Who shot J.R.?

Beats the shit out of me. But I remember when it happened. It was a TV event and though aimed at nighttime adult viewers of the soap opera “Dallas” (or so I believe), my brother and I were convinced it applied to us as well. We begged our mom to stay up late so we could watch. “Ten o’clock?” she said, “You’ll be in bed for five hours by then.” So as we pulled down our blockout shades against the still-beaming sun, we fumed in our beds. I was sure my parents were down there having a party with balloons a clown and all their adult friends watching some guy named J.R. get shot. The same thing happened with MASH. I had never watched that show either, except in bits and pieces, thinking, “why is that man wearing a pink robe?” Who was that? Hawkeye? Klinger? Beats me. But when the last episode was on, my brother and I tried to sneak down and watch it, only to get busted. “But mom, it’s the last one, we’ll never be able to see it again!” I remember being close to tears at this point. Ahh, the power of the network blockbuster. I guess the only thing I really have to compare is the end of Cheers. Although probably a lot of people reading have no idea what Cheers is. Or know it only like I knew Dallas or MASH. An 18 year old was born in 1987. How screwed up is that? Not that I hang out with any 18 year olds, but still, I could. Legally. An 18 year old was born and Cheers had been on the air for like 5 years. And would be cancelled when they were five years old. Even Seinfeld. That went off the air in 1997 and a lot of 20-somethings were in high school. Or junior high. That was, afterall, 8 YEARS AGO. Even the Simpsons. What do these kids know of the Simpsons? I bet they watch the opening and go “Why is Bart on a skateboard?” The Simpsons the kids know today is crap. It’s pants. It’s written by people like them, who had older brothers and sisters who talked about how great the Simpsons were and now they’re just rehashing the same plotlines and try to recapture the magic that was gone long ago. The truth is, the Simpsons had four, maybe five, really good seasons. Starting in Seasons 5 and going to *maybe* Season 9. This is what you think of when you think of the really funny Simpsons episodes. Trust me. Look it up. The first ones, everyone knows, are terrible. It’s all about Bart being an “underachiever and proud of it”. The animation looks weird and Chief Wiggum’s hair is too black. There’s even an episode where Ralph has a different voice. A ‘smart’ voice. Now the show is all about Homer. And equally as tedious. Now you could say this whole thing is made null and void by the concept of “syndicated re-runs”, but who’s to say kids are watching these today anyway? And if they are, they probably think the new Homer ones are funny. I remember babysitting some kids a while back and they thought “Full House” was hilarious. Somebody’s watching this show, keeping it alive. OK fine, so I watch it. But trust me, it’s strictly a nostalgia thing. I don’t actually like it.

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