Monday, June 2, 2014

Rant #1,219: "Sons" Rise, "Sons" Sets

With everything going on with me the past few weeks, I have been distracted from the things that I cherish most to relax with, since I really haven't relaxed at all lately.

One of those things is television, something that I really do cherish, always have, always will.

It relaxes me while it brings the world into my home.

What I am going to talk about isn't monumental by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect what I watch on TV.

"My Three Sons" is no more, at least no more on MeTV.

The network--which features old shows from the 1950s, 1960s and lately, the 1970s--has decided that it has had enough with this all-time great family show, chronicling the daily maneuvers of the Douglas clan, and it has removed it from its program schedule, in its own words "indefinitely."

They usually change the schedule during the summer, so normally, I would not fret as much as I am doing now.

But the use of the word "indefinitely" tells me that MeTV and the Douglas clan have parted ways.

In its place, they have put on another family show, "Make Room For Daddy," which is a good show, but sorry, it is not "My Three Sons."

MeTV showed a group of the color episodes of "My Three Sons," and that was it. They did not show the much better black and white episodes, and they did not show the later color episodes.

So of the 380 shows that made up the "My Three Sons" catalog, they might have shown maybe 110-150 of the episodes, tops.

But those were the core episodes that I grew up on, when I regularly started to watch the show in 1965 or so, when Barry Livingston's "Ernie" character was adopted by the Douglases, so those were the shows that made me enamored of the show in general.

I discovered the black and white episodes when they were shown on "Nick at Nite," and honestly, the later episodes I haven't seen in decades.

Personally, I don't need the show to be on MeTV, because I do have all the episodes as a bootleg, but it was nice having them on, and available, on a daily basis.

Where the show will turn up, or if it will turn up anywhere, is unknown right now. It is an old fashioned, traditional type of show, and my hope is that Antenna TV picks it up, or perhaps one of the other outlets that show old TV shows puts it on their respective schedules.

I miss the daily plays of the show even though it has only been off the air for a week now, I really do.

Hopefully, the show will turn up elsewhere. The Douglases were like my own personal next door neighbors, and I think that was the beauty of the show for so many people from 1960 to 1972, and then in reruns.

They rarely tackled current issues, although their treatment of blended families certainly pre-dated "The Brady Bunch." Their handling of Ernie's adoption saga was one of show's greatest story arcs, and it even stands out today as something special, showing the power of television to both entertain and teach at the same time.

So I hope that they bring the show back, somewhere. It was off TV too long to begin with, and then it came back, and for me, it was too short a time.

Let's see what happens as the summer plays itself out.

And let me conclude with some news that I just found out--Ann B. Davis, who played "Alice," the live-in housekeeper on "The Brady Bunch," passed away.

I never was a fan of this show, but I watched it with my sister when it was originally on.

It is banal, corny, completely unrealistic, and pretty dry.

But it stands as a cultural touchstone for my generation, the Baby Boomers, so I guess it was what it was.

And Davis' character held the whole thing together in her own way.

She was one of a long line of "servants" on television, but she had her own way about her that made her one of the first of that ilk to be more than a cooker and a sewer and a cleaner.

She was an integral part of the show.

So we will all miss Davis, who in real life, was as dedicated to her faith as millions of viewers were to "The Brady Bunch."


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