What’s Happened to TV?

Let’s Go Retro

Growing up, TV was a different animal. There were only three channels. At midnight, that was it. You had to find another form of entertainment. That meant either a book or bed.

Having only three channels may seem like the dark ages. But I’m here to tell you those choices were choice…like choice meat. 

I say that because they were stories, almost in the same genre as fables, and they had morals. They were, for the most part, designed to make you think, and possibly suggest constructive behaviors. 

I’m thinking, of course, of programs like Lassie, Leave It To Beaver, and Bonanza. They had shoot em’ ups without graphic details of blood and gore. The writers didn’t compete for the most grotesque displays of human suffering. It was fantasy, similar to little kids play cowboys and Indians. The shows had happy endings. The good guys always won. 

Get Real

Unrealistic? Maybe, but I prefer to live in a world where the values of the good guys trump the villains. Call me vanilla, but life is scary enough. We don’t need terror pumped into our homes in 3D on a 60” screen.

As a therapist, I’ve had to suggest to more than one client to literally change the channel.

This also applies to our thoughts. We can easily scare ourselves out of our wits with a single thought. Often, instead of challenging the thought, we obsess on the thought. …bad idea.

Try This

Instead, try thinking, “How did that thought make me feel?’ If the answer isn’t happy, powerful, thoughtful, or optimistic, maybe it’s time to choose a better thought. In other words…change the channel. 

Another positive aspect of the retro shows, other than brilliant writing, was their demonstration of problem- solving skills. When Beaver Cleaver found himself in trouble, his father, Ward, led him through a mini problem-solving session. It’s along the line of “teach a man to fish”. You know the drill.

These days, when I turn on the TV, guess how many stations I normally watch. 

If you guessed three or four, you’re right. Go to the head of the class. 

Quality always beats quantity.