June 29, 2013

Old School

For people of a certain age, Bonanza was a touchstone, a weekly deep dive into the psyche of the American male.  It was one of the first TV series broadcast in color, and the intro made the most of this exciting new technology.  It was one of the top shows on television throughout the 60s.

Late in the show's run, Dan Blocker ("Hoss") died of a heart attack.  According to TVTropes:
When Dan Blocker unexpectedly died prior to the start of the 1972-1973 season, his character of Hoss Cartwright is never seen again. It is never stated outright, but it is strongly implied that Hoss, too, died ... particularly with Ben's comments in the episode "The Initiation," where he says, "I've already buried one son!" (Ben never explicitly states that Hoss was dead.)
It seems to me that if you were looking for a marker of how the parents of baby boomers processed grief, as compared with their kids a generation later, that would be a very good one.  No "very special" episode.  Bunch of WWII vets watching - yeah, let's not get into that, best move on.

The other thing about Bonanza was, it was a sausagefest, and I found The Big Valley, featuring the young Linda Evans, in living color (cf. Claudia Cardinale), slightly more relevant to my interests:

Don't Pretend You Don't Remember


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