List of Things That I Never Understood About Some Television Shows

The original Batmobile designed by George Barris
The original Batmobile designed by George Barris
CAST OF GUNSMOKE (from left) James Arness; Milburn Stone; Amanda Blake; Ken Curtis and Burt Reynolds, sitting
CAST OF GUNSMOKE (from left) James Arness; Milburn Stone; Amanda Blake; Ken Curtis and Burt Reynolds, sitting

LET'S TRAVEL BACK TO 1961

When television was first introduced to my household in 1961, needless to say, I was “on top of the world.” It was a joy to awaken each day to see that “magical box” sitting across the room and I would start thinking about what I could watch later that day when I returned home from school. What a great time for me to be alive.

No matter the show, I loved it. Police shows, outer space shows, westerns and Saturday morning cartoons were my “loves” and during my television-watching time, I did not want to be disturbed. Although it was a black and white Zenith set, I didn’t care. The more television I could watch, the better. I loved television to the point of even trying to do my impression of Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese commentating the Saturday afternoon professional baseball game and talking about Falstaff beer. “Alright, padnuh!” I had Dean’s patented-phrase down pat.

Dennis Weaver, "Chester Goode," enjoys a drink at the Long Branch Saloon on Gunsmoke
Dennis Weaver, "Chester Goode," enjoys a drink at the Long Branch Saloon on Gunsmoke

JUST LOOK

at how "Chester" is looking at the cold beer and the pretty saloon girl. And this was in the middle of the day when he was on-duty working for "Matt Dillon," the United States Marshall covering Dodge City and surrounding lawless areas.

Just think of how a police or sheriff's deputy would be treated today in 2014 if he or she were caught (in photo) doing like "Chester" is doing.

I DESPISE FEELING LIKE A FOOL

It wasn’t until 1968 that I realized that the majority of things on television were not real. I felt really foolish at that point, but never confessed it to many people because I hated to be made fun of and pointed at by a crowd of buddies. And believe me, I had some down-right cruel buddies. I don’t anymore. Most have moved off or died. And I am still dealing with the fact that I was duped by the top-rated television producers of the early 60’s. I would bet you real cash that in this time in my life, these “television whiz kids,” sat behind giant monitors in New York City and Hollywood and cried tears of laughter each time “I” lay down (on my stomach) in our living room floor to get my daily (or nightly) dose of their “fantasy toy”: Television.

Don’t misunderstand me. I still “like” television, but it is not a fiery-love as it was when I first met my black and white Zenith, but there are “some” programs that I do like. I just don’t fall for anything these genius television directors and producers put on the air.

Right now, to calm me down, I would like to share with you, my beloved-followers, a pretty-controversial

List of Things I Never Understood About Some Television Shows

This is a .44 Magnum. This is the gun that Clint "Harry Callahan" Eastwood used in his Dirty Harry films.
This is a .44 Magnum. This is the gun that Clint "Harry Callahan" Eastwood used in his Dirty Harry films.

Television's birth

  • Television (TV) is a telecommunication medium that is used for transmitting and receiving moving images and sound. Television can transmit images that are monochrome (black-and-white), in color or in three dimensions. Television may also refer specifically to a television set, television program or television transmission.
  • First commercially available in very crude form on an experimental basis in the late 1920s, then popularized in greatly improved form shortly after World War II, the television set has become commonplace in homes, businesses and institutions, particularly as a vehicle for entertainment, advertising and news. During the 1950s, television became the primary medium for molding public opinion. In the mid-1960s, color broadcasting and sales of color television sets surged in the US and began in most other developed countries.
  • The availability of storage media such as video cassettes (mid-1970s), laserdiscs (1978), DVDs (1997), and high-definition Blu-ray Discs (2006) enabled viewers to use the television set to watch recorded material such as movies and broadcast material. Internet television has seen the rise of television programming available via the Internet through services such as iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix.
  • In 2009, 78% of the world's households owned at least one television set; an increase of 5% from 2003. The replacement of bulky, high-voltage cathode ray tube (CRT) screen displays with compact, energy-efficient, flat-panel alternatives such as LCDs (both fluorescent-backlit and LED-backlit), plasma displays, and OLED displays was a major hardware revolution that began penetrating the consumer computer monitor market in the late 1990s and soon spread to TV sets. In 2013, 87% of televisions sold had color LCD screens.
  • The most common usage of television is for broadcast television which is modeled on the radio broadcasting systems developed in the 1920s. Broadcast television uses high-powered radio-frequency transmitters to broadcast the television signal to individual television receivers. The broadcast television system is typically disseminated via radio transmissions on designated channels in the 54–890 MHz frequency band. Signals are often transmitted with stereo or surround sound in many countries. Until the 2000s, broadcast television programs were generally transmitted as an analog television signal but over the course of the following decade, several countries went almost exclusively digital.[citation needed] In addition to over-the-air transmission, television signals are also distributed by cable and satellite systems.
  • A standard television set is composed of multiple internal electronic circuits, including circuits for receiving and decoding broadcast signals. A visual display device which lacks a tuner is properly called a video monitor rather than a television. A television system may use different technical standards such as digital television (DTV) and high-definition television (HDTV). Television systems are also used for surveillance, industrial process control and in places where direct observation is difficult or dangerous.[citation needed] A 2004 study by the Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, Washington found a link between infant exposure to television and ADHD.

Source: Wikipedia

Clint "Dirty Harry" Eastwood's .44 Magnum did NOT puncture his eardrums
Clint "Dirty Harry" Eastwood's .44 Magnum did NOT puncture his eardrums
Hulk Hogan just used one puny punch to get back into action
Hulk Hogan just used one puny punch to get back into action
Why didn't the sheriff just shoot the horses?
Why didn't the sheriff just shoot the horses?
.45 Colt makes a huge hole
.45 Colt makes a huge hole

MATT DILLON AND "DIRTY" HARRY'S GUNS -- were .45 caliber and .44 Magnums and very powerful against any man or beast. So tell me. Why did Matt and Harry not flinch at all when they were firing-away at crooks? n Matt Dillon's case I understand that they did not have earplugs in the early west, but not in Harry "Dirty" Callahan's day and time. I happen to know that there WERE earplugs and plenty of them around for the buying.

COLT .45'S AND .44 MAGNUMS -- when a police officer would shoot a thug for trying to get away from robbing a bank, would leave a huge hole in the thug's frame. But did you ever notice on Gunsmoke, Dirty Harry, and any cop or western that you sometimes cannot see where the police officer's bullet has hit the criminal. I am all for discreet use of bullets and blood, but these television producers simply deceived me and the thousands of early television fans

ON THE ABC-NETWORK'S BATMAN -- did you ever see and hear the beautiful Batmobile (designed by George Barris) squeal its tires on a dirt road? I have. Not just the Batmobile, but most cop cars including the apple-red Ford Torino driven by the team of Starsky and Hutch.

OZZIE NELSON AND "DR. ALEX STONE (on Donna Reed Show)-- always did outside chores while wearing a sweater. The chores included lawnmowing. I happen to be well-acquainted with cutting grass and I can tell you that mowing grass, any grass while I was dressed in a sweater is mighty hot. But these guys did it and without sweating one drop.

EARLY GUNSMOKE EPISODES -- that had Dennis "Chester" Goode as James "Matt Dillon" Arness' co-star, always had "Chester" chewing Matt's ear off (bad pun. Sorry.) while they were on the trail of a lawbreaker about his stomach being empty. (Chester, not the lawbreaker). It was amazing to me to hear "Chester" bellyache (bad pun. Sorry) so much for he and Matt had just chowed-down at the Dodge House before "hitting the trail" to bring a lawbreaker to justice.

IN GUNSMOKE AND ALL EARLY WESTERNS -- when bandits would rob the town's bank and mount their horses to get away, the marshall and deputies would waste bullets by the hundred trying to hit them with a pistol. I got an idea. Just shoot their horses out from under them, or was an early upstart of PETA around back then?

NOTICE THE VILLIANS' -- teeth on these rugged westerns and you will see that their teeth are "pearly white." Why? And how? There was no toothpaste or toothbrushes in the early west. And if a villain did brush his teeth with a piece of tree limb, that would not make his teeth perfectly-straight and as white as snow.

WATCH A FEW EPISODES OF EARLY GUNSMOKE -- shows and most-times, daytime to be exact, you will see Kitty Russell, pretty owner of The Long Branch Saloon, Chester (or Festus Hagin, later on, doing some free-loading), kindly Doc. Addams and Matt having glasses of beer and shots of whiskey. And Matt on duty. Whaaaattt? As much as they drank, looks like they would be enjoying quite a buzz. But they all talked plain, walked straight and rode their horses with precision-acccuracy.

ON GUNSMOKE, THE RIFLEMAN, RAWHIDE -- and other popular westerns, did you ever notice the stars of these shows NEVER had a new change of clothing? They all wore the same clothes week after week--including Miss Kitty and Sam, the bartender. Go and figure that one out.

PRO-TELEVISION WRESTLING -- take a close look at the two wrestlers in the ring. At various times of the match, the bad guy will get the good guy in a corner and beat him to nearly a pulp. He cannot stand-up, but suddenly, he barely taps the bad guy in the stomach and this sissy punch most sends the bad wrestler out of the ring. A mystery? It was for me in the beginning. Now, I know better.

IN TELEVISION SHOWS -- where a machine gun is used, look at the good guy or bad guy when someone whips-out his machine guns and lets a stream of bullets go straight toward him as he runs from his first hiding place to another hiding place and all without getting one scratch. My, my. This guy being shot at must be faster than Superman and twice as tough.

I LOVED PERRY MASON AND MARCUS WELBY, M.D. -- but on these shows, I never saw one client or patient hand their bookkeepers one dollar for payment. One would assume they worked for nothing.

OTHER THINGS YOU NEVER SAW ON TELEVISION WESTERNS -- the men or women stealing-away to be alone so they could obey "nature's call," and even the horses were immune to bowel movements because allowing them to be filmed might have been offensive in the censor's view.

IN ONE GUNSMOKE -- Matt had a robber pinned behind some rocks. After some amount of shooting with pistols, Matt says to Chester, "I hope I get him soon for I am almost out of bullets." Then he fires away at the robber and says to Chester, "That's it. I am OUT of bullets." But after a commercial-break, Matt is loaded and firing away again at the robber. We know that Chester never wore a gun, and their horses, even if they had bullets in their saddlebags, were too far away, so where did Matt get his bullets?

Note: No cattle or horses were harmed in the writing of this story.

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Comments 10 comments

KU37 profile image

KU37 24 months ago

Brings back some memories. My mom was not a fan of Westerns or cop shows. She described those as ‘shootin’ and killin’ shows’, so they were mostly off-limits for me in the 60s. But Batman was one of my first favorites. Of course, having nothing to compare it with, I had no idea they were trying to be campy. I enjoyed Batman along with my dad, not understanding that he was enjoying it on a completely different level. My mom’s pet peeve about the unreality of TV and movies was background music. She would always complain, ‘that never happens in real life!’ Another favorite of mine from that period was Rocky & Bullwinkle. Everybody knows cartoons are not real, but still l thought they were the greatest. That show really stands the test of time, since they put so much into it aimed at adults.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 24 months ago

That was really interesting Ken and there were parts of it which were funny too. I do not remember as far back as my first TV shows. I recall The Lone Ranger and various cartoons that I used to watch. I know that I can notice errors, by sight and sound, on commercials and a few shows these days.

All that I know is that those were the beginning days of TV and these days they do not make as many errors because they have learned over the years. From watching the shows, and reruns, people caught on and wrote in so the producers did a better job covering them up.

I vote this up++, shared and pinned it.

Kevin


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 24 months ago from North Carolina

Pretty...no, very humorous, your spot on about those TV days, Kenneth. Yes, a lot of that was quite unrealistic and silly but boy were they fun. I doubt kids will ever have that much enjoyment in front of those screens again. Saturday morning shows like the Little Rascals, Tarzan movies, Johnny Quest and Astroboy are sweet memories indeed!


LisaRoppolo profile image

LisaRoppolo 24 months ago from Joliet, IL

Pretty good observations. Even now media/TV shows assumes that the viewer will suspend belief and sometimes even factual science when watching certain shows. You absolutely have to do this, otherwise it will drive you crazy. There are people out there who will pick apart every single episode of a show looking for factual or scientific errors. Hey people, it's for entertainment purposes and you need to take it as such. Kinda ruins the experience for everyone else. For the most part, there are some great shows currently running on TV, but I will be so happy when all this "reality show" crap is over with. Nothing entertaining about it at all and sets a bad example for kids and teens too who think these people and situations are actually a correct representation of the real world.


skperdon profile image

skperdon 24 months ago from Canada

You know, I've often speculated on the percentage of facts and fiction in a show or a movie. But what do I know, plus if the end product is good entertainment then the production crew has done what they set out to do.

You have done a masterpiece of writing here. Quite entertaining to read. Love the topic too. Thank you sharing.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 24 months ago

And did you ever notice that those sixguns shot dozens of bullets without reloading? Miss Kitty and her girls never had a garment malfunction. BTW it was never brought out what the saloon girls were there for either. Can't film horses doing their business, but saloon girls get by the censors. We didn't have a TV set when I was growing up, but we would go to my aunt's house on Sunday nights and watch the Ed Sullivan Show and a few others.


Tricia Deed 24 months ago

Television for entertainment purposes is not meant to be too realistic. Some of our newscast are gross enough. And then I have to take back what I just said because the new programs are too graphic and so realistic that they took the 'entertainment' factor out of the picture. If you removed the chase scenes, the gunfight scenes, the sex scenes, and the foul language, you will discover that there is no dialogue, no story; why bother?


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 24 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

Loved your Hub reminding me what I use to watch. Funny but the only thing I watch now on TV is the old reruns of Matt Dillon, I still love it. The rest is too much trash. Stella


vkwok profile image

vkwok 23 months ago from Hawaii

These shows were way, way, way before my time, so can't really say anything about them. Though I did see some classic Batman when I was a kid and Nickelodeon decided to show them for some reason.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 23 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

NOTE: DO NOT BE OFFENDED AT MY HAVING TO USE ONE COMMENT BOX TO REPLY TO ALL OF YOU. MY LAPTOP IS DYING SLOWLY AND I HAVE TO RESTART, REFRESH EACH THING I DO. I AM SO SORRY.

Hi, vkwok,

Thank you so much for your input. I still like Gunsmoke and other reruns. Another thing I never understood was: In Matt Dillion's day, and he saw a thug running away and said, "Hold it!" Did he really expect a pro-criminal to stop?

ladyguitarpicker,

Thank you for your sweet comment. Reruns, some, are nice. Some never cause me to see anything new. Visit with me whenever you like.

Tricia,

You make a valid point about the language. What I would love t jprofanio see if only once. A sitcom or old time western set to modern times and without the cursing, degrading of women, and down right wrong doing. I would watch it. Thank you for your comment.

MizbeJabbers,

Thanks for your nice comment. My family and I went to one of my aunt's homes too, but on Saturday nights for my mom and her sister to enjoy the black and white Gunsmoke shows. They were fun.

Thanks for being such an important part of my hub experience.

skyperdon,

Facts were not that important, I assume, in early television. Just the entertainment factor. I mean, like you stated, who cared that much for rating points when you have a great entertainment vehicle.

Thank you for your input.

LisaRoppolo,

Enjoyed your comment. You brought up some good points and views. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Have a great night.

Alastar,

You said it about Saturday morning, which was my fave morning of the week when we did get a TV. No homework, no school, and three hours of cartoons. Ahhh, good times.

The Examiner-1,

Thank you for your insightful comment. I do appreciate how you took my hub and added your own genius remarks. Thanks again.

KU37,

Thank you for stopping by and I add this: At that time inmy life, I was a part of the "entertained," not the discerning. Just like 99% of America who owned TV sets.

I do miss those shows. Really.

I LOVE YOU ALL.

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