Retro-Streaming: Old TV on New Media

I almost fell out of my chair when i saw him show up in an Elvis movie as his buddy. Frankie and Johnny. Dude gets around.

You misspelled Bill Gannon

I just finished these as well, watching one episode per day over lunch.

Much better viewing as an adult than they were as a kid!

Oh I’ve only seen them as an adult, I can imagine they’d be very dry as a kid.

Yeah, as a kid, I found Yes Minister pretty dry and boring, same with the show “The Paper Chase”. Both shows were loved by my brother who was 7 years older than me.

It’s easy to find Yes Minister now, and I should do so. I wonder if I can find The Paper Chase somehow too?

The Paper Chase was an awesome show!

Oh man. I remember watching paper chase with my dad. Loved that show.

I am in awe of this comment. I am a massive fan of Lee Remick and I am particularly interested in her early work in live television done between 1951 to 1958 but I have never heard of her appearance in any version of Death of a salesman. I made a quick search and the only version of Death of a salesman made for television was in 1958 and it starred Albert Decker and Leslie Nielsen. Could Lee has been in this version? Is 1958 a reasonably correct year for your memory? If you have any other memory or recollection about this episode and indeed any of Lee’s live television partecipation I would be a most eager and grateful listener.

Yikes, I got my Lee’s mixed up. It was Lee J Cobb. 1966

I’ve watched a few episodes of Sanford and Son and All in the Family recently. To me they both hold up pretty well. All in the Family especially highlights some aspects of society that are still relevant today. Sadly.

I was a huge fan of Jonny Quest way, way back in the day (the 1964 series). His adventures really grabbed me as a kid. I’ve got both Jonny Quest DVD collections (1964 and 1986), but haven’t tried watching them for fear that they wouldn’t hold up to my wonderful memories.

I was also a big reader of the Rick Brant Science Adventure series, and read each of those books multiple times during childhood.

Much later, in the late 90s I think, I read somewhere (possibly in an AOL Rick Brant chatroom) that Jonny Quest may have been inspired by the Rick Brant books, although I never could verify that. There were many similarities between the two.

That’s a pity but indeed from my vague recollection of the play there were no significant roles for young females.

I was introduced to Emergency! at the firehouse. Most of the older guys I worked with grew up watching the show and someone had them a VHS. We would use it as training aid, Just about everything they did was accurate “workmanlike” if you would say. One episode had a small plane crashed into a tree and the gear they used to climb up were what we were using even down to the same damn knots that I had such a hard time learning. The department I worked for was small and part time, so we still had some equipment from the 70’s, shit we had a rescue/lights truck that like 6 guys could drive because it was manual transmission.
Johnny and Roy inspired many people to join the fire service, Also I remember most of the calls were at some point real calls that LA County responded to in the past. Even the orders Rampart would give the crew were accurate.
It was definitely better as an adult doing the things than I guess as a kid watching it for the first time.

The wife and I have been watching Cheers and night court, both were on sale on apple a while ago. And the jokes mostly hold up but the sexism is soo distracting. Sam and Diane? man was that a huge mistake and Sam and Rebecca? We are on season 7 and I don’t remember if they finally get together or not but as the boss I would have shit canned Sam the first time he started his bullshit. When he was the boss the dynamic was different with Diane, but he sells the bar and why would anyone put up with him. Best parts are definitely everyone sitting around the bar and I can see why fraiser got is own show.
We are on season 2 of night court and it has been surprising mostly for the change over in cast the first 3 seasons. I know Selma and the lady that was next had both died but I didn’t know Charles Robinson wasn’t on from the beginning. Same with Markie Post. It was a rotating position apparently for a bit. Interesting was the female court clerk from the first season started looking like she was going to be a love interest for Harry Anderson but then she got sick and left the show.

I didn’t watch too much Night Court myself, but I always wished to watch more of it whenever I did watch it. There was always all this humor when I caught it that I didn’t get because I didn’t know the characters. So it was episodic, but it was mostly really reliant on you knowing the characters from previous episodes. At least, that seemed to be the case whenever I caught it. Plus the whole night time atmosphere of the whole thing really appealed to me.

Looks like they have all 9 seasons on Free-vee. Unfortunately, I think that means I’d have to watch it with commercials.

The night time atmosphere thing reminds me of a show I loved back in the early 80s called Mind your Language. (It featured a group of immigrants in London taking an English as a Second Language class). Looking it up now, it looks like Free-Vee also has that show. And apparently the show as revived in 1986 for a fourth season that is not on FreeVee.

Oh yeah, good point. Both in its details and more broadly, Emergency! was well-grounded.

It was remarkably influential, too. Not so much on other TV shows, but in the real world.

LA County’s paramedic program, one of the first in the country, was only a few years old when Emergency! debuted, and the show is credited with a massive boost in public awareness of what paramedics could do in terms of saving lives at rescue scenes.

Freevee has maybe some of the best commercial implementations I’ve seen in any service. They’re timed at the right spots, they’re never too long, they tell you how long they last, and they’re not super repetitive.

Wow, that’s an amazing story.

I wanted to get into Taxi, which I had never seen before, but the streaming services all were randomly missing certain episodes.

One of the issues with old tv shows is how little streaming services seem to care about preservation of content. I would assume the certain episodes removed have to do with music licensing, but it kind of sours me on using streaming services to watch old tv.

Additionally, they sometimes decide to fuck around with aspect ratio or color balance. It is super odd.

I tend to either buy the dvd box-set (used, and usually super cheap) and rip to my plex server, or go the local library.

It is also a bit weird to watch old broadcast TV without the commercials. Shows of that era were built around time blocks that largely in turn revolved around the need to fit in more or less standardized ad segments, 30 or 60 seconds or whatever. You could pretty much predict when a commercial would pop up for any given show. A lot of the flow of the experience was influenced by where and in what context the breaks happened.

Of course, with the advent of VCRs way back when and fast forward we began to see a huge change, and now streaming services even build in ways to prevent fast-forwarding through ads (though some networks actually have ways to let you set your DVR on 4x FF and automatically advance to the next program segment, oddly but nicely enough). I’m not saying I’d rather sit through ads, but I do think the shows “read” differently now.

And I do have an academic interest in advertising, so whenever I can find footage of old TV ads I love it.

One of the funniest minutes in sitcom history.