With cable, satellite, DVD, downloading, digital on demand, and the whole of the internet to play with, these days we have a massive choice of entertainment available through our TVs, PCs, and even our mobile phones!
In the past, TV shows would be aired once, and possibly repeatedly occasionally; but the growth in services such as ‘TV on demand’, has meant that hundreds of TV shows from our past and present are now available to watch, whenever we feel like it.
Childhood nostalgia is for a large part driving the desire to watch classic TV shows from our youth, and the list of favourites is long. Many vintage shows are now available for download, such as ‘Catweazle’, a series from the 70s that followed an eccentric 11th Century wizard who accidentally travelled through time to the year 1970; or the classic game show ‘Catchphrase’, hosted by Irish comedian Roy Walker whereby contestants had to identify a familiar phrase which would be represented by a large screen animation, often involving the show’s yellow robot mascot, ‘Mr Chips’.
Many people are now able to relive childhood and teenage times by revisiting their favourite TV programmes of days gone by, and the entertainment industry has realised that nostalgia is big business. People love to recall and reminisce on characters and storylines of the past, and they are willing to pay for it. Many shows that have not been seen for a couple of decades are now selling well on DVD off the back of retro appeal.
There’s also certain nostalgia chic that surrounds the TV shows of our youth, which continues to influence fashion; T-shirts with retro icons such as the A-Team, Knight Rider, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, The Moomins and a number of video game characters such as Super Mario and Pac Man are commonly seen splashed across the shirts of hip 20 and 30 somethings who are keen to proclaim their love of shows of the past.
This era of information, where we can delve into the past and present world of entertainment is an exciting time to be living in. Perhaps our only problem is that there is now so much which appeals to us – both past and present – that working out what to watch is getting increasingly more difficult.