When TV Shows Were Good

A few months ago I happened across a satellite TV station that caught my eye. I was scrolling through my Dish Network listings and I saw “The Six Million Dollar Man” was on. Being a child of the late 60’s and 70’s I turned to it to see Steve Austin crash his special plane and the narrator saying “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better…stronger…faster.” Right then it took me back to when I was about 12 years old and running into the living room to watch Col. Austin’s latest mission every week. Then of course they introduced “The Bionic Woman!” Well again, I could not keep from watching that every week too. Watching each one of their individual shows was only topped by watching one or the other’s show where they guest starred on each other’s show. I would head outside after each show and make sounds and act like I was running in slow motion. I even got a Steve Austin action figure that you pushed a button on his back and you could move his arm as you picked up a toy truck, or something else that I would imagine weighed 1000 pounds. It even had a electronic (plastic) chip in his arm that you could take out and pretend you were going to repair him.

I was always a fan of Lee Majors when he was on The Big Valley, even before he played Col. Austin, and Lindsay Wagner as The Bionic Woman was one of my first celebrity crushes.


I can honestly say that The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman was used as a bargaining chip to make sure I did my chores and homework or I was not allowed to watch them. It worked most of the time!

Those were the days, TV was about using your imagination, pushing kids to think and push themselves to run faster, be stronger and be an honest person. While those shows were my favorites, Family Entertainment Television (FETV) has more shows that were hits at the time, like Charlie’s Angles, Hart to Hart, Marcus  Welby, M.D. and some 80’s hits like Magnum PI and Knight Rider! All shows about good people vs. bad people, with  the good always winning.

Then, I realized that in the afternoon, they had shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, The Roy Rogers Show and The Lone Ranger (the original). I found myself turning on FETV and watching all the shows from 4pm until 11pm every night and remembering what it was like when television was decent and didn’t have all the reality trash shows they have now. Even though the special effects of the day are not even close to what they are today, I honestly would rather watch these shows than what is on TV now.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some shows today that I do like, and many of the old shows they are remaking them to fit the current time, but I just can’t help but love the honest way TV shows were presented back in the old days. To be honest, there is no way anyone can come close to the original actors in these shows.

Even in black and white I begin to imagine riding a white stallion, chasing the bad guys and leaving a silver bullet behind before riding off into the sunset with Tonto and giving a mighty “Hi Yo Silver, Away!”

FETV can be found on Dish Network channel 82. Unfortunately, Direct TV does not carry this channel.



6 thoughts on “When TV Shows Were Good

  1. Hey Jeff,

    Great post! I too love those shows. Remember the Six Million Dollar Man battling Big Foot? It dosen’t get any better than that. I have shown some of those to my 14 year old son Josh. He dosen’t get what we see in them. To your point, I think that’s becasue he was not immersed in the culture of the late 60’s and 70’s.

    Those were far from perfect times to be sure, but they were less complex times that seemed to have a discernable set of rules to live and play by. It was easier to see how to be successful in life, assuming you put out the effort. In the 21st century, the “the age of disruption”, the game seems to alwas change under your feet. Unlike the tv shows of our youth, the bad guy is not obvious and dispecable.

    The life in the modern world is certainly greater that ever in history, if taken in the whole. But I want to focus on an important piece that I think we have sacrificed. For me as an adult, I can cope with the ever shifting ground. For our chlildren, I can’t help but feel a piece of the joy of youth that we had has been taken away from them. I went to bed each night knowing Steve Austin had defeated the evil scientist controlling Big Foot. The world seemed stable My son goes to bed wondering how stable his world will be tomorrow because of a new disruptive technology or social invention.

    I guess the bottom line is that the shows mean something to us and I am glad they are still around to remind us of good times in the past, and give us a point of reference for the good times of today. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    • That is so true Chet! As kids, we watched a show like those and we would go outside and pretend to be those we saw on TV and you did not have to worry about it being a bad thing. Now they watch TV and see some people from Jersey getting drunk, swearing, doing things that kids don’t need to see. everything on TV now has to be a little more dark, a little more grittier, and there is a fine line between good and bad and you are never sure which is which. There are times I wish we could go back in time for a year or two and allow people to get shocked back into reality. It would give those who feel entitled and those who take everything for granted something to be thankful for. Thank you for your comment Chet, and I am glad you liked the post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s