I’m not afraid of admitting I have a deep love for black and white television. In fact, I think I’m an old lady in disguise–I enjoy knitting and drinking tea while watching old black and whites, waiting for my pies to come out of the oven.
I imagine it began in the dollar section of Target one Christmas when, in desperate need for cheap last-minute stocking stuffers, a collection of cheap old shows that no one watched anymore caught the eye of my mother.
“They’re young enough,” I imagine she thought. “They won’t know what they’re watching. Harmless old television shows.”
My brothers and I ended up with single DVDs in flimsy cases of Bonanza, Gilligan’s Island and The Dick Van Dyke Show in our stockings. These paled in comparison to our other gifts, but the persistent DVDs remained in our collection, watched only when everything else had been watched to exhaustion.
Gosh, those black and whites were hidden gems.
Gilligan’s Island was a real hit in my household when I was young. We memorized the opening tune and sang it around the house. We played make-believe, my comedic younger brother starring as Gilligan while the couches served as the island and the carpet the rough seas.
Sorry. You’ll be singing that all day. Real catchy stuff, huh?
Now in comparison, the cover of The Dick Van Dyke Show initially looked boring to me, a perfectly coiffed family smiling from the cover. Once I started watching it, though, I was madly hooked. I must have watched the first season on DVD twenty times.
Now it’s on Netflix. I’m just as hopelessly addicted as I was when I was nine. I love charming humor–and without crude or suggestive content, either! I had forgotten it was possible to be funny and wholesome all at once.
(Look, I found a whole episode for you to watch! Get ready for some nostalgia.)
(Also, if you have Netflix, the best episode is ‘Oh How We Met The Night That We Danced.’ That’s television perfection.)
Of course, last but certainly not least, the best of black and white TV was I Love Lucy.
I had a sophisticated older cousin who found it to be a darling show, and in an attempt to be just as sophisticated, I would sit with her and watch episode after episode of Lucille Ball and her antics.
I think as a child I grew up on more classic TV than most. I didn’t do Saturday morning cartoons so much as old television binges. When I found the Dick Van Dyke Show on Netflix I was surprised that I had most of the episodes in the first season memorized! (Clearly my brain retains the useless information, like lines from a 60’s TV show instead of important things, like politics and how to jump start a car.)
Either way, there’s something nice about the sound of an old TV show. It sounds like idealistic America, with white picket fences, apple pie and neighbors who visit for poker night.
I do love a good classic!