When our kids get to asking us about yesteryear, we speak glowingly of the things we used to do, places we used to go as well as the shows we’d watch.
Thanks to ZBC TV some of those shows from the last 1980s up to the late 1990s are still being screened on air (talk about repeats of repeats).
But there are those shows that had us glued to our screens, that would cause us to make sure we were at our best behaviour in order to be allowed to watch TV that evening. Sometime we even had to sleep in the afternoon to be granted the privilege (kung-fu movies anyone?).
As a quick bit of history, Zimbabwe had two TV channels during the early to mid 1990s: TV 1 (countrywide) and TV 2 (Harare and its environs). TV 1 began at 15:30, starting with this multi-coloured screen that would get the ball rolling. TV 2 began at 17:00. The two channels would run until 23:30 and 22:15 respectively, you were very privileged to get to watching tv until those house.
Here are 9 TV shows (all from TV 1) that we all remember, and if we don’t then we need to. Do share in the comments below which were your favourite and what your experiences were:
Tour Of Duty
Playing on a Wednesday night, after the main news and weather report this drama series about the Vietnam War had us fixated to our screens for a whole hour. It focused on a single platoon of young U.S. soldiers through their one-year tour of combat duty in Vietnam during the late 1960’s.
Though appearing in the late 90s to early 2000s, Martin Lawrence’s humour punctuated our Thursday evenings. Martin was a sassy sitcom centering on a radio-and-television personality named Martin Payne. The series focuses on Martin’s romantic relationship with girlfriend Gina, his job changes from a radio personality to a television personality, and the variety of friends Martin hangs out with along the way: the loud-mouthed and sassy Pam and his best friends Tommy and Cole.
Coming onto our screens on a Friday nght just after the early evening news at 6pm, MacGyver was a different kind of hero: he didn’t use weapons, was afraid of heights, and was an expert at making complicated machines out of ordinary things quickly. He worked in the employ of The Phoenix Foundation, a think tank dedicated to improving mankind. MacGyver also had an archenemy, Murdoc, who sought to kill MacGyver many times, often through the use of ruses and elaborate traps.
Late on a Friday night, just after 9pm, this long-running soap opera centered on the lives of a wealthy Capwell family, living in Santa Barbara, California, and the other families such as the Lockridges, Andrades and Perkinses. With characters such as Mason, Santana, Cruz, C.C. when our parents allowed this soap opera formed many discussions on Saturday mornings.
Late Saturday monring, if you were indoors and not out playing with friends seeing that it was the weekend, Mr. Belvedere came on our screens. This family sitcom from the 80’s centered around the Owens family who lived in suburban Pittsburgh. The series began when it got to the point where Marsha couldn’t handle the household anymore with her studying so she placed an ad for a housekeeper. This is where Mr. Lynn Belvedere steps in. Mr. Belvedere was an English housekeeper whose previous employers include Winston Churchill.
This was a tv show that forced you to drop all that you were doing and get to your seats 10 minutes before the show started. Missing it was taboo, as you were not able to join in with your friends and talk about what had transpired that week. The adventures of Michael Knight and his incredible super-car K.I.T.T. who was elected by a dying billionaire, Wilton Knight, Michael worked for the Foundation for Law and Government with the job of rooting out evil that were above the law, with only his trusty car!
Saturday afternoons were punctuated with this Australian drama series, that has now become one of the longest running, still appearing on people’s screens in 2016! It was a weekly (Saturdays at 13:50) soap opera exploring the lives and relationships of the residents of Ramsay Street in Erinsborough.
The ‘A’ Team
A Saturday night show, saw us looking forward to the likes B.A. Baracus (Mr. T) and “Howling Mad” Murdock who was declared insane. The A-Team was an American action-adventure television series about a fictitious former United States Army Special Forces unit who, after being court-martialed “for a crime they didn’t commit”, escaped from military prison and, while still on the run, work as soldiers of fortune.
The Fall Guy
My memory does not reserve me here as to what date it came on our screen (Saturday night?) but ‘the unknown stuntman’ was a bounty hunter who chased after fugitives from justice together with his green younger cousin, Howie, and Jody, a beautiful stunt colleague. Colt and Howie were also working as stuntmen in Hollywood. The tricks of that trade often helped them to capture their guy.