Well, we’re already a fifth of the way through the alphabet and have reached the letter F.
So what nostalgic gems do I have for you that are fantastic, fabulous and family friendly?
Let’s begin with a mysterious island, hidden somewhere out in the Pacific…
Fantasy Island is another of those shows that, due to it being on when I was very young, I have limited memory of. The stories centred around an island, owned by (the possibly immortal), Mr. Roarke, that granted the wishes and fantasies of its guests – providing you paid for it.
There were time-travel and supernatural elements to the show (most likely why my mum enjoyed it), with each episode having some moral guidance and the guests learning a lesson from their visit.
However, my memory is of Mr. Roarke looking like an evil Bond villain and his sidekick, Tattoo, running to alert the island of new guests arriving by shouting “De plane, de plane” as he pointed to the skies. Mum and I still refer to airborne vehicles in this manner…
Moving on, still early in my childhood, was the action-packed stunt / crime-fighting show, The Fall Guy. Starring Lee Majors (who was famous for being the superhuman, Six Million Dollar Man) this show followed the adventures of a stunt man, who supplemented his income by being a bounty hunter (??).
Despite the odd premise for the program, I loved all the action, car chases and leaping from tall buildings and moving cars. This is maybe why I used to line the staircase with duvets and pillows and leap from the top step…
Stepping in, via the Ministry of Silly Walks, is a member of British comedy Royalty: Fawlty Towers. John Cleese, whose ridiculously long legs began entertaining us some years earlier in Monty Python, played the erratic and eccentric hotel manager, Basil Fawlty.
Add in the hapless waiter, Manuel, a bossy wife (“Baaaassiiiiiil!”) and a selection of guests to endure the visit and we have the recipe for hilarity! Still a great watch, if a little dated.
But we must skip forward to the 1990s for my favourites in this category. I was in my late teens when this comedy sketch show hit the screens, but again, there are still one-liners from it that remain part of my family’s everyday language.
The Fast Show (known in the US as ‘Brilliant’) had far too many characters to list here. But particular favourites were Brilliant Kid (“In’t milk brilliant?”)…
…Jesse – who would mostly be wearing potatoes, Johnny Nice Painter, who descends into madness at the mention of the colour black…blaack…BLAAAACCK! And of course, the Suit You, Sir sketches. Ooof!
However, the final and favourite ‘F’ has to be awarded to someone who sent most of his days, “…chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool and all, shooting some B-ball outside of the school”. Until he moved to Bel Air.
The Fresh Prince was hilarious. I loved every character. I loved the clash of classes, the petulant nature of Hilary, the goofiness (and dancing) of Carlton, how Geoffrey was so sarcastic, how Ashley enjoyed following Will and rebelling against her parents.
And of course, I LOVED Will Smith. Still do. How can you not be seduced by that charisma? Put him and The Rock in a room together and I don’t think I could cope!
The final episode was filmed the day before my 20th birthday and aired a couple of months later. The end of an era…but a show that I can still watch, laugh and cry with 20 years further on. Plus, I’m word perfect on the theme tune. 😉
IMAGE CREDITS: radiotimes.com, cosmopolitan.com, imgflip.com, collider.com, dailymail.com and YouTube.