TV for grown-ups as perceived when you were a kid

Regale us with tales of your warped child perceptions of the shows your parents watched when you were growing up.

I’ll start. My dad regularly watched MASH, and I was absolutely terrified of Hot Lips. Not a “She’s a nurse who’ll give me a booster shot,” fear, but the sort of terror kids normally reserve for the Monster in the Closet

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As a kid, the news was scary and/or boring. It was just grown-ups talking to me. I liked cartoons and I think I liked some sitcoms back then, but even later, it took me quite awhile to warm up to some sitcoms like The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I still don’t really care for dramas or reality tv (other than game shows). I’d much rather watch cartoons any day!

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MASH was also a favorite in our house. My mum told me that when I was a toddler I would always watch the opening credits and nothing else. I remember doing that. It was because I thought Alan Alda was my dad! Not as in Alan Alda was my real father, but that my dad was in the show as Hawkeye. Dad did bear a resemblance to Alan Alda, especially when both were younger.

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MacNeil/Lehrer Report. Not terrifying, but I just got really sick of looking at their mugs every evening.

60 Minutes. No, I did not “get” Andy Rooney at all. Still don’t, really!

Sesame Street. Hated it. It touched the lizard brain in a way I did not care for. Electric Company, 3-2-1 Contact, and Mister Rogers were amusing, IIRC, especially Mr. Rogers with that great music by Johnny Costa. Never mind, those aren’t “grown-up” shows.

The Love Boat. Just made me seasick and irritated.

Laverne and Shirley? Loved it! Opening credits, Lenny and Squiggy, the whole thing. Didn’t understand anything about it, but it was neat.

MASH? Super-mega-ultra boring. I remember the novelty beer cans and all that as well. It was a revelation when decades later I saw the movie, and it became a go-to source for a quick laugh. Still no interest in the TV show.

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My dad used to “watch” the news at dinner. I put it in quotes because my mother always put a towel over the TV so I wouldn’t see anything scary. This happened for years. I never saw the nightly news, I only heard it. It was like NPR.

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I also have a strong memory of watching Star Trek with my (much) older brother, something we did regularly, and it was interrupted by the news about the bombing of the barracks in Lebanon in 1983. I was really angry because I was six years old and I didn’t care about some news thing, I wanted to watch Star Trek. My brother kept shushing me because he wanted to see what it was about. The special bulletin ended finally and what is broadcast? The end credits of the Star Trek episode I didn’t get to watch!

Stupid news.

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‘As Time Goes By’ was classic Sunday evening BBC1 maudlin guff when I was in my early teens. The version of the titular song used for the opening credits still gives me the oh-no-the-weekend-is-almost-over horrors nearly 30 years later.

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I remember the Dukes of Hazzard as that show where a cool* car would occasionally be used for neat stunt driving.

*I cringe now at the name and paint job on that car.

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MASH - add me to that list

All in the Family - everything about that show annoyed me

Barney Miller - never found it funny as a kid

…then they thought it didn’t appeal enough to children.

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Cool thread idea! My dad was a big fan of a lot of stuff already mentioned – MASH, 60 Minutes, Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days – plus Barney Miller, The Streets of San Francisco and Bob Newhart.

Barney Miller was unbearably dry and boring to my little mind. Dad’s been gone for many years now, and I’ve recently picked up the Bob Newhart torch in his honor. It’s such a great show, and now I get to be the dad whose kid thinks it’s unbearably dry and boring. Circle of life!

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My parents also watched Barney Miller and I didn’t know it was supposed to be a comedy until later in life. I tried really hard to like the shows they liked, though, because my sister and I thought if we showed how grown up our TV taste was, they’d let us stay up to watch Saturday Night Live :laughing:

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I hated football season as a kid (American football), especially when we lived in Texas. The games always ran over (how the heck does it take you twenty minutes to play the last five minutes of a game??), and since we were in the Central time zone, that meant The Muppet Show was almost always preempted.

Darn, stupid, football.

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I also assumed MASH was for grown-ups. In St. Louis, reruns aired after the 10 o’clock news on Channel 4 (KMOV, not UK Channel 4) for years, to the point The Late Show With David Letterman aired a half an hour later in St. Louis than it was supposed to. I think I held a grudge against MASH for that for a long time. I was into other sitcoms from that period that aired on Nick At Nite, but never MASH.

In the '70s, anytime you had the somber-voiced disclaimer before a show or movie on TV that it was intended for mature audiences and that parental guidance was suggested…that was as grown-up as it got.

(it was then a kid’s duty to see if you could evade that parental guidance)

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Something similar happened with me on January 28, 1986. It was a snow day, so we got to stay home and were watching The Price is Right. Of course, it got interrupted with the announcement of the Challenger disaster. Being stupid kids, my sister and I didn’t appreciate the horror we were witnessing.

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So “Fame” gave me my first existential crisis as a child. Or the theme song did, because if the people on TV were trying to “live forever” that meant I might not.

Thanks to watching “V”, I walked up to my parents and pinched each of them HARD tying to see if there skin would rip off and be scaly underneath.

I also was very scared of the the Hulk’s transformations, but having read a list on the internet a couple years back of what seemed to trigger them I feel justified (SO. MUCH. HAND. TRAMUA.). It’s funny because now, thanks to one especially drunken night at karaoke and turning the Clash song into “Should Hulk Stay or Should Hulk Go?”, I get Hulk presents all the time now.

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Oh, snap. My mother LURRRVED that show. I guess I would have been six years old at the earliest: she actually bought the sheet music, and I think she tried to get me to play it at the piano so she could sing it…I think I pretended to be “too busy” or something!

Don’t remember anything about it except Irene Cara’s caterwauling and a bunch of fancy lads and gals doing some “fancy” stuff about which I did not care. Never watched except by accident.

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We watched a lot of Nick-at-Nite shows when I was a kid (in the early 80s), so it felt as if Mister Ed was the be-all and end-all of television programming.

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I thought the character of Hot Lips was modeled after Miss Piggy, or Miss Piggy was modeled after Hot Lips. Not a very flattering comparison but hey, I was a kid. I also thought Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence were the same person somehow.

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