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Things to Watch While Sick

Yesterday I came down with a bout of sickness — runs, fever, headaches, icky feelings in my gut. I’m feeling much better now, but have you ever noticed that whenever you’re sick and stuck in front of the TV you’ll pretty much watch anything? Well, almost anything — old episodes of Sesame Street were too shrill. Sick TV viewing requires programs that are a bit tasteless and easy to digest, the mushy oatmeal of basic cable. Here’s what I saw:

Tattletales (GSN) — A 1976 episode of the green-carpeted classic had a panel of game show hosts and their wives. Richard Dawson stood in for Bert Convy as host, with Mr. and Mrs. Convy representing the banana section, Bob Barker and wife in the red section and Jack Narz and wife in the blue section. The Barkers won.
Music City News Top Country Hits ’81 (RFD) — I’m so glad I came across this completely random bit of programming on “Rural America’s Most Important Network.” An awards show with no awards, just a lot of lip synched performances and telepromptered banter from hosts Tanya Tucker and Jim Stafford. Worth it to see Stafford gamely trying (and failing) to get the audience to sing along to “It’s Hard to Be Humble.” I also caught a bit of Penny Gilley‘s talk show with some of the worst canned laughter ever put on tape.
One for the Book (TCM) — A slow-paced but enjoyable 1947 comedy recorded during Ronald Reagan day from last month’s Summer Under The Stars film fest. Seeing it reminded me of what blah onscreen presence Reagan had — how on earth did he stay a movie star for so long? On the other hand it did have a couple of plusses with Eve Arden being Eve Arden and an unusually literate script (adapted from the stage hit Voice of the Turtle). Leading lady Eleanor Parker is lovely and appealing, conveying a nice vulnerability while wearing an unfortunate wig with severe bangs.
Kate & Allie (WE) — I’ve been TiVoing these for a while and they reinforce my belief that K&A was one of overlooked treasures among ’80s sitcoms. In its prime, that is. The episodes I saw yesterday were from the dismal final year when the newlywed Allie and Bob moved into that huge, pastel-colored condo with Kate hanging around pathetically like a third wheel. In this case all for the better, since laughing would have hurt my stomach.
Cheaters (G4) — I occasionally record this unapologetically trashy show, hoping for the ones where a married guy gets caught cheating with another dude. No such luck this time.

2 Thoughts on “Things to Watch While Sick

  1. I love K&A. I so loved the show and love it today when I see Chip and Jenny still acting today. Seeing Chip naked on OZ was too much though. It seemed so wrong.

  2. haven’t seen kate and allie in years, the one thing i remember about it was there was a mention of franz kafka on it(how many sitcoms would mention him?) i was shocked, as at that time i felt like kafka was my own little secret that no one knew about…of course i was dead wrong there.

    it seems like whenever i’m sick, troop beverly hills will be on tv. i can’t remember how many times i’ve seen it, but i almost feel disappointed(now) if i’m sick and it’s not on tv.

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