Old TV shows that are still worth watching

Emily Flamme, News Editor

Every night after dinner, my family and I would watch TV shows together — a typical childhood memory. However, my parents made me and my little brother watch all the shows from their childhood, so I grew up thinking that watching shows from the ’60s was normal. 

When I got to college, I had this exact experience several times:

Professor: That’s like that “Brady Bunch” episode! Wait, you guys probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

Students: No, definitely not.

I would usually sit there trying to figure out why no one understood the reference, but I quickly realized my experiences watching “Happy Days” and “The Andy Griffith Show” was not universal. I’ve always wanted to recommend these shows to my friends, so I’m going to go through my seven favorite shows from the ’40s through the ’70s. 

“The Brady Bunch”

Photo from Wikipedia

I still remember my first experience watching “The Brady Bunch.” I was 9 years old and during my school’s winter break, my dad took me to the library. I went to the DVD section, and my dad pointed out the five seasons of his favorite childhood show. He said we all had to watch it. The show features a blended family of three girls and three boys and all of their antics while growing up. Anyone who watches the show now might think it’s predictable or outdated, but this show was the blueprint for so many family sitcoms. Since it is so heavily referenced in other media and everyday life,  it’s worth a watch just to catch all of the inside jokes. 

My favorite episode: “The Subject was Noses” Season 4, Episode 18

“Happy Days”

I had a slightly different experience watching “Happy Days.” My mom mentioned how she would watch it every week in middle and high school, and I coincidentally stumbled upon it on a TV channel one day when the whole series was being played from the beginning. 

The show is centered around the Cunningham family. It takes place in the ’50s but was actually filmed in the ’70s. This contributes to its “timeless” feel when you’re watching it, which was the creator’s goal for the show. Richie Cunningham is played by Ron Howard, who has since made a name for himself as a famous director. Richie’s friend, Fonzie, played by Henry Winkler, has become an iconic character that is emulated and referenced in many subsequent sitcoms. The show has a nostalgic feeling to it, which is why I like it. Sometimes it’s nice to watch media that feels like it’s from a simpler time. 

My favorite episode: “Jailhouse Rock” Season 3, Episode 7


Photo from Wikipedia

This is a show I think many people have never even heard of. It is my mom’s comfort show, and she would have it playing when I would get home from school. “Bewitched” takes place in the ’60s and centers around Samantha, who is a witch married to a mortal man. She rejects most of her powers and wants to lead a “normal” life, but as one can imagine, it is anything but normal. The chaos that ensues from Samantha’s meddling mother, who also has powers, makes for some funny plotlines. 

My favorite episode: “Double Tate” Season 2, Episode 23

“The Andy Griffith Show”

This show definitely feels the oldest out of the ones on this list. This might be due to the fact that most of the episodes are in black and white. This is a show that my dad would make me watch at night when I couldn’t fall asleep. It’s about a sheriff named Andy, who is widowed and raising his son, Opie, who is also played by Ron Howard. The show is pretty formulaic. Each episode usually features Andy’s cousin, Barney, who also works at the police station, getting into some sort of mess. Then Andy, ever the voice of reason, will get him out of it while also saving the town. 

My favorite episode: “The Pickle Story” Season 2, Episode 11

“I Love Lucy”

Everybody probably has at least heard of this show, but it’s a classic for a reason. This show, which took place in the ’50s, changed the course of history for TV. Lucille Ball, who played the titular character, was one of the first women to star in a TV series. In the show, she is trying to become famous, despite her lack of talent. Women were often seen as one-dimensional, so to have a character that was the star of the show, but also had personality, was revolutionary. My grandma often says that this show is the reason she felt she could be her authentic self. While it is worth a watch for that reason, it is also genuinely a funny show. 

My favorite episode: “Lucy Tells the Truth” Season 3, Episode 6

“The Addams Family”

Photo from Wikipedia

The TV show came out in 1964 and only had two seasons, but it has left a lasting impact on pop culture. The show is about a close-knit family that has unexplained supernatural powers. It features a lot of dark comedy, one of the first shows of its time to do so. Plus, it has an amazing theme song, making it worth watching. 

My favorite episode: “Halloween with the Addams Family” Season 1, Episode 7

“The Honeymooners”

This is a pretty obscure show, as it only ran for one season in 1955, but it’s my parents’ favorite show. We watch it every year on New Year’s Day, while taking down our holiday decorations. It’s about a couple and their best friends trying to make it in America. Ralph, the main character who is played by Jackie Gleason, is a bus driver who is always scheming for some way to make money, which puts him in some funny predicaments. 

My favorite episode: “The $99,000 Answer” Season 1, Episode 18