Mary Tyler Moore, TV Guide, Summer, 1977

Time to think outside the box set.

Frilly Keane writes:

There was a bitta argy bargy here earlier this week on one of Bertie’s TV Trailer Park threads. Lads throwing shapes; ‘let’s see if you can do better’ kinda stuff, and it wasn’t even one of the better ding dongs.

But the thing that stayed on with me was that we all love the telly, and we all fight over it, and I didn’t even notice my role in it until yesterday morning when I went on (an probably on) about Mary Tyler Moore and all its connections. That show ended in the Silver Jubilee year. 1977. FFS that’s 39 years ago.

But it can’t be helped. I love the telly with such affection and commitment that I didn’t even really notice how much respect until yesterday.

Oddly enough for almost 3 years I didn’t watch any telly, none. Instead I wrote a book with my screen time. It came to a sudden stop when I was introduced to the entire Sopranos catalogue on a Media Player, the black box. And I haven’t strayed since.

These days the only non-scripted telly I set time aside for besides Sport, News etc, is Bake Off and I’m a Celebrity.

Back in the Mary Tyler Moore days a show was done when the writers and actors said so, not the broadcasters and exec producers. Kojak, Taxi, Starsky n’ Hutch didn’t go beyond 5 runs.

I’ll concede an exception; M*A*S*H which seemed to on for decades, but it pretty much wrote itself and a balanced ensemble cast helped it continue (IMO btw) which is probably why Friends never seems to have ended at all. But then Chandler and Monica probably earned more per episode than Radar and Hotlips got for 10 years of graft.

Those early days of colour telly and aerial transmission introduced incredible television creations and characters.

Kid Curry and Hannibal Hayes, Jill Monroe (Charlies Angles is credited as been the first “Jiggle TV” production btw), Buck Rodgers, McCloud, Mannix (remember the cars) and speaking of cars, Jim Rockford (who was a great Big Screen to Small Screen and back again example) and likewise the A-Team! Columbo, Mrs Bridges and Captain Peacock.

And the theme tunes, feck it, every so often one come out over wireless; Hill Street Blues, Greatest American Hero, and this’ll will have some of ye going all day – ‘Baby, if you ever wondered, wondered whatever became of me, I’m living on the air’ …. That’s all ye’re getting; now name that show.

This is probably why I loved Vinyl,. It was authentic to the era when the television became a utility in every house, and not a luxury. It was over the top, slick, styled and accurate and I loved it. But then I enjoyed Revolution & Myles Matheson so maybe I’m the last one to go on about it.

Ara’ I could on for a fortnight here. But a few last things I’ll leave ye with;

My earliest tv memory was wetting myself the day Oscar the Grouch turned dirty carpet green and learning that Cookie Monster was blue. (Yep the day the colour telly arrived.)

If ye’re of a mind see if ye can pull down the original Upstairs Downstairs, (4 years about 60 episodes) it’s not for everyone I know, but hard facts and themes were introduced by LWT that nobody else would touch till the late 80s and 90s, and some wouldn’t pass the PC standards team today.

And Treme, a two season’er, and worth every minute you have to click back to get the dialogue and the jist correct for yourself, and have the search engine running if ye do.

Finally, I alone in thinking Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip should have got anudder season?

So till next First Friday; the month of the Holy Souls.

Nanu Nanuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

Frilly keane’s column will appear here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

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27 thoughts on “Frillyvision

  1. postmanpat

    If the only non-scripted telly (#superiorbrag) you set time aside for is Bake Off and I’m a Celebrity, then where is your frame of reference for the “celebrities” on these shows?

  2. Willie Banjo

    Treme was a four-seasoner but I don’t blame you for making that mistake as not many got past Season Two (most Wire fans hardly got past episode two when they realised there wouldn’t be too many cops in it).

    1. Frilly Keane

      that’s my weekend sorted Banjo

      I’ll have SAMCRO and the lads wrappped up tonight

  3. Neilo

    Sans Googling – as I’m both old and an uberrdork – was that the theme from ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’?

  4. Yeah, Ok

    How many times must I beg for someone to at least proofread this insufferable poo if we have to be tormented by it every week!?

    Between this and the script on the site that is constantly crashing my browser I’m on the verge of giving up on BS altogether. Frilly’s column is worse than my browser crashing tbh.

    1. Frilly Keane

      so maybe Broadsheet are doing ya a favour Yeah

      crashing your browser like that

      did Yeah ever tink of that Yeah

    2. Kieran NYC

      I think if you turn off FlashPlayer in your browser settings, you should be fine. I think it’s a leftover of the NewsWhip stuff.

  5. scottser

    too much americana there frilly, not enough ‘not the nine oclock news’ the tube, the young ones, comic strip for my liking..

    1. Frilly Keane

      Captain Peacock and Mrs Bridges and Wogan?
      to be fair I shouldn’t have forgotten Citizen Smith and Blakes 7
      and I’m mortified The Good Life didn’t top the list

      of course Minder, the New Avengers, Steptoe and Sweeny, The Riordans are all there too

      but still

      Rich Man Poor Man
      Washington Behind Closed Doors
      and Michael Douglas : from When Michael Calls to The Streets of San Francisco
      Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar
      The Dukes of Hazzard
      Get Smart to Book him Danno
      Lost in Space

      ah come on
      theres only so much one can extract out’ve The Brothers
      credit where credit is due like

  6. Feidlim MacSásta

    I refuse to read this stuff. It’s offensive to writing. It’s like a load of garbled nonsense.

  7. sycamoreal

    well said ” Those early days of colour telly and aerial transmission introduced incredible television creations and characters.”
    that’s how I remember it too.

  8. Deluded

    No Chips?
    A terrible omission but forgiven for The A-Team.
    (I thought Magnum PI was older but it would have been the mid-eighties before I saw it here. Great suggestions though, cheers!)

    1. Frilly Keane


      Like I watched on Saturday like everyone else but its not like Poncherello had any staying power really

      It was a bit silly really
      And the premise too simple
      You couldn’t watch it now
      Like you could The A Team
      Or Magnum

      1. Deluded

        (I remember my older brother had a Chips t-shirt that made me break the 10th commandment about once-a-week.)

        1. Frilly Keane

          Theme tune was authentic tho
          I don’t think I’m harsh tbf

          Ask a lad ‘ “d’ya remember yer man John Baker”
          And betcha’ you’ll have ta’ add the motorbikes and CHiPs

          But he’ ll know Tom Magnum and Face and all their crews

          1. Deluded

            Ha! I was only a garsún. I used to watch The Incredible Hulk from behind the sofa.
            (I still remember our first colour telly though.)

          2. Janet, I ate my avatar

            I watched lost in space from behind the sofa, those robot arms.
            Cringe now but loved The Walton’s

          3. Deluded

            No harm! We watched Little House on the Prairie but this peculiar cartoon from 1981 was my favourite programme:
            Ulysses 31
            (A French-Japanese co-production, by-the-way.
            I don’t think it would have worked in black and white!)

          4. Deluded

            (Sunday mornings on RTÉ, that and Battlestar Galactica which I thought boring but looked cool ; )

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