April 26, 2017

TV that should not have existed

Last week, you might recall that I was kind of hard - brutal, almost - on the state of contemporary television. Well, I'd like to make up for that, and give you this clip from the rapidly indispensable FredFlix YouTube channel. The title is pretty self-descriptive: "21 TV Shows That Should Not Have Existed, Yet Did." It's not one of those clickbait slide shows that pollute the internet; rather, it's an often humorous look at some really bad programs, with the shows themselves providing the evidence that convicts them. The best that can be said about some of them is that they look a lot like a really good SCTV parody, until you figure out that they're real. While some of these shows are from the '80s and later, a good number of them come before that. No matter when their origin, it's a reminder that bad TV - like good TV - has existed always and everywhere. The only difference is that in television's earlier days, the evidence was destroyed.

9 comments:

  1. I probably should not admit to how many of these shows I own on DVD. And I'd buy "Flying High" in a second. There is a comforting cheesiness to a lot of 'bad' '70s TV that I find almost irresistible.

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    1. Well, I'm not going to admit to them, unless it's sotto voce. I learned many years ago not to be embarrassed about the TV shows I watch, but there are some things a gentlemen just doesn't talk about in public. In private, though, I might show you my burned set of The Alvin Show...

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  2. Mitchell I don't think you were "brutal" at all [groan] on contemporary TV. I would like to hear more people say that. As to the video, it is interesting that many of the shows on that video are today considered "cult classics". The TV junk of today might be the "hidden treasure" of the future...and isn't THAT something to be concerned about!

    George Everson

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  3. Many contemporary TV critics of the 1960s derided CBS-TV president James Aubrey for programming "mindless" television shows like Mr. Ed, Gilligan's Island, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction. Because of syndication, I don't think any of these programs have ever been off the air.

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    1. Given what I have heard, Gilligan's Island was fortunate to survive its first season period. For a show that only lasted two seasons it certainly is considered a "classic" among old TV buffs today.

      George Everson

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    2. Not only did GILLIGAN run three seasons...its first year it finished in the Top 20 shows of the season.

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    3. I stand corrected Paul. THREE seasons then. Still, it is amazing how such a relatively short-lived show managed to catch on as part of popular TV culture.

      Especially, given that the TV executives were constantly trying to undermine the show from what I have heard in favor of what they thought would be "better" shows.

      George Everson

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  4. "Lancelot Link" still makes me laugh. I didn't think "AfterMASH" was THAT bad. Never knew Jerry Lewis was on the abysmal "Pink Lady." And they missed their chance for Jerry to say "Pink LAAAAAYYY-DEEEEE!"

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  5. As to Clutch Cargo thank you Mitch for bringing back a memory from childhood. Clutch and Space Angel both used VERY low budget animation techniques and were chintzy in the extreme, but they are now considered cartoon cult classics by some.

    George Everson

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