Saturday, April 9, 2011

Masterpiece Theater: 40 Years of TV's Best

Okay, I'll admit I was a weird kid. Sure I watched tons of cartoons, action shows, sitcoms, talk shows, soaps and game shows - but I also grew up on PBS.

Yes, Pubic Broadcasting - the evil government-funded entity that gave me not only kids shows like SESAME STREET, ZOOM and my favorite ELECTRIC COMPANY but "grown-up" stuff like MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS, FAWLTY TOWERS, ALIVE FROM OFF CENTER, GREAT PERFORMANCES and the beloved drama anthology called MASTERPIECE THEATER.

Yes, while other kids in my neighborhood were watching shows like STARSKY & HUTCH and THE DUKES OF HAZZARD I was glued to local Channel 13 watching great British productions like I, CLAUDIUS, ANNA KARENINA and of course the classic UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS.
Not sure what drew me in as a kid, but I think I knew that British television was smarter and more interesting that what the networks had to offer. I guess it didn't hurt that sex and adult situations seemed more realistic and accessible in shows from the UK. These were the days before cable TV to those youngsters out there. So, now as MASTERPIECE (as it is known these days) celebrates it's 40th season with the return of UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS, I raise a glass to the tradition of the finest television has to offer. Tune in tomorrow for more.

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