As a child, my favorite TV show was all of them. I loved me my Muppets. I loved me my A-Team. I loved me my poorly translated Japanese anime. It's not that I was indiscriminating. I just grooved on escapism. I still do. Don't you?
But if I had to choose one TV show that I absolutely had to watch, every week, it probably would have to be the" Creature Double Feature." It always ran on Saturday afternoons on UHF Channel 56 out of Massachusetts and I almost always got home in time from Saturday morning services to catch the first of that day's two sci-fi/horror flicks. Since I wasn't really into the Wide World of Sports - both on TV and outside on the street - the "Creature Double Feature" became my default Saturday afternoon treat.
The sci-fi/horror flicks which were broadcast during these Saturday afternoons were very much not appropriate for Saturday afternoon broadcasts. Some of the films I remember watching during the "Creature Double Feature" were James Whale's Frankenstein, Tod Browning's Dracula, and Roger Corman's The Raven. Yep, The Raven. With Vincent Price. At 2pm in the afternoon. For all the non-athletic kids in New England to behold, absorb, and retain.
On a school day, when I was sick, I also enjoyed VHF Channel 6's "Dialing for Dollars," which was pretty much the same concept as the "Creature Double Feature" except there was only one film (usually horror but sometimes Fletch) and occasionally, during the commercial breaks, there would be a sort of lottery drawing where viewers could win cash. I myself never dialed for dollars. But I wanted to.
As I grew up, I really began to gravitate toward the syndicated shows out of Canada (Degrassi, Friday the 13th: The Series, Highlander, Forever Knight, War of the Worlds) if only because they were just so weird. Plus they tended to share casts, so it was like watching rep in the comfort of my own bedroom. Funnily enough, the "Dialing for Dollars" concept originated in Canada, and Janis Joplin immortalized it ("Dialing for Dollars," not Canada) in her song "Mercedes Benz."
On a side note, my small TV (once I finally got my own) had a malfunctioning on/off button, so it often would click on in the middle of the night. This is how I learned about infomercials and the Star-Spangled Banner.
(Special thanks to this fantastic website for the first graphic.)
ADDENDUM A: Since today is my day to post, it also becomes my pleasure to announce that today, our own Sophie Littlefield has been nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author!!! Congratulations, Sophie!!!
ADDENDUM B: Sadly, it is also my duty to share with you this news, courtesy of our own Shane Gericke: "Robert B. Parker has just died at the age of 77. He was at his desk, writing, when he slumped over and was gone. He is, of course, the author of the immensely popular Spenser for Hire private-eye books, among so many others." Well put, Shane. Mr. Parker was a genre legend, a writer's writer, and he will be missed.