13 things nobody misses about 1970s TV
Who is pining for the days of adjusting the vertical hold?
Obviously, we are nostalgic for watching television in the 1970s — and the entire decade in general.
Groundbreaking new series like Mary Tyler Moore redefined the sitcom, Happy Days were here again, network stars were battling it out, Saturday mornings offered awesome kids shows, Ponch was chasing every trend of the era… You get the drift.
However, there are some things we are glad to not have to deal with anymore, primarily dealing with the actual television sets, and some concepts that rightfully died swift deaths.
Here are some things we're guessing nobody is missing about watching TV in the '70s.
1. Having to put one of these on your roof.
Who wanted to climb up on the roof in a rainstorm and fix the antenna? Some of these things had more branches than a dead maple tree.
2. Getting up off the couch to change the channel.
Kids today can't image living life without a smartphone. Can you imagine them dealing with no remote control? There was no channel surfing, unless you wanted to sit inches from the screen and keep turning the knob.
3. Adjusting the vertical hold.
Speaking of knobs, fortunately we no longer have to fiddle with the V-hold and H-hold to get the image to fit properly on the screen.
4. Stations signing off for the night.
If you were a night owl or insomniac, you were reading a book. We do miss hearing the national anthem at sign-off, but it was a bummer when there was nothing to watch in the wee hours.
5. Mimes getting their own shows.
We have nothing against Sheilds and Yarnell. The celebrity mime duo made for great guests on variety and talk shows. (And Yarnell made for a great Wonder Woman villain, Formica.) That being said, the two probably did not need a showcase of their own. The Shields and Yarnell Show aired for mere weeks in 1977.
6. Fixing broken rabbit ears with tin foil.
Who didn't "enhance" their antenna with some wads of Reynolds Wrap?
7. David Cassidy as an undercover cop.
Millions of girls were crushing on Keith Partridge, and Cassidy made for one iconic, feather-haired teen idol. Which is probably why nobody bought him as a gritty undercover cop on the ridiculous David Cassidy: Man Undercover. Though the show was essentially the same concept as 21 Jump Street.
Image: NBC / chezgrae
8. Portable televisions that ate up D batteries.
Portable televisions were all the rage, with their tiny 5" screens and plastic handles. It was the perfect way to keep up with Emergency! while camping… though you'd only get about 40 minutes of viewing before having to replace the eight massive D batteries juicing the thing.
Image: Sony / Vintage Ad Browser
9. Needing something this big to record your favorite shows.
Video cassette records hit the market at the end of the decade. The tech sparked a revolution in how we watched television. However, you needed industrial shelving to house these behemoths.
Image: Sony / Pinterest
10. When your VCR remote needed a cord.
While we're on the subject of VCRs, remember when your RCA had to have its "remote" control plugged in with a ten-foot cord? It was easy to trip your little brother while fast-forwarding through that recording of B. J. and the Bear.
Image: germantexasbee / eBay
11. When your VCR chewed up your tapes.
Oh, and how could we forget how the analog tape would get tangled up on the sprockets inside your VCR? You had better have kept a screwdriver handy, because undoubtedly at some point you were popping open that sucker to unravel five yards of mangled tape.
12. Cartoons that pandered to every single trend of the decade.
While we miss Saturday morning cartoons, they were not all gems. In fact, some of them were bizarre jumbles of every goofy 1970s trend. Take CB Bears, which centered around a trio of disco-named bears, Hustle, Bump and Boogie. They were a parody of Charlie's Angels, but also C.B. radio fanatics, but also mystery solvers who drove around in a transforming garbage truck. It's no wonder it only lasted 13 episodes.
Images: Hanna Barbera / YouTube
13. Moving a television that weighed as much as a couch.
If your friend was moving, there was no way you were picking up that rotary telephone. Today, massive HDTVs are like paintings. Back in the day, a 30" television could weigh as much as an AMC Gremlin, as it was encased in an entire lumber yard. Who wanted to carry one of these suckers of a set of stairs? Also, it's nice to no longer need wood polish to clean your television set.