—by Bill Haglund
I’m told the first way to kick an addiction is to first admit that an addiction exists.
Okay, so I’m an addict.
That’s what my wife tells me and, maybe, just maybe, she’s right.
I’m just not sure, if I am indeed an addict, that I want to do anything to rid myself of my particular addiction.
It all started a year ago, or so, when all the cable television channels took on new number designations … you know, like 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 55.5, 55.13, etc., etc., etc.
It didn’t take me long to find that a couple channels, in particular, were quite entertaining. In fact, it didn’t take long to know that certain programs appeared at certain times on channels like 8.2 and 13.3. Those channels are more than just numbers, however; they’re Memorable TV and Antenna TV.
Until they appeared among normal basic cable channels, I’d forgotten just how entertaining television once was.
I’ve never enjoyed watching any of the so-called "reality" shows that proliferate our screens and dull our senses today.
Shows like "The Bachelor" may entertain some, but that’s just not my cup of tea. And, I find shows like "Duck Dynasty" and "Honey Boo-Boo" downright ridiculous.
Now "Perry Mason," on the other hand, is quite worthwhile to watch. I find it entertaining to watch Raymond Burr, who stars as the show’s main character, discover the real killer in each episode while he defends a wrongfully accused client.
Then, of course, there are shows like "Hogan’s Heroes," "WKRP in Cincinnati," "The Untouchables," and, oh, the list goes on an on.
My wife doesn’t understand.
"How can you watch that old stuff?" she asks, rolling her eyes in disdain when she finds our "second" TV tuned to some of the oldies.
She doesn’t understand when I tell her that "this is what TV is all about."
She admits she used to watch every episode of "Perry Mason" when she was younger. Like TVs all across the country, we watched, along with our parents, every episode. We never missed "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The Honeymooners," "I Love Lucy," and "Gilligan’s Island" among many others.
Today’s comics, too, just can’t measure up to people like Tim Conway and Don Knotts, who were hilarious on the "Carol Burnett Show," and "The Andy Griffith Show."
Both were masters of the inane comedy that made us all laugh. Why, when we were younger we even called the constable in a nearby town (I won’t say which one) "Barney Fife." He drove around town in an old pick-up truck with a shiny badge fastened to his red flannel shirt, partially hidden by the straps of his bib overalls.
Television remains as a favorite pastime for many Americans. In fact, viewership is probably at an all-time high.
I think part of the reason for that is folks like me, who’ve found a new reason to turn on the set, sit back and enjoy what can be found by flipping through the channels.
Come on, we just know real entertainment when we see it.
Now, let’s see … when does the next episode of "Rawhide" come on?
(Bill Haglund is a staff writer for the Boone News Republican and Dallas County News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)