April 24, 2024

TV Shows That Never Would Have Been: Green Acres

So, I was standing in front of my sink the other night and for some reason the theme song to Green Acres was running through my head. I grew up in the time period where you could catch some of these shows on Nick-at-Nite (can’t remember if they were still making new ones when I was a child) and the theme song was always something that I found funny– if not Zsa Zsa Gabor’s accent.

You see, television is a good indication of where your culture is headed. Things that are “pioneered” on television soon make their way into real life, such that if you look back on shows in the past you think that they are old and out of date. Green Acres and it’s theme song is one of these such things.

In the theme song, there is a family tug of war going on between the husband and the wife as to where to live. Oliver Douglas doesn’t like the fact that he is living in the big city and wants to move to the country. His wife doesn’t like the idea of country living and wants to stay in her penthouse. They each list the things that they like “fresh air”, “time square”, but it’s what they say at the end of the theme song that shows us how much culture has changed today. Mr. Douglas, at the end says, “You are my wife” to which Mrs. Douglas says “Get me my lawyer!” Or, that’s what she would have said in 2007.

She instead says “Goodbye city life!” You see, at this point in time, the culture still promoted, encouraged, and supported the family structure. Of course the wife would go with the husband even if he was taking her out of her comfort zone. No question. There was no thought to getting a lawyer, a divorce, having a separation, or how much alimony she could get out of him. You don’t see Lisa Douglas calling up her female friends to complain about her husband.

Not only would it have ruined the setup for the show, but it was against a society that valued a husband/wife relationship where the man was the head of the home. I suppose the only way this show would have survived a feminist onslaught would have been for the green peace people to say that Green Acres promoted the environment and country living.

See how much our society has changed? Look at the television shows and movies today. Examine the homes that they create– the structure of man and wife, the authority system, and the respect they give toward marriage. It’s amazing isn’t it? Perhaps the reason that these shows do so well in reruns and DVDs is that, deep down, we crave something that is right, good and supportive. Or maybe we just like a good laugh.

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8 thoughts on “TV Shows That Never Would Have Been: Green Acres

  1. I loved that show! Especiallly Arnold the pig, he was too cute. I would have never seen the beginning as you have just described. Great perspective! Want to know something? That theme song is goin on in my head!! Thanks a lot MIn! lol!

  2. That theme song is a hard one to kick outside the head…I’m a weird one to always make up new lyrics for old songs and am guilty of singing silly ditties to my kiddos to the tune of Green Acres… :sideways: Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t choose Green Acres for a blog name or an email addy…our life here sometimes qualifies! Whether we’re doctoring a baby calf on the kitchen floor, butchering deer (only did that once indoors, incredibly YUCK), or like this week, sacrificing dh’s old t-shirts for dog-wraps (our Border collie got attacked by another dog and daily we’ve been dressing her wound here indoors)…

    I’m attracted to those old shows, and grateful for ones like Little House on the Prairie and the Waltons to show to my children…my fave as a child was the Donna Reed Show.


  3. Green Acres is a mystery to me. But Little House on the Prairie was a great show.

    I don’t know the extent to which television leads culture and the extent to which it follows. However, whether it leads or follows, it certainly *reflects* culture, and the current voyeuristic craze for reality television, and gutter culture does not say much for the current moral character of our nations.

    I think the worst programme I saw mention of was “Britain’s roughest pubs” (or somesuch title). This was on a Rupert Murdoch channel, and clearly was just sensationalising alcohol fueled yob culture.

    Drunken orgies and bad behaviour are nothing new. The Victorians invented “dumb waiters” so that the antics at their orgies would not be reported by the serving staff. But the difference these days appears to be that we revel in bad behaviour and anti-social attitudes. At least the Victorians had the good grace to be embarrassed about their behaviour!

  4. I think that television will always be trying to find something that people will be willing to watch and that keeps them captivated. For that reason, I think that a lot of shows try to push the envelope so what you see isn’t something you’ve seen before.

    I can remember my grandfather sitting down with me a few times watching some shows and being able to tell you exactly what was going to happen next– and for him, that made the show less appealing.

    The only thing I’m cringing at now is when they’ve done everything that can be done with sex, where will they go to next?

  5. Exactly. The AFA recently emailed me about a most disgusting homosexual scene on TV that was sponsored big time by Ford. I’d heard from the same source (American Family Assoc.) that Ford, in negotiations with pro-family groups, refused to take a neutral stance on homosexuality, instead deciding to support it above and beyond in their charitable donations and many commercials. This disgusting scene was so bad, that AFA couldn’t even describe it in the email…nosy me, I had to follow the link and read what it was all about and I agree! Can’t believe it was allowed air time! And Ford sponsored it!

    Thankfully we’ve never bought new, but dh loves his ford trucks!

  6. You may be aware that the BBC has revived Dr Who – the long running British SciFi show. You may not be aware that it was, in fact, BBC Wales that did this. Many of the locations are in south Wales (even when they claim to be in London or elsewhere). My particular favourite is a huge futuristic hospital which is located directly on top of my Father-in-law’s beach front property! (They had to put the computer generated hospital over the properties to hide them!)

    Anyway, in the same vein, BBC Wales released a spin off series called “Torchwood”. The first episode was watchable, but the second was shocking. It was like watching soft porn – so there I left it. (incidentally, Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who).

    And that is very sad – because the potential for interesting drama was put second place to a desire to push the envelope with regards to sex and this society’s obsession with the same.

    So in summary – watch Dr Who, but don’t touch Torchwood! :alien:

    (I was wondering when I would get to use that smiley 😎 )

  7. Hi! It’s me again! You all got me again and I’ve spent an enjoyable few minutes reading through everyone’s comments.

    I think for me, the Roseanne Barr show is what kind of ‘did in’ my enjoyment of watching t.v. sitcoms. I grew up watching Green Acres, Father Knows Best, The Brady Bunch, etc. and I think some of those were still in production!! When the Roseanne Barr show first aired back in the late 1980’s we were just starting our family. At first I thought, “Wow, they have so much freedom about everyday life and it is so realistic!” But, that ‘freedom’ turned into disrespect for marriage, a woman staying at home raising her children and a format to explore all sorts of topics. My opinion is: that show started a lot of the trash sitcoms we have now. Each new sitcom wanted to top the other in shock factor until most of them are just disgusting. I admit we have not had television stations in our house since 1999. We rent a movie if we want to watch something. I have not missed it! But, whenever I have seen anything on t.v. of late, whether it be soap operas, sitcoms, etc. I’m newly appalled at the degree of disgust factor.

  8. I agree with Deborah. Roseanne Barr was one of the first shows that was on television that my parents would not allow me to watch. In addition to that, Married with Children and the Simpson’s. I really enjoyed the Brady Bunch and some of the our classic – Lassie was an all time favorite. These days I rarely watch television and find it a struggle at times to keep up with what my students are being introduced to!

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