1950s Television – Introduction

Television mesmerised us from the moment it entered our households, and – in less than a decade – became a staple of our way of life. The rapid growth of the popularity of television surpassed even that of radio broadcasting in the 1920s. Television’s immediate success was not a fad. It stuck because a generation of talented(…)

1960s Television – Introduction

If the Fifties were the innocent childhood of television, the Sixties were definitely the period of rebellious adolescence. Just as the world underwent dramatic social and cultural change, so television led the way in reflecting the Swinging Sixties. Television in the 1960s was very different to now. Today the TV set is part of our(…)

1970s Television – Introduction

In the 1970s, TV Producers turned from the excess of violence seen in drama series’ of the 60s, to seek other ways of stimulating the audience. British TV comedy was king during the Seventies, serving up shows like Are You Being Served?, Citizen Smith, Fawlty Towers, Porridge, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, Rising Damp, The(…)

1980s Television – Introduction

If the TV show you are watching features a swag of characters in infeasibly large shoulder pads and an excess of hair gel, do not adjust your set – you are watching television as seen in the 1980s. The 80s was the decade in which American soaps such as Dallas and Dynasty dominated the ratings, media coverage(…)

1990s Television – Introduction

Fox scored big with The Simpsons, the animated brainchild of comic artist Matt Groening. Bart Simpson, the show’s young troublemaking fourth-grader, immediately became an icon for underachievers of all ages, leading to a rapid proliferation of T-shirts bearing Bart’s mantra: “Don’t have a cow, Man”. Twin Peaks also touched a nerve with viewers, but was(…)

Drama Television – Introduction

The drama series on TV can be traced back to crime shows (notably Dragnet) and kids westerns (The Lone Ranger) on television in the early 1950s, to film noir and the cowboy movies, and to all sorts of pulp fiction. But its growth in American television, and therefore ultimately the Western world, was initially a(…)

Fashion in the 1950s

Fashion in the 1960s

Op Art, Pop Art, Miniskirts and Mod ; Bobs, Boots, paisley and eye-liner four inches thick . . . “The Swinging Sixties” and “The Roaring Twenties” were the only decades to be given names that instantly conveyed the lighter side of life. They both experienced expansion, major social changes, daring young fashions and new styles in popular music, art and(…)

Fashion in the 1970s

Fashion in the early 1970s seemed to have little rhyme or reason; while both sexes were wearing tie-dyed shirts, ‘unisex’ bell-bottoms and second-hand military attire (for an ironic-yet-stylish comment on the Vietnam War), women were also wearing mid-calf hemlines and granny dresses. Women began to wear Hot Pantsand ra-ra skirts (but not bra’s – they burned them instead)(…)

Fashion in the 1980s

The early 80s were all about BIG. Everyone needed bigger hair, bigger muscles, bigger breasts and bigger budgets to pull the whole thing off. Think Brooke Shields and George Michael’s eyebrows, Flashdance-inspired big sweaters with widened necks, Dynasty and Dallas shoulder pads and huge legwarmers or socks ballooning at the ankles. This “big” look was a scary fashion nightmare. And to make(…)

Kids Television – Introduction

Before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Tortoises or Mighty Morphin Flower Arrangers roamed the Earth, children’s television was truly a thing of beauty, simplicity and fun. Vintage children’s television can still be an emotive subject. People argue in pubs about the names of characters in The Magic Roundabout and bet on which of the Thunderbirds was(…)

Movies in the 1950s

” I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender” – Hollywood fought against the new medium of television with bigger stars and bigger budgets – all in glorious CinemaScope. Hollywood faced a major problem in the 1950s. The industry feared and despised Television but it could not ignore it. Box office receipts were hit(…)

Movies in the 1960s

Dressed in a pair of white Levis you’re driving around London in an MGB with David Hemmings and one of the Redgrave girls, shaking your stuff to The Yardbirds, making your way to the next photo session with Jane Birkin and Nanette Newman in white PVC go-go boots. Meanwhile, Jane Asher is at home cleaning the lino(…)

Movies in the 1970s

What was the Seventies? A decade that had Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell’s psychotropic Performance, with its gender confusions and personality crises breaking down the walls of society at one end, and Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now at the other end. What happened in between? That was some journey. . . Hollywood changed radically in the 1970s in an(…)

Movies in the 1980s

The first half of the 1980s saw many “feel good” movies and everyone felt very secure. The second half of the decade spawned many films about despair and difficulty. . . Bogus! Things changed up to the crash of 1987, eventually leading the way to the nihilism of grunge in the 1990s . . .(…)