What TV shows warped YOU as a kid?

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What TV shows warped YOU as a kid?--Al

-- Al Schroeder (al.schroeder@nashville.com), April 15, 2000


The Donna Reed show. I spent an incredible amount of my adult life feeling guilty that I didn't come to breakfast in high heels, pearls, every hair in place, and in full makeup, gather the family all together at a table with flowers on it, have intelligent conversation, then hand them all their lunch bags and kiss them off to school or work. More often than not it was yelling at them to eat, searching for homework, struggling to get the shoes on, spilled milk--and I never wore pearls or high heels. Not once. I did manage to get lunches packed some of the time. (I also never understood why my father couldn't have been like Jim ("Father Knows Best") Anderson, until I was an adult and realized that Robert Young was an alcoholic too!)

Early on I developed a passion for "doctor shows" - Ben Casey, Dr. Kildaire, and any other medical show that came along. Perhaps that's one reason why I became a medical transriptionist.

And "Queen for a Day" scared the living daylights out of me. It was always people with the worst health problems, or most serious problems who were being crowned, and I learned all sorts of things to be terrified about.

-- Bev Sykes (basykes@dcn.davis.ca.us), April 15, 2000.

"Bewitched" had a tremendous influence on me. For quite awhile I believed that I could "be magic" - if I tried hard enough. Due to that show I became fascinated by all things supernatural and metaphysical, a fascination that is still very strong nearly 30 years later.

When I was 12 I was a huge fan of "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries", which led to my still-strong obsession with "Star Trek". See, William Schallert played Nancy's dad. He was also in the ep called "Trouble With Tribbles", which I had to watch because of him. A comedic episode with lots of cute, fuzzy things is perfect to draw a pre-teen girl with an interest in astronomy and NASA's space program into the fold of science fiction. (My dad had no small part in it, either.) Twenty-two years later I'm still a Trekker of the first degree.

-- Carol (webgal@ordinarygoddess.com), April 16, 2000.

"The Trouble with Tribbles" was our favorite Star Trek, hands down. I never dreamed that years later its author, David Gerrold, and I would become good friends. (He even wrote me as a character into his latest book)

-- Bev Sykes (basykes@dcn.davis.ca.us), April 16, 2000.

I wish that question was, "What TV shows had an influence on you." The answers would have been more numerous I think.

Warping (bent and crooked ?) probably depends on raising and bigotry of the adults around the child, I think.

Thinking back over the books and movies I have seen since about 1928 I realize that none of them warped me. I dug into Poe, Lady of the Camellias, Kraft Ebbing and all of the cops & robbers - - - cowboys and indians - - - pulps, detective, Doc Savage, the Shadow, the first issues of many of the science fiction pulps, the small mag now called Analog which was full size originally and called I think either Amazing or Astounding, can't remember for sure. The bootleg "eight pagers" we stole from the adults.

I turned out pretty decent, and still read what I damn please and will continue to do so until I can't see any more.

On the radio, Jack Armstrong the all American Boy who belonged to Wheaties, Little Orphan Annie, Ovaltine's girl and many other programs were listened to by me. I received inspiration from many things in the fiction field and learned a lot about the human traits which had a bearing on life.

Warped, hell no. Informed and inspired, hell yes.

-- Denver doug (ionoi@webtv.net), April 16, 2000.

Gilligans Island. Needs no explanation.

-- di (diana@clarksville.com), April 16, 2000.

Electra Woman and Dina Girl!! Of course reruns of Bewitched and Gilligan's Island, both of which I fantisised being a part of. More so however, I LOVED Little House on the Prairie, the books though not the show, it was on after my bedtime :-(, I spent many long hours just pretending to be Laura in various journeys), didn't get to watch the show until I was an adult. I don't know if that warped my mind, but eventually I also grew to love Perry Mason and Quincy, I still love mysteries and wholesome shows, but then again, I love sci-fi as well as action adventures and scarey stuff too!!

-- Glenna B. Yarnot (Glenna@Yarnot.cncfamily.com), April 16, 2000.

The Howdy Doody Show That was the first program I remember ever seeing. It was at a friend's house. They had the first tv in the neighborhood, a huge box with a tiny, snowy, black and white screen. Well, actually the first show was a soap opera, really confusing to me because my friend's family was complaining about the snow but I could see the people on tv were in what looked like a living room... so how could it be snowing indoors? But then the program my friend wanted me to see came on -- The Howdy Doody Show. This was before they moved to their Doodyville set; the original set was supposed to be like some circus wagons.

The first show I saw when we finally got our own tv was The Kate Smith Show (and I can still picture her and hear her singing her theme song "When the moon comes over the mountain...") but then we watched Howdy Doody. Every weekday (five o'clock if I recall correctly, but it might have been 4:30) we had to watch Howdy Doody. Of course by that time (I was in third grade when we got our tv) my friends and I were approaching the point of being too old for Howdy, so that by the next year when Howdy Doody was running for president -- no, actually, I guess it was for Mayor of Doodyville -- (this would have been at the time of the 1952 presidential election) and you could vote for Howdy by mailing in the ballots found on packages of Wonder Bread ('way back then Wonder Bread built strong bodies eight ways, since then they apparently found more ways 'cause the last time I heard that slogan they bragged about building strong bodies twelve ways)... well, I'm afraid that my friends and I were the ones who mailed in ballots voting for Phineas T. Bluster. *sigh* Mea culpa

Of course I was soon hooked on Captain Video -- what a great sci-fi show, Captain Video and the Video Ranger! Yes! Low budget, primitive special effects, corny kids's program, but mind-boggling scripts... either the scripts were written by real s.f. authors or the writers were real s.f. readers who stole freely (does anyone know who wrote those scripts?) because they used all of the concepts that were hot in the field at that time -- generation ships, suspended animation, force fields, artificial intelligence, space stations, tractor beams -- sorry Trekkies, but these guys were there first.


-- Jim (
jimsjournal@yahoo.com), April 23, 2000.

oops, forgot that end bold tag

-- Jim (jimsjournal@yahoo.com), April 23, 2000.

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