Though time travel hasn’t been made possible yet, watching a favorite show from childhood is the next best thing. Watching a Disney movie from when I was a kid is just as enjoyable today as it was back then. Sure, I’m a big kid at heart, but a wonderful story is still a wonderful story even if it doesn’t look quite as grand as the modern versions. Some shows, however, don’t age quite as well, giving one that, “What the hell? Why did we all like that?” moment. But the memories that these shows evoke are always wonderful for me, even if the re-viewing of them, isn’t quite as wonderful as I remember. As a kid, I was super excited to get my own little television in my room, which was only capable of displaying images in black and white. So in some cases, just seeing one of those older shows in color can be a rather magical thing. Or sometimes, not as much. I used to dream about all the colors I thought should be there on that tiny black and white screen. It was my first version of painting, even if it was only in my mind. Sometimes, I prefer to simply remember the colors I imagined.
When I was a little kid, one of the most popular shows on television was Happy Days. It was perfectly ridiculous in that perfect way that makes people smile. And it was kind enough to spawn two of my other favorite shows. The first was Laverne and Shirley, a show where I can still sing the entire opening song. Though I only do so in the shower. The second spin-off I loved was Mork & Mindy, the story of an extraterrestrial that journeys to earth in a big egg and becomes a roommate with a girl who works in her father’s record store. Yeah, it sounds perfectly stupid in description, and it really was, which is exactly why it was so enjoyable. The other two shows that came before I was born, but were played continuously when I got home from school in the 70’s were Gilligan’s Island and The Beverly Hillbillies. The first, a show about seven castaways long before Tom Hanks was ever found talking to a volleyball and the second a show about seriously backward people from my home state, striking it rich when they discover crude oil. Yeah, there’s a theme here. I love a cleverly dumb premise.
So many stories today attempt to be all-to-relevant and hard-hitting, when the stories of my childhood were simply stupid escapes. I rather miss those shows. The ones you showed up for not to be impressed or challenged, but to simply be entertained and guaranteed a smile or two along the way. I’ve never been a fan of any art that tries so hard to make a point, the point is lost entirely to the majority of people viewing it. I just love enjoyable stories where people do things that people do in those perfectly dumb ways that they really do them. It just feels more real, especially when the storyline is ludicrous. Real life is definitely a bit ludicrous, but I probably wouldn’t have it any other way. Those days spent sitting in front of my little black and white screen are a cherished memory for me now. Little stories I would paint in color with my mind, laughing along the way. Not much has changed really. If you’re showing up to my blog and reading these little posts, you’ve very often found yourself watching a childhood show.
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About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Bezimida Orange, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Cobalt Turquoise, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!