|The Tomorrow People|
I have a lot of retro things. I use an aftershave I heard about on a vintage radio program from the 50s. Forget Old Spice, that's for kids! My aftershave is called Lucky Tiger, and you ain't gonna find that at Rite Aid. But the things I really remember from childhood are television shows. Way back when Nickelodeon first started they used to play a science fiction show called The Tomorrow People, an import from Great Britain that I loved. They also had a teen talk show called Live Wire which was awesome. No kidding, it was great. I still remember the time they had a singer on who performed a song called "Velvet Elvis," literally a song about one of those velvet blacklight posters (do they even still make those posters?).
Really, I'm not that old, but I clearly remember when cable TV first started. HBO literally was called Home Box Office back then. A&E stood for Arts and Entertainment, and Bravo used to actually play highbrow programs like ballet. Does anyone remember when Lifetime was called Lifetime Medical Television? Or when CNN used to play a show every Saturday night called This Week in Japan? That showed kicked off my lifelong interest in Japanese culture.
I'm glad we have DVDs that let us go back and relive shows we used to love, but the truth is that some of this stuff lives better in our memories. I tried to rewatch The Tomorrow People a year or so ago but found it, well, boring. I wish I had never done that. Maybe someday I'll say, "Remember that old show American Idol?" Actually, I don't think I'll ever say that. You're only a kid once, and it's that stuff that really stays with you.