Old TV Shows that don't suck (revisited)

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by fr in sc, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. fr in sc

    fr in sc Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hanahan, SC
    I searched in the Visual Arts thread for Burke's Law and found that all the threads that mention it have been closed (they were 10+ years old for the most part!), so I thought I'd reopen the topic by bringing up a golden oldie thread, Old TV Shows that don't suck.

    That being said, I always loved Burke's Law----I believe this was Aaron Spelling's first show as a producer, and it certainly set the formula for Love Boat, Fantasy Island, et al.: a somewhat outlandish premise, a lot of up and coming TV actors/actresses with a lot of older, well-known but practically retired movie actors/actresses included.

    And what a premise! An extremely rich, handsome bachelor with a chauffeur-driven gold Rolls-Royce who just happens to be the head of homicide for the LAPD. Always lots of lovely women, extremely sexist and nowadays politically-incorrect repartee. somebody gets killed but we don't take it seriously and it all gets wrapped up inside an hour. The first season is still the only one you can get on DVD, unfortunately. I remember it ended halfway thru the third season in '65, by which time the whole premise had been changed and its title was changed to Amos Burke, Secret Agent. No more Rolls-Royce, replaced with a bunch of secret agent spyware a la James Bond's and the humor was all gone. Spelling said in his autobio that ABC-TV wanted the premise changed to reflect the secret agent spy meme that was still sweeping the world, and since they wrote the checks, he did what they wanted. Too bad!

    Here's an episode from Season 2 that introduced Honey West (Anne Francis), who got her eponymous TV show that fall:



    What old TV shows that didn't suck do you remember fondly?
     
  2. rockclassics

    rockclassics Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arkansas, USA
    I have found Maverick starring James Garner on METV on Saturday mornings. Like it a lot. The stories are OK but they tend to have a similar structure to them. But they are entertaining on a Saturday morning.
     
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  3. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dixie
    First off, I hate your thread title and premise. There are a lot of good old TV shows. I might even suggest there are more good old TV shows than good new TV shows. Would "Old Songs That Don't Suck" fly on the Music Board?

    Re Burke's Law: the format was later co-opted by Ellery Queen (1975), the long forgotten Eddie Capra Mysteries (1979; it apparently used some unproduced EQ scripts), and most successfully, Murder She Wrote.
     
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  4. fr in sc

    fr in sc Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hanahan, SC
    As I said, I used that title because it was the title of an earlier thread that you can't post replies to anymore. If I could have, I would've simply replied to one of the many comments in that original thread. I personally much prefer old TV shows to what's available nowadays. And as I stated in my opening paragraph, the format of Burke's Law was used by other shows---I only listed the ones Aaron Spelling produced. The idea of having lots of people as suspects for a murder is as old as dirt.

    So are there any old TV shows that YOU would suggest for discussion?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  5. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    I'm nor sure any really old TV shows would stand up anymore - cultural changes have been too great for them not to feel anachronistic today.

    I used to enjoy old shows like My Favorite Martian, Gilligan's Island, Land Of The Giants, Hogan's Heroes, Mary Tyler More Show, I Dream Of Genie, McCloud, Dynasty, The Big Valley, It's About Time, Colombo, The Greatest American Hero, Space 1999, Star Trek TOS, The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman, Allo Alllo, Lost In Space, etc.

    However, I would have trouble watching those shows today, with the exception of Hogan's Heroes and Colombo (initial run).
     
  6. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    We watch my Peter Gunn dvds when we're stuck with nothing on tube. Many of them are the same, but not all. Sometimes the episode has really great dialogue or a noir-ish mood that is really great for the time.
     
  7. fr in sc

    fr in sc Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hanahan, SC
    And such a great theme song! When there's nothing else worth watching I work my way thru my M Squad DVDs----surprised me to find out the first season didn't have that immortal Count Basie theme. Of course, when I start watching them, I immediately think of Police Squad! Hard to believe that show only lasted half a season.
     
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  8. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I think it is a good thread title because most old shows deal with the issue and topic of that time and Don't often relate to modern day. Beyond the substance is the style that can often feel awkward to say the least. Many times comedies do Falcon Crest better than drama. I dare anyone to sit through a season of Knotts Landing or Falcon Crest.
    I still like watching WKRP in Cincinatti and Too Close for Comfort.
     
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  9. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Yes it can be difficult to revisit old shows with modern eyes. :)

    I love Colombo as it was just so good it really stands up to the passage of time. But I would find it difficult to rewatch a lot of those on your list as well. I might give The Greatest American Hero a shot though. I really loved that as a kid.
     
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  10. RDriftwood

    RDriftwood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwestern US

    Peter Gunn - The Hellecasters
     
  11. fr in sc

    fr in sc Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hanahan, SC
    I lived in Japan for almost 10 years and WKRP was one of the handful of US TV series they showed regularly in stereo---one channel was broadcast in English and the other dubbed into Japanese. My Japanese friends were always perplexed by the Venus Flytrap character and why his "show" was so different from Johnny Fever's. They also broadcast Lou Grant and Family Ties weekly. Why Lou Grant and not the Mary Tyler Moore Show I never understood!
     
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  12. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    I would agree. I'm tempted to say audiences today are more sophisticated, but that isn't quite right. But they do expect more involved plots, characters that aren't too clearly drawn, less melodrama, less reliance on sight gags, snazzier dialogue (even if unrealistic), etc.
     
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  13. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    Also, Garner's Nichols was quite good and I think it holds up today.
     
  14. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    The Rockford Files. James Garner's jackets always looked shrunk on the show.
     
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  15. riverclown

    riverclown Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bradenton, FL
    I agree on the Rockford Files. Also, there are certain episodes of I Love Lucy that hold up remarkably and I always laugh: Vitameatavegamin, the candy line, the harpo marx routine, the one where her fake nose catches fire, and a lot of others. But for the most part its a kind of humor that doesn't work so well now. Similarly with Maverick ... some of it doesn't work now, but certain episodes, like Shady Deal at Sunny Acres hold up beautifully.
     
  16. Raylinds

    Raylinds Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I also love Burke's Law, but my favorite old shows were The Naked City and Route 66.
     
  17. Jason Pumphrey

    Jason Pumphrey Forum Resident

    Dragnet, in both its original 50s black-and-white and it's later 60s color revival.
     
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  18. Johnny Rocker

    Johnny Rocker Forum Resident

    Location:
    DFW
    Its Canadian, and it cracks me up, S.C.T.V, the Canadian version of Saturday night live, the original crew was the funniest.
     
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  19. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    The ones with Robin Duke and Tony Rosatto? Those were OK, but the show really took off with "Season 4" in 1981 (though I'll admit a chunk of that included excellent repeat stuff from earlier seasons).
     
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  20. Johnny Rocker

    Johnny Rocker Forum Resident

    Location:
    DFW
    Love em' all, but the early ones, with Candy, Levy, Moranis, Mckenzie, Flaherty, and the rest cracked me up the most.:cool: But the death of a salesman with Jim bones McCoy, Jim belushi<Tony Rosatto, Eugen Levy as the fantasy island dude, and the gal from wizard of oz was funny, SCTV theater presents death of a sales man. Funny as heck!:cool:
     
  21. footprintsinthesand

    footprintsinthesand Forum Resident

    Location:
    Haren, DM
  22. Johnny Rocker

    Johnny Rocker Forum Resident

    Location:
    DFW
    That show always cracks me up! There are re-runs still playing, Fred and Ester's fights are wild! Watch it sucker!LOL!:D
     
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  23. footprintsinthesand

    footprintsinthesand Forum Resident

    Location:
    Haren, DM
    You can un-Sucker ! me. Was only broadcast once over here, so some folks on the other side of the Atlantic should wake up and give us re-runs.
     
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  24. Jason Pumphrey

    Jason Pumphrey Forum Resident

    A classic that will never die
     
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  25. Johnny Rocker

    Johnny Rocker Forum Resident

    Location:
    DFW
    I love how Archie mispronounces words, like Salavation army, or groinacologyst! Classic 70s comedy. Still cracks me up!:D
     

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