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Why this is the Golden Age of television


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#41 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:25 AM

Here's a link to the wiki on one of the first scifi shows back in the day.
http://en.wikipedia....s_Video_Rangers

Good writeup about this show, and also mentions the many others that were done in those very early years.

I had that ring for many, many years and can remember this show as being a 'must see' for me and my family at the time, along with Tom Corbett.


The guy who played Captain Video really wrecked his career by playing that part. I remember reading how hard it was for him to get a job after the show ran it's course. First case of stereotyping I ever heard of.

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet was a good show too. The books were better, but that's usually the case.

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#42 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:25 AM

I didn't get the lack of violent shows in the '50s. Looking back, The Lone Ranger had a lot of very violent fight scenes as did all the westerns.


Not necessarily less violent, but less graphic. Westerns and cop shows had a lot of shooting, but didn't show blood splattering and body parts flying. I remember a statement somewhere that at one time they could show the shot fired and the subject down, but couldn't show the moment of impact.


The one thing I find unbelievable in Lawman is some of the women. I don't imagine too many female saloonkeepers in the old west looked like Lily Merrill (Peggy Castle).


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#43 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:31 AM

Not necessarily less violent, but less graphic. Westerns and cop shows had a lot of shooting, but didn't show blood splattering and body parts flying. I remember a statement somewhere that at one time they could show the shot fired and the subject down, but couldn't show the moment of impact.


It was the fights that got me. I really thought that was real.


The one thing I find unbelievable in Lawman is some of the women. I don't imagine too many female saloonkeepers in the old west looked like Lily Merrill (Peggy Castle).


I thought Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke was appropriate at the time, but that show does not seem to stand the test of time very well and that was one of my very favorite shows.

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#44 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:58 AM

The guy who played Captain Video really wrecked his career by playing that part. I remember reading how hard it was for him to get a job after the show ran it's course. First case of stereotyping I ever heard of.

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Do you mean 'typecasting'?

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#45 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:16 AM

I remember all the grown ups putting on finery and gathering in our home to watch the radio. Kinda creepy. They would all just sit and stare at the radio.

Rich

There was a lot more going on than that. Listeners, using their own respective imaginations, were busy creating imagery on the screens of their minds, of the action and descriptions they were hearing on the radio -- or, at least, I was. Too bad tv has diminished the need for that ability.

We gathered, yes, but I don't recall anyone donning their "finery" for the event. As I recall, it was a 'come as you are' happening.

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#46 OFFLINE   trainman

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:08 AM

Thanx, he was also Candice Bergen's father. The puppet he used was Charlie McCarthy.


Charlie McCarthy is the character Edgar Bergen is most associated with, but he had a couple of others, most notably Mortimer Snerd.

Candice Bergen has claimed that, when she was growing up, Charlie McCarthy had a bigger "bedroom" than she did. :D
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#47 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

Do you mean 'typecasting'?


Meant stereotyped. From dictionary.com: to characterize or regard as a stereotype: The actor has been stereotyped as a villain.

I should have used "typecasting", would have been clearer, but all I could think of at the time was "stereotyping", which, while not wrong, is not as clear as typecasting.

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#48 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

There was a lot more going on than that. Listeners, using their own respective imaginations, were busy creating imagery on the screens of their minds, of the action and descriptions they were hearing on the radio -- or, at least, I was. Too bad tv has diminished the need for that ability.


I know. I was doing the same thing.

We gathered, yes, but I don't recall anyone donning their "finery" for the event. As I recall, it was a 'come as you are' happening.


I lived for the first 6 years of my life in Newark, NJ, in a German neighborhood which kinda had a dress code for gatherings. Suits, vests and ties for the men, dresses and hats for the women. Obviously, a different cultural experience.

Newark was like a mini NYC at that time. No problems walking the streets at night. Nice place to go to the movies and stuff like that. I even have a picture of my grandfather and great uncle and I on a fishing boat and both of them had only taken their suit jackets off. Both were fishing in dress slacks, white dress shirts and ties.

Then, my father bought a house in a small town on Raritan Bay in NJ. What a difference! Nobody visited anybody in the manner they did in Newark. Everybody was buying TVs and stayed home to watch them. Took me a while to adapt.

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#49 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

Charlie McCarthy is the character Edgar Bergen is most associated with, but he had a couple of others, most notably Mortimer Snerd.


Ah! I thought it was Mortimer Snerd. Could not remember the name.

Candice Bergen has claimed that, when she was growing up, Charlie McCarthy had a bigger "bedroom" than she did. :D


I read some of the things she said about growing up and it sounded like a rivalry between her and the puppets.

Rich

#50 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:06 PM

I don't know if this is a classic, but it sure is ancient ;)

Jack Lord's Stoney Burke coming to DVD

Jack Lord played some sort of rodeo cowboy, but the show lasted one season and featured 32 episodes.

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#51 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:53 PM

The thing that made it a golden age for me was the LIVE theater presentations (at least for us lucky East-coasters) from great American playwrights featuring actors like James Dean and Paul Newman. Kraft Playhouse, Playhouse 90, I Remember Mama--all LIVE--and on Sunday, LIVE broadcasts from NYC featuring Leonard Bernstein.

Thing about the live stuff was, there were lots of screwups, actors forgot their lines, boom shadows got into frame, bad switching happened, lighting goofs, bangs and booms happened off-screen, etc. But that made it all the better!

Jeez, we sure did kill a heap o Native Americans on TV back then. I think we're still living that down today!

#52 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:31 PM

You're about 60 years late. The Golden Age of TV was the 1950s.


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#53 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

I'm trying hard. Recording a lot of Burns & Allen, Jack Benny, (B&W) Dragnet, Racket Squad, Naked City, Sgt. Preston and anything else I can find on the air on the oldies channels. DVDs on the shelf include a collection of 50s cop shows, Wanted: Dead Or Alive and so on.

What special effect they used and stunts they did were real, not CGI. Suspense was done in the script writing, not by splashing blood all over the set and throwing body parts around.

Comedy wasn't 7th Grade 'bathroom humor'.


You must have METV in your DMA. We had it & AntennaTV, on two stations but they took them off.

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#54 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:04 PM

The Wikipedia entry on the Golden Age of Television is pretty good. But you have to be careful using that "Golden Age" term as it is so subjective. For instance in the Wikipedia entry it says:
In other words, what made the age "Golden" ceased as popular fare took over.

The Wikipedia entry also notes: I have some problems with this list of the new "Golden Age" shows. Only three of them, "Mad Men", "The Good Wife", and "Downton Abbey", do not rely on violence.

And that really stands out because the prior paragraphs read as follows: For those of us who do remember watching a snowy picture from the DuMont Network on a greenish-screen Hoffman television set hooked to a 40' antenna attached to a "pipe" sitting on a newfangled device called a rotor, it is tempting to consider that the "Golden Age."

But if a broadcast network next week started running live, abridged versions of plays like Cyrano de Bergerac, with members of a Broadway revival cast, the following week it would be filing for bankruptcy because no gold would be forthcoming.

Each era of television had its "Golden" programming that we remember. The advantage the networks had in the so-called "Golden Age" is that they could experiment and everything that aired last night didn't have to make a profit.

The non-violent shows list in the "new" Golden Age is ironic:

  • "Mad Men" is known as AMC's loss leader subsidized by the network's more violent "The Walking Dead."
  • "Downton Abbey" is part of the "Masterpiece Classic" series on PBS which is a broadcast "Made Possible by Viewers Like You," some other folks who have made really large donations, and the BBC which has its work funded principally by an annual television license fee, which is charged to all British households and businesses using any type of equipment to receive live television broadcasts.
  • "The Good Wife" is on TV-by-the-Numbers Bubble Watch as "on the bubble" because its ratings may not be high enough to earn it a renewal.
In other words, the reality for TV in the U.S. today is quality dramatic violence attracts gold. Quality non-violent drama programming does not. That determines what is on TV. And that prevents me from ever thinking that this should ever be considered The Golden Age of Television. But there is still some "Golden" programming.


We had a Hoffman TV that my mother won on Queen for a Day. It had a remote control with one button.

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#55 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:15 PM

We had a Hoffman TV that my mother won on Queen for a Day. It had a remote control with one button.

Wow, that is interesting. Did she win it on the Mutual Radio Network show or after the show moved to TV running from 1956 to 1964?

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#56 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:21 PM

Wow, that is interesting. Did she win it on the Mutual Radio Network show or after the show moved to TV running from 1956 to 1964?


No she was on the TV version in 1957.

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#57 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

We had a 23" Stromberg-Carlson. My buddy next door had a 12" Capehart, big mass of dark wood and doors that opened to reveal the screen. TVs were furniture.

Even a 1-button remote control was super advanced! The first channel-changing remotes were all mechanical. Made huge clunking noises.

#58 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:28 PM

The first channel-changing remotes were all mechanical. Made huge clunking noises.


That's because some of them struck a tuning fork.
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#59 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:31 PM

You must have METV in your DMA. We had it & AntennaTV, on two stations but they took them off.



Well, right now, I have all three; MeTV, Antenna and RTV but none of them are really full time. The stations preempt quite a bit for other programming.

But like I've mentioned before, I also have TCT Family that runs a lot of older B&W stuff among their bible thumping.
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#60 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:35 PM

First remotes were wired. Then the Zenith ultrasonic unit re-invented the genre. Now I've got 5 remotes with hundreds of buttons.

Edited by Maruuk, 06 February 2013 - 03:25 PM.





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