Monday, September 26, 2005

The owls are not what they seem

My first entry in my K-12 series will be Favorite Television Show. You may learn something about me from my own personal television watching evolution (or is it Intelligent Design?) Do with this new knowledge what you want . . .

I may list a few alternates for some grades, but I have tried to settle on one show, with a short explanation for this choice. Please enjoy, and again, if you have suggestions for futire K-12 entries, let me know.

My Favorite Television Show -- A Grade-by-Grade Analysis
  • Kindergarten: I did not watch much prime time television when I was 5. Most of my television viewing was in the form of cartoons, both the Saturday morning and afterschool varieties. On Saturday morning, my tastes went from the fun (Bugs Bunny) to the heroic (Superfriends). On Bugs Bunny (and friends), I always liked the Road Runner and Daffy Duck, while I never cared for Sylvester and Tweety or Pepe LePew. But none of these shows compared to my afterschool favorite: The Woody Woodpecker Show. I couldn't wait to get home to watch Woody and his friends, especially Chilly Willy the Penguin.
  • First Grade: Three words say it all -- The Muppet Show. Still one of the great shows of all time, with enough adult humor to entertain the parents too.
  • Second Grade: I had the action figures. I had the lunch box. I had to see every episode of The Six Million Dollar Man. I had the bionic "running" sound effect down pat. Oh, Steve Austin, our country could use a hero like you today. Plus, sometimes he battled Bigfoot.
  • Third Grade: Just them good ol' boys / Wouldn't change if they could / Fightin' the system / Like a true modern day Robin Hood. The Dukes of Hazzard, baby.
  • Fourth Grade: The opening close-ups started every episode: The motorcycle throttle, the boots, the sun glasses, the motorcycle wheels, the badge -- California . . . Highway . . . Patrol! Yes, CHiPs had everything a fourth grade boy could ask for: action! car chases! big mirrored sunglasses! And officers Ponch and Jon never shot anybody!
    • Addendum: Fourth grade is also the time that MTV began, and I was an immediate fan. I was an MTV junkie, and my brother, cousin, and I would sit around and critique the videos.
  • Fifth Grade: Oh, sweet A-Team.
  • Sixth Grade: This was about the time I started watching a lot of shows my parents watched, such as Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Cheers. But one show that my parents were not into, but that my brother and I loved, was Knight Rider, which of course featured David Hasselhoff and his talking Trans Am, KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand!) They were quite the crime fighters. "Turbo-Boost, KITT!" "Yes, Michael."
  • Seventh Grade: With the onset of a new kind of television -- one filled with crime, fashion, and music -- my television watching changed forever this year. This was the year Miami Vice took control. Oh how I loved Crockett and Tubbs and their pink and blue lives! Plus the show prominently featured "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins.
  • Eighth Grade: No list of 80s shows would be complete without mentioning the original "must-see" Thursday shows: The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, LA Law. I loved all of these, but the one I watched most consistently was The Cosby Show. In fact, I just watched a rerun of it last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Ninth Grade: In my mind, one of the most underrated shows of all time is ALF. Of course, it was stupid, and the premise was ridiculous. But it also featured consistently hilarious writing. In one episode, ALF is watching television, and Willie (the dad) comes in and says, "ALF, what are you doing?" And ALF responds, "I'm watching Charles in Charge. That Scott Baio -- he's the next Tony Danza." I almost wet myself.
  • Tenth Grade: Wonder Years, Wonder Years, oh Wonder Years.
  • Eleventh and Twelfth Grades: Now of course all the shows on this list blend from one season to the next, and I watched them in multiple years. But one show DEFINED my last two years of high school, so I must list it for both years. The show: Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks is the greatest show of all time. I know I often speak in superlatives, but this time I mean it. Nothing has ever approached it in terms of originality, scope, quirkiness, or pure absurdity. Created by director David Lynch, Twin Peaks truly spoke to my sensibilities and tastes. My friends and I would gather together every Saturday night and watch it, and I taped every episode. (I still have the tapes, and watch them every few years.) The problem was that you had to watch it from the beginning, or you would be lost, and so, it did not have a big fan base. Plus, it was just too weird for the general public. But its fan base is among the most passionate in the history of television. Never will there be another show like Twin Peaks.
That was fun.


At 6:03 PM, Blogger Tom posited...

the only thing that i really remember about television-watching in my younger years is from about 2nd grade. Id go to my grandparents' house after school; and, after a long bus ride, id hurry in to the house to make it to the TV by 4 for the power rangers. im talkin' the original PR. man i loved it. what i really remember, though, is that it would always end at like 4:26, and id be mad because i thought that it should go the full half hour, not 4 minutes short.

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Vinnie-Senza posited...

Chilly Willy is a god in my mind. Who else would think to ride a bath tub to a warm, sunny island??

At 7:34 PM, Blogger hobe posited...

Pretty sure my brother Dan is obsessed with Twin Peaks...yeah.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

Basically, I can sum up my TV watching habits in a really sweet timeline: Sesame street > Barney > Power Rangers > Cartoon Network. Dammit. I still watch Cartoon Network. I have not progressed far.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

Sesame Street, Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego, & Square One were the PBS staples.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the cartoon of choice...later to be followed by Sonic The Hedgehog.

Then my first ever "hooked" series was X-Files.

Now, it's Sportscenter, Family Guy, Seinfeld reruns, and X-Files reruns.

At 12:10 AM, Blogger Tay posited...

hmmm, k i gotta go with teenage mutant ninja turtles until power rangers (yes tom, the original with jason, tiffany, billy, zach, the token black guy, and the asian chick who had a yellow animal). those were the shows of my elementary years. period. then i progressed to e.r. by about seventh grade and watch until dr. green was killed off. now its all about the west wing and the daily show. but lately i have been watching the office (pretty funny, in the way only steve carrell can be) and my name's earl (omg, i'm pissing my pants funny). but for sure i can see west wing and the daily show defining my high school (well the daily show started in like 8th grade for me) television experience.

At 12:32 AM, Blogger matt posited...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:33 AM, Blogger matt posited...

tay, you obviously dont know your rangers.

jason-red ranger
billy-blue ranger
zack-black ranger

there is no tiffany
kimberly-pink ranger
trini-yellow ranger

followed by tommy, the evil green ranger turned good white ranger.

what a racist show.

i was also a big nickelodeon nerd and pretty much everything on that show i loved with a passion. but not hey dude. i hated that show.

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Kid C posited...

I agree with Capelle. Nickelodeon is the single greatest television network in history. Some of the prime cuts being:

* All That (original cast, after Amanda and Danny were added it started to fall off)

* Ren & Stimpy

* Legends of the Hidden Temple (greatest... gameshow... ever.)

* Are You Afraid of the Dark (after watching "The Ghastly Grinner" YES I WAS)

* Mark Sommers (that guy had like 8 shows)

* And of course... Stick Stickly and the Big Help campaign. I'd always pledge like 20 hours, but never actually back it up.

* That's not even mentioning Guts, Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, That show were they actually put kids in the video game (mind-blowing), Salute Your Shorts, Wild N' Crazy Kids, Space Cases, Allan Strange, or Kablam... and the list just goes on.

Nickelodeon and Sega Genesis make up 96% of my childhood.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger mayah posited...

eh, if anyone cares, it was a lot of sesame street to start with, then a lot of mr. rogers, to cartoons (tom and jerry were my all time fav, especially the one where they freeze the kitchen and go ice skating), to more cartoons like Rugrats, to ridiculous crap like Pete & Pete, Doug, What Would You Do, Wild & Crazy Kids, Clarissa Explains it All, All That, Roundhouse, etc. Then to power rangers, full house, teenage mutant ninja turtles, where in the world is carmen sandiego... Then it was Ally McBeal , for which i was definitely not mature enough but i loved it anyway, ER, then west wing, survivor, american idol, joe millionaire 1&2 (yes, reality tv and i had a brief and torrid love affair), sex and the city, and the oc.
fun little trip down memory lane, eh?

At 2:46 PM, Blogger matt posited...

i loved pete & pete. especially archie, the strongest man in the world.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger mayah posited...

woah woah woah woah woah

i forgot the simpsons.

i should be shot!
and seinfeld.
god. my family would be so ashamed.

At 7:05 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

Josh Holbrooks TV life: Barney to Futurama. And that's wehre he still is today. It's a 4 episode a day habit.

At 7:57 PM, Blogger hannah posited...

my roommate and i were going to be sonny and ricardo from miami vice for halloween. i was going to be ricardo, of course.

but instead, she's going as a bee, and i'm going to be a T REX.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Kid C posited...



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