My parents have an annoying party trick whereby they love to divulge my cop show fanaticism to dinner guests somewhere in-between carving the roast and passing the gravy boat. As I write this, I am sure my journalist- ex-flat mate (who is a firm CSI blah blah devotee) is coughing on a glass of Merlot. Ever since I graduated from University I have been ever squeemish of anything violent on TV, so I guess this doesn’t really fit in with my contemporary image…but if you look back at the old favourites, you know, the shows with those retrotastic hotties who could run in tight pants and maintain their curl – or wave – while fighting crime in the Utopia, I knew only as America, you would see just the stuff my little girl dreams were made of.
My dad loves to recall how I didn’t miss TJ Hooker for all the world, while I clearly remember Pierce Brosnan in Remington Steele jumping on to our old TV on Monday nights just before the eight o’ clock news. I think I may have mentioned the colour of his suit to my dad not ten minutes ago while he argued that Brosnan always wore black. Two flimsy arguments in light of the fact that the only colour on the TV was the “wood” finish on the outer box, but a B&W TV is no match for the imagination of a child who lived vicariously through Heather Locklear’s unbeatable blow-dry and Hawaii 5 O’s ultra mojo intro. Ah, the days I counted on Superman never ageing so that I could marry Christopher Reeve when I grew up after I eventually grew into my own super-powers as Super Girl. I knew exactly what I wanted out of life and who I wanted to be. I wanted to grow up and be pretty and be able to fly and have Super Man fall in love with me so that we can fly around the earth together and beat up all the bad people.
The Black Matrix colour TV arrived in our house in 1990 and stayed all the way through my crisis years while my friends and I found expression (and romance) in Jared Leto from My so-called Life, and misplaced understanding (or lack thereof) in Ally McBeal. Party of Five was on Sunday nights and then the one my mother never let me watch, Beverly Hills 90210. Suddenly the simplicity of good vs evil, handsome vs dodgy became flooded with the complications of relationships. Suddenly being able to fly and having cool hair wasn’t good enough. Gone were the feel-good cop shows… and in came all the complexities of life.
It makes me think that life was so much more colourful in black and white.