Week 6: Radio and Television. What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?
I must preface this post by saying I was in no way raised by the television. It’s going to look like it briefly but I promise I wasn’t. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Every featured show is there for a reason that I’ll explain. There were plenty more but they weren’t as important as the ones that I am actually featuring.
Saved by the Bell: Saved by the Bell is probably a staple of every child of the 80s and 90s childhood. I remember watching it every Saturday morning through it’s entire run and then even moving onto Saved by the Bell: The New Class. This is probably the first show that I loved enough to watch it every week. It was definitely one of many shows that was played on Saturday mornings but this one was the staple. The others came and went (California Dreams, City Guys, One World) but this one was perfection.
It dealt with real teen issues and is still played today and I still watch it if I catch it on! Zach Morris, played by Mark Paul Gosselar, was cute and charismatic. He was a schemer you just couldn’t help but love. Just like the television audience, Zach’s friends and family couldn’t help but laugh at his antics. Yet Zach definitely had a heart and knew when he was in the wrong. I think my favorite episode was when he was writing a report and made friends with the Indian chief who passed away. Out of all the episodes, that’s the one that still sticks with me. Probably because of the genealogist I didn’t know was in me yet!
Little House on the Prairie: I have a confession to make with this one. I used to watch this one in syndication when I was home sick from school. I wasn’t supposed to watch TV if I was sick but I did anyway. If Mom is reading this now, she’s probably laughing because I doubt I pulled the wool over her eyes! What little girl hasn’t seen this show and loved it? I remember reading at least the first book, but I don’t think I ever made it through the others. The show is what hooked me, and I didn’t know at the time it was a true story!
I think the casting of Melissa Gilbert was perfect. They’ve tried to remake the series again and again but nothing quite measures up. The show was a perfect mix of wholesomeness and history. Looking back, I think this show too was part of the road to my genealogy future. I’ve always been fascinated by the time period this takes place in. I also loved the length of the show and how you saw everyone grow and mature, even Nellie Olson!
Road to Avonlea: This is one of the lesser known shows but it rounds out my top 3. I actually got the DVDs from eBay because I love the show that much. I think I’m still missing the last two seasons but I’ll get them eventually. This was shown on the Disney Channel. It’s a Sullivan Entertainment production, based on Prince Edwards Island in Canada. It’s actually a somewhat continuation of the Anne of Green Gables story. Unofficially of course. The show itself is an original out of Canada and Disney bought distribution rights to it I’m guessing. If you have a little girl that loves the Anne books, this is definitely going to be a hit!
Once again, I was interested in history before I realized what a huge part it would play in my life. The thing I loved about this show was the family dynamic. I didn’t grow up around my cousins and aunts and uncle. So this show was really as close to an extended family as I was getting. I just loved to how Felicity was a brat to begin with but by the end of the show, she was mature and the star! Sarah was a free spirit who had lived a privileged, lonely life only to have it crumble down around her. They started out as foes and turned into the best of friends. Alec and Janet King were Felicity’s parents and Sarah’s Uncle and Aunt. They gave her the family and stability that she needed at the time in her life that she moved to PEI.
Also thrown into the mix, you get little snippets of Anne Shirley! Rachel Lynde is a constant presence and probably as much of a foe to Sarah as she was to Anne! Later you see a softer side when Marilla Cuthbert and Rachel take in orphans Davey and Dora Keith.
Punky Brewster: I’m not going to lie. I’ve always been a bit eccentric. I didn’t realize until recently how much, but it all started with Punky. It’s because of Punky I’m not ashamed of my crazy socks! Don’t get me wrong, they’re always matched, but they are never boring!
Punky is about an orphan who ends up living with Henry. A widower who is a bit of a grump. He can’t resist Punky for long though! Punky is definitely unique with her own style.
Full House: I saved the other kahuna for last! It’s definitely not last place in my heart though. This is another show that I grew with. I remember Michelle Tanner (Olsen Twins, respectively) as a baby all the way through the end of the show. This was a show I never missed!
There’s not much I can say about Full House that everyone else doesn’t already know. It dealt with family issues, school issues, sibling issues, everything! In fact, life imitated art more than once in our house! Once after being entirely fed up with having to share my room with my older sister, I too “moved out” into a less habitable part of the house like DJ. I even played a Full House trick on my Dad when me and my best friend accidentally broke something. We sent him on errands to try and buy time for us to fix the problem! In the end, just like the show, you’ve got to fess up and take your punishment.
52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is a weekly series by Amy Coffin and hosted by GeneaBloggers. It’s purpose is to promote writing your own history down to be preserved for future generations.