Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy 50th Birthday, Jetsons!

Happy belated 50th Birthday to The Jetsons!

It seems impossible but The Jetsons first aired fifty years ago on Sunday, September 23, 1962. It aired Sunday nights on ABC and was the first series ever to be broadcast in color (even though few TV stations at that time could transmit color signals and even fewer viewers had color sets). There were 24 original episodes that were shown in prime time, and they've been airing in syndication pretty much ever since.

There was a second series of episodes produced in 1985. Do yourself a favor and just skip those. They tried to update the series (how do you update a series that's set in the future?) and even shoehorned an annoying new alien pet named Orbity into the mix. As you might expect, it was awful. Avoid at all costs.

Like most kids I loved dinosaurs, so you'd think The Flintstones would be my favorite. Hardly. Even as a kid I recognized that they were nothing more than The Honeymooners with dinosaurs. Plus I really hated when they'd do that same corny joke every week, in which they'd show some prehistoric animal working the insides of some stone-age appliance who'd say, "You think you've got a tough job!"

No, The Jetsons were much more to my liking. I wanted to live in their world so badly I could taste it. Flying cars, robot maids, wall sized TV screens, a three day work week and all that gorgeous Googie architecture. It was right up my alley.

Over the last decade several filmmakers have expressed interest in directing a live action version (allegedly starring William H. Macy as George), but so far nothing's come of it. Given how The Flintstones movies turned out, that's probably for the best.

The show was set in 2062 (a century after it premiered on TV), so we've only got fifty short years to invent everything seen in the series. At that rate the world of The Jetsons will become reality just about the time I kick the bucket. Typical.

2 comments:

  1. I loved the Jetson's too. Me and my sister could make the noise of their car. Good times :)

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