Re-examining Television of the 1960s and 1970s:

Thanks to Netflix, I have been practicing my French skills by watching television shows from the 1960s and 1970s which have dialogue in French. It's very impressive how the French producers (or whoever did the dubbing) found actors whose intonations and emotional style are so close to that of the English language actors. However, not all the shows seem as excellent now as they did to me back then. It really is fair to say that a lot of "big 3" network television shows today are much more sophisticated than the network fare of past eras. My retrospective analysis:

The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Still great after all these years. One of the best ensemble casts ever to appear on television. I just wish that those two guys who always sat at desks in the back of the newsroom had gotten a line once in a while.

The Flintstones. Hideous. It's frightening to think that this was a prime-time evening show (not a Saturday morning cartoon) from 1960-66. And the repeated backgrounds (e.g., during driving scenes) drive me crazy.

The Time Tunnel. Lots of fun. And some great guest appearances--such as Carroll O'Connor as a British commander at the Battle of New Orleans and as his descendant, a modern American General.

MASH. A very strong cast, but insufferably didactic scripts and plots. By comparison, the moral lessons in "Veggie Tales" are understated and subtle.

Lost in Space. Not nearly as good the second time around. Mainly because the plots always involve Dr. Smith doing something stupid and getting everyone into trouble, with Will and the Robot coming along for the ride. The rest of the cast is underutilized, especially the girls.

Planet of the Apes. I didn't watch this one when it first aired, but it's pretty good so far. The individual episodes have a broad enough variety of ape and human personality types to keep things interesting.