‘Friends’

by Grace aka costofcollege

‘Friends’ Has New BFFs: New York Teenagers

Young people have discovered old sitcoms.

… If you are somewhere between 13 and 20, however, and particularly if you live in New York, you may find yourself very much in the “Friends” zone. This is not because you landed on an episode, after coming home semi-wasted, on late-night television, where it is almost always on in syndication, but because you watch it methodically, on Netflix, in sequence, through its more than 230 shows.

20151005.TFriends

Which “Friends” character are you?

… “We are really into categorizing each other as a Rachel or a Monica; it’s fun to play into that.”…

My teen has even categorized one of our dogs as more of a “Ross” and the other as a “Joey”.

What old (or new) TV shows are your kids (or you) binge-watching?  What were some of your favorite TV shows from your younger years?  Have they aged well?  Have you bonded with your kids over old shows, movies, or music?

 

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184 thoughts on “‘Friends’

  1. Rhode – Regarding your question from yesterday’s post. My DD#2 rarely asks because after our two major interventions, with the resulting improvements and tools, she usually doesn’t need them. She went from being a high B/low A student to All As – basically everything shifted up about 5 points. But, as MM has often said, when you actually KNOW what the assignment is, so you DO the correct one, and TURN it in on time, it makes a huge difference.

  2. My husband tries to get DD to watch Emergency. She has very little interest. She caught me watching a horrible program on Lifetime about 90210. She wants to watch that show and I said no. She does seem to like Seinfeld, but a lot of the jokes still go over her head.

    She really wants to watch Gossip Girl and I said no. She finds out about a lot of these shows from friends with older sibs.

    I’m still addicted to Law and Order, but it’s too violent to let her watch with me. She did notice they were using a pay phone in one episode and she found that very amusing that the police would need a pay phone

  3. Oh Lord, I hated “Friends” the first time around.

    I’ve been watching an Andy Griffith episode with the kids most nights before they go to bed. They like Opie, and Barney’s comic acts are still funny.

    I also appreciate that they get all of Andy’s unironic, unapologetic, and unqualified lessons in values and morality that he manages to deliver in his wise, but folksy and homespun manner.

  4. So, huge update here: we knew DD’s meds were causing worsening tics and planned to ask the doc yesterday to change. Found out on the way to the doc that, oh, btw, DD just stopped taking the meds on her own before school started. So everything she has done since day 1 of HS has been completely on her own, off meds for the first time in 6-7 years. !!! Explains the high degree of “squirrel” in her conversations of late, and the 4 hrs to draft a lab report. But, damn, she’s doing it. Huzzah!!

  5. On topic: we had the Bad Parent moment when we realized neither of our kids recognized a “Ginger or Mary Ann?” reference. And yet, I never was a huge GI fan (I kept desperately wanting them to get home too much to enjoy the hijinks!), so I still haven’t corrected that failing.

    I have inflicted some Macgyvers on them, but they haven’t really been that interested in most older stuff (though I bet she’d like Remington Steele). OTOH, DD *adores* The Goldbergs. I think it’s funny that she is fascinated with a show about the ’80s, and is always asking me about the hair and clothes and such, and yet has zero interest in shows that are actually from that period.

    The one constant, though, is Looney Tunes.

  6. one of my friends is 3 years younger than me and had never watched Friends until it went to Netflix. I was about 21 when the show ended, I can’t believe she never saw the re-runs before. They are on all the time.

  7. We watch the Simpsons together as a family. We find it fairly education in terms of first amendment issues and current events. It has held up remarkably well, although there have been a few episodes from the early years where the kids have asked who is being satirized and I have to admit I don’t remember.

    We also watch Law and Order and have had to explain the use of payphones from the earlier episodes.

  8. We tried to introduce the kids to Gilligan’s Island after we realized that they had no idea that the show existed. They didn’t like it at all, and made disparaging comments about how anyone would watch such a show.

  9. I was 21 and in my last year of college when Friends started, so I totally identify with the characters on the show. My group of friends always watched 90210 together in college, and we have a ton of inside jokes about it – everything that happens in our lives can relate back to a 90210 story line.

    What I have found funny recently is that DD is watching these silly tween shows but a lot of the jokes go right over her head because they make references to cultural touchstones that are completely before her time. DD will be watching while I’m in the room and I’ll laugh at something and she looks at me like I’m crazy – she has no idea the show is funny. Just last night, it was Sabrina – an animated version of Sabrina the Teen-aged Witch. If I have time later I’ll dig out an example.

  10. DH and I recently binged on the X-files. It was on when I was in middle school and had watched it in passing, but it was fun watching it in order.

  11. Another show I have been watching is Gilmore Girls. It is odd because I was closer to Rory’s age when the show aired and now more Lorelai’s age (changes your perspective)

  12. I first learned of Gilligan’s Island via the ALF episode in which ALF dreamt he was on Gilligan’s Island (after turning the Tanners’ backyard into a lagoon.)

    The kids and I are slowly working through ALF episodes on Netflix DVD. I was their age when I watched the series as new episodes.

    I can’t wait until they’re ready for things like Sopranos and Breaking Bad. Maybe in 5th Grade. :)

  13. We need to finish X-Files… we started back from the beginning, and got through most of season 2. It’s fun to see how it’s changed (and gear up for January when Fox brings it back for 10 episodes).

    Gilmore Girls is a staple in our house – I watched it first run (being a couple years older than Rory), and watched it while on mat leave. DS still knows the theme song. Surprisingly, that show has held up. The themes are pretty universal. We’ll see how that changes in ~10 years or so.

    We haven’t watched really “old” shows lately. We watch MASH every time it’s on, and I pop in the DVDs occasionally. I don’t find myself drawn to them… but maybe when DS is old enough we’ll see.

  14. How can a kid NOT love Gilligan’s Island? I think I will cue it up on DD’s Netflix to see how she responds. I’m kind of sad that she will never know the innocent joy of the Cosby Show.

    And here’s an uncomfortable TV situation I had recently. I was watching Oprah’s interview with Jimmy Carter (Super Soul Sunday) and DD jsut happened to walk in as she was asking him about how the “N” word was used in his southern childhood. I then had to answer, “Mom, what’s the N word?” I think the birds & bees talk was easier!

  15. DD discovered Friends this summer and binge-watched it. She was unimpressed when I told her I watched it when it originally ran in real-time. Her favorite show is Grey’s Academy.

  16. My kids love Friends. Haven’t turned them on to Seinfeld yet, too young to appreciate it I think. My kids loved the Brady Bunch when they were younger. Right now my daughter is totally into Bob’s Burgers and I love it too so it is that magic place where our interests converge! Lauren, I loved Embergency!!! I wonder if the kids would like Buck Rogers? Gilligans Island and Different Strokes didn’t take with them not matter how well I sang the theme songs. Will have to try Laverne and Shirley and Happy Days next!

  17. I am sad that DS will never really be able to understand the greatness of Seinfeld. It’s so dated now as so many of the situations on the best episodes of the show could so easily have been solved with a smartphone.

    I was never really a huge fan of Friends.

    We don’t watch any old shows with DS. I’ve never thought about it. He does like to watch old baseball games & highlights on You Tube.

  18. I never watched Friends. But I’ve seen enough clips and have read about it to know the characters so at least I can relate a little to my D’s interest in it. She also likes That 70s Show, and a few other old sitcoms.

    Seinfeld was probably the last TV series I watched, but I do enjoy catching episodes of old shows from my youth. I’m older than most here, and I loved Mary Tyler Moore and even That Girl. I doubt I could ever interest my kids in watching them.

    We have an obsession around here with Dark Shadows, which I remember watching after school. My H and D have rewatched the entire series a few times, and I was dragged to the last movie, which was pretty lame.

  19. I love this topic! I just started Facts of Life after i watched a random episode (they’re in syndication) and I’m someone who has to watch things in order. So I found the first 4 seasons on Netflix DVD and i’m DVRing the rest.

    I have so many shows I watch I keep a spreadsheet. I just started Leverage and am on Season 2. I also have Downton Abbey DVD’s at home i need to watch. I keep meaning to catch up on Once Upon a Time and Sleepy Hollow but that hasn’t happened. oh and I just started Masters of Sex.

    That does not count all the shows I watch on a regular basis.

    LFB- I was just on the Goldbergs set two weeks ago during a visit to Sony (they shoot it here in LA) and I have met David Schwimmer personally-he’s very nice!

  20. LfB, the Goldbergs is the funniest show on TV right now. It’s our family must-watch. Murray Goldberg is my idol. I want to come home from work, drop my pants at the door, and plop down in Mr Chair.

  21. I got this Final Jeopardy question right the other night: “Charlton Heston’s wardrobe in 1954′s “Secret of the Incas” inspired the clothes worn by this adventurous character 27 years later.”

    Clue:

  22. I answered it mainly by counting forward 27 years and trying to think of a popular movie.

  23. @DD — I’m sort of embarrassed to admit that he’s my idol, too. Tho I’d probably keep my pants on. . . .

    Although speaking of uncomfortable episodes, I was absolutely cracking up at the “Risky Business” riff the other week — but sitting next to a 14-yr-old, who has never seen the movie, had me totally squirming. Luckily, they played up the car and the party more than the prostitutes and the tag line. :-)

  24. The Facts of Life was good – I just watched an episode of that… I also catch myself watching the Golden Girls.

    I didn’t mind Full House, but it is seriously dated now.

    CoC – count us as another Dark Shadows house! DH and I love the show, felt ambivalent about the current movie. If we had $500 to spare (or throw away) we’d buy the whole series from Amazon. It comes in a coffin shaped box.

    LA – you are my hero… a spreadsheet to keep up with your shows… I may have to steal that.

    I have a friend who is obsessed with Friends still. She binged watched the whole show during her maternity leave and still watches the reruns. I, however, run in the other direction.

  25. I take that back, winemama. You didn’t answer in the form of a question, even if you put a question mark at the end. :)

  26. @CoC: Did they show the picture? If so, I assume all three contestants got it right?

  27. speaking of old shows, are you guys familiar with the Fall Out Boy Song “Uma Thurman”? It has the riff from the Munsters theme song. That usually irritates me (something original please) but it is quite catchy.

    The youngsters today probably have never heard of the Munsters

  28. LfB – they didn’t show the picture… but all the contestants got it right (mostly). The one who got it wrong put the movie title (Raiders of the Lost Ark) instead of the character.

    We got it right because we did CoC’s method – counted up 27 years and guessed.

  29. @Lagirl – you are a girl after my own heart! So jealous you got to go to the Goldbergs set!

    @DD – My idols are Beverly Goldberg and Linda Belcher from Bob’s Burgers!

    Have to check out Facts of Life – another great theme song. So sad that the awesome theme song is a thing of the past! “you take the good, you take the bad, you take the rest and there you have the Facts of Life!!” Always fun to see people who are famous now starting out on those old shows like Clooney on FOL!

  30. Wine – yup! on both counts… I asked a few young’uns and none of them knew it was the Munsters. Or if they did, it was because someone told them. It wasn’t like me who screamed “That’s the Munsters theme!” in my car and proceeded to google “fall out boy munsters” at the next red light…

  31. I’m pretty confident DS’s first “songs” will be TV theme songs… he responds to Gilmore Girls and the Golden Girls, and I sing a ton of them to him.

    We also sing Anamaniac songs to him…

  32. “when DH and I started dating , some of my family called him Ross, he looked kind of like David Schwimmer”

    I hope you and he were never “ON A BREAK” once you started dating.

    Did he go through a music phase too?

  33. DH and DS1 enjoy watching Star Trek Next Generation together. DS2 and I are making our way through White Collar. DH and I watch Bones together.

    Love, love, love Leverage! That was an awesome family show. Now our family show of choice is Agents of Shield.

  34. DS has recently been working through the entire Ally McBeal series. He enjoys Elementary and 30 Rock, so I think a big part of the initial attraction was the fact that both Lucy Liu and Jane Krakowski are in it.

    I told him about the blimp episode, so he called me when he realized the episode he was watching was that episode, and we watched it together.

    His interest in the series gives us something else to talk about. He also recognized a lot of the music on the show as stuff I listen to.

  35. I forgot about Ally McBeal. I haven’t seen that show since it originally aired and I would like to watch it now.

    DH recently told a story to DD about s time when I didn’t take calls during Ally McBeal. We had to explain that there were no DVRs etc. I think I had a VCR, but I don’t remember recording shows if I was actually home and free to watch.

  36. “I miss all the sitcom “very special” episodes.”

    Is that where they all just sit in the living room and “remember” clips of previous episodes?

    Has anyone ever seen a house in real life with a non-latching, swinging door between the living room and kitchen? It seemed to be the standard design for sitcoms.

  37. I love Elementary! and Bones and Castle.

    and i have to keep a list/spreadsheet. Otherwise how would I know where I am lol. i include where I can find each season as well- amazon prime, netflix, hulu etc.

  38. I watched Full House as a kid when it originally aired. Dear God, I never want to see that show again.

    OMG, DD went through a phase of watching this show and she watched the same episodes over and over again – whatever was on the DVR that recorded the show whenever it was on somewhere. Fortunately for me, that DVR ended up at her dad’s new house!
    I kind of want to watch the new “Fuller House” though…

  39. I miss Alfred Hitchcock! When Mr. Ed went off the air from Nick at Nite, they did this whole telethon like thing. We could have called in to purchase a Mr. Ed totebag. To this day (~25 years later), my mom and I still kick ourselves for not doing it.

  40. Fuller House intrigues me too… and now I have Netflix through my BIL… it’s like fate or something..

    I’m patiently waiting for Tog Gear on Amazon…

  41. Milo, those were when they tackled some difficult subjet like sex or drugs. Full House had one where one of the kids’ friends was being abused, for example.

  42. “It wasn’t like me who screamed “That’s the Munsters theme!” in my car and proceeded to google “fall out boy munsters” at the next red light…” — Or me, who introduced my kids to the wonders of “Baby Got Back” by shrieking “that’s Sir Mix-a-Lot!!” when “Anaconda” came on the radio (and then embarrassing them horrendously by singing along with the sample).

    “Has anyone ever seen a house in real life with a non-latching, swinging door between the living room and kitchen? It seemed to be the standard design for sitcoms.”

    My dad had one!! Which, actually, makes sense — this was when he lived in the generic fairly new suburban colonial in the late 1970s.

  43. “I’m patiently waiting for Tog Gear on Amazon…”

    All right, I’ll play Finn: is that when Stacy and Clinton do makeovers for Clarkson, May, and Hammond? :-)

  44. Ally McBeal! I totally forgot about this show! But I have been loving Portia de Rossi on Scandal and Lucy Liu on Elementary. So nice to see women my age continuing to have careers on TV too.

  45. “Has anyone ever seen a house in real life with a non-latching, swinging door between the living room and kitchen? It seemed to be the standard design for sitcoms.”

    I used to live in one.

  46. Anyone who is a fan of Ally McBeal or Lucy Liu has to watch what I call the blimp episode, otherwise known as Season 2, Episode 13, Angels and Blimps. That episode was Lucy Liu’s coming out.

  47. “Which “Friends” character are you?”

    As you might guess, I probably have a little bit of Chandler in me.

    I think SM has a bit of Phoebe.

  48. @Lauren, if my phone rang on Thursday night, I didn’t even get up. If you know me at all, you wouldn’t be calling me now!

    Ah Melrose Place was awesome too!

    I think the swinging door allowed for dramatic entrances and exits and also allowed for people to run into each other! This makes me think of Three’s Company. I did watch an old episode of the Ropers recently (LOOOOOVE Mr. Roper) and Jeffrey Tambor was one of the neighbors! Lots of hot tubs, lots of misunderstandings!

  49. Friends was never something I watched. I did enjoy Dark Shadows. It seems sort of hit/miss. Haven’t really gotten into an older show enough to watch an episode or two. We found a few Man from UNCLE after I was the only one who wanted to go see the current movie.

    LfB – Great news about DD.

  50. “Uma Thurman”

    A Japanese friend would always laugh at the mention of her name, explaining that Uma is Japanese for horse.

    What was really bad was he had a German friend whose wife’s name is Uschi, which is pronounced the same as the Japanese word for cow.

  51. is that when Stacy and Clinton do makeovers for Clarkson, May, and Hammond? :-)

    Trinny and Susannah (the British What Not To Wear team) tried to do a makeover on Jeremy Clarkson and he was an absolute pig to them. Naturally.

  52. Sigh. And, in what is probably also good news but doesn’t feel like it, the house is already under contract — all cash, no inspections, they’re not even taking more appointments because given those terms they don’t really need a backup. Guess I should be relieved to be saved from myself. But now what am I going to fritter the rest of the afternoon daydreaming about? (Reviewing/revising bills was *not* a good choice for a pretty Friday afternoon chore).

  53. LfB – you know I didn’t even realize I misspelled “Top”… Now I’m having a cross over episode lined up… but the Top Gear crew gets to “make over” the cars…

    Wine – Carol Kane was probably my favorite… as she was in Scrooged and Princess Bride. I also think Christopher Llyod “reprised” his role on Taxi when he made Camp Nowhere.

    I loved how the Newhart Show ended. The whole thing was a dream in the mind of Dr. Hartley (on the Bob Newhart Show).

    Unfortunately because it’s been done at least 3 times (Newhart, Dallas, and St. Elsewhere, and possibly others), the whole “it was a dream” thing is cliche.

  54. I was going to mention that the Munsters was the first show where the couple shared a bed on television, but double checked on google and I was wrong

    Herman and Lily Munster are often mistakenly named as the first couple to share the same bed on American television, in the episode “Autumn Croakus” on November 26, 1964. In actuality, that distinction goes to Mary Kay and Johnny, a series featuring a married couple who were played by actors who were also married to each other, in an episode aired on November 18, 1947 on the DuMont network. The first television couple to share a bed when the actors were not married to each other in real life was Samantha and Darrin Stephens of Bewitched on October 22, 1964.

    from wiki

  55. “all cash, no inspections, ”

    That’s good news. That kind of thing is the best antidote to Piketty’s dystopia. :)

    And great news about your DD, of course.

    Full House was OK, but I was never that into it. One of the first times I babysat (at my own house, when the child’s parents were going somewhere with my parents) the girl absolutely had to watch Full House when it aired,and had to have homework done before then.

    But I think Bob Saget is one of those loathsome actors who resents that his only real success took the form of a sappy, feel-good sitcom, and he spends years whining about the millions of dollars he was paid to middle-class people who have paid to hear his comedy. The unackmiwledged irony of this is that his comedy routine was entirely based on drawing a jarring contrast from his Full House character. “OMG! Danny said “fuck”! Who would have guessed?”

    As we started watching ALF, I Googled those actors and found that they were never all that happy on the set, either, and Willie was particularly miserable to work with. They hated the fact that the only character who got any good lines was a puppet. The rest of them were just there to deliver ALF the setup.

    Also, Screech was a full year younger than his Saved by the Bell classmates, which helped make him seem more awkward and dorky. And the middle son on Home Improvement, Randy, was just a little bit older than his older brother on the show.

    The things you learn reading those “50 Child Actors and Where They Are Today” links.

  56. “But I think Bob Saget is one of those loathsome actors who resents that his only real success took the form of a sappy, feel-good sitcom, and he spends years whining about the millions of dollars he was paid to middle-class people who have paid to hear his comedy. The unackmiwledged irony of this is that his comedy routine was entirely based on drawing a jarring contrast from his Full House character. ‘OMG! Danny said “fuck”! Who would have guessed?'”

    I think this is the truest thing you have ever written.

  57. “Samantha and Darrin Stephens”

    Was that the first or second Darrin?

    IIRC, “brought to you by Proctor and Gamble.”

  58. No All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore or Cheers fans? I keep mixing the lyrics to Cheer’s theme song and MTM’s theme song together in my head.

    My kids are into 80s/90s versions of TMNT and Power Rangers. Didn’t watch them then, don’t want to watch them now.

    We did catch some Waltons episodes over the summer.

  59. I have never seen an entire episode of Friends, though I have seen snippets. Wasn’t it on at the same time as Seinfeld (another show I have never been able to sit through)?

    I have been watching episodes of Silicon Valley when I have to travel, so I am going through them pretty slowly. As a family, we have been working our way, slowly, through Star Trek, both the 60’s variant and the Next Generation variant, as well as West WIng. Recently we started watching old episodes of Northern Exposure too. And I sometimes sneak an episode of Emergency on the computer in the kitchen while I am cooking. Boy, that show was bad, but good too.

  60. Re: Bob Saget – that is the other show the kids are into on Netflix – America’s Funniest Home Videos (now known as, You Tube). Didn’t watch it then, don’t want to watch it now.

  61. “if my phone rang on Thursday night, I didn’t even get up.”

    Family Ties. Cheers, Cosby. Friends.

    What else was on NBC on Thursdays?

  62. I watched Seinfeld in re-runs in the early 00’s, for a while any conversation could make me think of a Seinfeld reference, one of the greatest sitcoms ever

  63. “Mary Tyler Moore or Cheers”

    One year in college, MTM reruns were on every day just when I went to my apartment for lunch. I still remember the words to the theme song. “Who can turn the world on with her smile?….”

    IIRC, through all my undergrad years, M*A*S*H reruns were on every night after the late news, just as people who studied at the library until it closed were getting back to the dorms. A lot of us watched while taking a break and having a snack.

  64. “ER was definitely on Thursdays”

    Oh yeah– that was after they stopped having wall to wall sitcoms on Thursdays.

  65. @winemama – I had the exact same experience with Gilmore Girls – identifying more with Rory the first time and now being closer to Lorelai’s age. Still love that show!

    I watched and liked Friends when it aired. I tried to watch it on Netflix a few months ago and didn’t find it appealing anymore.

  66. I also watched a little of Rhoda, spin-off to MTM.

    Mention of Silicon Valley reminded me of The Big Valley, where Barbara Stanwyck played the strong matriarch. There were also some handsome cowboys, so lots to like. And then there was Bonanza, which of course had a great theme song.

    Has anyone mentioned My Three Sons? Fred? I liked that,one also.

  67. Am I the only one who loves The Wonder Years? I think that it was one of the best shows ever.
    Milo-my favorite Andy Griffith episode is the one concerning Aunt Bea’s pickles. I never tire of watching it.

  68. I watched (and watch) Cheers, MTM, Rhoda, Fraser, Will & Grace,

    My heart belongs to the original lineup of SNICK – Clarissa Explains It All, Roundhouse, Ren & Stimpy, Are you Afraid of the Dark… followed by an hour of I Love Lucy and then the rest of Nick at Nite (which included Mr. Ed, MTM, Rhoda, Alfred Hitchcock, etc…). God I stayed up way too late in the early/mid-90s! LOL!

  69. Wine – so I guess you couldn’t miss the Wonder Years, eh?

    I’ve been enjoying watching Boy Meets World and it’s spin-off Girl Meets World. I like how they meld the series in some episodes. I also enjoy saying “Hey, s/he was on the original!”

    ATM – I think I may have watched the original Power Rangers. I know I watched TMNT.

  70. Mention of Silicon Valley reminded me of The Big Valley, where Barbara Stanwyck played the strong matriarch.

    I didn’t realize until I was in my 20s that The Big Valley took place around Stockton. Every once in a while DH and I watch it, and match the place names with places we know. One of the writers was clearly very familiar with the Central Valley. Does anyone else notice/identify with the locations?

  71. “I’ve been enjoying watching Boy Meets World and it’s spin-off Girl Meets World.”

    DD loves Girl Meets World, so I’ve seen most of the episodes. Very watchable, but not in the class of Phineas and Ferb.

  72. My youngest was on a big Simpsons binge recently. He also got into Andy Griffith for a while. I’m sure they’ll find other shows since Netflix et al. make it so easy.

    I find it hard to commit to a tv show that involves watching regular episodes. I just can’t make that kind of commitment. Even with the ability to watch at whatever time is convenient, it’s still hard to find a time that’s convenient.

  73. LfB – such great news about DD. Good on her for taking charge of herself!

    Thursday nights. I believe that Melrose Place and 90210 were Thursday also but I could be wrong – maybe Tuesday. EIther way, never miss. Loved Wonder Years and I like the new Fred Savage/Rob Lowe show Grinder, but don’t love it yet.

    Is anyone else watching Indian Summer on Masterpiece?

    Rhode – Also HUGE Nick at Night I was a Doby Gillis (Gilligan was on that first and Warren Beaty too) and Mr. Ed and I adored the Patty Duke Show (identical cousins – genius) Can still sing that theme song too “Meet Kathy who’s been most everywhere from Zanzibar to Barkley Square but Patty’s only seen the sights a girl can see from Brooklyn Heights. What a crazy pair…..”

  74. “I didn’t realize until I was in my 20s that The Big Valley took place around Stockton. ”

    I watched Bonanza as a kid, and when I started going to Lake Tahoe a lot, I didn’t put the two together until a couple of friends went to the Bonanza museum.

    Trivia question: Who played Hop Sing?

  75. LfB, was your DD deliberately trying to see if she could wean herself off her meds? If so, that is a huge step for her!

  76. @winemama – I had the exact same experience with Gilmore Girls – identifying more with Rory the first time and now being closer to Lorelai’s age. Still love that show!

    and it is jarring to think I am “old enough” technically to have a teenager child (some of my friends my age do)

  77. LfB – I missed your post about your DD – good for her! I hope that this positive trend continues!

    “Very watchable, but not in the class of Phineas and Ferb.”
    Finn – P&F is a class all its own. We will probably buy the entire series someday. We still can’t part with the final ep on our DVR.

    As for Girl Meets World – I like it and can see how hard the creators worked to keep it “believable”. For Wine – Rider Strong guest stars on some eps of GMW and directs most of them (with his brother Shiloh). And I loved watching at is aired originally… DH and I are the same age (I think, if not within 1-2 years) as Cory & Topanga. To think we could have a middle-schooler is a bit scary.

  78. Wine – I just made the same comment about Boy Meets World… and yes, it’s scary to realize that I am Lorelai. I too could have a 16 year old.. (or older actually) {{shudder}}

  79. Rhode, DS loves P&F, and often when he re-watches an episode, he discovers an allusion or homage he didn’t catch or understand earlier, typically because he’d learned of the reference in the interval. A lot of those really are aimed at adults, and not just 20 or 30 somethings, e.g., the West Side Story homage.

  80. I love the Gilmore Girls, but it is a show you have to give your full attention to (at least in my opinion). They talk back and forth so quickly. Other shows I’ll surf the web, etc while I watch.

    DH and a buddy used to get together and talk non stop, I’d say they were talking like gilmore girls

  81. Fred, do your three sons see themselves in My 3 Sons? Of course, it’s a bit different not being a widower with an old codger around.

  82. @Finn — don’t think it was that well thought-out — I assume the fear of starting off HS as the weird kid just overrode her fear of failing all of her classes. And so far seems to have been right call. Of course, we’re all holding our breath waiting for the other shoe to drop — but we do that every fall with or without meds, so I’m basically good for now. :-)

    And btw, thanks all for the ear worms today. The Patty Duke show has finally supplanted the evil Munsters theme, but Andy’s still whistling in the background. . . .

    Speaking of overlooked gems, in addition to MTM (which I also followed into Rhoda and Lou Grant), I developed a fondness for the Dick van Dyke show back in law school or whenever. As a kid, I loved Hogan’s Heroes, largely because Bob Crane was so damn good-looking and clever, and the Carol Burnett show, because, wow were they funny (and it was also the first show I remember where they would periodically break the fourth wall — nothing funnier than watching Harvey Korman try to hold it together to finish the skit).

    Most of my others were the standards folks have mentioned here — M*A*S*H, Newhart (both iterations!), Cheers, Cosby, Frasier, ER, etc. — I tend to have periods where I obsess about specific shows for a while and cycled through most of those. Also *huge* WKRP fan and loved Murphy Brown. Never did get hugely into Seinfeld or Friends, though — go figure. Guilty pleasure was The Nanny (which has now supplanted the whistling in my head).

  83. I never watched Friends. We did watch Dawson’s Creek when it was on – my senior year of college and in law school- before that I didn’t have a TV at school.

    When I was a kid I watched Mr. Rogers, Square One TV (my favorite!), and 321 Contact. My friends watched the Cosby Show but I wasn’t allowed to watch it when it was on (8 pm! too late!), we had to tape it with the VCR and watch it the next day. Needless to say, my kids watch a TON more TV than I did as a kid.

    In HS I liked I’ll Fly Away, My So-Called Life, and the Wonder Years. I couldn’t watch SNL (too late on Saturday nights since we had to go to church on Sundays) or the Simpsons (Fox was on cable) so I never got into those. Likewise all the Nick at Nite shows – those were on cable too.

  84. Is there any TV character with a wider window into his psyche than Doofenshmirtz (Heinz, not Roger), with all his backstories?

  85. “I loved Hogan’s Heroes”

    Talk about ear worms.

    The theme was a favorite for all intermediate school bands.

  86. Sheep – I love the Wonder Years. I’ve watched it as a kid, and in syndication. My favorite episode is when Kevin goes with his Dad to work one day. All goes well at first and he sees Jack as this big, powerful manager. Then he gets chewed out by his jerk boss, and Kevin has some sympathy for all the times that Jack comes home grumpy, wanting to spend time alone outside at night looking at the stars through the telescope. That night is when his Dad shares that he looks at the stars on those nights because his old dream was to be a sea captain navigating by the stars, but you know, life happens…

    Also, I’ve mentioned it here to Rhett, and just last night DW and I were talking about the episode where Kevin is struggling with Math. Jack sees him studying late at night and asks him how the last test went, to which Kevin responds dejectedly that he got a ‘C.’

    “Hey, hey, there’s nothing wrong with that!” Jack says.

  87. Thank you, Rocky, my head is now about to explode, trying to process those two at the same time. But that Andy leer is priceless. Really well done.

  88. CofC, I too liked My Three Sons. That is until the last year when Robbie married one of the King Family girls and had, predictably, a set of male triplets. At least he had a wife, but talk about jumping the shark.

    My favorite show, though, was It Takes a Thief with Robert Wagner. I really liked it the third year when Fred Astaire joined as Wagner’s father– also a thief.

    The Brady Bunch was a horror show even when it first aired.

  89. My kids might be amused to look at Square Pegs, a short-lived teen show that I remember seeing and enjoying when it was on the air. It looks like it’s on YouTube now.

  90. Anyone else watch the Adam West Batman series?

    I remember that as a kid, it was really popular with the boys as an action show. It wasn’t until many years later that I re-watched some episodes and realized how funny it was.

  91. @Finn — seen the original movie from 1966? Priceless. “They may be drinkers, Robin, but they’re still human beings.” (That was, umm, our dorm t-shirt one year).

  92. Batman was fun, Finn. And you’re right. It is so much funnier to watch now.

  93. “It wasn’t until many years later that I re-watched some episodes and realized how funny it was.”

    As a first grader, I watched Ghostbusters at least 100 times. Then I put it aside. Only when I watched it again as an adult did I realize that it was a comedy rather than an action thriller.

    Dana Barrett – “That’s just the bedroom. But nothing ever happened in there.”

    Peter Vankman – “What a crime!”

  94. @PTM: I still have it somewhere, but it might be a little small on you. Maybe worth finding and framing, though.

    I also *loved* “It Takes a Thief” — I am a total sucker for that sort of clever caper/mystery/action thing with the suave thief-with-heart-of-gold thing (see Remington Steele, supra).

  95. One year we had “Where the B.A.C. is higher than the G.P.A.” as a slogan. Meanwhile our neighbor dorm had “__ House: Where Every NIght’s a Tuesday Night” one year, and another year they had what looked like a rock band tour shirt with all the campus libraries listed, and the house name done up in heavy metal lettering, unnecessary umlauts and all. I have to admit, theirs were cleverer.

  96. HM, that sounds like something one would expect at MIT or Caltech, where they celebrate their nerdliness.

  97. “Only when I watched it again as an adult did I realize that it was a comedy rather than an action thriller.”

    I had several of those moments with the Muppets (which, of course, is why the original was so good). This line from the new show this past week made me spew my tea:

    Kermit: “Yeah, when the guys find out the that the show isn’t going forward, they’re gonna be upset… except the band. They’re always happy. Legally now.”

  98. I love that BAC slogan, too, HM. Some very drunk but brilliant co-ed thought that puppy up!

  99. HM, that sounds like something one would expect at MIT or Caltech, where they celebrate their nerdliness.

    You think Ivy students don’t?

  100. “You think Ivy students don’t?”

    I don’t have much basis for assuming one way or the other.

  101. “You think Ivy students don’t?”

    Do they? Or, do a significant subset?

    I think DS would like a school where nerdliness is celebrated.

  102. “I think DS would like a school where nerdliness is celebrated.”

    And not just because nerds get rich.

  103. I recently rented the Sesame St. movie “Follow that Bird,” a former favorite of mine, mainly for my youngest but my older two liked it. This time I discovered the cameo appearances of Chevy Chase and John Candy, and, realized only after reading the credits, Waylon Jennings:

  104. @Sheep and Milo – Wonder Years was available in the home country. I loved that show. The one episode that I now identify with is when his mother is in a department store buying Kevin his underwear. He is so embarrassed when she wants to confirm the size he wears loudly. I still buy my kids clothes, they are growing up and I love teasing, threatening to embarrass them.

  105. At Chapel Hill, the philosophy department’s lame tee-shirt was “Philosophy — we’re only in it for the money.” The classics department was better, with “The only good language is a dead language.”

  106. We loved Big Valley reruns (weekday afternoons, after school), Bonanza was just OK. Nick Barkley was my crush for many years (definitely more manly than my other crush, Bobby Sherman).

    My kids watched a few episodes of Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, but they didn’t think much of them (I guess I can’t blame them!).

    They did like Johnny Quest, which in my opinion is the best cartoon ever made – of course they noticed all of the unsafe things that Johnny and Haji were allowed to do!

    Flipping the generations, my mother started watching Seinfeld reruns a few years back. She never watched it when it was on originally, but now is a huge fan.

    DS has discovered The West Wing, and was working his way through the seasons before he left for school. He is interested in politics, and worked as an intern in DC this summer. He reported that the people he worked with were definitely more West Wing than House of Cards (phew!).

  107. I also loved Batman – especially the Riddler and Batgirl (she just passes away this year, unfortunately).

  108. Star Trek, The Prisoner, Twilight Zone, Rocky and Friends, The Avengers. Perry Mason if we are going back to elementary school. Stuff that I watched as a teen, but that didn’t stand the test of time would be man from uncle, outer limits, the saint. I never liked sitcoms particularly. I did watch variety shows of all sorts. Smothers brothers, that was the week that was, hootenanny.

  109. “Johnny Quest, which in my opinion is the best cartoon ever made”

    I really liked Johnny Quest, but I don’t think it’s as good as P&F.

    Did anyone else have afternoon cartoon shows where a bunch of short cartoons were shown?

  110. Oh, yeah – the Avengers and Perry Mason – Emma Peel and Della Street! Loved them both.

  111. The Avengers was great.

    I read a lot of Perry Mason before I saw the show. Somehow I didn’t think Barbara Hale was a good match with the Della Street I imagined based on the books.

    But she’s a good example of a woman who, in today’s world, would not have that job. She might have Hamilton Burger’s job instead (and be a much more formidable adversary), or perhaps be the presiding judge.

  112. I don’t know the title tunes well enough to get earworms from them, but I find that every time I look at today’s post title I hear this song:

  113. The first cartoon that I remember was Kimba the White Lion. Later I watched Speed Racer. I watched the Adam West Batman series. Whenever I see a slanty room, I think it must be the bad guy hideout. I always liked detective type shows, probably starting with NBC Mystery Movie which rotated through Columbo, McMillan & Wife, and McCloud. Columbo was my favorite of that group. I learned to like The Love Boat and Love American Style when I was up late babysitting. The Dallas season when everyone wondered “Who Shot JR?” was my senior year in high school, and we used to have viewing parties on Friday night. I was in college when MASH aired their last episode. I watched Cheers, Seinfeld, 90210, Melrose Place etc. It was when I was watching ER, that I discovered a newsgroup where someone would send in a detailed description the day after each new episode, and then people would debate it. I liked the first few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. Last summer I started watching all the West Wing seasons.

    SB has appeared in multiple movies/shows. What we often notice is that they are driving the wrong way, e.g., in the Soap Opera Santa Barbara intro they are actually driving away from SB instead of toward it. And in Friends with Benefits, Natalie Portman is driving the wrong way on a one way street to get to the Biltmore. It’s funny how these things stand out and grate. The worst was Sideways. Every time Miles pulled out a bottle of something we had had and liked we would groan, oh no, now that will be hard to get and much more expensive.

  114. What we often notice is that they are driving the wrong way, e.g., in the Soap Opera Santa Barbara intro they are actually driving away from SB instead of toward it. And in Friends with Benefits, Natalie Portman is driving the wrong way on a one way street to get to the Biltmore. It’s funny how these things stand out and grate.

    That kind of stuff drives me crazy. In When Harry Met Sally, they leave the University of Chicago (which is on the south side) and the next shot shows them driving south on Lake Shore Drive on the north side.

  115. I never realized the locales of The Big Valley or Bonanza, even though the burning map opening of Bonanza clearly shows Lake Tahoe! I never paid attention. The Ghostbusters firehouse in NYC is popular with tourists, and may become even more popular with the coming sequel/remake. A 70s sitcom that spun off from All in the Family and featured a liberal, outspoken central character supposedly took place near me.

    Some of these old shows reflect the attitudes and values of their time, and are not PC for today’s audiences. I’ve heard All in the Family and Blazing Saddles are like that. Related, a university dining hall was censured this past week for serving Mexican food. Apparently their sin was having servers wear sombreros.

  116. Some of these old shows reflect the attitudes and values of their time, and are not PC for today’s audiences. I’ve heard All in the Family and Blazing Saddles are like that.

    All in the Family wasn’t correct for its time either.

  117. Blazing Saddles wasn’t PC for its time either, but it stands up extremely well. I was never particularly comfortable with All in the Family, because it came with the credo of “let’s laugh at this old guy who is so reactionary and out of step with modern times,” but it always left me with the sneaking suspicion that it was popular because people were laughing with him.

    OTOH, Blazing Saddles uses a similar construct of the reactionary, racist townspeople (even more overtly), but there is never any doubt that you are laughing at them, not with them. It’s too bad that you can’t make stuff like that any more.

  118. “Some of these old shows reflect the attitudes and values of their time, and are not PC for today’s audiences. ”

    I like to record movies off TCM, and a couple that were painfully not PC were My Fair Lady and Finian’s Rainbow.

  119. “McCloud”

    Wasn’t Teri Garr great in that?

    “What we often notice is that they are driving the wrong way, e.g., in the Soap Opera Santa Barbara intro they are actually driving away from SB instead of toward it.”

    They do (and did) that on Hawai’i 5-0 a lot. Local viewers regularly watch for those inconsistencies.

    “I discovered a newsgroup where someone would send in a detailed description the day after each new episode, and then people would debate it.”

    I used to do that with Melrose Place and Ally McBeal.

  120. I missed some good conversations. At the time my kids were in preschool, I felt so passionately about how much they were learning and developing at a Montessori preschool that at the top of the What My Charity Will Fund When I Win The Lottery list was subsidized montessori preschool/daycare in low income neighborhoods. It’s been quite a while, so I don’t remember what made me so passionate about it, but I think it was the independence and life skills focus.

    On TV shows I remember fondly, most have been listed. One I don’t see, though, was a police drama starring a policewoman named Pepper Anderson, or something similar to that. I wanted to be a policewoman for a long time after watching that show.

    I have watched Friends with each of my kids, and both really enjoyed it. I like Seinfeld, and make everyone watch the Festivus episode with me each Christmas season. I love Law and Order reruns. I can remember Milo posting once about being laid up with the flu and watching Law and Order reruns all day, and I was actually jealous. I have only watched a couple of seasons of West Wing, but was pleasantly surprised to see that my SIL was in it for a season or two. (She was not my SIL at the time, so I didn’t know). The three current shows I watch are Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and The Good Wife.

    I never really liked cartoons when I was a kid, but if Dastardly and Muttley or Penelope Pitstop were on, I would definitely make my kids watch them with me.

  121. NCIS doesn’t specifically make absurd driving time comments, but they lead viewers to believe that Quantico is probably a 10-minute drive from DC, and Norfolk maybe another 15 minutes. (My personal record in the latter trip is right around three hours, but that was at 4 am.)

    Oh, and the five or six of them are solely charged with bringing down a major global terrorist network because at one time it had the slightest tangential relationship to a few Navy people. The FBI, CIA, DIA…nowhere to be seen.

  122. Even as a kid I thought Angie Dickinson was cool, but a little world-weary, in Police Woman. She certainly lived a wild life, having romances with many stars (and perhaps a politician?), and that seemed to come through in that role.

    I have a vague memory of Jill St. John and Stephanie Powers in shows called “Fame is the Name of the Game”, and “The Girl from Uncle” – I liked them better than Angie. They were from the 60’s where Police woman came out in the 70’s, and you could tell!

  123. Milo, you reminded me about my pet peeves regarding some of the newer TV dramas.

    I am getting sick of shows like The Blacklist and the new one, The Blindspot, being so ridiculous in their “just missing the bad guy by a second”, or consistently having the one person who could solve the entire mystery die just as he/she is about to spill the beans.

    I enjoyed the first season and a half of The Blacklist solely because of James Spader (maybe the cute blond FBI agent helped a bit as well!), but the character of Liz drove me crazy. DH and I were excited about The Blindspot, but after the first 3 episodes I’m getting annoyed with the implausibility.

    You can always count on Law and Order, especially with Jerry Orbach. I loved Chris Noth, Benjamin Bratt and Jesse Martin as the younger detectives. Well, there are always reruns!

  124. “It’s too bad that you can’t make stuff like that any more.”

    That’s what I meant by not PC. While I can see both sides of this issue, it does seem we’ve swung widely over to the point of not being able to offend anyone at any time. I just caught some of Amy Schumer’s comedy routine, which I find “offensive” but funny. I believe she’s had to tone down her routine, and some like Seinfeld and Chris Rock no longer play on college campus because, well, they get too much grief. The recent Atlantic article about coddled minds discusses this topic.

  125. NCIS doesn’t specifically make absurd driving time comments, but they lead viewers to believe that Quantico is probably a 10-minute drive from DC, and Norfolk maybe another 15 minutes. (My personal record in the latter trip is right around three hours, but that was at 4 am.)

    The worst at this was 24, because it was supposed to be in real time. The was Jack Bauer would zip around LA during rush hour was amazing.

  126. I am getting sick of shows like The Blacklist and the new one, The Blindspot, being so ridiculous in their “just missing the bad guy by a second”, or consistently having the one person who could solve the entire mystery die just as he/she is about to spill the beans.

    I enjoyed the first season and a half of The Blacklist solely because of James Spader (maybe the cute blond FBI agent helped a bit as well!), but the character of Liz drove me crazy. DH and I were excited about The Blindspot, but after the first 3 episodes I’m getting annoyed with the implausibility.

    The Blacklist did it without even killing characters. There was an episode last season where Red and Liz were arguing and Red said something like “Lizzie, just listen to me and I’ll explain everything.” and she replied “I don’t want to hear it” and left.

    But you’re bothered by the Blindspot being implausible? All these shows are implausible.

  127. Denver Dad – I know, I know, but sometimes I can be in denial about the implausibility and just enjoy the show, and other times it irritates the heck out of me!

  128. I started to read “Perfect Score” about the woman who took the SAT test(s). She started before her son actually took them. Now not having taken the SAT, I am curious to see how I would fare if I took it and studied like she did. She begins real slowly by taking a “baseline test” and then as she gains more insight into the test I am assuming she does better and better (haven’t read past her taking the first test).
    What do you think Totebaggers – is this a completely screwball idea ?

  129. Louise, if you think it would be entertaining, go right ahead. I still remember all the pressure surrounding the SAT, and nail-biting, and the “this test will determine the course of the rest of your life!!!” drama at school, and if you handed me an SAT exam I would happily burn it in the barbecue. But I can see how you might find it a fun challenge.

  130. @RMS – I am surprised that you had that sort of pressure because it seems the author did not and just took the test. Her current baseline Math score (adjusted to make it equivalent to the past) was the same as when she took the test in high school.

  131. Louise, I’m sure some people would think it was a fun challenge. I would just think of it as reliving a very high-pressure time of my life, when I was too young to have the perspective to understand that I might not literally be thrown in the dumpster if got below a 1400 combined.

  132. Apropos of nothing, this from the WSJ on empty-nest spending habits:

    “Daniel Sheehan, a financial planner in Fresno, Calif., says that within two years of becoming an empty nester, he and his then wife blew through about half of his nest egg—by throwing parties, taking a Mediterranean cruise and buying a home theater.”

    So apparently the cobbler’s children have no shoes.

  133. I stopped watching Blacklist because I was so annoyed by Liz. That said, I loved the James Spader character.

  134. LfB,

    And that was half his nest egg? What was the balance to start $200k?

    Also, this was interesting:

    Experts say this may have dire consequences for a nation in which the median combined balance in 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts is $111,000 for households headed by those ages 55 to 64, according to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ Survey of Consumer Finances.

    PS – it looks like WSJ turned off the block from google. If you cut an past some of the text and run a search you can read the entire article.

  135. @Rhett — that was *exactly* my thought — how small could his nest egg be to blow half of it on THAT? And how could any financial planner think that was sufficient to retire on?

  136. i think the article makes sense because we are essentially empty nesters for 7 weeks during the summer. It isn’t a perfect match because we know it is just 7 weeks, but we definitely try to play catch up on places we missed during the other 45 weeks. I keep a bucket list of restaurants, and we spend a lot of money during that time in restaurants/entertainment.

    My mother wants to retire, and I am worried about how much money she would spend because she will have so much free time. If you stay in the same high COL area, and you have loads of free time – it is easy to just spend, spend, spend unless you stick to a budget.

  137. Just returned from 5 days in Manhattan. Tannhäuser and Il Trovatore (real anvils onstage for the chorus) were spectacular. Seeing Anna Netrebko live for the first time. Master Class taught by James Morris. Backstage tour – now I know why they never stop asking for money. Did my usual trick of paying the Red Cap to preboard us on the train coming back from NY – the train is always full – No need on the way down because we board at the first stop.

    As for our discussion last week on the UMC and self image/delusion, I present the following statement from DH after we spent a few days with other (mostly from outside the ACELA corridor) out of town opera lovers who qualified for the special weekend.

    “These people were really friendly and down to earth for a bunch of multimillionaires.”

    My response, “Dear, and we are..??”

  138. I worry about my mother with the depleting the nest egg thing too. She already can barely make ends meet with her $40K salary and no expenses (lives with her boyfriend who insists she pays for nothing in life). She will probably have about half a million once she retires so with SS, she’ll probably be bringing in exactly what she makes now, but she may have actual expenses when the time comes. My MIL just wants to retire with about $100K in a 401K and her plan is for us to pay for her retirement if her husband ever has to stop working.

  139. I had good grades (prob top 10 of small class of just over 100) and knew I was going to a public, in-state school. No one stressed to me to study for the SAT. I’m not sure any of my friends studied for the SAT.

  140. Louise, I read that book during this past summer (first book I’ve read in a while). I found it quite interesting, but keep in mind that some people seem to think I’m obsessed with the college admissions process.

    IMO, the main takeaway from the book was that her dive into the SAT improved her relationship with her son.

    I won’t spoil the ending, but if you decide to not read the entire book, let me know and I can tell you how it ends.

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