OT Thursday: I watch television, too!

While I’m certainly more of a film person than a TV person and will neglect the new episode of just about any show in favor of watching a movie, I do enjoy quite a few television series, both new and old. For this weeks OT Thursday, I’d like to share some of my favorites with you, as well as why I love them. (These are in listed alphabetically in each category, not by preference!)

Classic Television

ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS –
Originally aired: 1955 – 1962
Fantastic theme song: “Funeral March of a Marionette,” composed by Charles Gounod
Favorite episode: At the moment it would be Season 1, Episode 4: “Don’t Come Back Alive.” It changes constantly as I rediscover episodes that I forgot about!
No matter how many times I see each episode, the suspense still gets to me! I’ve seen most of the episodes but not all, and am currently attempting to work through every single episode chronologically as they aired. I don’t currently own any of the DVDs (mostly because seasons 1 – 3 are available on Netflix Instant and will tide me over for a while) but I’m saving up!

GIDGET –

Sally Field made a totally different Gidget than Sandra Dee, but both are fun to watch! (Image via sitcomsonline.com)

Originally aired: 1965 – 1966 (Only one season, unfortunately!)
Favorite character: Gidget’s father, Russ Lawrence, portrayed by Don Porter
Favorite episode
: “Ring-a-Ding-Dingbat” (Ep. 24), in which Gidget attempts to meet her favorite music group, or “Independence – Gidget Style” (Ep. 27), in which Russ thinks Gidget is working at a nightclub.
This series has a totally different feel compared to the original Gidget film (which I also love), but it’s completely enjoyable. Sally Field and Don Porter are a great father-daughter duo. This is the perfect thing to pop in the DVD player when you just want something fun to watch. I own the complete series on DVD.

HAPPY DAYS
Originally aired: 1974 – 1984
Favorite couple:
Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham, portrayed by Marion Ross and my dear Tom Bosley. I love the younger couples as well, but the Cunninghams are the sweetest.
Favorite moment:
I know a lot of people see this as one of the series’ corniest moments, but in the episode when Richie crashes his motorcycle, Fonz’s visit to him in the hospital breaks my heart! When Henry Winkler cries, I cry.
I feel like I’ve been watching this show for my entire life, and I probably have (via reruns, of course – I’m a young’n and wasn’t born until long after the series ended). This is another one that’s just fun to watch. The series manages to spoof the ’50s and look back on them fondly. Plus, the characters are funny and oh-so-lovable! I currently own the first season on DVD and tape excessive amounts of re-runs.

I DREAM OF JEANNIE
Originally aired: 1965 – 1970
Fantastic theme song:
Seasons 2-5 have that iconic theme song composed by Hugo Montenegro and Buddy Kaye.
Favorite season:
Season 2 – 31 episodes airing in 1966 and 1967
I haven’t been watching this quite as long as the other shows on this portion of the list, but I love it just as much. As charming as the actors are, it’s the kooky situations that the characters get themselves into that keep me coming back to this series.

(Image via hallmarkchannel.com)

I LOVE LUCY
Originally aired: 1951 – 1957
Favorite guest star
: Tennessee Ernie Ford as “Cousin Ernie,” three episodes
Favorite character: As much as I love Lucy and Desi, I’ve always loved Vivian Vance as Ethel. She makes a great sidekick for Lucy and is always a delight to watch!
It’s impossible to construct a list of favorite classic television shows without including I Love Lucy. It’s a near-perfect sitcom with a perfect cast. I don’t own any of the DVDs because I’m saving up to (hopefully, someday) buy that beastly Complete Series boxed set, but I watch this at least a couple of times per week when it re-runs.

LAVERNE & SHIRLEY
Originally aired: 1976 – 1983
Favorite character:
Laverne
Fantastic theme song:
“Making Our Dreams Come True,” performed by Cyndi Grecco (My dad takes the liberty of changing the words to “Give us any chance we’ll break it, give us any rule we’ll make it” when I watch the show with him)
A natural choice, given the fact that I love Happy Days and this is a spin-off. One of the reasons I love Laverne & Shirley is because the two main characters remind me so much of my sister and I! My sis is definitely a Laverne. She’s probably more of a Laverne than Laverne herself. As a result, the scenarios and banter between these two characters are always very fun for me to watch (and for us to watch together, on the rare occasion that she watches it with me).

Contemporary Television

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
Originally aired: 2003 – 2006
Favorite character: Buster (with a tie for second between Gob and Tobias)
Fantastic voiceover: The series is narrated by Ron Howard, who also co-produced it!
This show is so consistently brilliant that I can’t pick a favorite episode or season. It is one of the funniest shows ever to grace television screens, and certainly the funniest of the 21st century. If you’ve never seen it, I suggest you track down the DVDs right this second or check it out on Netflix. I own all three seasons on DVD and marathon them frequently!

The dysfunctional Bluths: one of television’s greatest families! (Image via zap2it.com)

FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS
Originally aired: 2007 – 2009
Favorite song: “Boom”
Favorite cameo: John Turturro or Art Garfunkel
My sister introduced me to this series just after it was cancelled. It’s a shame it didn’t have a longer run, because Bret, Jemaine and Rhys Darby created one of the silliest (and I mean that in the best way possible) trios I’ve ever encountered on the screen. The songs are both catchy and hilarious, and I’m a total sucker for Bret and his animal tees.

FRIENDS
Originally aired: 1994 – 2004
Fantastic theme song: “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts
Favorite couple: Monica and Chandler, Rachel and Joey
I grew up with this show and hoped to find a group of friends as great as the Central Perk crew when I grew up. (Sadly, that never happened.) Though my interest in the series weaned near the end and I could never stand the big Ross/Rachel fiascoes, I’ll always love watching this series.

To be continued with nine more favorite television series next Thursday!

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