Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Magic Box of Weirdness

Lyda here.

The Magic Box of the title is television, people. Television. I know. Ya’ll are disappointed. Sorry.

Ya’ll know, I’m TV obsessed, and I watch way too much. I do prefer quality shows with excellent writing and acting, and I watch a lot of PBS and non-fiction shows. I also rent a lot of movies, both fabulous and bizarre.

But I’ll watch almost anything, if only to mock it. TV at our house is an interactive sport.

TV takes me to distant planets, to the farthest reaches of our own little world, and deep inside the most fascinating species of all, Homo Sapiens. It gives me time with geniuses and monsters (safely!), and it does it all in an hour or two, and usually with built-in snack breaks. TV teaches me and challenges me and lets me laugh and cry and think – or not think. It keeps me company, and lulls me to sleep on the really bad nights. All in the comfort of my own home.

So, anyway… when I read this post at knitche (Linda’s blog), who got it from Emily’s blog, ya’ll know I was fascinated.

Here is Empire Magazine’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Shows” ever. But this is definitely not MY list of the 50 greatest. I’m not the only one who disagrees with this list. Also, this is from a British magazine and the shows were apparently chosen by popular vote, so there are more British and more recent shows than might show up otherwise. TV Guide did their own Top 50 list in 2002 – which is also controversial.

But I rantingly digress…

I was going to do the “50 greatest” meme. But then I decided it would be more fun to do a meme on THE WORST TV SHOWS OF ALL TIME!

There is the TV Guide’s 50 Worst list done in 2002. And then there is Senior Sock’s list, which is much funnier. And this list of UK’s worst. And this list of worst 60s shows.

But I wanted to include only shows that I have actually seen. Yes, coming out of the “terrible TV” closet, as it were.

And then I thought, what about the shows that I loved that were cancelled really fast? And the guilty pleasures? And the just plain weird shows?

So here (at last) is:

The Pollyanna TV meme:


1. Bold the shows you’ve watched.
2. If you’ve seen at least part of one episode of the show, put the name in italics. C’mon, ‘fess up.
3. If you would never under any circumstances watch the show, line through the name like this.
4. Feel free to add comments, shows, and entire categories. That’s the fun.
5. Post your list so we can all go, “Oh, yeah, I remember that one!”
6. And please link back here, and credit me for coming up with this time-waster  entertainment. Thanks.

Category: It Seemed Like a Good Idea At The Time…

“Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories” – Spielberg! What could go wrong? Uh… yeah…

“Manimal” – How do you pitch something like that to a network?

“Cop Rock” – Just weird. And not in a good way.

“My Mother the Car” – You mother is a what? That’s what he said.

Category: Admit It, You’ve Seen Every Episode (or was that just me?)

“The Flying Nun” – Gidget Take Flight, what’s wrong with that? We like Sally Field, we really like her.

“Gilligan’s Island” – This show gave us the all-important question: “Ginger or Mary Ann?” Plus, it was educational. We learned we could make anything out of coconuts.

“Three’s Company” – You laughed, I know you did.

“Baywatch” – Gorgeous people in skimpy clothing leaping in and out of the waves and running in slow motion… Uh, what were we talking about?

“Hogan’s Heroes” – Doesn’t everyone run a successful spy operation from prison camp? And hide the tunnel exits under the dog house? The dogs knew who the good guys were.

“ALF” – Furry alien. It told us about the 10th planet way before the scientists did, too.

“Mork and Mindy” – Maybe my favorite thing about this show, other than Robin Williams of course, is that it was a spin-off from “Happy Days” – the show which spawned “jump the shark“.

Category: But Why??

“House” – Why does anyone put up with this guy?

“Dougie Hooser, MD” – In one timeless episode, 16-year-old Dougie has to give a vaginal exam to a classmate he wants to date. Apparently being the last doctor left on the planet? I was more embarrassed than either of them. I was only watching it to make fun of it! And I was recovering from surgery and desperate! And the sun was in my eyes! It wasn’t my fault!

“Barney & Friends” – Don’t even get me started.

“The Jerry Springer Show” and all of its ilk – REALLY don’t get me started.

Most “Reality” TV – Ya’ll, I can understand “Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars” and the other talent competitions. But most “reality” shows are just too horrible to even think of watching. Even the commercials for these shows make me cringe. And none of it is “reality”.

Category: Worst. Sequels. Ever.

“The Ropers” – Let’s not knock at that door. A sad waste of some talented actors.

“Still the Beaver” – I admit it, I included it for the name.

“AfterMASH” – Oh no.

Category: Cancelled Too Soon AKA “We Hardly Knew Ye”.

“Richie Brockelman: Private Eye” – “The thing of it is…”  A quirky young private eye, smart enough to solve crimes and dorky enough to live with his parents. Whenever I see Dennis Dugan in something, I think, “Richie!”

“Cleopatra 2525” – Three sexy tough and barely dressed chicks battle various deranged and mutated bad guys in a post-apocolypic world, and then go dance with gorgeous guys in cool futuristic bars. What’s not to love?Totally awesome soundtrack, too.

“Greatest American Hero” – That dorky red costume! Those terrible landings!

“My Hero” – An alien superhero falls in love with an average woman and learns that saving humans is easier than understanding them. Very funny. I don’t know how many episodes they made, but it wasn’t not enough.

Category: Guilty Pleasures

“America’s Next Top Model” – I find this weirdly fascinating. This season, they took pictures in a meat locker with the women dressed in meat. Who came up with that?

“Power Rangers” – Long ago, when my son was little, I watched because of him. He’s long since moved on, but I find this show kitchy fun and still catch an episode sometimes. Especially when I’m sewing on a Saturday morning. Fact to know for future quizzes: Tommy the Sith apprentice cat is named after the original Green Ranger.

Any sci-fi show, no matter how hokey – If it’s sci-fi, I’m there. But what would you expect from someone who still quotes the original “Star Trek”?


4 thoughts on “Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Magic Box of Weirdness

  1. Jane

    Question…how do you draw the line through a word?

    Also, I found the site where I found the knitting pattern – finally. So thanks for trying!

  2. Pingback: Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Does the Java Jive « Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom

  3. Jane

    In 1991, I sat in a box in Carnegie Hall right next to the man who played Colonel Clink[sp?] on Hogan’s Heroes. The wall dividing the boxes was low and we actually touched elbos once. I tried to be cool but I have to admit that I kept staring. He ignored me.

  4. lyda Post author

    Hurray, Jane, you found the pattern! Now be sure to post a link – then we can all knit the baby blanket!

    How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Heh heh.

    Oh, in WordPress, when you are writing a post, you can select text and click on a box that will line through the text. Anyone know another way?


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