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I was only 11 years old at the time. I will never forget this show. Maybe it was my first documentary. But it made such an impression on me. I have never forgotten its concept and how much I enjoyed seeing old favorites. I wish they would show it again sometime, or make it available for sale. If you get a chance to watch it, I know you will enjoy it. Most of the shows it highlighted were long gone from the TV screen. A few were still being broadcast. It is all fuzzy to me. Yet I can remember thinking at the time that I hoped this would be done after the sixties and beyond. Unfortunately, that wasn't to be. The ancient technology used in 1960 made for a great show. I can only imagine what could be accomplished today.
Charles and Ray Eames were indeed renaissance people. As most people know, they came up with wonderful furniture designs and made beautiful short films, mostly on math and science. Their one extended venture into the TV medium was a masterpiece. It was a visually inventive, star studded, two hour documentary released in 1960 and devoted to recounting the splendor and silliness of the recently ended fifties. It included animation, musical segments, and short shorts narrated by people like Henry Fonda, Jackie Gleason and Leora Dana. It won a prime time Emmy as best variety program (AND won the Peabody Award.) and was praised by Newton Minow in his famous "vast wasteland' speech excoriating the dullness and silliness of mainstream TV. It now exists only in specialized archives. Like My World and Welcome to it and Orson Welles' The Fountain of Youth it was a brilliant example of what can be done to expand the horizons of the all too often mediocre TV medium.
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