We haven’t had our television hooked up to the outside world for about two years. I don’t miss it one bit, although I haven’t a clue when friends are talking about the latest episode of a show they just watched the night before. We disconnected the TV because we were appalled by how lurid and sensational it had become…and that was just the news! I realized I was losing a lot of time watching “reality” shows that I knew had nothing to do with reality and award winning shows filled with gratuitous violence and sex. As a psychologist, I know it is important to be discerning about what we allow into our minds so we put a stop to the insanity of television. Remember, the primary purpose of television is to get us to buy whatever the sponsors are trying to sell to us (even on public television).
We rent television shows from Netflix. Several episodes are on one DVD so we watch one episode a night, commercial free. It is very relaxing and we enjoy Perry Mason, Daniel Boone (okay, The Mister enjoys that one a little more than I do), Route 66, Gunsmoke, and more. I also watch Mad Men via Netflix, so I’m not entirely out of the modern television loop.
But, now, I have discovered three over-the-air retro coast-to-coast television stations (note: these stations are also available on most cable systems, according to their websites). So, I plugged my rabbit ears and digital converter box back into the television set to check things out:
I was unable to tune into the local RTV station but their programming guide for my local affiliate looks fairly comprehensive with retro shows. They even show Daniel Boone on the weekends. But, a lot of the shows are from the 1980s and 1990s and that just screams cheap syndication to me.
Antenna TV was launched this year by Tribune Broadcasting and originates from WGN-TV in Chicago. With the power of the company, it appears to be a bit more sophisticated than RetroTV. Although there are 1980s and 1990s shows in their lineup, they also offer Gidget, The Flying Nun, Hazel, and Rin-Tin-Tin. When I tuned in, a classic movie was being shown.
Me-TV stands for Memorable Entertainment Network. The local station for this network is actually the station that I used to watch Perry Mason on before it was bought out by a media company that changed the formatting. Now I see it was bought out by another company that shows the Me-TV programming on one of its alternate channels. The daytime programming consists of many of the usual syndicated rerun suspects. That said, they do show Rawhide, The Dick Van Dyke show, and The Lucy Show.
I’ll admit that the jury is still out. I like the peace and quiet of not having the television set hooked up to the outside world. I also like not having to deal with commercials yelling at me to buy something.
Does anyone have experience with these stations?
To your fabulous Technicolor life!