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Off the wall June 26, 2009

Posted by Merrilee in Uncategorized.

The news that Farrah Fawcett died came with the inevitable references to “the poster” which took me immediately back to the one and only teenage fan poster I had in my room, which was of Michael Jackson. So how weird to hear, only hours later, that the King of Pop had also died. Farrah and Michael both played their own role in my teen years. In both cases I was a little late to the party.

I heard about Charlie’s Angels while I was in elementary school — other girls had Charlie’s Angels dolls, and we played Angels on the playground (I think I got to be Bosley). I had to beg my parents to stay up late enough to watch it on Wednesday nights. My father informed me (rather rudely) that not everyone was watching the show for the same reason that I was. I was eager see some tough women kicking ass and enforcing justice. According to my father, all viewers all had ass in common. By the time I was able to watch the show, Jill Munroe, tough mama crime fighter, had moved on, and was replaced by her sister Kris Munroe (officially my favorite Angel). Jill returned to the show from time to time, to help out her little sister and other pals. From there she went on to… well, not very much.

Michael Jackson had a slightly more dramatic impact, and one I’ve always been a little ashamed of. I heard the album Off the Wall at friends houses and on the radio and… it made me want to dance. Since I was generally discoraged from listening to my own music at home, I didn’t know how to name it, but in retrospect, the album was a great blend of funk and disco.  His next next album, Thriller, was slicker with some great cuts without the funkified feel of Off the Wall. Thriller was the second  album in my personal collection (I think the Xanadu soundtrack was the first), but it never measured up to Off the Wall. I remained a Michael Jackson devotee until even I had to acknowledge, he was Wacko Jacko. In retrospect the poster on my wall, with MJ wearing a yellow vest and bow tie, already represented a transformation from the cute black kid from the Jackson Five to something more bizarre.



1. Noel Proffitt - June 27, 2009

Ah, Charlie’s Angels. “Hello Angels.” I can’t believe that I watched that as a taught mystery at the time. I have many fond memories of TV watching with you Merrilee: Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Remington Steele, and some type of rigged TV setup in your room watching Charlie’s Angels. Did we have to record and watch on the Betamax player? I remember you had some albums by one or more of the Angels. Almost forgot about the poster.

Those old TV shows seemed so great. Watching them today, not so much. The plot and production are laughable by modern expectations. For one reason or another, I’ve hardly ever watched any serialized drama on broadcast (or even “Premium TV”) since my teens. Instead I live 2-5 years in the past, erratically binging on a series via Netflix. I suspect your viewing habits are similar.

Pop music from our childhood on the other hand, is better than I remember. MJ had so many great jams. I wish I appreciated them more at the time. You were right, Thriller was a better album than Synchronicity.

Anways, no doubt that we can expect Karydis to be watching 10PM Wednesday night broadcast shows similar to Charlie’s Angels. Oh, to learn from the mistakes of our parents!

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