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Friday, January 25, 2013

Adam-12 and the Snake

Okay, maybe I'm a little Psycho
I just love classic television (kinda goes along with hating change doesn’t it). I think the majority of my TV time is spent watching ME-TV or Antennae TV these days. I know that times are different now and audiences demand more of their shows but I think I belong in the past. These shows still have people being shot, dying, legal dramas, exotic locales and other things similar to today’s shows. However, they don’t show a bunch of gratuitous blood and guts, don’t use swear words, have no explicit sex scenes. I feel comfortable with the environments and situations, not stressed out by offensive scenes before me.

How's this for an exotic locale?

Today I was watching Adam-12 (I love that show) and found myself laughing at the storyline. It seems a car was stolen from a real “space case” of a woman – remember this was the ‘70s. During the interview with the victim Malloy and Reed discover that her pet boa constrictor was in the trunk of the car (see, I did bring an animal into the discussion). Just their facial expressions made me laugh. Then the reactions of other patrol officers to the announcement of the snake brought more hilarity. They didn’t have to use sexual innuendos, or racial slurs to make me laugh. They simply placed the main characters in a humorous situation and used their body language to convey their thoughts. They were actually acting!

Can't find a snake, how 'bout an ostrich?

We never do get to see the snake and yet I could picture the officers who finally did recover the car and its inhabitant. It was just good TV. That’s why my family used to gather in the evenings to watch TV together. We actually had shows that were appropriate and engaging for all of us.

Tonight I went back to the present and watched Person of Interest where they shot people point blank, beat up a woman even kicking her in the gut, tortured someone and ended the show feeling like they’d really accomplished something. L Today’s shows imply that most murders are sexually related; stabbing is a substitute for rape, mutilation is a sign of impotence, and the positioning of the body has some sort of sexual/regretful connotation. Why can’t a murder just be a murder? Yes, I know, that’s a strange question but it comes from too much time spent in TVland.

See, violence with no blood!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I watch TV and movies to escape the real world. I don’t need to see the things that truly surround us, that stress us all out, that scare the daylights out of us. I like to see families who can learn to get along despite their differences (Father Knows Best), can solve crimes without showing us all the blood and guts involved (Dragnet, Adam-12); people who can use their brains rather than their guns (Perry Mason), and humor that is clean and really funny (George Burns and Gracie Allen). I know, modern TV offerings aren’t all bad but I’m so happy to have an alternative.

Ahhh, soothing sunset over Makaha Beach

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