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!