Back in the dinosaur ages... there were some pretty creative television shows. One of the favorites at our house was the one with KITT the talking car. My kids would sit glued to the television set, barely breathing while that show was on. The car didn't just talk--it did all sorts of cool stunts.
Of course, there was MacGyver. That show introduced the concept of adaptation--use what you have to fix your problem. Week after week after week, kids watch Mac demonstrate creative problem solving. Did he stand around wringing his hands, hoping for someone to rescue him? Heck, no! He hauled out the duct tape and chocolate bars and made it work... whatever it was.
Nickelodean had a wonderful series called the Tomorrow People. It was about a group of kids that had all sorts of psychic powers. They lived a secret life, always on the run from the government that wanted to use them for bad things. The series explored all sorts of concepts like time travel, personal responsibility, consequences and loyalty. Recently, my son located a site that had several old episodes on the internet. It was interesting to watch them nearly thirty years later.
Of course there was the Six Million Dollar Man--and Woman. And even to a lesser extent, Wonder Woman. What did all of these shows have in common? There was no doubt about who the good guys were. There was no ambivalence about who the kids were supposed to root for. And whatever temptations were trailed in front of them, the good guys never fell for them, never gave in, never took that short cut. Sure, they were smart, good looking, could do nifty tricks but underneath all the whiz-bangery there were clear values. For the most part they solved their problems without firearms or even major violence. Sexual connotations were almost nil. The heroes and heroines were frequently involved in situations that demonstrated compassion and humanity.
I suppose that's why I'm really not interested in watching television anymore. There are already too many bogeymen in my life without watching a few more on TV. There are already enough cheap jokes and careless jibes in the world around us. Why watch more on the box?
I do miss the real deal. Especially the talking car.