Why We Need to Remember the Classic TV Shows
There is a general perception that the TV shows of the past, even the so-called classic series, are inferior to the critically-acclaimed series of today, and there is some truth to this. Many of the critically-acclaimed series of yesteryear don’t seem to hold up when we watch them today. What seemed groundbreaking and daring back then now seems dated and their main attraction seems to be as nostalgia pieces. Still, there are many reasons why we need to remember the classic shows. One is that many of these shows are the forerunners of the most popular shows of today. For example, the gritty police series Dragnet paved the way for the likes of the various CSI and Law and Order series.
The innovations introduced in many classic shows also proved key influences to the shows that followed them. For example, M*A*S*H mixed comedy and dramatic plotlines in a form that would eventually become known as the “dramedy”. This sophisticated format would go on to inspire other fondly-remembered series such as St. Elsewhere and Moonlighting and influence the way many series are made today. The optimistic and well thought-out world created by the original Star Trek series paved the way for many more sophisticated science fiction series such as Babylon Five.
But one of the most important reasons why we need to remember the classic shows is the positive values embodied in them. Star Trek, for example, showed people a world where people of various races (and even aliens!) could work together in an atmosphere of harmony and tolerance. Classic situation comedies such as Happy Days and The Brady Bunch may have shown an unrealistically rosy view of family life, but they still stressed the importance of strong family ties. These positive values, which are markedly lacking in many of the popular shows of today, are why classic TV series are still going strong, even with audiences who were not even born when they were first aired.