Tuesday, February 18, 2014

So Much for That Nostalgia Trip

Friday was St. Valentines Day. Yes; this whole roses and chocolate and rings male guilt trip got its start with a Catholic Saint. They have dropped his title for the mass marketing, and even the Roman Church doesn't seem to claim him/them any more.

But for some reason his day seems to have become associated with love and romance. Like everything else retail touches the real reason for the special day becomes over shadowed by the various and sundry ways to make a buck. I, in some perverse way, often wonder why the mattress industry has ignore this obvious marketing tie-in, and has hitched their February sales wagon to dead presidents instead.

But I digress.

My point was going to be Friday night. One of our local on-air digital stations carries ME TV, a vast compendium of good TV. Meaning, of course, that this is the stuff we grew up with; Gilligan's Island, Hogan's Heros and F-Troop. All day Saturday black and white Westerns; Raw Hide, Bonanza and of course, Gunsmoke.

Friday nights at 8:00 they have a movie. Usually it is a Made For TV Movie; basically an hour and 30 minute long TV episode. Plus commercials; always plus the commercials.

On Valentine's night (if the Church has dropped the honorific, I guess I can too) they showed 4 episodes of 'Love American Style'. Some may not remember this show; it went off the air in 1974.

But 40 years ago it was a popular, but somewhat risque, show.They had the audacity to show men and women IN The SAME BED. And these people weren't even married! 40 years ago what they were showing was barely in the bounds of good taste, as performed, in true TV anthology style, by a whole series of actors and actresses passing each other on their respective ways, up and down the ladder of success.

You may recognize the format; "The Love Boat' used the same format (and the same 4 stories) a few years later.

The four stories is very nearly accurate and not just snark; Mistaken Identity; Mistaken Fact Set; Romeo/Juliet Syndrome and The Breakup, all of which lead to True Love. Yep; that about sums it up.

But again, I digress.

I was looking forward to Friday night; I hadn't seen this show in 40 years. 'Love, American Style' hasn't been syndicated to death in the cable era, like so many other old shows. I was looking forward to some new, fresh nostalgia.

Yeah, well; about that anticipation.

Maybe they chose the wrong episodes. Or maybe- and more likely- these were the best they could find. Risque? I've seen commercials more risque. Commercials for things like waffles and hamburgers. If fact, some of the commercials I was subjected to during the show were more risque than the show itself.

But it was than made up for by the stilted writing and 1970's fashions.

OMG! Yes; people really did dress like that. Take a look at any 1970's high school yearbook; that will prove it.

It will also prove that yes, Virginia, real people wore their hair like that too. On PURPOSE.

And yes; real places were decorated like that too. And, no, I have no idea how people fell asleep in a fluorescent lime green bedroom.

There are somethings I suppose that shouldn't be revisited, and are best left in the pleasant mists of nostalgia.

It would just be nice to know which is which before the pleasant mists dissipate and leave the cold harsh light of reality in their place.

No comments: