Nostalgia On The Net
So, why did you get an internet account? Email? Research and education interests? Business? My guess is that no one, when asked, has admitted to going online in order to indulge their nostalgia for old television programs. (Hey, I needed the net for email and research. Really.)
There was a time when a television series ended, that was the end of it. Maybe you could find a number of like-minded individuals with whom you could reminisce. Perhaps there would be enough interest in the show for a fanzine to survive. If you were very, very lucky, it achieved a cult following, was constantly in syndication and there were conventions, books, an animated series, movies and three or four spin-off series. Yes, THAT television show.
Now, however, your favourite television show never really has to die, even if it doesn't make it into syndication. Loyal and passionate fans maintain web sites that are virtual monuments to lost television glory. There are forums where every nuance of every scene can be analyzed and discussed. Hey, if reading the episode guide isn't enough, you can always read or even write your own fan fiction! There is an amazing amount of television arcana out there.
I think there's a thesis in here for somebody. How Advances In Information Technologies Have Changed Nostalgia. Do you want it? You can have it.
There is something for everyone. A fan of British comedies, are you? There was a time when a Friday night spent watching the Britcoms on Maine Public Broadcasting seemed like the highlight of my week. (I know, I should get out more.) Well, you're in luck.
For a selection of links to specific shows try British Comedy on American TV or Manley Bennett's British Television Favourites. This includes a link to the rarely seen Mulberry. Remember the shows Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister? While they are represented on Mr. Bennett's site, there is also a Dutch page devoted to them, the Yes, Minister Homepage, complete with downloadable screen savers, proving that great political satire knows no boundaries. For instance, there's a rather nice Red Dwarf page in New Zealand.
Do you feel as though there hasn't been a great television comedy since M*A*S*H? Then you want to visit Best Care Anywhere or J.W.'s M*A*S*H 4077th Page Those are just two of them: there are many, many more, including Quantum Leap/M*A*S*H crossover fan fiction. Yes, you read that right.
Do you drive your friends nuts humming the theme from Airwolf? For that matter, do you remember Airwolf? One of the best sites is (when their server isn't down; it seems trouble-prone) The Airwolf Homepage or see if the Airwolf Forum can be found. The Airwolf Homepage is graphics intensive, but there has been talk of a text-friendlier version. Now will someone please tell me why this show is so darn popular in Europe? This site is maintained by Norwegians. Why?
And Star Trek! I strongly suspect the internet to have been built by Star Trek aficionados so that they could communicate with one another more easily. Never mind the "official" site, www.startrek.com; check out a few fan sites, or one of the many Usenet newsgroups. There is such a large body of material out there that folks have started to specialize. Try the Lost Races of Star Trek The Original Series, or Eric's Excruciatingly Detailed Star Trek (TOS) Plot Summaries.
For diehard fans of a less famous science fiction program, there's always Kobol: The Home of Battlestar Galactica.
When Roddy McDowall died, did you cast your mind back to Tales of the Gold Monkey? Yup. It's all there, including episode guides, and a fairly active bulletin board.
While it was in production, I didn't watch a single episode of Northern Exposure. Had it not been for A&E and a stretch of unemployment, I would never have encountered this series. I haven't come close to actually seeing all the episodes, but I've read a lot of plot synopses at The Moose's Guide to Northern Exposure. This site doesn't seem to have been updated since 1997, but it is useful, insofar as this sort of thing is . . . useful.
There is something rather touching about some of these pages. Some of them are tributes to much-loved shows. Some are references for those of us who may have caught a few episodes of a series in syndication, and want to know more. And still others are meeting places for fans who can't quite believe that any network executive, however boneheaded, would cancel THEIR show; they can't let it go, and some of them won't stop trying to revive it. A few Airwolf fans are trying to convince someone, somewhere to make an Airwolf movie. They're even working on the script. Some of them believe it could happen.
Given what happened to The Avengers, they may want to reconsider.
Did I fail to mention your favourite show? Don't tell me about it, go and look for it! Try Yahoo: Entertainment: Television: Shows. If they don't have a link then try AltaVista, Lycos, Metacrawler or whatever your favourite search engine is. And if you still can't find a homepage dedicated to your favourite television show, you can always build your own.
After all, I haven't found a Beachcomber's Homepage yet.
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