Throwback Thursday: a geek’s guide to great 70s TV

“What should I Netflix this weekend?” is a question I often hear posed, so I thought I’d dust off the TV Guide and break out some suggestions from an era when you could count the number of available channels on one hand.  Mind you, this is PopMythology here, so we will try to cater to the discerningly quirky.  Or would that be quirkily discerning?

1.    The Jetsons

Cogswell’s Cogs vs. Spacely’s Space Sprockets, Rosie, and everybody’s favorite dog, Astro (Rastro!), this was a kid’s dream of the future zipping around in cool-looking space jets.

Hanna-Barbera Productions
Hanna-Barbera Productions

 

2.   Dr. Who

A perennial cult favorite that is still around today.  In the 70s the original Dr. Who was the epitome of low-budget, so-bad-it’s-good sci-fi.

BBC One
BBC One

 

3.   I Dream of Jeannie

Okay, so maybe this show was no bastion of women’s liberation, but it was a heck of a lot of campy fun.

Sidney Sheldon Productions
Sidney Sheldon Productions

4.    M*A*S*H

An obvious choice but, nonetheless, still one of the best TV series ever created.

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

5.  The Muppet Show

Slapstick, absurdist comedy, parodies, and crazy characters, what’s not to like?  Who was your favorite?  The Swedish Chef?  Statler and Waldorf?  Being the chemist, my choice is obvious!

Henson Associates
Henson Associates

6.  Quincy, M.E.

Before my dad bought me my first chemistry set, I thought I might want to study forensic medicine, all because of this guy.

Glen A. Larson Productions
Glen A. Larson Productions

7.  Welcome Back, Kotter

John Travolta as the erudite Vinny Babarino before he shows us his moves in Saturday Night Fever.

Warner Brothers Television
Warner Brothers Television

8.  Speed Racer

Early import of Japanese manga anime.  Every kid on the block wanted a Mach 5 to drive.  Bonus points if you remember the names of the youngest son and the monkey!

Tatsuo Yoshida
Tatsuo Yoshida

9.  Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Dead parrots, village idiots, cross-dressing lumberjacks, Ministries of Silly Walks, The Spanish Inquisition, and so on and so forth.  A truly bottomless source of classic zany humor.  If you can’t watch the full gamut, at least grab the “Best of” set.

 

BBC
BBC

10.  Get Smart

If you liked Austin Powers, then you’ll love this spy spoof to end all spy spoofs.  The comic ingenuity here was just pure genius.

CBS Productions
CBS Productions

Have fun with your next binge watch!

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About Andrea Sefler

Andrea Sefler
Andrea is a consultant and technical writer for various scientific software and instrumentation companies. She has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Berkeley and has never met a genre of music or books that she hasn’t liked. As a gamer since the days of the Apple II, Andrea can relate any number of hair-raising tales about role-playing games stored on 360 kB 5.25” floppy disks and may, someday, put them to paper.