Me, America and all that TV stuff.

I remember many years ago, 1963 to be exact, I loved America. The Lucy Show, Cheyenne, Rawhide, Flicka and Rin Tin Tin.

The Kennedy’s were politically irrelevant to a child growing up in the 60’s, but I knew something was going on. The truth is that JFK was a much more enigmatic, exciting figure than Harold Wilson.

Even the places sounded magical, Arizona, Colorado, Tucson, the Rockies and Texas. Frank Sinatra sang to me, James Stewart made me want to be good, Steve McQueen made me want to be bad and Bob Hope made me laugh.

People say things are different now but are they? Will kids today feel the same way about TV programmes, films and actors when they are old and grumpy as I do?  Will the memory of Friends mean the same to them, as the memory of The Lucy Show does to me? Is George Clooney as funny as Cary Grant? Is Jason Bourne as tough as Napoleon Solo? Are the Simpsons as adorable as The Flintstones? Is America as magical to young people as it was to me?

I doubt it, because we seemed to have merged. England is no longer a grey, dark, stuck up factory based country anymore. We are bright and breezy and sell insurance policies and hamburgers to one another. If you want to be famous just go on a TV reality show.

Are ‘stars’ just ordinary people who work hard at a job or are they magical but there are so many “the making of” trailers, interviews and profiles that all the magic has gone?  Or did I just grow up one day and never noticed? 😉

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About charliecountryboy

Carpenter and Carpentry Lecturer. Writer, musician. Curious about life and all those wonderful people in it.
This entry was posted in Entertainment, Film, Humour, Life, Opinion, Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Me, America and all that TV stuff.

  1. Melissa Burklow says:

    Perhaps growing up simply means learning to appreciate simple things like TV shows. I would hate to think that the magic is gone, because everyone should have someone or something to look up to. Maybe the problem now is that there’s “sensory overload.” Amongst all the movie stars, reality “stars,” political icons, singers, etc., how are we supposed to pick? But, as is usually true with great work, the time will come when all the fluff is forgotten and the truly great work will stand out as the magic of our generation.

    Like

    • Thanks Melissa, that was a great come back and it was what I was hoping for. This is a huge topic. I could have deviated so much but I like to keep blogs as short as possible. I think Leonardo De Caprio is a great example. He is a phenomenal actor, only my view obviously 😉

      Like

  2. Beautifully written post. I often feel the same way, but then there are moments where the truly timeless bits of popular culture cut across generational lines and my kids find the same joy in one of my old favorites or introduce me to some original music they like.

    It’s harder to find the genuine talent now because everybody with a camera and some editing software is making videos or recording songs and posting them.

    Like

  3. goks says:

    Soooo True… But it is not just you… am just in my 30s… Even I dont think what I liked in the 80s and the 90s are liked by kids today… They try to catch on newer trends, newer things, newer shows… But particularly with respect to the TV shows I guess there is a Sensor overload like Mellisa said and there is also in general a TV show overload… There is just too many shows… When I was a kid, there were programs in TV that I use to wait for a month to watch, weeks to watch and that looking forward was there… But today, the looking forward is utmost for a few mins… I had written sometime back on similar topic… http://gokulraman.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/entertainment-that-is-not-entertaining-any-more/

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  4. unclerave says:

    Charlie! I’m an American suburban boy, probably not too far behind you.(55) I definitely wouldn’t say that the magic is gone, but I would say that the magic *goes* faster, than it did in our day. The age of innocence seems so much shorter, as these kids just grow up too damn fast. And, with the abundance of media at their disposal, I think these newer generations will have a little less in common than we did, just because they have so many more choices than we did.
    — YUR.

    Like

  5. Carol Burnett will never be out shone by American Idol (gag) – but i do find it funny that you mention Tucson & AZ (where I currently reside) as ‘magical’. When my father moved us here from Long Island, NY – it didn’t seem magical at all – I’d have been much happier to have been moved to England. The grass is always greener…

    Like

  6. I think childhood imbues whatever we encounter with a special significance, so that the vacuous irritations we experience are the evocative memories of those of another generation who will follow us into middle age. Great post 🙂

    Like

  7. good2begone says:

    I got nominated for a blog award. So I am
    Spreading the wealth! Check out my blog for details.

    Like

  8. pjamespat says:

    I have had the same feelings in the past. I am 41 years old and I miss the excitement of a new album release date. Now you have nothing but singles and downloading. I wonder if my daughter will ever have a memory like my memory of counting down the days in 1987 until the Tuesday that “Document” by REM was released. I really feel where you are coming from Charlie, buying that 12inch record was magic, it was tangible, that is gone now. I feel like a grumpy old timer, so be it I guess, at least my kid likes Star Wars. I can live with that.
    cheers

    Like

  9. ModernIdeals says:

    I’m a little late to the game but I love this post. I’m in America and in my late 20’s, and find my self now daily wishing we had quality like we did “back then”. Watching I Love Lucy and The Flinstones still bring back good memories. While some shows nowadays are great, I feel like there is an innocence and subtly missing, and a glorification of stupidity and absurdity. I have always felt like my generation had a huge shift in style and quality of life, and I worry for the generations behind me. Change isn’t always for the better, and I wish I could shake some sense into these children with their heads stuck in their…technology.

    P.S. thanks for the like!

    Like

    • Hi, thanks for commenting maybe it is the innocence and naivity that we miss, I enjoyed being a kid and feel sorry for lots of kids today who miss out on a childhood because they grow up too soon. 😉

      Like

  10. mrsfever says:

    We all view the past through rose-colored glasses. Were things really ‘more simple’ back then? I don’t really think so. When we are children, we view the world through a child’s eyes. Our perceptions of what *is* and what *isn’t* change drastically as we mature.

    Are things ‘better’ now that we’re ‘grown up’? Doubtful.

    And there’s nothing REAL about reality TV. But I have faith that the Simpsons will never, EVER be as awesome as the Flintstones. 😉

    Like

  11. I felt the same way and grew up right next door to the US.
    I am headed there this afternoon for the Biblical 40th time (which i think means too many to count) and it now longer is a big deal. So i too wonder am i just too long in the tooth?

    Like

  12. Reblogged this on Charliecountryboy's Blog and commented:

    Something I did 6 years ago, I thought it was still relevant and I kinda liked it 🙂

    Like

  13. Brockelman says:

    I admit that I enter this conversation with a bias, I’m a writer by profession and much of my long career was spent working in the entertainment industry.

    It’s my thinking that the shows you mentioned, The Lucy Show, Rawhide, Flicka, and many other dramas and comedies of that era were memorable—and remarkable—because they were skillfully scripted, directed, and acted by craftsmen who had honed their talents over time—in some cases, over many decades.

    Reality TV has none of that.

    I’d venture that Stewart made most all of us want to live our lives to higher standards and that McQueen made many of us want to skip school or lift a candy bar when no one was looking. Grant made being glib and suave and erudite and dressed to the nines seem possible—and highly desirable.

    The actors of that period had been cultivated by a studio system that understood that people, audiences—by their very nature—like predictability. The studio system had been built on scripts being carefully chosen by studio heads for specific talents. And the talents were supported by the exquisite members of the publicity department. Actors, carefully chosen, educated, and presented were money in the bank. And, from time to time, those actors were carefully placed in situations (at Ciro’s, The Stork Club, The Brown Derby, Chasen’s and Musso & Frank’s Grill) where they were photographed in a way that made them seem even more elusive. And, yes, even magical.

    Reality TV is based on none of that.

    Today, many of the primetime stars were self-trained on YouTube, count clicks and likes as absolute acceptance, have no idea how to manage their image, and are often guided by agents and managers who are more interested in the quick buck than by long-term career success.

    Reality TV rewards that.

    The magic is gone, not because you and I have grown up and didn’t notice. The magic is gone, in no small part, because we tend to put up with mediocre in place of magic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your erudite comment, that really places everything into perspective for me. I knew the studios had a great input, but I didn’t realise that it was such a well oiled machine 😀

      Like

  14. ateafan says:

    We all fell in love with American middle class monoculture. It may have seemed there was more variety than there actually was.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Carolyn Page says:

    Of late, Charlie, I’ve watched a few black and white films on YouTube. Another blogger, who happens to be a fab writer and a lover of all things polished and well constructed in the film industry – Jo of https://manningtreearchive.com/ inspired me to watch a particular film – The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. I was so impressed with the quality of acting, directing, etc. I found myself wanting more; just as I did as a young girl/woman who enjoyed many of the stars of that era (the 40s and 50s).
    The waiting and anticipation of an album by one of my favourite singers, I believe, helped develop patience and a reverence, of a sort. Nowadays everything is instant gratification. There’s certainly lots of pros to this. Ebay enables delivery within periods of time that once were unthinkable. Many now can have instant success on talent shows. The ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ is available for many.
    These things aren’t wrong, as such, just different. To those growing up with this availability it will appear the norm; just as what I/we experienced was ‘what was’.
    It is, afterall, change that is a constant. If we don’t ‘keep up’ we get left behind. But, there will always be memory and Youtube to remind us of those fabulous times long past.
    Last night, Charlie, I watched and listened to my ‘second’ boyfriend – Johnny Mathis on YouTube. Yep; some things will never change!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As you say change is constant, but I do feel that as we embrace change we find ways to make things easier, quicker and in the process less polished. So we end up with something that is inferior to what we had. Yes I loved to go into town and buy that album I had waited months for. These days I just click on buy and it’s there, oh well as you say memories are made of this, could there be a song there 😜

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carolyn Page says:

        “and in the process less polished.”
        I can’t disagree with you, Charlie; this applies to so many things.
        But….. we know better! We experienced an innocence, of a kind, that doesn’t apply today. I didn’t ever expect to say this, and maybe ‘time’ colours the view, but; I did enjoy growing up in the days when it was a slower pace, and quality seemed more valuable than speed. Yet, even as I write this I also feel very privileged to be a part of this – blogging; getting to know folks like you over distances that made interaction, such as we share, impossible. Creating videos and sharing them worldwide is a marvel to someone like me who didn’t even have a camera as a youth.
        Now don’t think I’m sitting on the proverbial fence; there were differences that I loved back when, and there are differences I enjoy right now!
        Summation: We get to experience the best of both ages.. Not bad at all… 😉 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are so right, I guess blogging has possibly replaced Pen Friends to a certain extent, but that was quite hard work as well. Kids today aren’t that much different really, my students are similar to many friends I had at that age. I do feel that they miss out on play though. So we are the lucky ones 😀😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Carolyn Page says:

        “I do feel that they miss out on play though.”
        Yeah; they sure do. I believe it to be one of the contributing factors to the obesity epidemic!
        We sure are the lucky ones… 🙂
        Keep on a’ runnin’……

        Liked by 1 person

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