain us, and there have been many shows that have filled us with hours of entertainment through the years. Here are some of my favorite long gone shows.
NOTE: I'm going to list the shows by the decade they are most associated with.
Mister Ed - When I was a kid, I loved to watch this show on Nick At Night on Nickelodeon. It just doesn't get much better than a talking horse who out smarts the humans around him. Mister Ed made me laugh with all his silly tricks and dialog with Wilbur (Alan Young). Plus, you've got to give it up to a show that had a talking horse before the era of special effects. They actually had to make the horse move his lips without any digital enhancement!
The Brady Bunch - Yes, it was as wholesome as wheat bread, but there was something about watching a show that presented a family that really loved each other, despite their spats. Even in its cheesiness, was the realistic side including sisterly jealousy, the effects of blending families, and the everyday struggles that families face. As sugary-sweet as the show was, it had heart and some great characters.
Charlie's Angels - This show was a summer staple for me when I was younger. It aired in reruns every day on one of the cable channels. Talk about girl power! I wasn't a Farrah/Jill fan, so her departure didn't phase me. My favorite angels were Sabrina (Kate Jackson), Kris (Cheryl Ladd), and Kelly (Jaclyn Smith), but Kelly was my top angel. I loved how these women were out there fighting the bad guys and looking fabulous while doing it. It was a fun show, and somewhat of an earlier version of Alias.
Dallas - The mother of the night time soap opera is the still the best! This show had it all - murder, backstabbing, money, the once thought dead coming back to life, love triangles and everything else that makes a great night time soap. The show mirrored the opulence of the 80s with the Ewing family and their massive oil fortune. Characters came and went over the show's thirteen seasons, but one remained: J.R. Ewing. What more can you say about a show that basically invented the summer cliffhanger, and caused a national furry with its "Who shot J.R.?" season ender? Classic, indeed.
Remington Steele - What's a female private detective to do when she can't get any clients? Invent a male private detective boss and watch the business role in. Such was the case for Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist), so she invented the name Remington Steele. But, it wasn't long before she needed to produce the elusive Mr. Steele, so she enlists the help of a stranger (Pierce Brosnan) to play the part. This was another girl power show, but it also had the will-they-or-won't-they element between Holt and Steele. The showed teased us for five seasons, until the two finally got together in the end. It was a fun show with plenty of great undercover scenes.
Full House - Like most seven year olds, I was totally into this show when it premiered. I could completely relate to the sisters because I am one of three girls as well. This is another one of those sugar-sweet shows, but it had some decent messages and lots of family values. I loved the comic relief of Joey (Dave Coulier) and Uncle Jesse (John Stamos). The ending scenes where everyone hugged were a bit much, but overall, the show was pretty good.
Picket Fences - Arguably David E. Kelley's finest show, Picket Fences was a quirky little program that followed the citizens of Rome Wisconsin. It had sex-change doctors, spontaneous human combustion, cows giving birth to humans, and an entire host of other oddities that gave the show its original flare. The show's crazy characters added the charm. Tom Skerrit was great as the town's sheriff, and Lauren Holly and Costas Mandylor had great chemistry. The show had a little bit of everything, and I do mean everything, and just the right amount of great characters and well written episodes.
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman - I was such a Dr. Quinn fan! I've always been a sucker for westerns and love stories, so this show was basically written for me. It featured a great lead character (Jane Seymour) who constantly proved that women were just as capable as men. I LOVED the episode where Michaela and the kids went to Boston to see her ailing mother. It was so great when Sully (Joe Lando) showed up and had her all torn between her old shiny life and her new frontier life. The running kiss scene was awesome at the end. The show started to show its age in its later years, but the early years were pure gold.
Seinfeld - One of the funniest shows to ever grace the television airwaves. What makes this show so unique (other than the fact that it was "the show about nothing") is the fact that every single character was funny. Even the smaller roles like Newman were hysterical. The show blended physical humor, smart dialog, and exaggerated every day situations into a perfect storm of comic gold. From Kramer's (Michael Richards) crazy entrances to George's hang-ups, this show was funny from top to bottom. I still laugh about Kramer adopting a highway!
So those are just some of my favs from yesterday. What are some of yours? What old shows cause you to stop channel surfing when you think there's nothing on? Leave me a note with your favorites.
*Brian Cox is joining the cast of HBO's Deadwood for its third season per zap2it.. He'll play a theater owner and producer who tries to impart a little culture on the town. He's signed on for at least seven episodes starting next year.
*The John Grisham best seller The Street Lawyer is coming to TNT. The cable network ordered the project as a pilot/miniseries. The story follows a lawyer who quits his big time firm to work in a legal aid clinic. Grisham is signed on to executive produce the pilot.
*And finally, it's Nielsen Wednesday. CBS finished out another stellar week atop the ratings heap. Led by CSI (#1), CBS had all five of the top shows with 60 Minutes (#2), Two and a Half Men (#3), Cold Case (#4), and CSI:Miami (#5). NBC and Fox split second place. For the full top 20, visit usatoday.com.
That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as we prepare for an Invasion. Plus all the latest television news.