Originally Posted by dad1153
Sure, You Loved Lucy, but Vintage Has Limits
A Case of Retro TV Overload
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times
- Jul. 28, 2014
But if you’re watching this fare all day, every day, you need help, because “venerable” doesn’t necessarily mean “still watchable.” Sluggish pacing, wooden acting, wince-inducing jokes and obvious plot twists abound in the television of the distant and even not-so-distant past. Too much of this will turn your brain to mush as surely as too much of today’s reality TV will.
I know this is heresy to some, but since I’m in this far, I might as well go whole hog. Here are nine great, important, fabulous vintage (or soon to be) shows that I never want to see again. I don’t know if they are currently being shown on any of the channels mentioned above, but surely somebody has programmed them or plans to in the future. No! Back in the vault, please:
‘GREEN ACRES’ (1965)
Speaking of stereotypes, there was this empty-headed series. Along with “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Gomer Pyle” and a few others, it made sure “rural” and “stupid” would be wrongly linked for years to come.
It's comments like this that make me wonder if the author ever watched more than snippets of this show. His comments are wrong in so many ways.
On the most superficial level, the series was very even-handed with it's characters. There was no derision of the rural characters. It was a fish-out-of-water scenario, where you really had people from different worlds living in the same small community, and the contrasts of their perspectives creating all kinds of humorous situations. The locals weren't portrayed as stupid, unsophisticated perhaps, but not stupid. And they would often get the best of Mr. Douglas, who's big-city life ad background was just as often made fun of.
On a higher level, Mr. Genzlinger misses that Green Acres was more than just an empty-headed sitcom. Long before reading the works of Beckett, I was introduced to the theater of the absurd through this show, with almost every episode serving as a primer. Also lost on Mr. Genzlinger were the societal commentaries included in some of the episodes. Some are dated now, 50 years later, but others still apply.
I remember watching this show as a child, later while in college, then about 10 years ago, and again today through reruns on a local station. Even though I've seen each episode multiple times, the show still remains fresh. It also has the same quality as Seinfeld in that one can become attached enough to the characters to feel like you could easily be friends with all of them.
For those who may think I'm giving the show too much credit, and in rebuttal to the Times piece, here's a much better article for anyone with an interest in the series and how inventive it was from a guy that gets it: