ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 9, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 41

Where has all the entertainment gone?

By The Nostalgic 'TViewer'

They just don't make TV like they used to, do they? Can you imagine a kid growing up in the year 2020 not knowing what Sesame Street is? Or worse yet, find it too "childish" for their viewing? I shudder at the thought! How could anyone grow up not knowing Big Bird, Bert & Ernie, Elmo and Oscar the Grouch? I mean, every parent must know the saying I'm sure?

"Take all your vitamins, eats lots of greens, have an afternoon nap and Watch Sesame'll make you healthy wealthy and wise!!!" It was shows like Sesame Street that made our childhood so special and well, 'child-like' as it were.

Without these shows, we might as well have just referred to it as our memorable 'hood'! And that somehow just doesn't sound like it could have been as much fun... Of course this was true of all kids' programmes and cartoons from the 80's, not just Sesame Street. Take cartoons like Thundercats, He-Man and She-Ra for instance. These were what you could call real cartoons. The content had substance, the plot was fast-paced and interesting, the characters (although not always human) were believable and more often than not lovable or awe instilling! These cartoons made us kids stretch our imaginations to extents we never thought possible and transported us to a whole other world! How many kids would have held up an imaginary sword (in the absence of a real one that is) whilst proclaiming "by the power of Greyskull, I am...She-Ra..." A world where kids were familiar with Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthro and Snarf... sigh...are those days truly gone?

Then there were the likes of Scooby-Doo, Jabberjaw, Smurfs, Ewoks, Gummy Bears and The Chipmunks...Alvin, Simon...Theodore! The number of "deals" I had to strike with my mum just to be able to sit and watch my precious cartoons in peace, in between singing 'We are the E-e-e-e-eee-woks....' These cartoons were absolute classics! I almost forgot the "Teenage mutant heroes in a half-shell..." and probably one of the catchiest cartoon theme songs ever... "Who you gonna call? Ghost Busters!"

Then of course there was Little House on the Prairie...I never missed an episode! The week always seemed to drag by especially when something particularly exciting was to happen at the Little House. So all my family would hear for the next seven days was my intuitive speculations on what next would transpire in the lives of Charles Ingalls and his family. I must say my parents should have been given an award for their patience!

Punky Brewster, Small Wonder, Doogie Howser, The Wonder Years and Fantasy Island comprised yet another segment of my ever so memorable childhood. I even went through a whole phase of dressing like Punky! She was almost like the Dennis the Menace of the 80's. Vicki, with her life-like appearance, high IQ and incredible strength, was indeed a small wonder. Imagine a place where your dreams come true... How come there are no shows like this anymore or at least a real place this sort of thing happens? Was it only an unfortunate figment of our fantasies?

With Square One, 3-2-1 Contact, The Muppet Show and Sesame Street covering the Fun-Ed side of things, Robin of Sherwood, Knight Rider, The A-Team, Macgyver and V took care of the action! I'd have to admit that most of the female and maybe even male populace watched Robin Hood essentially because of Michael Praed (a.k.a the dark haired Robin Hood)!

He was such a "heart throb!" What with turbo boost, remote controlled cars called KIT, a man who could wire/unwire/fuse/defuse any type of gadget and a specialist detective team who solved crime, what more could a kid want? V was one of the first ever Alien TV series to have such a mass following; complete with blue blood, rat eating and the ability to shed skin, the war of good (Kyle's and Co.) vs. evil (Diana and Co.) waged on, week after week.

Last but not least, were the funnies like Mr. Ed, Alf, The Cosby Show, Perfect Strangers Who's the Boss, Alo, Alo, Mind your Language and Family Matters. Boy, were they funny! Who'd have thought a black and white comedy starring a talking horse named Ed could have you tearing with laughter? Alf, dear ole Melmac-an, constantly cat-hunting, sarcastic, lovable Alf! He was a real treat!

We would make a beeline to my grand ma's soon after mass every Sunday to catch the Perfect Strangers, the rather uptight Larry Appleton and his cousin Balki from Mypos, who slowly but surely turned his life upside down with his unusual practices and contagious 'dance of joy'!

So it goes undisputed then??? The 80's were by far the ultimate era in kid/teen entertainment! The sad thing though is that, even if these programmes were to be re-introduced now, today's kids may find them too childish and not 'un-cool'! Or as Jabberjaw would say "no reshpect...nooo reshpect...gna, gna, gna..."

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