April in Glenwood: This fall’s must-see TV
I like TV. I know, it’s a controversial subject out in the mountains where people prefer to spend their free time enjoying nature’s bounty.
I enjoy both, to be honest.
Watching television shows has been something I’ve been into since I was kid. My all-time favorites in my younger years were “The Brady Brunch,” “Little House on the Prairie” and “The Facts of Life.” “Silver Spoons” also ranked high with me because I had it pretty bad for Ricky Schroder. I was also a frequent reader of “Teen Beat” magazine.
I’m sure that comes as a shock.
The spunky Bradys were always the family I envied because of their massive size — I assumed having a big brood like that would be fun. Plus they had a family band with matching polyester outfits.
For kids in the 1970s, that was groovy.
I also liked to picture myself as one of the bonnet-wearing pioneer kids on the prairie, especially Laura Ingalls Wilder. Little Miss Laura’s nickname was Half-pint, one I shared with her in my youth softball years because I donned the pigtail braids with my uniform. I always thought it would be great to have all that space to roam, not to mention all the creeks (I think they pronounced it “cricks” back then) and hollers to get lost amongst. Maybe I wanted to be a “Little House” kid because candy was such a big deal on the prairie. I still enjoy those 10-cent candy sticks found at old general stores.
Watermelon is my favorite.
“The Facts of Life” crew constantly taught us lessons about how to be a better person. And they tackled some of the issues facing young girls in the early ’80s, including eating disorders and sex. That was sometimes touchy territory for the sitcoms that came before it. I related the most to Tootie, the little quirky one with all the jokes and the braces to boot. I never attended a school for girls, but I did love their uniforms. I would have rocked the plaid skirt, tall socks, and navy blazer to school. Although I did enjoy that one pair of Jordache jeans and Izod golf shirt with the collar popped up I wore over and over again.
Man, ’80s fashion was fun.
I still love a good sitcom, and this fall’s primetime programming has returned to TV with much promise. “The Good Place,” starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, has me two episodes in and wanting more. The show’s premise is based on Bell’s character, Eleanor Shellstrop, enjoying the afterlife in “the good place” — how we envision heaven in terms of perfection, but better. There’s 24-7 frozen yogurt and people can fly if they want. Eleanor discovers she might just be in the wrong place, based on her life on earth being a terrible person. In one flashback, she recalled tricking her work friends into thinking she was the designated driver, then proceeding to drink heavily and go home with the bartender who thought she was nice for offering to be DD.
I at least know I’ve never done that.
The show is simply funny with some great one-liners, which should come as no surprise since executive Michael Schur is also responsible for two more of my favorite TV shows, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Parks and Recreation.”
I really miss that Leslie Knope, and wish she were running for president.
Another show I’m happy to be completely addicted to again this fall is “American Horror Story.” I’m a sucker for being scared, and routinely enter those fake Halloween haunted houses each year just to freak myself out over sinister-looking clowns and dudes with fake chainsaws.
I know neither are real, yet I still scream.
The “American Horror Story” anthology is feature writing for television at its finest. Luckily it airs on cable (FX) pretty late in the night, so the content can reach some of its more risqué and gruesome heights, which I think is integral in building up the scare. Each season becomes its own mini-series with new storylines, characters and settings, and for this I truly believe co-writers and producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are creative geniuses.
I still have nightmares about Twisty the Clown from Season 4’s “Freak Show.”
“American Horror Story” Season 6, titled, “Roanoke,” based on true events, is starting off in optimal fright fashion. To my creepy delight, this season is loosely based on the 1590s Roanoke Colony mystery where an entire group of colonists disappeared during the Anglo-Spanish War with no conclusive evidence of there ultimate whereabouts. So, there are ghosts. Think the “A Haunting” re-enactment show that used to be on the Discovery Channel, just 100 million times scarier.
And this is why I like — more like love — TV.
April E. Clark and AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy were both born in Indianapolis. They graduated from high schools 10 minutes apart. Coincidence? She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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