Today is World Television Day, and this one is relatively official as it’s sanctioned by the United Nations. It’s not just a day to watch more TV, but a reminder of what television represents which the UN says is a symbol for communication and globalization in the contemporary world. Quite a mouthful, but there you have it.
Things have changed quite a bit as you don’t even need a television anymore to catch your favorite shows, nor do you have to watch them at a specific time. But there was something magical about an era with appointment viewing and having to wait for your favorite show each week. Back then, televisions had backs on them and required everyone in the family to pitch in just to move it across the room.
When I was a kid the best television night was Saturday night because I got to stay up late with ABC’s one-two punch of Love Boat followed by Fantasy Island. If I was super lucky, I even got to stay up to watch Saturday Night Live, which was always incredibly fun. But the real fun came on Sunday, when one of my favorite shows aired – Murder, She Wrote, starring the amazing Angela Lansbury.
I realize that this show was meant for women over 40, but how could anyone resist the spunky mystery author turned real-life detective, Jessica Fletcher, as she brilliantly solves a myriad of murders. Obviously any sane person would have moved the hell out of Cabot Cove since the odds of getting murdered there were nearly 100%. But at least you could rest easy knowing Jessica would skillfully put your killers in their rightful place after you’re gone.
Jessica would travel frequently and people would also die wherever she was, so one had to wonder why she was ever invited to go anywhere. No matter where Jessica went, she was also recognized by everyone who saw her, which is amazing considering she only wrote books. Much of this was due to the fact that the odds of being related to Jessica Fletcher were also 100%. She had an endless list of relatives that she would always help, even though she never managed to have children of her own.
I was shocked to discover Murder, She Wrote was also one of Philippe’s favorite shows. Apparently, we were both middle-aged women in a former life, which is equally comforting and disconcerting. Luckily, all of the seasons are on Netflix so we can binge watch whenever we like and see our Jessica’s face wildly smiling in freeze frame at the successful completion of each one.
Even if they were a bit ridiculous, what I liked about these older shows was that they were all attempting to tell you a story. Later, television would move to a million “reality” shows that successfully turned most of the nation into peeping Toms and sent talented writers to the unemployment lines. As for me, I’ll always have a soft spot for shows with a plot.
So today is the day to enjoy some of your favorite television shows and a time to remember those shows you used to love. Television is definitely one of the most influential inventions in history, so it’s nice to see it gets to have its own special day to be celebrated.