What a T-Shirt Made Me Realize

FullSizeRender-2By Jordan Puyear | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Once I bought my new shirt, I couldn’t wait to show it off. I walked around all day, went to five classes, and my club meetings, but nobody acknowledged my shirt.

It wasn’t until that very night, I was in an elevator, and I was completely shocked when a stranger asked me, “Who is on your shirt?” “It’s Farah Fawcett,” I said, but she still looked at me with confusion. It was then that I understood why nobody mentioned my shirt; they don’t know who Farah Fawcett is.

That moment made me realize that maybe I just assumed everybody knew who Farah Fawcett was. I knew she was known for her character on the 1970’s series Charlie’s Angels. Then, I came back to reality and reminded myself that I’m around people who were born in the 90’s.

However, I was also born in the 90’s, and I know who Farah Fawcett, Barbara Eden, Elizabeth Montgomery, and Richard Dawson are, because they were actors from hit 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s TV shows. Does that mean I prefer shows before the 90s to modern day TV? No question, don’t even have to think about it, absolutely!

Growing up, my family and I were TV addicts. However, it was my Mom who introduced me to the shows that she used to watch as a kid, such as I Dream of Jeannie, Charlie’s Angels, and Dallas. At first I didn’t understand the difference between those shows to modern shows, it was all just TV to me.

The biggest difference I could see, though, was my mother’s connection with the shows. She knew the names of the actors, the plot of every episode, how the series would end, etc. I watched and watched and continued to watch old TV, even when my Mom wasn’t there.

I was completely and utterly hooked.

My Mom was one of the reasons I became a Media Studies major, she taught me all of the actor’s names, what was popular “back then,” and the history behind these shows. So now, old TV reminds me of my Mom, and it reminds me to be the best I can be at Media Studies.

Old TV does not only make me nostalgic, but it also has a different impact on me than modern TV does not.

Old TV takes you into an unknown world. Today’s TV thrives on their interpretation of real life. Modern Family, The Middle,  and Girls all give a true representation of real life, but shows back then were a welcome distraction from real life.

Shows then were more fantasy based and truly absorbed you. I Dream of Jeannie was about a man who found a genie who could grant unlimited wishes. Charlie’s Angels were a group of women super spies. Bewitched showed a married couple, but, plot twist, the wife was a witch.

Sure, these storylines weren’t the most realistic, but that’s what captivated me as a viewer.

When you really start to watch a lot of old shows (and I mean a lot) you get a vivid sense of what the past looked like. I loved seeing what people used to wear, drive, live like, and find humorous. Obviously I wasn’t alive during these decades, so if I can’t live it, I want to get a representation of what it would be like. Even though old TV doesn’t give a perfect representation of what life was like during that time, it still gives a sense of what the generation was all about.

Sure I still love modern day television, but old shows evoke a feeling of true happiness in me. Of course old shows have their flaws, but what show doesn’t? That’s what makes them stand out among the hundreds of other shows.

Even though I realized not many people will know who she is, I will continue to proudly flaunt my Farah Fawcett shirt, because I know who she is.


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