James Garner believed that there's a massive responsibility in television

The 'Maverick' star believed that television is one of the three most important inventions ever made.

Life, as we know it now, would be utterly different without past inventions. There would be no cars and planes for travel, no lightbulbs to see at night, or no telephones to communicate. These are all vital creations, and they all serve different purposes, but to James Garner, there was one invention that significantly helped shape lives every day.

During a 1999 interview with the Television Academy, Garner talked about Maverick, the popular show he starred in, and how television is one of that century's three most significant inventions.

At the 4:51 mark of the interview, Garner was asked, "Were you concerned at all that you'd be so identified with this role that everybody would only know you as 'Bret Maverick'?" He responded by saying that it was a concern because if you're well known for a significant role, it's hard for the following work to get recognition.

"That was a concern, yeah, because what do you do after Maverick?" he said. "If you're so well known in the one thing, when that runs its course, where are you after that? So, that bothered me."

Although the star left the show after three years, fans still identified him as Maverick and Rockford from The Rockford Files, another iconic show Garner starred in during the '70s.

The interviewer followed up with the phrase, "the power of television," which prompted the actor to reveal that he believes television is vital. "Television is one of the, probably, three most important things done in this century," he began. "See, television shapes people's lives every day, everywhere. What used to take us a month or two to find out, we know in ten seconds today because of television."

With new ways to learn and quicker entertainment, comes great responsibility for those who create the content. Garner was aware of that responsibility as an actor and shared his frustrations about people in motion pictures during that time.

"Sure it does; I feel a responsibility. That's what bothers me about people in motion pictures and television or whatever," he said, beginning to share his views on the landscape. "A lot of them have a lack of responsibility to the public. You don't do things that are a bad influence on the public... things that can influence people to rob or kill."

He then spoke about how he would see certain movies and disapprove of how they showcase things. "They have no redeeming qualities in any of their characters. It's alright to do some of that stuff when you have someone who points out 'this is wrong.'"

According to Garner, he had that issue with the movie Bonnie and Clyde. "I said this is a wonderful movie that's beautifully done, but I don't like the idea of making heroes out of murderers."

Many fans know James Garner as a man of his word who often shared his views on topics.

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Runeshaper 21 months ago
Garner made a very solid point here.
JHP 21 months ago
here's a good one

what would he do if he had to watch the masked singer or the Bachelorette or other visual feces ?

I think he would crawl back into his grave and give us a wave goodbye
robert52 21 months ago
Then there was the short-lived series Bret Maverick which aired December 1, 1981 to May 4, 1982. I came across it on Get TV. Someone has pointed that networks have and always will do as they please. The downside is there is a segment of the public which cannot distinguish the actor from the character he or she is playing.
Barry22 21 months ago
He does have a point, but the networks have and always will do as they please. I find it interesting that he felt he could be type-cast as Maverick, as TV was in it's "early" stages when that show was being broadcasted. Maybe not so much him, but for many others he was right.
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Pacificsun Barry22 21 months ago
Did he truly have only a 6th grade education, or was that the running joke about his BH's character?

True for such a GOOD looking man that he didn't do more film work. Now do you think that was a case of typecasting. Where Producers couldn't disassociate his potential from silly Jethro?
Pacificsun Barry22 21 months ago
Absolutely true.

That was happening for actors who appeared in the original Star Trek (besides the Stars). Yet appearing in Twilight Zone (actually an anthology) but filled "odd" situations, was a badge of recognition.

Strange bias about "science fiction" back in the day. Before it was "mainstreamed."
Michael Barry22 21 months ago
Max Baer did Ode to Billy Joe in 1976, the movie. I saw his name in the credits, "so that's where Jethro went"
Barry22 Pacificsun 21 months ago
No, that was Jethro. Max Baer was college educated.
JHP 21 months ago
bring back the Rockford files - please!

there is NOT one character I can dis and the opening theme is so damm cool
AgingDisgracefully JHP 21 months ago
I always thought Lt. Chapman was experiencing personal chafing of one kind or another.
Plus, Angel wasn't someone to EVER trust.
JHP AgingDisgracefully 21 months ago
Angel - you bet - but that's what made the character so good :) - look at Starsky and Hutch and Huggy bear and then the street informant for Baretta (where's that show too?!)
Pacificsun JHP 21 months ago
Probably where Robert Blake is.

Pacificsun 21 months ago
Regarding your three story blocks above. Uhhh yeah we noticed the replacement in Maverick, like for a long time!"

I don't know if I agree it's one of the 3 most important inventions. No doubt about it, we would be changed people without it. But I don't think we dreamed it would ever be so manipulative. Social Media is an extension of it, with an even less noble intention. But television is an excuse for commercialism. And the art of convincing people what they really need.

TV in the right context should be pure escapism.
harlow1313 Pacificsun 21 months ago
I like your middle paragraph, but can't go with your final thought. I am too fond off satire, lampooning the human condition, and keen observation of human behavior. Through the decades, some shows have hit that mark for me.

Additionally, TV documentaries can be a great way to learn about human behavior, like the Nazis and our own dark history with power struggles and racism.

I also like absurdity, and enjoyed "Green Acres" in younger days.
JHP Pacificsun 21 months ago
only if you got real good popcorn and bourbon:)
Pacificsun harlow1313 21 months ago
To quote myself:
"TV in the right context should be pure escapism."

Your quote:
"I like your middle paragraph, but can't go with your final thought. I am too fond off satire, lampooning the human condition, and keen observation of human behavior. Through the decades, some shows have hit that mark for me."

So we agree. Escapism IS comedic satire and Green Acres IS surrealism (or the absurd). And there is a whole range of entertainment (style) on television, and that's exactly what it should be about. The other good use ARE documentaries and elements of education and information, and on down the list it goes. Escapism is the idea that television is a creative and informative medium with various approaches.

What isn't appreciated is the advantage it takes with a viewer's attention through the use of distortion. Because it IS ...SUCH a powerful medium, it conveys or perhaps attempts to sway people's attention through images and opinions. When it doesn't do so honestly and with objectivity, that is an issue. Think of thousands of hours viewing television, and difference between useful information, and that which can be destructive.

harlow1313 Pacificsun 21 months ago

Well, I sometimes like to mince words. I prefer television that is reflective, rather than escapist.

Note that in real life, I am a royal pain in the arse.

Over and out.
Pacificsun 21 months ago
Ummm, is there a reason why we don't have more stories about James Garner??

Does this mean you'll be bringing him back during "owl night hours" thank you please! 🦃

Andybandit 21 months ago
I loved James Garner in TRF and BM. I wish MeTv would air TRF.
MrsPhilHarris 21 months ago
Loved James Garner. Never heard a bad thing about him. He was great in The Notebook.
texasluva 21 months ago
𝙄 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙗𝙚𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝘽𝙤𝙣𝙣𝙞𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝘾𝙡𝙮𝙙𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙨𝙤𝙧𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙧𝙪𝙡𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙪𝙢𝙗. 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙙 𝙜𝙪𝙮𝙨, 𝙢𝙪𝙧𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙙 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙖𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙞𝙩. 𝙉𝙤𝙬 𝙙𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙜𝙤𝙚𝙨. 𝙏𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝘿𝙚𝙭𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙨 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙙𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙨𝙤𝙡𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙘𝙧𝙞𝙢𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙣𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙨 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙞𝙩𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙙𝙤𝙣'𝙩 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙤 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝. 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙜𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙏𝙑 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙥𝙞𝙘𝙠 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙬𝙞𝙨𝙝 𝙩𝙤 𝙬𝙖𝙩𝙘𝙝. 𝙈𝙤𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙨𝙚𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙡𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙤𝙧 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙 𝙎𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙞𝙩. 𝙄𝙛 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙘𝙪𝙥 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙚𝙖 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙥𝙖𝙨𝙨 𝙞𝙩 𝙤𝙣 𝙗𝙮. 𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙗𝙚 𝙖 𝙗𝙞𝙜 𝙞𝙣𝙛𝙡𝙪𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙤𝙣. 𝙃𝙤𝙥𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙚𝙭𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙢𝙚.
Pacificsun texasluva 21 months ago
I think the issue is to the point Mr. Garner was making. Not so much about choice. But for such a pervasive influence in our likes, it does have some responsibility. Meaning the people who put it out there. Like books in a Library used to be. We read the classic to be inspired. And to see examples of good writing and noble stories. Isn't there enough negativity in world to think twice about contributing to it (only a rhetorical question of course). I agree with the "Standard and Practices" behind the Golden Age of television, and really up until the recent times. Does 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 want to see their favorite character or even actor, die. Even if it's only TV. I didn't want to, but saw it done in a relatively recent episode of something. And it was actually, disturbing.

I wouldn't treat 𝙈𝙔characters like that, anyway.
Pacificsun texasluva 21 months ago
p.s. ... I 𝑳𝑰𝑲𝑬 your meaty comments. Am glad you're finding more time to do them now! Let the Games Begin!! 😉
texasluva Pacificsun 21 months ago
You mean like the 𝓗𝓾𝓷𝓰𝓮𝓻 𝓖𝓪𝓶𝓮𝓼 or something old and classic like 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙒𝙖𝙧 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙂𝙖𝙧𝙜𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙪𝙖𝙨. I am afraid most of my comments don't hold much water as to yours, JustJeff , LoveMeTV22 among others. I do try to squeeze in a few things into the coffers of MeTV at times. Funny thing lately. I go into a story or quiz to post and there's nobody there 😕. Maybe they see me coming . Then arriving I get the "nice try old boy" and even "Sorry Charlie only the best story postings" Try competing with "The Pun Master of the world" "Perfect letter/story teller and sentencing structure" Or "Can find most anything on everything". Even squashing my MQ in nanoseconds from time to time. Now I know how Rodney Dangerfield felt 😑. Really though most everyone here is a lot of fun and I enjoy most of their postings and stories. Some do it exceptionally well as mentioned above. Was absurd for me to leave anyone out as seen above and other post places. Trying to move up that totem pole before sliding back down "ouch" 😣. Maybe I will call out the reserves-"Squad, ten-hut!"
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