Our Unstoppable Lust for the Classic Sitcom

I was just watching an episode of “I Love Lucy” when it occurred to me the enduring lifelong classic sitcom that has been on the air 70 years is beginning to lose its luster especially with young people. They don’t seem to get the comedy yet we surely did as young people. The world is changing, friends.   My 12 year-old son sits down, looks at the screen, and gets right back to his video games. He’d rather kill zombies.  He doesn’t understand mid-century comedy.  Yet, he will sit and watch “Dick Van Dyke” for hours on end.  I figured if he liked Dick Van Dyke, he’d enjoy Lucy.

Nothing doing…

Boomers will always be drawn to “I Love Lucy,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Andy Griffith,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Bewitched,” “The Brady Bunch,” “The Partridge Family,” “Green Acres,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” and “Petticoat Junction” and a host of others because they remind us of our youth. 

They’re also downright funny. 

We watch “The Brady Bunch” and recall—as teenage girls and boys—the crushes we had on Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams.  When Eve Plumb said “Marcia-Marcia-Marcia!!!” most of us guys, ages 12 through 15, thought to ourselves, “Yes…and now!”  I actually sat down and penned a letter to Maureen McCormick in 1970. 

Fifty years later, I’m still waiting for her response.

Today, I’d be more interested in Eve Plumb.

As baby boomers came of age long ago, we dreamed of being what we saw on “The Brady Bunch”— and “The Partridge Family.”  Most of you ladies had a thing for David Cassidy.  Guys had it for Susan Dey.  I personally experienced a renewed thing for Susan Dey when she was doing “L.A. Law.”  She was still hot in the 1980s when I wondered what it was like to live in Los Angeles.

I’d get my answer.  Been living in Southern California for 27 years.      

 We hear the opening and closing themes and the music and drift into another time.  In fact, we get so lost in the era we forget it is 2021.  That’s the magic of a rainy Saturday watching classic sitcoms.  Seems TVLand has lost its sense of fair play.  It takes advantage of our passion for the sitcoms we grew up with.  Stockholders and bean counters have become priority instead of the viewer and advertiser.  Five minutes of air time and six minutes every five minutes spent suffering through 16 really pointless commercials—most of which are pharmaceutical companies trying to convince us we might be sick.    

These networks are not worth the time anymore. 

There’s Hulu, Prime, and there’s our ginormous library of classic sitcom DVDs.  The TV networks don’t even have a tasteful way of seguing into commercials.  They will cut to a commercial amid a scene and amid a line.  How cheese ball is that?  And now—the biggest insult, streaming with additional plans you get to pay extra for.  It is also finding its way into the web where they charge for the privilege of watching their programs.  Discover Plus is the biggest insult.  Advertiser get bopped without a kiss too.  They pay enormous sums of money for commercial time while local cable and sat’ companies run regional commercials overtop the network commercials.

If that isn’t audacity, what is? 

Meanwhile, I will continue watch my dusty old sitcoms—and loving it.

2 thoughts on “Our Unstoppable Lust for the Classic Sitcom”

  1. James,
    Wow, totally awesome, totally correct. All of it . Suddenly I feel the urge to watch Jackie Gleason show. It all applies to me but I can’t find any of these on television. Probably because I don’t have cable or satellite, just a digital antenna. I so enjoy your posts on your, on our boomer journey. Thank you for penning the things I feel inside!

    Eric

    Sent from the road

    Like

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