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When TV was classic
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Forsyth County News

A few weeks ago, Peter Falk passed away.

While Falk was a legendary actor with a long career in Hollywood, I will always remember him best as the lovable, seemingly deft, Detective Columbo.

I absolutely loved "Columbo" when I was growing up and never missed an episode. I even watched all of the reruns when they aired.

My husband and I took a stroll down memory lane, discussing all of the great TV shows from back in the day. There are so many, I don’t have room to cite all of them.

Because I grew up with three older brothers, if I wanted to watch TV when they were, I had to watch what they watched. "Bonanza" was a big hit in our home.

My brother Jeff used to tease me and say, "If we didn’t have you, we would be just like the Cartwrights. We would be ‘sons.’"

I also loved police-type programs like "Adam 12." Remember the dispatcher who always said, "One Adam 12, please see the man."

I also loved the drama of "Emergency." Oh, and who didn’t love "Dragnet?" "The names have been changed to protect the innocent …"

On the lighter side, my favorite night of the week in the late 1970s was when "Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island" were on.

My best friend, Nancy, and I used to have telephone "dates" on those nights. We watched the shows while on the phone with each other and then talked during the commercials.

Remember when "Miami Vice" came out? We all thought that was the coolest (and raciest) show ever.

"Miami Vice" made "Charlie’s Angels" look tame. Who knew that was the beginning of Hollywood’s push outside the comfort zones of sane adults.

If you watch TV now (and you’re over age 30 and have children), you’re no doubt appalled by much of what’s on.

The other day I watched an episode of "Toddlers and Tiaras." Have you seen this show?

It’s a reality show about mothers and their toddler daughters who are competing in pageants.

Most of the toddlers are just regular children who are strongly encouraged to actually care how big their hair can be put up, or how their bright red lipstick and false eyelashes look.

No, I am not making this up.

The mothers are ridiculous as they push these babies to shake their booty, smile and wave at the judges.

And just who are those judges? Many of them are men. Can you say creepers?

In a few years, the pageant participants can be in a new show — "Teens in Therapy."

Sure there are some excellent shows out there. In my mind, however, most of those are about history, nature, cooking, animals and true crime.

Who even has time or interest to watch a reality show about "real" housewives, who seem to mostly go out to lunch and drink wine?

If none of us watched these ridiculous shows, Hollywood wouldn’t make them.

I know every generation tends to look back and think ours was a "cleaner" time. But in this case, it’s definitely true.

Call me sappy, but I miss "Happy Days" and "Laverne and Shirley." How in the world was Mayberry replaced with Wisteria Lane?