8 TV shows to revisit during your COVID-19 quarantine
By Bob Doda, News 12 Digital
Despite how we got here in our own COVID-19 quarantines, it happened, and we must deal with it. People deal with their idle time in a multitude of ways. Some exercise, do yoga, others read (actual books). Some make birdhouses and sell them in front of the house (my pop circa 1993).
Others watch TV. And my goodness, there are plenty of classic shows on the dial, er, cable box to enjoy. Here are a few in no order, without regard to genre:
(These shows can be found on Optimum, which is owned by Altice USA, the parent company of News 12. I’m not saying don’t stream your favorite shows – I’m just saying you have options.)
Where to watch/DVR: Saturdays on the History & Icons Network (140)
Give Mac a potato, some string, a straw and a light bulb – and maybe we can knock a few weeks off this quarantine. MacGyver and his counterparts at the Phoenix Foundation were always on the right side of the cause. When I was a kid, I didn’t want to be Batman, I wanted to be Richard Dean Anderson – a brilliant crime fighter with a mullet.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Where to watch/DVR: Every day on VH1, MTV2 and BET
There isn’t a bad episode, it’s genuinely funny and it has an amazing cast. Will Smith may be the star of the show, but Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton Banks) buttoned up so many great scenes. It was funny, but hyperreal when it had to be. In this scene, Phillip Banks (James Avery) pulls the classic pool hall hustle, but to the Guile Street Fighter theme song.
The Facts of Life
Where to watch/DVR: Antenna (114) - (Side note: This channel has a ton of shows you used to watch: Three’s Company, NewsRadio, Murphy Brown)
In my research for this story, multiple people told me to include “The Facts of Life.” The show takes place at an all-girls boarding school in Peekskill, New York. It was a spin-off of “Different Strokes” that followed Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae), the Drummond’s housekeeper, who was the housemother at the private school. Admittedly, I don’t know much about the TFOL, but have a few episodes queued up. They even had action figures:
Where to watch/DVR: Pop (154)
ER was the first drama I can remember getting in to in a proper way. Thursdays on NBC was truly “must see” as advertised. You have no choice but to appreciate how the actors on ER, and The West Wing,(another absolute gem) got through all of their jargon-y dialogue while always on the move. If the chips were down, I’d probably let Anthony Edwards perform an appendectomy on me.
The Ren and Stimpy Show
Where to watch/DVR: TeenNick (124…very early)
I had to include some animation into this. For those looking for some escapism, look no further than The Ren and Stimpy Show. It was weird. It was psychedelic. It was funny. It was also a show that my folks didn’t want me watching when I was younger, since it was not your typical cartoon. They were getting sucked into black holes and skinny dipping and picking lice off each other – what kind of entertainment is that? Classic. They also made logs popular.
The Best of the Joy of Painting
Where to watch/DVR: Create (133)
If you aren’t familiar with Bob Ross, now would be a good time to educate yourself, and maybe bust out your oil paints with the master himself. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, or hearing his gentle tone of voice, but Ross served as a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. After leaving, he vowed not to raise his voice again, and became one of the most popular figures on PBS during the 1980s and 1990s. You don’t need a brush in your hands – just watch him create a world out of nothing for a half hour. Maybe take a happy, little nap in the process.
Where to watch/DVR: Cozi TV (109, 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)
The Munsters was a short-lived series, airing 70 episodes between 1966-68. Despite their oddness, they are just your average American family in suburbia, trying to get by. It's satire done right. Remember the words of Herman Munster: “The lesson I want you to learn is that it doesn't matter what you look like. You could be tall or short, or fat or thin, or ugly, or handsome...like your father – or you can be black or yellow or white, it does not matter. What matters is the size of your heart, and the strength of your character.”
Press Your Luck
Where to watch/DVR: Buzzr (95, 4 p.m.)
This was one of those after-school, just-got-off-the-bus classics. The object is simple – earn spins through basic trivia. Then, there’s a button that must be pressed. The result will either be cash and prizes, or an animated whammy that loves to steal money in creative ways. And the whole set rotated. And Peter Tomarken was an underrated host… Wow I really love Press Your Luck.