Sunday, October 18, 2015

Retro Viewing: BBC's I Love 1979: A Funny Way to End a Funny Decade

Retro Viewing: BBC's I Love 1979: A Funny Way to End a Funny Decade

What do I remember about 1979? Not much. First year of nursery school and unfortunately I do remember that. I still have a class photo from June, 1979 that proves I was there. Living in Bethesda, Maryland, a very cold winter and a very hot summer. Consequence of living right between Florida and Maine you get the extremes when it comes to weather. And if you remember 1979 you know that the economy sucked like 1976 0-14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that cost of energy and cost of living in general was very high in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I do remember Jimmy Carter as President, I remember meeting my paternal grandparents for the very first time. Which was 1978, or 79.

I do remember the designer denim jeans revolution that started in the late 1970s. (Thank God for miracles!) Which actually started in 1977-78, but I guess became real big in 1979. And seeing all of these beautiful sexy women with great legs and butts walking around in those jeans. And generally wearing them with boots and a leather, or suede jacket. Which made watching sitcoms in the early and mid 1980s and in 79, a lot of fun for guys, including myself. Because those designer jeans for women were all over the 1980s on TV. Today those jeans would probably be called skinny jeans, but didn’t have the same low-rise and were a bit higher. Seeing Catherine Bach on Dukes of Hazzard in those jeans and cowgirl boots, was all the motivation I needed to watch that show and see those legs.

The Dukes of Hazzard, comes out in 1979. And I mean it had every single country rural Anglo-Saxon stereotype about that culture that you could possibly find in real-life all on one show. Dirt roads, men and women with not one, but two first names. I guess they were selfish when God was giving out first names, or their parents couldn’t make of their mind what to call them. So they called them Billy Joe, or Betty Sue, because they couldn’t decide on Billy, or Joe, or Betty, or Sue. So their parents named them Billy Joe and Betty Sue and gave them both names. The Dukes, was actually a very good show. But some of the writing even though a lot of it was very funny, made you feel like you were always at a Southern Baptist Convention, or went back in time to 1955. You didn’t even hear the words hell, or damn. Like, “what the hell?” Or, “I don’t give a damn!” Or just, damn! It was always, “what the heck?” Or, “dang it!? The show had a real Leave it to Beaver vibe to it that was pretty cheesy.

I would talk about the politics and current affairs of 1979, but the problem with that is I don’t want be accused of sending anyone into a depression and being committed to a mental institution. A very depressing year economically especially, but crazy weather, high crime, big problems oversees. Wait, I guess it is too late for that now, but if I went further it would just get worst. Thank God for Hollywood and the American entertainment industry in general, because without them I think would have been a country of Fins. And you would see long lines of people not waiting for gas, but to get to the nearest bridge to jump off from. All of those great movies, like The Electric Horseman and The China Syndrome, two great Jane Fonda movies, WKRP, becoming a hit in 1978-79, The Dukes of Hazzard, Threes Company, (speaking of designer jeans revolution) there was were plenty of great innocent distractions for people to forget about (if that was humanly possible) how bad the State of the Union was in 1979 was. So in that sense it was a great year.