Thursday, March 1, 2012
How could the History Channel pass on this one?
Back in the 1960s, there was a stupid but inoffensive little nub of a television program called The Beverly Hillbillies. As near as I can remember, it took every stereotype suburban America had of rural folk and managed to beat each and every one to death over nine seasons- first in black and white, then in glorious color.
As if this weren't enough, The Beverly Hillbillies spawned a series of spin-offs. Green Acres. Petticoat Junction. Along with Mayberry RFD and Hee Haw, they all combined to make prime time television a sea of barnyard animals, fake "countrified" accents and possum gravy jokes.
It all came to an end with the "Rural Purge" of 1971, in which the Powers that Be decided that almost a decade was enough for mocking anyone not living in New York City or a Levittown clone and cancelled every show featuring a person wearing a checkered red shirt or jeans held up by a piece of clothesline. It might have been the last thing they did right, not that they deserve any level of praise- after all, the same geniuses went on to bigger and better things like Three's Company, Bosom Buddies and The Ropers. Maybe they should have stayed on the farm.
All this being said, today we have shows like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Ice Road Truckers, and Axe Men- none of which have an ounce of entertainment value, all of which are featured on what is laughingly referred to as the "History Channel." Which makes me wonder- why isn't this show where it belongs, tucked in neatly between Swamp People and Mudcats?
Was Tom Arnold too pricey?