The TV Shows that Shaped My Early Childhood

My son is four-years-old and the TV shows I remember best from my early childhood, the ones that made the biggest impact, are the ones I starting watching around his age. Later, around six or seven is when I got more into cartoons, particularly the Saturday morning variety, but my early years were immersed in TV-land superheroes and fantasy. This is my list of the top TV shows I loved. What would be on your list?

Wonder Woman  1975 – 79

I was born in 1975, just in time for Wonder Woman to debut and leave a lasting impression on a brown haired, blue-eyed little girl that got to watch this amazing woman kick ass and save the day while wearing a cool sparkly suit. I wore my WW Underoos non-stop and made cuffs and tiaras from cardboard. I used yarn scraps as a lasso. Decades later I’m still dressing up as my favorite superhero.

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Greatest American Hero – 1981 – 83

It’s the story of a regular guy who’s given a super suit by aliens and then bumbles his way through fighting crime. I can’t even remember much about the show except how funny it was when he tried to fly, but I can sing you the entire theme song! Believe it or not, I’m walking on air…I never thought I could feel so free-ee-eeeee…

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The Incredible Hulk – 1978 – 82

I loved the Hulk so much that I had a Hulk-themed Big Wheel, all decked out in green and purple. He was a good guy, with a big secret, but he helped people. Specific episodes are fuzzy, but I remember the sad music that played when he turned into the Hulk and ran away. I’ve actually gotten to meet the Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno, several times at DragonCon and he is always a nice guy who takes time to chat with the fans.

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Star Trek (re-runs) – 1966 – 69 (I watched it late 70’s)

I didn’t even realize I was watching decade old re-runs of the original series Star Trek until I looked up the dates. I just remember my step-dad having it on TV often when I was four or five, and I’d be drawn in by the alien women in their sexy costumes. I loved Captain Kirk and his affinity for the green ladies. I never got into any of the Star Trek TV shows past TOS, but I have seen and enjoyed all the movies.

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Buck Rogers – 1979 – 81

I just learned the full name of this show is Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I only remember three things about this show: it was in space, they wore a lot of white and Twiggy the robot going “biddi-biddi-biddi.”

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Clash of the Titans – 1981

OK, so I know this one is not a TV show, but it came on TV once a year and that’s where I’d watch it. It was always a big deal when it came on! I loved this movie! It introduced me to Greek mythology and the story of Perseus, Zeus and Andromeda. It had a Pegasus, scary monsters like Medusa and the three witches and of course, the Kraken. It was exciting, a little creepy and all led up to the big moment where Zeus announces, “Release the Kraken!”

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The Dukes of Hazzard – 1975 – 85

The show that deviates from my usual fantastical interests is the story of a couple of good ol’ boys, never meanin’ no harm. I was totally in love with Bo Duke and wanted to drive a fast race car like the General Lee (a ’69 Dodge Charger). My mom had a white ’76 Trans-Am with a big firebird on the hood and I loved it when she’d drive it fast and swerve on purpose so I’d be slung around in the back seat, laughing as I flopped from one side of the car to the other. Seat belts and car seats were not even a thought back then. Heck, the Duke boys didn’t even use car door handles and went in and out through the window! 

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All these shows left me with a love of fantasy, superheros and sci-fi that has stayed with me over the years. I don’t think it was considered geeky back then, it’s just something I grew up with. Or maybe I was always a little geek and didn’t know it until it became labeled a “nerd thing” to like those particular genres. It’s just always what I’ve been drawn to. Well that, and I guess cute boys driving fast cars… 😉

So what TV shows do you remember loving when you were little? Share what would be on your list of childhood favorites!

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