Over the years I have watched a lot of TV. Some might even say too much (okay, most people would say too much!) From my earliest memories, I can remember TV shows that I watched, that I perhaps should not have watched at such a young age. Often, it’s just the intro sequence, or even the theme music, rather than the storyline or characters.
I can remember the intro to “The Equaliser”, from when I was perhaps five years old. The intro and theme song for “Prisoner” (The Australian drama) from around the same era. And I would not be a child of the 80s without knowing the intro and song for “A Country Practice”, “Hey Hey its Saturday” or “Hey Dad”, or someone who lived through the 90s without knowing the theme song for “Acropolis Now” or “Blue Heelers”.
Sometimes, these shows bring with them fond memories of watching them each week with loved ones.
Recently, I saw an old show on Netflix that I had forgotten all about. That show was “Highway to Heaven” with Michael Landon playing a probationary angel, doing good deeds on earth to earn his wings. It’s a rather silly show when watching it now, although it brought back so many memories. The opening titles showing Michael Landon walking down a lonely road, heading toward his next good deed. The theme song, which is a typical 1980s orchestral theme song, with a lone trumpet carrying the melody and strings to fill out the song.
Watching the first episode of the show brought memories back from the mid 1980s, of me sitting with my grandmother, watching this show every weekend. My grandmother moved the show, at the time, I tolerated it. I did not really understand it, as I was perhaps only five.
Hearing the theme song again, I felt as though my grandmother was sitting right next to me, and I was five again. We were watching the show together, except this time, I appreciated it and understood it. Even though my grandmother has passed away, a simple TV show can sometimes make me feel like she is there, right next to me, watching it with me like years gone by.
I find it strange, albeit rather comforting, that something as simple as a few bars of a TV theme song, (something that was probably written in a rush with lots of input from the TV executive etc) can invoke such vivid memories of such a specific event in a person’s life. We often don’t realise the little details that bury themselves in our minds, such as TV theme songs, that we somehow associate with a time in our own lives.
Some people believe that TV can rot a person’s brain, but I think that some TV (certainly not all of it!) can enrich one’s life. Specifically the older sitcoms, dramas and similar. They teach us of moral dilemmas, life lessons, love, loss, heartache, happiness, diversity and many other things. But often, they create a platform for people in the real world to come together, to interact or even just to sit next to each other without saying a single word.