Picking up from wats0n’s post, I started listing my favorite 80s tv shows, and then I realized they were from the 70s!

Wild Wild WestWild Wild West – Will Smith himself said he wanted to wear the tight leather pants like the ones Robert Conrad wore on the old series. I was too young to notice back then, because I always looked out for Artemus Gordon’s latest disguises. The Wild Wild West first aired in 1965, and what I remember the most about it is the puzzle-like frame that gets filled up with frozen scenes before the commercials come on.

Hawaii 5-OHawaii Five-O was the longest continuous-running police series in television history, airing from September 1968 to April 1980. There’s no mistaking the intro theme, Jack Lord’s brushed-up crown, the terse “Book ’em, Dano.” I must admit though, I stopped watching it after James McArthur left the show.

The WaltonsEven before there was Seventh Heaven or Eight Is Enough, there was The Waltons. The Waltons was a television series about the lives of a family who lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. John and Olivia Walton, the parents, lived with their seven children on Walton’s Mountain. Their home was also shared by John’s parents. John and his father, Zeb, together ran a lumber mill from the home. When the series began the people of Waltons Mountain were finding life very hard going during the Great Depression. Thing that stuck most to my memory about this show was how they always said good night to each other, individually: “Goodnight, Grandpa.” “Goodnight, John Boy.” “Goodnight, Erin.” “Goodnight, Jim Bob.” and so on until the scene fades out.

Even those of you who were too young to have watched the original Mission Impossible series will remember the theme, hyped up by U2 or the original by Lalo Schifrin downloadable all over the Internet. I was a fan of the old series with Peter Graves, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. The show was revived in the late 80s still with Peter Graves but with a totally different, younger cast but I never got the hang of it. “This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.”

Space 1999. I was never much of a Star Trek fan back then (became one when my kids started watching TNG and DS9 and Voyager, but that’s another kwento), but I never missed an episode of Space 1999. They even had books made from the episodes which I bought out of my savings from my school allowance. I liked the Martin Landau/Barbara Bain tandem (from Mission Impossible) and they looked good together here too. And back then I thought 1999 was sooo far off—and now its 2005!

Little House on the PrairieLittle House on the Prairie. We watched them grow up through the years, Half Pint and Mary and Nelly the shopkeepers’ bratty daughter. We saw Mary go blind and meet Adam, we giggled through Laura’s little girl infatuation with Almanzo Wilder. And yes, Michael Landon looked heaps better here as Charles Ingalls than Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza.

Quincy M.E. is the original CSI! Long before the likes of Gil Grissom and Horatio Caine and Mac Taylor came into the world of medico-crime busters, Los Angeles County Coroner Quincy and his sidekick Sam Fujiyama were venturing out of the morgue solving crimes based on post-mortem findings.

The Love Boat. The Pacific Princess sailed every Wednesday night on Channel 7 and I was usually on it. Three different storylines per episode, sometimes involving the crew themselves. I envied the Cruise Directector Julie, and I thought back then it would be fantastic to have a job like that.

The S.W.A.T. theme is what plays on my mobile when Sam calls. The theme is stuck on every tv watcher’s brain just as the hawaii 5-0 and mission impossible themes are, indelibly so etched in every police series fans head to the point that Samuel Jackson and company paid homage to it in a scene in the movie version. I followed Jim Street everywhere, even after Robert Urich became Spenser for Hire.

The Muppet Show. Failure to do homework in my day usually meant a t.v. ban, but no one had the heart for keeping me away from the Muppet Show. This was on Sundays at 6pm also on Channel 7 (see, nuon pa man Kapuso na talaga ako). I liked Dr. Teeth’s band, and I adored Animal the drummer. I really didn’t get to like Ms. Piggy until just recently because I thought she was maarte back then. Now I think she’s fabulously malandi!

Starsky & Hutch. I never gave up on this baby. My best friend back in Grade 6 Maricar Gonzales, where ever she may be these days, never failed to watch an episode. May chika pala ngayon na baka daw lovers ang Starsky at Hutch? Hmm, interesting… The movie did a cool turn and showed both David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser in the last scene, although I think Owen Wilson did a poor Dave Hutchinson. Ben Stiller was great (as in everything else he’s been in).

My younger aunts found The Equalizer not to their liking, as the lead character was old. I however, found Edward Woodward to be real cool — he reminded me of Michael Caine, only more macho. And I’ve always had a thing for older actors back then.

Well, there’s my oldies list . . . anyone out there who can beat that has got to be older than me (or at least as old as). Any takers?

* images taken from Nostalgia Central

Confessions of an Old T.V. Addict

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18 thoughts on “Confessions of an Old T.V. Addict

  1. Bambit! Medyo bata pa nga ako noon (hehehe) pero maalala ko na nanonood kami ng Tarzan (si Johnny Weismuller) noon, tapos ang kasunod nun ay Hawaii Five-O! Unforgettable opening soundtrack.

    Sa Space 1999, may character na Catherine ang pangalan. Yung parang pusa sya… tapos yung spaceship nila, pahaba.

    Little House on the Praire… may little girl na tumatakbo sa field na nasa photo sa taas…

    Muppet Show! Malamang re-runs na yung napapanood ko kasi 80s ko na nakita yung series.

    So hindi pala original copncept yung “good night” ng Brady Bunch! Ginawa rin nila yun sa movie ng Lost in Space!

    Black and White pa ang TV namin noon! 🙂

  2. watson, yeah kami din b/w ang tv, yung lumang Philco sa bahay ng auntie ko tsaka yung Zenith naman sa bahay ng tatay ko. Early to mid-70s nauso din yung console na tv na parang cabinet/baul na may sliding door sa harap na takip mismo ng tv screen. National yung samin. Panahon din yun ng stereo console na pwedeng mag line up ng up to 4 LPs sa mahabang spindle na may parang robot arm na pinapatong para mag-level sila. (*ouch, biglang sumakit baywang ko*)

  3. I remember Hawaii Five0 and Quincy M.E. My mom follows Little House on the Prairie and the Love Boat, and I make time for the Equalizer. Back then, the mini-series rely more on plotline and characterization than action, camera and CGI effects.

    My other favorites were Six Million Dollar man, The Bionic Woman, and Star Rangers.

    And Watson, we have exactly the same cabinet TV (National) and the console stereo (Radiola) you’re talking about. Our console has an AM receiver and a turntable surrounded by glass mirrors.

  4. Hi Bambit. I truly adore this post, it’s like a sweet trip down memory lane. Indeed, when I was a kid, these TV shows filled my nights and what gleeful nights they were. Naalala ko yung Little House on The Prairie, it was a little boring but I liked watching it only because I love to see the wide plains and field of golds that were often used as a backdrop of the show.

  5. luchie! ay salamat you came back i’d lost the link to your old blog and i’m so glad i have it back now. Idol ng kuya ko si Shintaro, goodness they were flying about back then, long before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was made. And I never saw any strings, did you?

    major tom, i’ve never met anyone who didn’t like little house on the prairie, it was the first show i remember watching the characters growing old with me. nuon salbaje talaga si Nellie, but when she got married and had a baby, it was as if she was transformed by love and motherhood.

    Norman, Steve Austin and Jaimie Sommers were up there on my list of heroes along with Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, David Banner/The Incredible Hulk, yeah and even The Green Lantern Hornet (with Bruce Lee as his driver Kato) and Adam West as Batman. 😉

  6. sige my go:
    some are listed here
    1) hawaii five O
    2) little house onthe prairie
    3) the love boat
    4) SWAT
    5) muppet show

    which era was the incredible hull, wonder woman, six million $ man?

  7. Hi Bambit,
    Greetings from the other side of the globe, do you remember “Dark Shadows”? With Barnabus Collins, the vampire, Quenton, the werewolf, and the floating hand? how about the munsters? Or maybe the Adams family? Chips is becoming a movie now, Gilligans Island?? Bonanza? I must admit, i never missed a episode of The Wild Wild west, the gadgets were great!!!!!

    Merry Christmas!! and Happy New Year!!!!

  8. Welcome back, Harv!

    I do remember having a baby crush on John Astin’s Gomez Addams, and I thought Gomez and Morticia were the most romantic couple ever.

    They’re turning Chips into a movie? I wonder if the actor who will play Ponch will measure up to Erik Estrada’s dazzling smile!

    Happy Holidays to you too! 🙂

    bing, i wish there was a channel that specialized in re-running the old series, don’t you?

    sha, Steve Austin, Jaimie Sommers and David Banner all became flesh in the 70s. I remember there were times I had to choose between one show and another if they were on different channels but on the same time slot!

    tbrc, trying to make something good even better is what it’s about i think. some come out ok. but if you’re a purist you’d want that all-oldies cable channel too 🙂

  9. this brings so much memories.

    i have blurred memories of little house on the prairie. i think i haven’t even started school yet!

    i love mission impossible and the muppet show! i was a tv addict. tv was my life. i miss tv tuloy. it now has become a luxury.

  10. Bambit, naalala ko tuloy. Meron rin kami nung turntable with the robotic arm. And an assortment of long playing records and 45 rpms! Yung TV rin namin noon, cabinet style sya. The speakers were on both ends of the cabinet at may sliding door to cover the TV itself. May susi pa! And then you have to fine-tune the TV signal by pressing against this circular thing surrounding the channel selector and turn it round and round…

  11. wats0n, OMG i think we had the same brand TV! ngayon ko lang din naalala yung knob sa gitna ng channel selector, tsaka naalala ko din yung V-Hold tsaka H-hold na knobs pag nagwawala ang display.

    Eh yung mga yellow green and red 45rpm records ng mga PE teachers sa school with the portable turntables (usually blue or red) and the calisthenics music called Glow Worm, naalala mo pa?

    Teka, out of topic na ako ah … hirap talaga ng tu— *aray*

  12. Hi, I’m this Filipina married to an Indian and living in Kathmandu, Nepal – ok ba sa globalisation? I stumbled upon your website and keeps me somehow connected to home. Haven’t been home for like 18 years (!) but do remember the same shows. Loved Hawaii 5-0 too, and James MacArthur perhaps more than the lead, and also liked ‘Wild, Wild West’, altho as kids we watched that show with both excitement and trepidation. At first we didn’t have a tv set of our own and nakiki-watch thru our neighbors who probably wanted us to go home so the old woman kept scaring us whenever Artemus Gordon would appear in his various disguises. But I liked “The Champions,” too which, if I remembered right, had Mark Damon (now dead, I think?) and another guy and a gorgeous lady (I forget her name now) and my dilemma was who among the two guys was my real crush, because Mark Damon was handsome in the conventional way but the other guy was just so cute. Will someone please recall his name for me?

    I also remember this tv with a cabinet and lock, and it was the way my father regulated our tv viewing during school days. But one time I discovered by accident that it was not locked (!) and since then we were watching tv like crazy from school while we asked our houseboy to check from the kanto if my father was not on his way home yet, ha, ha! so we can turn off the set and close the cabinet before he comes. This goes on for months until one day he accidentally touches the tv cabinet, still piping hot, and our mischief is discovered! Thanks for putting me on a trip down memory lane. Namaste, Greetings from Kathmandu,


  13. Hello Eline!

    I am so glad you dropped by and found this post! It must be freezing cold where you are right now, so I hope my reply brings even a teeny bit of warmth to you.

    The actor you are looking for is Stuart Damon, and although he was born in 1937 as far as IMDB.com is concerned he is still alive 🙂 The other handsome guy is William Gaunt (still also alive and last seen in La Femme Musketeer on the Hallmark Channel), and the gorgeous lady is Alexandra Bastedo (who had a small role in—believe it or not—Batman Begins). You can find their pics as well as a bit of information at this link: The Champions.

    I used to do the same trick with my aunt, what you did to hide the illegal tv watching, but instead I’d shut the tv door (which shuts the tv itself automatically) the minute our dogs started barking by the gate. I did that so often that it may have broken the “automatic” as when I closed the door quickly the tv did NOT turn itself off! But too late, my aunt had already walked in the door. So doble ngayon ang kasalanan ko, unauthorized tv watching na, sinira ko pa yung auto-off ng tv. I was banned from all tv watching for a week after that.

    Do you have a blog too? Do send me a link so I can visit you as well. The pictures from where you are now must be breathtaking!

  14. Of course it had to be Stuart Damon and Alexandra Bastedo, the lady with an un-American name, how could I forget! But William Gaunt (I hope he isn’t so gaunt looking today) was so baby-face cute that it had to be him who I had a crush on. Thanks for the website, funny Gaunt isn’t as baby-face cute as I remembered, memory playing tricks..? And gee, I didn’t know Stuart is one year shy of 70! But I am digressing…Part of the show’s come-on was a mildly suggested competition between the two guys on who would get her, there was always just this suggestion or hint of a triangle and mutual attraction and who bags her and who she really liked often made for the show’s till-next-episode cliff hanger, or at least as a young girl that’s how I perceived it.

    Another show I liked was “Tales of the Unexpected” and remember getting the most unusual stories from that 30-minute clip, always with a surprise ending…like this man into beekeeping and ends up buzzing and turning into a human bee himself; another with a man who kept a room full of vessels of tears, the essence of people’s hurts and anguish; and a story that was a remake of the short story “Open Window” (I saw the tv episode first, chancing upon the short story much, much later and remembering with a thrill of discovery that it had to be the story upon which that episode was based.) I think this is the show that started me away from the common grooves in thinking…

    But lest people think I’m so ‘high brow’, there was this part of me that as a child also listened to radio soap operas that my favorite yaya-lavadera would be tuned in to on lazy Saturday afternoons…ahaha! and I would often play alone (as I was a solo child), talk to myself the way they did on radio soap, galloping on imaginary horses, “uunahan ko siya, uunahan ko ang kalaban, hiya putiiii!” the things we play as children, they never cease to amuse, I wonder what they play now?

    Yes, it gets to be -2 degrees C here, but rarely snows in Kathmandu, except in the snow-capped Himalayas which are all over us, ethereal and sacred and respite from the smog, overcrowding and filth of Kathmandu Valley – a city of 2 million people. I’ll send pictures sometime, but unfortunately don’t have a blog. I am considering having one, if you’ll give me some tips…I also read my niece’s livejournals in the US and been thinking of creating one myself because I have so much thoughts, see my entries always tend to be long-ish? Ke garne? What to do? How to go about it, this seems to be a new pastime, yeah?…reading people’s thoughts and diaries online, and stumbling into some amazingly heartwarming modern day stories.

    Again, warm greetings from cold Kathmandu. Namaskar,

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