Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Some great old shows on Youtube

I have a confession to make, I....uhm, I err...I don't have television. 
Man, that felt good! 
Now that I'm opening up here I guess I should clarify, I actually do own a TV, that is to say the box..its an old gray coloured thing, but I don't have cable, satellite or anything that will deliver programming to the screen. It has a built in DVD player, so occasionally I will watch a movie, but other than that it currently serves as a plant stand and to occupy space on a piece of furniture that serves as a TV stand.
Since moving to Québec City in October of 2011 I have been without television programming, and I rarely avail myself of the medium except on rare occasions when I go to a bar or tavern to catch a sporting event. But lately I've found a nice substitute, and am rediscovering some great old TV shows from 'back in the day', on YouTube. Cable companies like Rogers, Cogeco, Shaw and Videotron probably won't be too happy if others join me in disconnecting the idiot box, but all of them do provide connectivity to the Internet. 
One show that is a real gem is 'The White Shadow'. Its a show about a journeyman NBA player who suffers a knee injury, and rather than winding down his career coming off the bench, he takes an offer to coach at a ghetto high school in inner city LA. Even better is the fact that you can watch complete episodes without having them in installments, some programs on YouTube are downloaded in three or four parts, sometimes even more. The show only lasted three years, but then the players couldn't stay in high school forever. As good as Ken Howard (the coach) was as an actor, the players were equally talented and compelling. I don't think viewers were interested in investing in new characters who would be gone after just one season or two. 
Below is a link to the pilot episode of the White Shadow, embedding it wasn't allowed. Try not to laugh too hard at the fashion of the day. It was 1978 after all, only a year after Disco fever had taken hold with the release of John Travollta's Saturday Night Fever. 
I'm also embedding the pilot episode of Lou Grant, another great old show about a Los Angeles daily newspaper. And I'll include one other, one of my favourite old comedies from back when music was still on vinyl: WKRP in Cincinnati. 
Happy viewing. I hope you like. 

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