Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8 in TV History

 September 8th is one of those seminal dates in TV history. Like the date that I Love Lucy made its debut (October 16, 1951) , or the date when David Janssen found his wife's murderer on The Fugitive (Aug 29, 1967). In fact, today is an important date for two separate groups of nerds.

On September 8, 1966, a little show called Star Trek made it's debut on NBC-TV. Perhaps you've heard of it? It has basically not ever gone away since. With sly casting and great writing creator Gene Roddenberry showed us that the future was something we *could* survive to, and that it would be worth it. Although the franchise has had its ups and downs, The Original Series definitely had an inarguable effect on our world.

Seven years later, on September 8, 1973, a new concept in animated shows called The Super Friends made its debut on ABC-TV. It, too, had long-lasting and long-reaching effect on popular culture. It was the first "action-adventure" show after the purge of "violent" cartoons in 1968. Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman, and Robin (and those teen super-friends, Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog) tried to talk out problems like pollution, over-population, and over-dependency on technology instead of battling super-villains. The original Super Friends eventually begat various other cartoon shows with more violent adventures, but it also cultivated a culture of super-heroes as friendly, heroic characters. (Although THAT has mostly gone away now....) And although Aquaman eventually got over-shadowed on the show by poor writing, in the first few seasons he was portrayed as just as powerful and iconic as the others. So hooray, Aquaman!

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