Back When We All Watched The Same TV Shows

Classic Bugs Bunny Television Set Watercolor - Doodlewash

When considering a prompt of “something you miss” I was flooded with lots of options. In many cases, the things that came to mind were practically impossible to illustrate. For example, in many ways, I miss the bits of the 20th century I lived through, but I stopped to consider exactly why that might be the case. Though there are many reasons, the one the jumped to mind first was that I really loved a time when everyone was watching the same shows on television. This might seem an odd thing to wax nostalgic on, but those days came with something that’s missing today. A feeling of commonality that even gave complete strangers something to talk about the next day. So, of course, I had to google the most watched television shows of all time and, not surprisingly, all of the shows on the list were from the 20th century. In this century, we can watch whatever we like whenever we choose to, which on the surface seems like a wonderful thing. But instead of asking someone what they thought of Seinfeld last night we ask, “what are you watching now?” And when you mention the show you’re currently watching you often get a reply of “Oh, yeah, that’s sounds cool. I haven’t started it yet.” So, conversations dip back into chit chat and talking about totally meaninglessly things like the weather instead. I miss the days when we all had something in common.

It’s far from surprising that even the youngest among us flock to various things from the previous century. Those cool record players and VHS tapes are so wonderfully tangible. And in so many ways, I’m quite happy with the counter culture of making physical things from scratch that keeps coming back again and again. While the digital world affords possibilities that didn’t exist in the last century, it creates an odd dynamic. One where we our connection comes from the method we use to connect and not the stories that are told there. Facebook? That’s so dead now… it’s my parents thing. I’m on Snapchat! Do you still use Instagram? I just look at the stories and hop off now. Kinda cool, but if you want to know what’s happening right now you better check out Twitter. And yet, many of us who tried social media at the very beginning can still wax nostalgic about it as well. It was such a wonderful thing to connect to family and friends and make new friends across the globe! Then the algorithms changed so nobody sees the things we post now to make room for ads and celebrities. The same celebrities who used to reach us by default when they appeared on a television show everyone was watching.

Social media itself has become the new television. The place where we can at least talk about whatever is trending at the moment in hopes the other person might actually know what we’re talking about. One of the original people who had a hand in creating Instagram, Bailey Richardson, left the company and said, “it feels like we’re all addicted to a drug that doesn’t get us high anymore.” Though this all sounds like a bit of a downer, I have to believe it simply means there’s a wonderful turnaround coming next. It makes my heart so happy to see the younger generations embracing bits of the past and finding them cool again. We’ve always done that as a culture throughout history, but this is the first time in history where reaching backward comes with the choice of something tangible vs. purely digital. I love all things digital, even as I geeked out as a kid on my Commodore 64, but I sometimes miss the bulky cartridges that reminded me I was actually going into a different world. Yet happily, today at least, it’s often hard to feel like an “old person” once you’ve embraced technology. And no matter what you’re into you can now always find your tribe online somewhere. But, I guess I truly liked it better when we were all part of the same tribe, back when we all watched the same TV shows.

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Day 14 - Classic Bugs Bunny Television Set Watercolor - Doodlewash
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
22 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 1 week ago

    I want a tv set like that! It’s awesome! I think you are right about social media and the fact that were about to have a sea change. Don’t know what it will be, but some bazillionaire-to-be is about to launch something new and watch it catch fire. Unfortunately, the world is moving at such a pace now, that such changes come frequently rather than once in a lifetime. Most of us are always a step or two behind, trying vainly to catch up.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Yes! It’s exhausting trying to keep up! 😳I think the advent of the next “big” thing that applies to everyone is over. We’re too niche now. They’ll be big things, to be sure, but only a fraction of us will ever really notice or care. That’s not gloomy… perhaps Doodlewash could be a big thing then! 😉 hehe

  2. Anita Sinha 1 week ago

    I completely agree with you…sometimes while reading your posts I feel as if I am talking to myself…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      That’s awesome, Anita! 😃💕It makes me so happy to know you can relate to these posts. When you write about yourself you start to wonder if anyone might care. But I think we all share a common story and those are the kind I like to tell.

  3. Lisa Cihlar 1 week ago

    If you had one of the televisions you painted, you were one cool family. Like the Jetsons of the neighborhood. And that Bugs and Fudd are early renditions of the characters. Bravo!

    As for me, I miss the summer of 1978. I had just graduated from high school. I was headed to college in the fall with a declared art major. I had a summer job at the Hole ‘n One gas station where I made donuts, fried chicken, sold fishing bait, and beer. I was eighteen and of legal drinking age and lived in a major tourist area where there were beaches, and clubs, and loads to do. The music of the day was danceable and the boys kissable. I had use of a car pretty much all the time. And I was in the cusp of my life. And I was giddy to grab it all.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      My dad loved to collect things! lol So yeah, we had some Jetsons action going on in our house! And can I just say that “the music of the day was danceable and the boys kissable” is just about the giddiest and most wonderful memory ever!!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 1 week ago

    Great little TV with cartoon going on! I have learned a lot through the internet, by taking classes and being part of groups like this one. I’m not big on social media because of the all the privacy issues and because I think a lot of it is silly. I was pretty happy in the analog world, where we wrote letters, looked forward to phone conversations, and generally enjoyed people more in real life. On the other hand, I’ve been able to meet amazing people through the internet – people with whom I never would have crossed paths in real life.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕It’s so true! You and I have met through the Internet and that’s awesome! And we’re connected with so many other artists, so I’m thrilled about that. Heck, I wouldn’t have my current husband were it not for the Internet. But yeah, the thing called social media just isn’t social anymore. I’m eagerly awaiting the new and improved thing to take its place. 😉

  5. LoriCtoo 1 week ago

    Like everything else in life, the internet has it’s good and bad. As I go through my day, I am going to really think about this prompt,( just like all the rest). And I hope I don’t get too sad when I figure it out. Lol This is one cool tv with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕hehe… yeah this prompt almost had an air of sadness to it to start. Which is very unlike me, so I expected people would find their previous joys and revel in that! Or, just enjoy my little teleplay of Bugs and Elmer! lol

  6. June Hadaway 1 week ago

    Such a cute tv and cartoon. Love the colors. Technology is great but moving way too fast. I still think the on-off switch is the easiest and greatest invention. 😁 Talking to a technician when trying to solve a problem can be a nightmare. They are sooo ahead of me. I like “simple.”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕 Glad you liked this one! hehe… Love that! YES! The on/off switch is indeed the best invention of all. Thankfully, even metaphorically, we have the ability to switch it whenever we need! 😉

  7. memadtwo 1 week ago

    Those Saturday morning cartoons were the best! (K)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Yes!! I loved them soooo much! 😃💕 Seriously, a memory I’ll never forget!

  8. Sharon Gullikson 1 week ago

    I have never thought about this at length, but I agree with you. People are all watching different things, and not always what I watch. And sometimes people sound a little bit judgmental about what they watch, I watch, or what I DON’T watch. I just have no interest in some of the violent or nasty shows. I don’t judge them for watching them, I just don’t want to burn those images and words into my brain for the rest of my life. I want to laugh, think, feel. And many of the best show are the old shows. I can watch Friends over and over and never get tired of it, and never stop making references to it. Remembering, and reminding others of situations in the show brings us together for a moment….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Indeed! Those are the wonderful bits about those shows from the past. 😃💕 Not only did we all watch them, they didn’t have that need to be “edgy”… they were just enjoyable. I miss those shows and I miss being able to assume my friends have also watched them. Now, we have to wait until the last person in the office has seen the show in order to even talk about it. So, it have to be social media… our real world often doesn’t understand us anymore. That, to me, is where things get a bit weird. 😉

  9. smzang 1 week ago

    Charlie says, “I guess I truly liked it better when we were all part of the same tribe, back when we all watched the same TV shows.

    Yes!

    Every scene is heightened when you sit in the same room, sharing popcorn and smiles (or tears)…
    A glance at a sibling, a parent or friend savoring an experience brought to mind by what’s going on
    in the script, on the screen. It is the interaction, up close and personal that is lost by digital; even a
    selfie isn’t the same, nor is the web cam (that still feels kind of creepy to me.)

    Watching TV with someone dear is, as Elmer Fudd would say, “West and wewaxation at wast!”

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      hehe!! Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 You’re a dear for quoting me, but by quote Elmer Fudd you just leveled up! lol Love it! And yeah, we don’t even have to sit in the same room anymore. There has to be something lost in all of that. Something I hope comes back to us somehow in another way soon.

  10. Victoria Banaszak 1 week ago

    I love your painting!!! You even did the old Bugs Bunny! Squeeeee! I think I was just learning My Space when it stopped being a thing. LOL I still don’t know how to put a picture on my instagram feed from my phone. I don’t tweet, and rarely get on facebook. Honestly, it takes me almost all day to get through my email.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks so much, Victoria! 😃💕 hehe… and thanks for noticing… yeah, I figured if I was going to possibly sound a bit like an old man I should sketch the earliest Bugs Bunny! And yeah, it’s way too much these days. It was lovely to know I had MY space… now none of them really feel like mine. Except this blog, so I’m so thrilled you showed up to comment. Please drop everything else and just keep coming back here! 🙂

  11. smzang 5 days ago

    btw, this post inspired my latest post (credit given of course)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 days ago

      Yay! Love it when I can inspire you! That always makes me smile! 😃💕

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