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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by benbess, May 15, 2014.
Mary Tyler Moore
The Bob Newhart Show
The Carol Burnett Show
Marcus Welby, M.D.
To narrow it to five is just too tough like it is for the 60s. I would much prefer ten, but if I have to do five then this is what I'd say today (sometimes another show from the top ten might crowd another out).
Mary Tyler Moore
buck rogers in the 25th century
starsky and hutch
I watched a lot of TV in the 1970s, but I didn't particularly like the shows of that decade.
I can single out THE ODD COUPLE and POLICE STORY, but little else.
I'd have to add non-traditional shows like STAR BLAZERS (the English-dubbed version of SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO), but I only really discovered that in the 1990s, when I bought some episodes on VHS and later, in the 2000s, bought the entire box set (on VHS).
Since then, I've discovered so many other 1970s Japanese series, including ZATOICHI and LONE WOLF AND CUB, both based on series of popular movies. Plus, from the later '70s, the anime series, GALAXY EXPRESS 999 and CAPTAIN HARLOCK, both of which I have in DVD box sets now (as opposed to the VHS fan-subs I had to rely on once upon a time).
I have to agree that TV started its down hill slide in this decade. While there are several "all time favorites" in the 70s I spent most of it wishing "good" TV would make a comeback (it never really happened and I'm still waiting). While I "watched" a lot of TV in this decade there are only a few shows I actually liked.
I'm only going to include series for which at least half of the episodes aired on US Network TV in this decade.
The Bob Newhart Show
The Rockford Files
WKRP in Cincinnati
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Odd Couple
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (although it's more in tune with the 60s)
The Partridge Family
M*A*S*H (until the "Alda effect" took over and it got preachy)
The Carol Burnett Show (I'd actually go home on Saturday night to watch this and then go cruising again)
When Things Were Rotten
McMillan & Wife (but due to the way it was presented it didn't really air often enough)
It was kind of depressing looking over the 1970s schedules for shows as it brought back all those memories of there being "nothing worth watching" on many nights. I never cared much for the Norman Lear sitcoms. Of course a directing class I took in college used All in the Family as a example of set design which meant we were required to watch a month's worth of episodes and comment on them. Bummer...
I'd *love* to include Monty Python's Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, and Space 1999 but those all aired here on local PBS and not network prime time and as such fall under my exclusion rules.
To me, the seventies is where television started its downhill slide in quality. I really don't resent the changes Norman Lear brought to television, as those changes were long overdue, but I resent the fact that they totally obliterated the type of entertainment that came before it. I wish that the world of Maude and AITF could co-exist with the world of, say, Family Affair. And throughout most of the seventies, it did to an extent. But not for long.
The other thing I don't like about the seventies is the fact that the runaway inflation of the era meant that cost-cutting became paramount and remains so forty years later. Shows that in the sixties would have been shot on 35mm film were now shot on low-def videotape and just looked cheap. Sometimes this was an aesthetic choice but too often it was merely to save money. Variety shows lost their luster, whether from the same cost-cutting or the fact that the artists of an earlier era were retiring.
It was the start of the slow slide to where we are today -- with commercials taking up a quarter of the viewing time, onscreen pop-ups distracting the viewer and the general tawdriness of what passes for entertainment today. Thank goodness I can now retreat to the entertainment choices of the past.
The 1970's is my favorite TV Show decade so it is really hard to come up with only 5 shows! At this time, here are my Top 5 in Alphabetical Order:Adam-12Barnaby JonesCannonKolchak The Night StalkerThe Streets Of San FranciscoGOD BLESS!Robert
My Top 5 favorite shows from the 1970's would be:
The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour/Cher/The Sonny & Cher Show
The Bionic Woman
McMillan & Wife
Honorable Mentions: The 70's were my favorite year for TV
All In The Family
Paul Lynde Show
Carol Burnett Show
I'm somewhat immune to the iconic decade-worship of the later "serious" Alda-fied series, as every time I hear some TV historian talk about the "immortal moment" when they lost Col. Blake, I just keep having an overwhelming desire to pitch a potted palm over the side of a ship....
It's too easy to list classic 70's series, I'd rather go for the episodes:
- Mary Tyler Moore: Mary's Three Husbands - They wanted this to be the final episode, instead of the shuffle-hug, but it's just good comfort-character fun. I didn't want to go for Chuckles, it was too darn easy.
- Bob Newhart: Death Be My Destiny - Obvious choice, as it keeps ending up on Greatest Sitcom Episode lists, but there's one black-funny visual gag after another. If you want to replace it with "Over the River and Through the Woods", no one will blame you, they both end up on the lists.
- Columbo: By Dawn's Early Light - I'd rather see Patrick McGoohan acting in Columbo episodes than directing them (his artsy-indulgent Prisoner touches do not work well with Peter Falk's shtick), but...well, you could pick any episode, really.
- Kolchak the Night Stalker: The Trevi Collection - Again, any episode, really.
- The Muppet Show: John Denver - A narrow choice over Peter Sellers, Star Wars and Marty Feldman (and Henson all his life gushed over the Harry Belafonte episode, ehh), but throughout the 70's, you just couldn't keep Denver's goofy grin away from the group.
- Carol Burnett Show: Mildred Fierce - I'd never seen the movie until I was in college, but this sketch--yes, more than those danged curtains--emphasizes the appeal of having Mad Magazine writers write the old-movie parodies, in a decade when we were just starting to notice late-nite movies.
- The Odd Couple: The Odd Monks - This episode felt like its own sitcom, with one silly setup after another, and sharp dialogue, although The Subway Story is more of a 70's time capsule.
- Ellery Queen: Adventure of the Mad Tea Party - The title gives away the key clue, but it's still a clever solution, with the usual good familar-faces 70's-TV cameo cast (Larry Hagman, Jim Backus...Ah, the 70's, when anybody could show up in a weekly episode) http://www.hulu.com/watch/424484
- Wonder Woman: PIlot - Hard to choose, was the first-season 40's camp better than the more commercialized 70's cheese? Maybe.
- Fantasy Island: Pilot - More than almost any other character on 70's TV who wasn't a cop, Mr. Roarke was DA MAN. The network thought the more sinister eeriness of the Island in the pilot movie wasn't right for their post-Love Boat slot, but it still works.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: Intermission - Not everyone's first choice, I know, but my memories always symbolize what the show was to us first cult watchers in the 70's--Almost anywhere you went on Friday night in '73-'74, it was comforting to know that some PBS station was showing this little oddity at Friday night 11 or 11:30, you just had to go hunting. And once on a babysitting night, and once on vacation, this episode (with its historical impersonations and police fairies) turned up to follow me whenever I was away.
Starsky and Hutch
Sanford and Son
Mork and Mindy
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Dean Martin Variety Hour
The Incredible Hulk
The Bionic Woman / Six Million Dollar Man
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Amazing Chan Clan
Hong Kong Phooey
A down decade for me....teen years in the middle.....my philosophy was forget current TV.However....I did make a point to watch Mary, Carol and Columbo...whenever a TV was in the proximity.If I remember correctly....I did follow Gunsmoke and my favorite 50s/60s in syndication like Star Trek.
i can't believe I forgot one of my favorites of the decade: Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. A definite honorable mention for me!
I would move my list to this as number 1 under the rest.
The Wild Wild West summer 1970
CBS decided to bring the show back with episodes from seasons 2-4. The newspaper said it surprised everyone including CBS that the reruns were getting high ratings that summer.
I can even remember the first show and then the following episodes.
14 Mar. 1969The Night of the Bleak Island was the very first with a special blow out of the episode in TV guide stating Wild Wild West at it's very best.
4 Oct. 1966The Night of the Returning Dead
10 Feb. 1967The Night of the Vicious Valentine
8 Sep. 1967The Night of the Bubbling Death
S3, Ep19This episode aired in August 1970 for I watched it while on vacation at Mackinaw Island.
S3, Ep23 1968The Night of the Simian Terror
S4, Ep1 27 Sep. 1968The Night of the Big Blackmail
S4, Ep4 18 Oct. 1968The Night of the Sedgewick Curse second to the last aired network episode of Wild Wild West.
S4, Ep6 1 Nov. 1968The Night of the Kraken
S4, Ep20 7 Mar. 1969The Night of the Diva
The Night of the Falcon
The very last was this episode.
19 Jan. 1968The Night of the Underground Terror
The order of the episodes I cannot remember except those I have spoke of.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
This is so difficult as the 70's had so many great shows. I was a pre-teen and teen during this decade and watched a lot of television then. I am only going to concentrate on comedies and in no particular order-
All in the Family
The Bob Newhart Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Carol Burnett Show
These were all shown on CBS. I never cared much for the more simplistic comedy programs on ABC such as Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley or Mork and Mindy (loved The Odd Couple, though, we always watched that) or the shows on NBC such as Sanford and Son or Chico and the Man, etc.
Two more CBS favorites from a nostalgic viewpoint would be Here's Lucy and The Doris Day Show.
I will go with these five:
1. Saturday Superstar Movie
2. Yogi's Gang
3. Ellery Queen
4. Lucas Tanner
5. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour
1. MAUDE: Why, you ask? A seasoned cast of stage veterans, great writing, hilarious delivery and Bea's withering looks and impeccable timing.
2: CHARLIE'S ANGELS: Shakespeare it's not, and definitely one of those 'you-had-to-be-there' shows but a great time capsule of the Disco Era that gave us SIX of the most perfectly coiffed/made-up actresses in TV history taking on the baddies in bikinis and satin hot pants. TV-junk food at its' finest!
3. THE BRADY BUNCH: More '70s cheese that every Gen-Xer can quote lines from for days. Ann B Davis' comedic chops and Robert Reed's stern morality lectures balance out the silliness.
4. ALICE: The Lavin/Holliday/Howland trio is often underrated when their chemistry in the early years was just as good as The Golden Girls or Mary/Rhoda/Phyllis.
5: MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN: Brilliant soap-opera/consumerism satire with outrageous, hysterical dialogue you'd never hear on any other show.
So many classics to choose from and limit to just five, spreading out genres as good as it gets.
WKRP in Cincinnati
The 1970's was probably one of the worse decades for television. Not that there weren't a number of good shows, but it was a serious decline from the explosion of creativity of the 1960's. I would say the best genre of the 1970's was the police/detective shows. The comedies were particularly bad with few exceptions (Mary Tyler Moore, The Bob Newhart Show to name a few). However the comedies of the 1970's were in general horrible. The focus was messages. MASH quickly became a major liberal anti-war rant, All in the Family was frequently uncomfortable with all the serious themes and Archie's demeaning treatment of his wife. It became apparent that the main focus wasn't the show or it's lame comedy but a message.
Then you had the ethnic comedies of the 1970's.....Hey, Hey, Hey....in a word, bad. (Sanford and Son, What's Happening, Good Times, Chico and the Man) These shows would have been bad regardless of the ethnicity.
As a kid I did enjoy the Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family--Oh, who am I kidding, I still like them and watch them.
Some good cartoons but a serious decline since the 1960"s. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You was the king of that decade. It inspired many reincarnations (none as good as the original) but the New Scooby-Doo Movies was very good. But many shows followed this crime/mystery solving model (Goober and the Ghost Chasers, The Funky Phantam, Speed Buggy, Josie and the Pussycats, etc.).
Sci-Fi, Horror was good (Six Million Dollar Man, Night Stalker, Planet of the Apes Series)
Without turning the thread into a new best decade match, it's still my favorite of any TV nation be it UK, US, Germany, anywhere. '50s and '60s were great too, have come to see they were fantastic to put it mildly. Feel the serious decline in storytelling began with the slicker entertainment attitudes of the following decade, the '70s still had plenty of gripping drama and hard topics of which I noticed considerably less in the '80s.