Tuesday, January 25, 2005

TV Tuesday

Week 41: Nick at Night

Nick at Night is celebrating 20 years of giving us "classic" television in the evening. This year's new show is the classic 80s sitcom Murphy Brown. Murph and company join the rotation of such sitcoms The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The Munsters, Green Acres and many, many more that help introduce new generations to the great comedies of yesteryear.

This week, we take a look at the shows on Nick-at-Night.

1. Of the many shows that run on Nick-at-Night, what is the one that you would most enjoy sitting down and watching a marathon of?

I'd love to watch a marathon of "All in the Family". I think the show is very funny, and while dated it's not as dated as, say, "Maude" or "Mary Tyler Moore" and still 10x funnier than "The Cosby Show" ever could be.

I just remembered "The Dick Van Dyke Show" is occasionally on Nick at Nite. Ok, Rob and Laura Petrie first, then Archie and Edith Bunker.

2. What classic show from yesterday has not made it to Nick-at-Nite yet, but you'd like to see it there?

"Mork and Mindy"! "Alf"! And for a more serious, yet extremely quirky series: where the heck are they hiding all 5 or 6 seasons of "Picket Fences"??? Huh?? C'mon, Nick...pony up.

3. Have repeat on Nick-at-Night given you a new appreciation of an older show? Which one?

"All in the Family" (see below)

4. What show that is currently on the air do you think our kids will be watching in 20 years on Nick-at-Nite?

Probably (gack!) "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "King of Queens" and those other CBS pseudo-sitcoms.

5. What is one show that Nick-at-Nite currently runs that you question if the classic label applies to?

Possibly the two scariest words in the sitcom language: "Full House". And what's scarier is the fact that my son loves that show. L-o-o-o-v-e-s that show.

~ BONUS ~ Are there some shows that don't repeat well in later years because they rely on topical humor? (For example, a lot of the Murphy Brown jokes rely on a knowledge of current events when they were produced) Do you sometimes find yourself getting the jokes that younger generations don't? Do you think this topical humor helps or hurts shows from having a long life in repeats?

Again, probably "All in the Family". I watched it (in reruns) occasionally when I was younger, but a lot of the topical and "adult" humor makes a whole lot more sense now. As far as later generations not understanding - I don't recall a lot of topics on "Maude", etc. that were so date-specific they would simply not be understood. Besides, commentary on Vietnam, Watergate, and civil rights are just as relevant today in other forms as they were before. Plus, seeing how popular entertainment presented those subjects helps us understand that time even better.

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