Things you miss from old tv shows that you don’t see anymore?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Gill-man, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    I never said anything that implied all black characters are alike or all white characters are alike. I made a simple point...the diversity that really matters when it comes to creating a good show is personality diversity. Racial diversity does virtually nothing to improve a show. We've had many classic, brilliantly written shows with little to no racial diversity. The Dick Van Dyke Show. Cheers. Seinfeld. The desire to make shows racially diverse has almost everything to do with a social agenda and/or marketing but very little to do with increasing a show's writing quality.

    Of course you can have personality diversity and racial diversity at the same time. But when it comes to casting, the question should be which actor is best for the part? Not which actor will fill a racial quota. Which actor on Cheers or Seinfeld should've lost their job because they were the wrong race? Woody, you're great but we want a black man for this part. Kelsey, you're perfect but we were looking for a Latino. John R., great job but we're trying to find an Indian to play Cliff. If you've found the perfect cast, nothing should impose upon you to change it based on the actors' races. Every actor of any race should be allowed to try out for the parts, if the character has no story-based reason for being a certain race, but the best actor for the job should be the one who wins the part.

    There's certainly a difference when you're casting a show based on a pre-existing character or real-life person. In that case, the top criteria should be casting someone who looks like that pre-existing person. That's why a show like SNL benefits from having a racially diverse cast. They need actors who will match the physical appearance of various pre-existing people they will need to play.

    If someone finds script opportunities based on a character's race, it almost always means they're buying into and promoting racial stereotypes. How many stories or character traits can be written for a black character that can't be written for a white, Asian, Indian or Latino character? Unless you're specifically doing a story about racial prejudice or the character is an immigrant from a non-racially-diverse country, there are very few non-stereotypical reasons why a character would need to be a certain race. Yes, there's an economic difference between blacks and whites in the U.S., so if you have a poor character it's more realistic if they're black, but it's not necessary.

    Could Gilligan's Island be rebooted with an all-black cast? Sure. But the only reason to do so would be if someone thought there would be a marketing benefit to it. It wouldn't improve the stories or writing. Most people would expect a reboot of it would have some racial diversity. But as I said above, I would argue the best version of the show would be one that hires the best actors for the job who have the best chemistry together. Race shouldn't be anything that scores any points for the actors trying out for the parts one way or the other.

    So far there's not much to back up that racial diversity has any effect on increasing the popularity of entertainment. Some of the most popular shows in reruns continue to be non-racially-diverse shows like Friends and Seinfeld. The Office is booming in popularity now and, I've never seen it, but the DVD box covers seem to be full of white people. Big Bang Theory, I've never seen, but it also appears to be light on racial diversity. The most popular shows with black characters tend to be shows with almost ALL black characters like The Jeffersons, The Cosby Show, Family Matters, Fresh Prince, etc.

    Most of these shows tend to be trying to reflect a reality that people can identify with. And the reality probably is that people's families and groups of friends tend not to be racially diverse. There probably isn't even much racial diversity in schools and workplaces in most of the country. Schools are probably the place where people most encounter racial diversity and TV shows about schools have tended to reflect that in the casting. Most school shows haven't been that popular, but Facts of Life had a long run with a black actress among the four leads. And that's probably because people can relate to going to school with people of different races.

    One exception is definitely Diff'rent Strokes. It had a cast split racially in a family that didn't reflect the reality of most of its viewers at all. In that case the very comic premise of the show was to see what would happen if an upper class white family adopted two lower class black boys. So there are cases where people want to see comedy that's not realistic or reflective of their own lives.

    Gender diversity is a different story. Almost all people live and work in gender-diverse groups. So shows with all-male or all-female casts tend not to be the most popular shows. Definitely exceptions, as Odd Couple and Perfect Strangers show a two-man buddy show can be popular. And female ensemble shows like Golden Girls and Facts of Life have also found their audience. Still, these shows never reach the top echelon in ratings. Casts with mixed genders in the leads tend to be the most popular.
  2. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    New York, NY, USA
    And a few more while we're at it:



    And for those who want color . . .
  3. andy749

    andy749 Senior Member

    Miss those 30 min syndicated shows.
    Highway Patrol, Sea Hunt, The Everglades, Whirlybirds,that stuff.
    Were on after evening news.
  4. I miss those shows where the actors didn't look like they just walked out of a salon on Rodeo Dr.

    They don't make shows like that anymore. Very, very few. Breaking Bad had a pretty ordinary looking cast. Better Call Saul, too. But I can't think of much else in recent memory.

    As far as race: man, I don't care who the fnɔʞ you cast. If you're going to cast an Idonesian character, that's cool, but don't go out find the best looking Indonesian on the planet!

    It gives us a false sense of sɥᴉʇ. George Jefferson was no prize. Neither was Weezy. Nor was Helen and that honky she married.

    All in the Family? They were gorilla ugly by TV standards...and that was so cool! :D

    Nobody on Diff'rent Strokes had an ounce of looks, except maybe the daughter, similar to All in the Family. See? The good looking folk were in the minority.

    Those are the minorities that matter the most to me on the TV. I'm just asking for a little realism. :)
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  5. geetar_await

    geetar_await Forum Resident

    I sometimes miss that big old console TV I used to watch shows on. and having to move the antenna around when the reception went bad. I just miss the times.
  6. Benjamin Edge

    Benjamin Edge Forum Resident

    Milwaukie, OR, US
    Up to the 1961-62 season, many CBS shows had one last commercial break between the main closing credits and the ending logos, such as here:

    Example 1. From a 1956 Gunsmoke episode re-ran in 1958:

    Example 2: From a 1961 Twilight Zone episode:

    For the 1962-64 episodes of Perry Mason, the final commercial break was squeezed between the two parts of the closing credits. Some other CBS shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66) and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (1964-69) ended similarly, but later reruns had this transition removed as best as possible.

    cloggedmind likes this.
  7. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    oh yea, those were the days.
  8. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    New York, NY, USA
    Those of a younger age ("back when") than the pattern above may be more familiar with . . .
  9. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    New York, NY, USA
    Many syndicated versions of old network shows from the 1960's had some technical credit listings shifted with an indentation at lower right or lower left. Though not obvious on such prints, those were to insert whoever sponsored the shows (i.e. Post cereals on The Andy Griffith Show, various Procter & Gamble products on Petticoat Junction, Chevrolet on My Three Sons) in such corners.
    Benjamin Edge likes this.
  10. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    New York, NY, USA
    Oh, and for . . .
    . . . let us remember the name of the individual at NBC who designed and devised this pattern: Peter G. House. Let's all see what we can find about this chap, shall we?
  11. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery picture member

    By the mid 60s, this was more common:

  12. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    I admire that Matt and Doc walk off set, then address the audience, all without breaking character!
    Benjamin Edge likes this.
  13. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    New York, NY, USA
    Not in that form, not until the '70's.
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  14. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Forum Resident

    Fountain Inn, SC
    That's very true-- in fact, when CBS was releasing shows like Perry Mason and The Streets of San Francisco, the releases were in half-season volumes; even so, the half-season volume releases were priced as though full seasons were being sold (this despite some volumes having very few episodes [like the front half of the third go on Perry Mason only having 12 outings on 3 discs, for instance]).


    Grand_Ennui likes this.
  15. Beatles_Apple

    Beatles_Apple Forum Resident

    What needs to happen is that shows should be diverse based on the premise of the show. Realistically, a group of friends isn’t going to have all of the following: a “token” member of each race, LGBTQ member, have class differences, have different genders including non-binary and transgendered, and someone of different ages. A crime or court drama will realistically have all of that.
  16. danielanderson2100

    danielanderson2100 Active Member

    One of the things i remember as a child; i would ask my mom to please find a channel that didn't have one of those shows on "that's just a lot of grown-ups arguing." That's how i hated soaps, and i wanted to watch either game shows or cartoons. Luckily for me, one of the independent stations ran The Real Ghostbusters at the same time as General Hospital.
    poe_man and SandAndGlass like this.
  17. Benjamin Edge

    Benjamin Edge Forum Resident

    Milwaukie, OR, US

    The closing credits of the Alex Trebek version of Jeopardy! as was represented during the show's first ten seasons (from 1984-94)...

    Season 1 (September 10, 1984 to June 21, 1985)
    "Jeopardy! is a production of Merv Griffin Enterprises. Distributed by King World."

    Season 2 (September 9, 1985 to June 20, 1986)
    Early run (September 9 to November 22, 1985)
    "This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. Jeopardy! is a production of Merv Griffin Enterprises. Distributed by King World."

    Later run (November 25, 1985 to June 20, 1986)
    "This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. Jeopardy! is a production of Merv Griffin Enterprises, and distributed by King World."

    Season 3 (early run, September 8 to November 7, 1986 and November 24, 1986 to January 2, 1987)
    (same as season 2 from November 25, 1985)
    (starting November 24, 1986 the Merv Griffin Enterprises logo has, for the first time, the "A Unit of the Coca-Cola Company" byline AND the company name intact)

    Tournament of Champions '86 (November 10 to 21, 1986)
    "This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. Jeopardy! is produced by Merv Griffin Enterprises, and is distributed by King World."
    (the Merv Griffin Enterprises logo on these ten episodes, unusually, only has the "A Unit of the Coca-Cola Company" byline, in large type)

    (later run, January 5 to July 24, 1987)
    "This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. Jeopardy! is a production of Merv Griffin Enterprises, and is distributed by King World."
    (around May 4, 1987 the Merv Griffin Enterprises logo changes the byline to "A Unit of Coca-Cola Television," which would last into season 4 through January 1, 1988)

    Seasons 4-8 (September 7, 1987 to July 24, 1992)
    (same as season 3 from January 5, 1987)
    (Starting February 8, 1988, the Merv Griffin Enterprises logo changes the byline again, to "A Unit of Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc." which would last through season 8)
    (Starting with season 7, the King World logo changes from the "space" logo to the "spotlights" logo, a shorter version of which was used on later season 9 episodes)

    Season 9 (early run, September 7 to December 25, 1992)
    (same as season 3 from January 5, 1987)
    (The Merv Griffin Enterprises logo this season changes the byline to "A Sony Pictures Entertainment Company")

    Season 9 (late run, December 28, 1992 to July 23, 1993) and season 10 (September 6, 1993 to July 22, 1994)
    "This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. Jeopardy! is a production of Merv Griffin Enterprises... (copyright card appears/drumroll plays)... distributed by King World."
    (The Merv Griffin Enterprises logo remains the same as early on in the season, but during January 1993 it will change to a version of the Columbia Pictures Television and TriStar Television CGI logo, with a griffin)

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
  18. maccafan

    maccafan Senior Member

    Good writing and dialogue!
  19. The Snout

    The Snout Well-Known Member

    Cleveland, OH
    Percy Helton.

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  20. Randall DeBouvre

    Randall DeBouvre forum resident

    I think that there are less of certain kind of programs:
    locally produced shows
    game shows/quiz shows
    talk shows w/ true intellectuals
    masterpiece theatre shows like - I claudius
    mini series like roots
    tv movies even the hokey and cheesy ones
    bbc shows like civilisation and the ascent of man
  21. Randall DeBouvre

    Randall DeBouvre forum resident

  22. Randall DeBouvre

    Randall DeBouvre forum resident

    character actors w/ strange names. on the metv they website they have a list.
    some of my favorites are x brands, evans evans, guich koock, cherrio meridith, and tristian coffin.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  23. Randall DeBouvre

    Randall DeBouvre forum resident

    I really like m squad

    ballinger- we were talking about eddie lucas
    switchboard operator- oh yeah him. i wish they all came that easy . he only gets a couple of calls a day. all from the same person.
    ballinger- well, who is he?
    switch board operator-she calls her self teddy. no last name, just teddy. she had a great voice, very low and friendly. she'd make a great telephone girl.
    ballinger- did this teddy leave a number where she could be reach?
    switch board operator- that kind never does. he knows where to find her. that's enough, isn't it?
    ballinger- what was the last message that he received?
    telephone operator- getting 0ff at 5:30. looking forward to seeing you. teddy.
    ballinger-how did he sound when he got the message?
    switchboard operator- lieutenant, how does a fish sound with a hook it's mouth?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
    bmasters9 likes this.
  24. Randall DeBouvre

    Randall DeBouvre forum resident

    I like Kojak, I find it surprising hip, quirky and sophisticated for a 70s cop show. It has some of my favorite dialogue.

    light a candle, baby. a get well card won't do.
    show me a lawyer he has no enemies, and I will show you a notary public.
    you can package that in a wrap around deodorant, and it would come out with a stink.
    dumb got him killed. death is not guts. dead is dumb.
    death may be cruel, but it is democratic.
    good ideas come from books. bad ideas come from headlines.
    take them downtown. let's see what we can get out of them before the lawyers start showing up.
    lets waltz him around the table a couple more time. that ought to loosen him up
    pax vobiscum, baby
    this in an imperfect world, and I have a lifelong membership in it.
    there is nothing the public loves more than a good homicide
    people eat an awful lot of tuna fish and mayonnaise when steak starts jumping over the moon.
    it looks like it is going to be another long night for next of kin.
    you read it in the paper. that makes you part of the literati, the 15% of the American public that actually reads every day
    if we steered clear of every chow house frequented by the wise guys, we'd be taking all our meals at the automat.
    gather ye rosebuds while ye may, there is a chill in the air
    squeeze them till the start singing Madame Butterfly
    beware of the ides of march, baby.
    we been eightballed, baby
    charity is learning how to forgive others, but wisdom is knowing how to forgive yourself
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
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  25. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery picture member

    What I miss from the analog days of television was the precise timing of everything. I recall CBS shows at the top of the hour all starting with a time tone that you could set your watch by. Today, that's virtually impossible since digital stuff is hampered by "digital" delays. Today, there's not even a station break at the top of the hour, just an overlay of call letters at the bottom of the screen. Heck, we can't even have the same show on the same channel in two different rooms synch up - and this is with the same brand of television.

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