Monday, March 7, 2011

Stuff I Grew Up With

What'll we do baby...?
 As I inch ever-so-closely to 40 years of age, it's a lot of fun to think back to the stuff I loved as a child. From TV, to movies, music, and of course books - there's so much that I still enjoy and can't help but feel that warm fuzzy nostalgic feeling when I think about these things.

They were more than enjoyment to me, and I really do believe they have influenced me throughout my life. Aren't we all a nice combination of natural born temperament mixed with all the external influences that shape the people we are today?

I think people in their 30s-40s will point to Star Wars as something that changed their lives, defined an entire Generation (or two, or three). That's an obvious one, methinks. But I just wanted to mention a few other things I loved as a kid and am still fond of today:

*Family Ties. I was a big Cosby Show fan. But Family Ties was on a different plane. It had the everyday humor of Cosby, but had a much more dramatic level. To me, in my pre-teens and early teens, the show struck deep to me and my friends. Who can forget the episode where Alex P. Keaton goes to the psychologist to deal with the death of his best friend. It was a one-man piece of television goodness! Funny and profound.

The show proved TV could be both funny, entertaining, and downright serious all at the same time.

*John Hughes: One of the greatest film directors/producers/writers of all time. This guy truly did shape a generation. National Lampoon Vacation, Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and of course Weird Science. He captured the essense of what it was like to be an adolescent in the 80s. And who can forget all the memorable lines in his movies?! How many movie quotes come from Hughes' work?

Two of my personal favorites: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -- Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
AND..."We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all."--Breakfast Club

*MTV: Yes, I was one of the first ones to sit down and watch this crazy new channel premier on a hot August day in 1981. I was eight years old, and my dad had told me about the brand new music channel being added to our brand new cable TV system. I remember the moon man and the rock n' roll guitar hanging the MTV flag. And of course, the first music video ever played on MTV, the ever-so-prophetic "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles.

MTV introduced the world to the faces of the musicians we loved to listen to on the radio. And most of the time, that was NOT a very happy introduction. Now I know where that old saying "You've got a face for radio" comes from. But many artists relished the creative possibilities with this new medium...and music videos became small little movies. Some of the first early pioneers of music videos were Hall & Oats, Adam Ant, Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, and of course Madonna.

Too bad MTV doesn't actually play music videos. Man, I'm gettin' old.



Laura Eno said...

That's okay. I FELT old reading this. I watched this stuff too, but not as a kid. It was with MY kids. LOL!

Kevin said...

Great stroll down memory lane. I love John Hughes films. Such great works. As for MTV, sad that there's no longer music. Today I noticed even MTV2 was running a Martin marathon. Crazy.

Annie said...

I still remember MTV playing that song that goes, "Oh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, HEY Mickey!" Cheerleader outfits! Oh, those were the days when Cheerleaders were grownups to me!

J. Noel said...

Laura: So what do you get nostalgic about?

Kevin: Beyond the teen movies, I loved Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Martin? That show was funny for maybe one season.

Annie: That song can still get people to get up and dance. And pretend to be cheerleaders.

Laura Eno said...

Hm...good question. I didn't watch much tv as a kid. Maybe Bewitched and I dream of Jeannie.

J. Noel said...

I watched a lot of I Dram of Jeannie. I was in love with Barbara Eden. I believe that was the first time a midriff was exposed on TV.


Phats said...

We grew up on a lot of the same stuff, a cosby and family ties fan here as well. We have a local station that plays reruns of 4 hr blocks here and I will sometimes watch. Good shows!

Also loved MTV, even though people complain I absolutely loved real world and road rules when they first started haha :)

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