Amazon Serves Up Classic Television

Amazon continues to feed our need for nostalgia adding to their already enormous pile of classic American television. In the past week, I’ve watched episodes of:

The Danny Thomas Show (1950’s) – dead spouses abound in television from the 1950’s through 1970’s (paging Shirley Partridge!) mainly because the networks didn’t want to deal with divorce. I caught up with Danny Thomas as his show morphed from Make Room for Daddy to The Danny Thomas Show. The original actress, Jean Hagen who portrayed Thomas’ wife quit over struggles with Thomas. They hired Marjorie Lord whose character ends up falling in love with Danny Williams and getting married – blending the two families.

Family Affair (1960’s) – another dead parent show, Family Affair finds perennial bachelor Bill Davis suddenly in charge of his nieces and nephew, aided by his live-in man-servant, Mr. French.

Gidget (1960’s) – before she took sail as Sister Bertrille, Sally Field started her TV career as a California love-sick teenager. Lots of fun this adaptation of the Sandra Dee Et al. films. Although Sally’s Gidget does date a “college boy” when she herself is only 15 1/2. What was her father thinking? As liberating as the 1960’s were, even on TV no parent would dare allow that to happen today.

NYPD Blue (1990’s) – I skipped over the 1970’s and 1980’s completely and watched a few key episodes of NYPD Blue after sampling one episode three months ago. This series tackles grit well, doesn’t make apologies for its politically incorrect character Sipowitz and shows other characters who are more evolved. Watched an episode on HIV and the straight community and another on a gay nightclub murder.

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