Category: TV Shows

MeTV to Air Christmas Episodes of Classic Shows Every Sunday

It’s my favorite time of year!  The time leading up to the Christmas holiday is full of Christmas movies and TV episodes in my house, and MeTV is making that a little easier this year with their A Very Merry MeTV starting this Sunday.  For the next seven weeks, MeTV is presenting three hours of Christmas themed episodes every Sunday afternoon.  Check out the schedule below to find when your old forgotten favorite will be on.

Sunday, November 12

The Facts of Life “The Christmas Show” 2PM | 1C

The Facts of Life “Christmas in the Big House” 2:30PM | 1:30C

Mama’s Family “Santa Mama” 3PM | 2C

Mama’s Family “Mama Gets Goosed” 3:30PM | 2:30C

The Lucy Show “Together for Christmas” 4PM | 3C

The Lucy Show “Lucy the Choirmaster” 4:30PM | 3:30C

Sunday, November 19

The Facts of Life “Christmas Baby” 2PM | 1C

The Facts of Life “Pre-Christmas Card” 2:30PM | 1:30C

Saved by the Bell “A Thanksgiving Story” 3PM | 2C

Mama’s Family “An Ill Wind” 3:30PM | 2:30C

Happy Days “The First Thanksgiving” 4PM | 3C

Cheers “Ill-Gotten Gaines” 4:30PM | 3:30C

Continue reading “MeTV to Air Christmas Episodes of Classic Shows Every Sunday”

Looking Back at Random Dukes of Hazzard Merchandise, Part 2

A few days ago, I did a post highlighting several different pieces of Dukes of Hazzard merchandise I had when I was younger.  (Dukes of Hazzard Merchandise Part 1) So here we are again as promised for Part 2 of looking back at some cool Dukes of Hazzard Merchandise from the 80’s.

Dukes of Hazzard Bowl, Plate, and Cup

I don’t think this set came with the TV tray, but who knows.  I remember sitting around before school, and more mornings than not, my breakfast was served on these fine pieces of plastic.  And it was a hard plastic.
Each piece featured scenes from the show, and I would sit and stare at those pictures morning after morning.

Dukes of Hazzard Etch-a-Sketch Scenes

Etch-a-Sketch was such a brilliant toy, and is still a big hit with kids today.  As much fun as it was trying to create a masterpiece work of art, you could ramp up the fun even more by adding a fun sheet over the Etch-a-Sketch itself.  These were things like mazes, race courses and other things that would test your knob turning ability.
There was a Dukes set that featured several games you could play on your Etch-a-Sketch, but my personal favorite was the maze.  There was a Hide and Seek style game, a Boss and Roscoe roadblock game, and a Cooter to the Rescue game.

Continue reading “Looking Back at Random Dukes of Hazzard Merchandise, Part 2”

Dukes of Hazzard Videopalooza

We’re continuing on with Dukes of Hazzard week here at Retro Ramblings, and today, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some footage of the stars of the show in various other ways, as well as other interpretations of the show.  So here are some fun videos of the icons outside of the confines of their familiar Hazzard County.

First up, check out these couple of videos where the stars of The Dukes of Hazzard competed on the iconic game show Family Feud against the stars of The Waltons and The Jeffersons.

Bo and Luke were pretty talented outside of acting, driving cars, and shooting bows.  Turns out, they’re both pretty good singers, and you can see that in the video below as they sing the theme song, Good Old Boys in Nashville.

Robot Chicken’s version of The Dukes of Hazzard

Auto Trader got on The Dukes of Hazzard band wagon with one of their recent commercials

In this modern age of over political correctness, you probably won’t see The Dukes of Hazzard on television anymore.  Matter of fact, if you did, it would probably look a lot like this.

The very first General Lee, known as Lee 1, was found in a junkyard and restored.

One more video for today, as we find out if Bo Duke still has it or not.

 

 

 

Looking Back at Dukes of Hazzard Merchandise From the 80’s, Part 1

Growing up, and still today, I was a big fan of The Dukes of Hazzard television show.  As I got old enough, I would watch the new episodes on Friday nights, and beyond that, it was shown in syndication on my local station every afternoon after school, so I had plenty of opportunity to watch.

 What I didn’t realize until recently was just how much merchandise I had that came from the show.  A while back, I mentioned having a Dukes of Hazzard TV tray that I would eat dinner off of occasionally. That sparked several other memories in me of stuff that I had that tied into the show that I had completely forgotten about. So today, I just want to review some of that stuff and relate some of my memories of those things.
Dukes of Hazzard TV Tray

Dukes of Hazzard TV Tray

We’ll just start with the first item that spawned the floor of memories, and talk about the TV tray for a moment.  As several of you may remember, my Dad traveled a lot when I was younger.  My brother was eight years older than me, and as soon as he was old enough too, he got a job working evenings and nights at the local grocery store.  This left just me and my mom at home at night for dinner.
She would usually make one of our favorite “just us” meals like tomato soup with cheese sandwiches, or Sloppy Joes, or some other simple dinner.  We rarely ate at the table since it was just the two of us, and instead we would eat dinner in the living room while watching TV.
I would usually sit on the living room floor, with my Dukes of Hazzard TV tray set up in front of me holding my dinner while we watched Batman (1966) on the Family Channel, and whatever would follow on the original Nick at Night.
Much like everything else on this list, I don’t know what happened to that TV tray, but I still have vivid memories of it and those times alone with my Mom as we bonded over dinner and classic TV.
Dukes of Hazzard ERTL Cars

Dukes of Hazzard ERTL Cars

What red blooded American boy who was a fan of the show didn’t have the Matchbox size replica cars?  I know I sure did.  Between my brother and I, we had a couple of the General Lee, four of the white Hazzard County police cars, Boss Hogg’s car, Daisy’s jeep, Uncle Jesse’s truck, and the rare golden Chickasaw County Police Car.
Of course the General Lee was the fastest in our Matchbox/Hotwheels collection, and not only could it out run those Hazzard County police cars, but also the Hotwheels City cop cars and anything else that tried to chase it down.
Those cars were the perfect licensed product for that show, since one the biggest attractions were the car chases featured, as well as the incredible stunts those Duke boys would pull off in the General Lee.  The little cars made it so easy to replicate whatever you had just watched on the show, and provided countless hours of play time fun for my brother and me.
Dukes of Hazzard Happy Meal Boxes

Dukes of Hazzard Happy Meal Boxes

This is one of the stranger items on this list, but maybe one of the coolest as well.  I’ve not taken the time to research exactly when these were issued or anything, but at some point in the 80’s, a deal was struck with McDonald’s to feature the vehicles from the show as boxes for Happy Meals.
They were made of a thin, molded plastic, two piece construction….a bottom and top…that held your Happy Meal inside.  They came with a decal sheet that you would use to decorate it and make it look like the vehicle from the show.
Now why that may have been cool enough, let me tell you the real magic of these things.  The plastic would crinkle just like the fender of a real car in a wreck!  So I would spend hours playing with these things…having car chases and such, but sure enough, most chases ended with the vehicles crashing into each other and causing significant body damage.  But fear not, because you could open it up, push out the dents, and start all over again.
I’m not sure how long they lasted until they were too beat up to repair, but I know I pushed them to those limits before I would let my Mom throw them out.
Dukes of Hazzard Wrist Racers

Dukes of Hazzard Wrist Racers

I came across a picture of these the other night, and it was like a lightning bolt striking me.  My mind had lost all traces of the memory of having these things, but once I saw them, the memories came flooding back.
This was such a cool toy, as you had a small (smaller than Hot Wheels) General Lee car or Police car that would wind up so you could let it go and it would take off.  You wound up the car and attached it to it’s “wrist” base, and left it there until you were ready to set it off on it’s journey.  On the front of the base, was a pull out ramp that made it possible to lower your arm to the floor, and have the ramp ON the floor so when you launched the car it didn’t wreck once it left your wrist.  One push of a button released the wound up car and it would zoom across the floor!
This was such a genius idea, and it was made all the better by the fact that it was built like a watch so that you could wear it around everywhere you went, and be ready to launch it at any time.
There’s a lot more merchandise to cover, but we’ll cover it later this week..  Next time around we’ll be looking at some of the Color Forms and other merchandise like the Dukes of Hazzard Big Wheel!

The Dukes of Hazzard

Dukes of Hazzard

“Just two good old boys, never meanin’ no harm… Beats all you never saw, been in trouble with the law since the day they was born…”

Everybody loves a car chase. From Bullitt to The French Connection to Smokey and the Bandit, speedy vehicles have thrilled viewers on the big screen for years. CHiPs proved the same thrills were possible on the small screen, so it was only a natural progression to continue the concept of the chase-driven show.

Unlike CHiPs, The Dukes Of Hazzard took the side of the “outlaws” as it followed the adventures of the Duke cousins, Bo and Luke. The boys were reformed former moonshiners whose career ended when they were caught making a moonshine run for their Uncle Jesse. Jesse made a deal with the law to keep the boys out of prison, involving a promise from the boys never to run moonshine again, not to cross the state line without permission, and not to use any firearms.

However, none of this could keep the Duke boys down. To get around the firearms ban, the two were strictly bowmen, though their arrows often had a bit of TNT-fueled kick. They also built a car with the help of their buddy, Cooter Davenport. They took out a loan to finance the venture while their other cousin, Daisy (who wears short shorts? she wears short shorts!), worked at the Boar’s Nest to pay off the loan (“Free drinks on the house!”). This hangout was owned by Boss Hogg, the local politico who ran Hazzard County and the major nemesis of the Duke clan.

Continue reading “The Dukes of Hazzard”

The Dark Shadows Television Series

Dark Shadows

Vampires, ghosts, and werewolves, oh my. Those were just some of the beasties on that spooky sixties soap Dark Shadows. And here were some of the show’s fans: teenagers, housewives, and hippies—who purportedly appreciated the trippy, otherworldly subject matter and play with time dimensions (oh, my).

The show had a huge following in its heyday, but an equally impressive cult following these days. It holds a place in history as the first Gothic daytime drama, as ABC’s first color soap opera, and, though this is a watershed tougher to measure, it was the first series with a broad Goth appeal. Even if spooky theatrics didn’t make for a kid’s regular TV viewing, they found themselves racing home from school, and moms found themselves racing out of the kitchen, postponing the preparation of that eve’s scrumptious family dinner for a half-hour of thrills and chills.

Dark Shadows was created by Dan Curtis, who would later compel viewers to whisk away tears in mini-series The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. The idea of a young lady governess who came to a seaside village to care for a rich little boy purportedly came to Mr. Curtis in a dream. Which makes good sense, because creepy Collinsport, Maine, and the even creepier Collinwood mansion (home of the Collins family) were certainly dream-ish places—dreams of the “bad” variety, that is.

After several months on the air, unfortunately, the show’s ratings were also of the “bad” variety. In a stroke of desperate revamping (awful pun intended), Curtis added a character named Barnabas Collins—an almost two-hundred-year-old vampire. This particular gentleman of the night was played by former Shakespearean actor Jonathan Frid, who seduced legions of viewers with his blend of ghoulishness and humanity. After Barnabas proved a success, other supernatural characters were also unearthed—ghosts, werewolves and a witch named Angelique.

Continue reading “The Dark Shadows Television Series”

The Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone

“You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind, a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.  That’s the signpost up ahead. Your next stop: The Twilight Zone.”

There was a new surprise waiting every week in The Twilight Zone, and most of them were head-turners. Rod Serling’s famed sci-fi anthology series prided itself on twist endings, most either poetically just or shockingly cruel. But whatever surprises the end of a Twilight Zone episode might bring, the journey itself was always compelling.

Serling, a playwright, had made a strong name for himself in the TV biz through his anthology series writing (Playhouse 90’s “Requiem for a Heavyweight” had won him one of two Emmys), and he parlayed that success into his own show in 1959, The Twilight Zone. The new series was another anthology, but the stories were of a more bizarre nature, dabbling in sci-fi and supernatural themes. Serling wrote more than half of the episodes himself (with Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson writing many of the rest), and most wrapped up their odd stories with an even stranger twist of irony.

Of the more than 150 episodes produced during The Twilight Zone’s original run, many have gone on to become TV classics. Among the favorites:

“The Hitch-Hiker” – A cross-country trip turns to panic when a woman sees the same hitcher several times.

“The After Hours” – A woman tries to return a department store item she’s just bought, only to discover that the floor she’s looking for doesn’t exist, and the mannequins look awfully familiar.

Eye of the Beholder

“The Eye of the Beholder” – Plastic surgeons work frantically to try to restore a woman’s hideous face to the standard of beauty.

“The Howling Man” – A weary traveler stops for the night in a European monastery, but he foolishly ignores the monks’ warnings not to release a caged prisoner.

“To Serve Man” – A race of nine-foot-tall aliens bring peace and prosperity to Earth, but at what cost?

“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” – A rehabilitated mental patient thinks he sees a creature wreaking havoc on the plane’s wing.

“Living Doll” – A father strongly dislikes his daughter’s new Talky Tina doll, and the feeling is mutual.

“Time Enough at Last” – Bookworm bank teller Henry Bemis finds himself the sole survivor of a nuclear blast, with nothing but time to read – if the Twilight Zone allows (hint: it won’t).

Time Enough at Last

There were several other memorable episodes, of course, as the show gained a very loyal cult following in its early seasons. Famous faces – from Burgess Meredith to Vera Miles to William Shatner to Robert Redford – appeared on the show, but the most familiar of all was that of the host, Rod Serling himself, who gave an eerie intro and wrap-up to every episode.

At the start of the 1963, The Twilight Zone expanded to a full-hour format, but the original half-hour length proved to be more popular. Half-hour episodes returned in the fall, filling out the show’s final season of originals. Reruns aired in the summer of 1965, and the show continued to win new fans in a very successful syndicated run.

In 1983, big-name directors John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller each contributed a segment to an all-new Twilight Zone: The Movie (actually, mostly new – three of the segments came from TV episode scripts), which helped rekindle interest in the original series. A new Twilight Zone TV series debuted in 1985, with a handful of remakes joining a slate of original episodes, all in color (the original show was strictly a black and white affair). CBS ran the new series off and on through 1987, and more new episodes were added when the show went into syndication that year.

Today, the series has become such a part of pop culture that “Twilight Zone” has become a catchall phrase for any unusual turn of events. The show’s episodes are still turning the heads of those lucky enough not to have learned all the surprises yet, and eerie good times still await every traveler who sets foot in that dimension of mind and imagination.

You can also check out Rod Serling’s other, other-worldly offering, The Night Gallery, here on Retro Ramblings.
And for you hardcore Twilight Zone fans, check out The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia