Not As Old As I Think
Fortunately for me, I can obfuscate the age thing a tiny bit because my favorite childhood show predates my birth. 😀 I *thought* I’d been watching My Favorite Martian on first run – but clearly I thought that simply because the shows were all new to me as a kid, but I was watching in reruns. Probably not even first or second run, now that I think of it.
In My Favorite Martian ‘Uncle’ Martin comes to earth and ends up living with the young man who’d seen him land – Timothy O’Hara, played by a very young Bill Bixby. Ray Walston played Uncle Martin. Most of the shows centered around the threat of exposure for both men. Timothy would attempt to resolve the situation on his own. Yet, in every show, Uncle Martian would deploy his alien powers, further risking exposure, and resolving everything happily (and frustrating Timothy into the bargain).
This was very early science fiction that preferred comedy as its preferred mode of expression. Uncle Martin’s alien super-power seemed to be sarcasm. I haven’t seen an episode of this show since I measured my age in single digits. I wonder if it would survive the years with its comedy intact.
If we want to talk about childhood crushes as well as shows that date us, then I have to admit to having had an unhealthy fixation on The Wild Wild West. Oh. Look at that first run date. Guess I was watching that in reruns, too. When I watched the show, I wanted SO badly to be an agent, too. I wanted gadget mastery as one of my talents, damn it. And I wanted to live on that train with those guys because they got to have all the fun. I was too young to be actively attracted to either of the characters – but to be that involved in a TV show, even as a young kid, sort of evolves into crushing as we grow up, doesn’t it? So maybe this show was my pre-crush. I say that my fixation on the show was unhealthy because in retrospect, The Wild Wild West was one misogynistic bit of TV fluff. But look. Steampunk before we even had a word for it.
What about you? Do your favorite childhood shows survive modern examination?