TV shows I loved growing up by Gina McPherson

Growing up in the 70’s would be my most intense TV viewing time.  Even though we lived in the country and only had 2 channels to choose from, we were still glued to the television if a show took our interest (I am middle of 5 children).  There wasn’t much down time on a vineyard but TV was our favourite past time.  I had an eclectic taste in shows, probably because there wasn’t much choice.  A show needed very few prerequisites to entice us and that was probably due to the fact that we were getting freedom to watch more television than our parents had.  The elements we preferred were entertaining, humorous, good story, some personal connection, adventure and not much else.

The show I loved when I was small had to be “The Muppets”  essentially, the fact that they were funny puppets that were alive and had personalities of their own was a great source of amusement.  And that there were so many personalities to relate to made it easy to like them and not much story line.  Just good old fashioned clean fun.  A big plus was when a celebrity came on the show because it was easy to feel, as a child, that they were personally there to see you!  It was a time of innocence and imagination as here were tiny mice up to huge monster puppets and everything you could imagine in between.  I did have a few nightmares after viewing this show as reality would merge with fantasy and I didn’t like the big monsters so much!

Once I grew a little older I wanted to be more adventurous and Monkey magic was a cure for that.  It was always on the look out for trouble as the  royal ‘Tripitaka’ was constantly being kidnapped.  I never did figure out if it was a boy or girl but that counted for little as I loved the adventure of the 3 guards and their mishaps along the way.  I also never knew where they were going but going with them seemed like a good idea.   It was a funny show, slightly subtle but  the cultural differences were interesting enough to hold my attention.  I liked the tricks and jumps within the trio and the magic crown that monkey wore to be connected to the royalty.

As I matured into puberty I enjoyed the ‘women power’ show such as ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Charlie’s Angels’ as both shows were adventurous and challenged the notion that women had to stay at home.  It interested me to see women taking charge and doing the things that previously only men could do.  The women were smart, fit, strong and life-saving which did not fit the mould I had grown up to believe.  Finally there was a challenge to the usual fit for a woman.  I liked what I saw and it made me feel a little invincible and empowered.  I enjoyed the adventures and missions they journeyed on and found myself willing them to be strong and to beat the men,  which is what the shows are designed to do.  Now I look back and see how silly some of the plots and antics were and how far-fetched the story lines appeared but back in the 70s, anything was possible and if it was on

television, we believed it.  In regard to both of these shows, I was too naive or young or both to see the sexuality running throughout the shows, I was too interested in seeing the girls win!  It is easy to see how the lean towards sexualisation made the characters attractive to both sexes as most boys and men wanted them and girls and women wanted to be them!  So long live 70s television, it saved me from boredom, gave me something to aspire to and was the popular culture of our time.  I have to admit that I did own a wonder woman suit and wore it lots, mum was good at sewing!




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About gfraiia

I grew up in country Victoria on a vineyard, in a large family. We worked hard and had little time for play and with both parents not very well educated I am unsure where my need to read came from! I was not nurtured or fostered in my reading even though the urge ran deep. I would read anything that passed my eyes, mostly the women's magazines that my mother bought. I was so pleased to go to boarding school as that became a haven from the physical labour at home and an endless supply of books! Heaven! I did however, grow up culturally rich with a strong Italian heritage. We had events that would be popular to Italians but probably unfamiliar to others. For example we would kill a fattened pig each year with my 6 sets of aunts and uncles and grandparents who lived with us. Also we would spend a day each year bottling crushed tomatoes for the year ahead. So my youth was shaped by an Italian popular culture rather than a generic one. I think the older I became the more general I directed my learning experiences to be mainstream and less Italian. Now I have a family of my own, I see how my children's popular culture is so different to what I had available to me even lifestyle cholces have given them more freedom. Being a primary school teacher, I love to educate. My passion is to continue to give children the opportunity to learn because power is knowledge and knowledge is freedom. I have travelled Australia in a caravan for 18 months when my children where 2 and 5 and this experience alone has taught me that you have to seize life and live it now, who knows when the right time is for anything? My love of reading now threads through my love of educating and this a new passion I own. And I strongly believe in 'now' so here I am 'now' completing my masters and changing direction.

11 thoughts on “TV shows I loved growing up by Gina McPherson

  1. What did we do before tv? I can vaguely remember when I was young and out in the bush the signal didn’t reach us so we didn’t have access to it like we did in town. The radio was still king for a little while.

    The shows certainly leave their marks in their own ways. You made a good point about the shows with the women heroines. There weren’t many if any in the early days of tv that I can remember though I did love Emma Peel in The Avengers who came a little later.

    You must post some pictures of yourself in the wonder woman suit!

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  3. Oh Monkey Magic! The Muppets! I was a child born in the 70s, but I forgot about these two shows. I have four brothers, so for me the Goodies was a must watch, but then so was Monkey Magic. I can’t say I was a Wonder Woman fan. More an A Team, Knight Rider, Dukes of Hazard fan – my brothers had a greater influence on me than I had realised. (No wonder my Mother got me into ballet.) Oh the memories…

    The point I really want to make though, is how simple life was then. We watched TV for the enjoyment of it and didn’t have the bombardment of commercialisation that went with it. Sure, you could have bought a Wonder Woman costume or figurine, but there wasn’t the pressure to buy the accessories, that there is today…at least not that I can remember.

    Thanks for the memories Gina!

    • interesting point you make about ‘buying’ a costume if you wanted to. Well you actually couldn’t. My mum and nanna ‘made’ it for me in those days. So, it is interesting that there really was a simple life for us then, no merchandising or very little. I was just happy to have a wonder woman suit and I don’t think it actually looked like the ‘original’ but good enough for a girl power!

      • I have a vague recollection of seeing what seemed like a bought outfit – it looked authentic. I’m getting older…maybe my mind is play tricks.
        Julie 😉

  4. TV definitely drew us in, especially the 70’s. I too loved Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels and like you I had not thought about the sexualisation of the characters. As a girl I wanted to be strong and powerful and able to tackle any situation. It was popular viewing with my friends as well, so it was popular culture.The power of TV is a strong thing, no wonder the advertising world grabs every opportunity possible to support popular shows.

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  6. I am thinking back now to the lack of merchandising that occurred when I was young. maybe there wasnt a real feel to harness us (kids) as marketing targets as we probably had less influence over what our parents bought than what todays parents are influenced by. kids today are certainly more market savvy and know more what they think they want and let parents know it too. Also the fact that we become increasingly material driven and merchandising can be readily available at a small cost up to greater cost. the “in” is where the small cost items start, then it can draw you in to the merchandising vortex!

  7. I did love the muppets a lot, my memories are always of laughing and smiling as it was a gag a minute and just a really fun show. clever mr. Henderson!

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