Musings on Obscurity: My TV Watching Goals for 2020

Can you believe January is nearly over? It feels like 2020 only just started and yet here we are almost 1/12th of the way through the new year.

What I Watched in 2019

My big accomplishment last year was watching all 13 episodes of Man from Atlantis (NBC, 1977-1978). It was not easy. Most of the episodes were dull and plodding and a chore to sit through. Even the handful of episodes with interesting premises were ruined by weak stories and/or weak acting.

I watched the pilot telefilm and two episodes of one season wonder Lucas Tanner (NBC, 1974-1975) starring David Hartman. I’m slowly working on an article about the show and took a lot of notes. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to any additional episodes, although I do have a copy of a script for a third episode that I’ll read at some point this year.

What else? I rewatched a recent obscurity, the short-lived sitcom Running Wilde (FOX, 2010). The network only aired nine of the 13 episodes; the others later aired on cable channel FX. I know I watched all the episodes FOX aired back in 2010 but I can’t recall if I caught the episodes on FX. It’s a funny show and I enjoyed rewatching it.

That’s pretty much it for short-lived or obscure TV shows. I had planned on tackling Coronet Blue (CBS, 1967) or The Immortal (ABC, 1970-1971) but I subscribed to Hulu in January and quickly got sucked into rewatching two long-running animated comedies: Futurama and King of the Hill. Watching those two shows ate up a lot of my free time.

What I Hope to Watch in 2020

On the first day of 2020, I started watching the second season of The Rebel (ABC, 1959-1961) on Amazon Prime. I watched and enjoyed the first season in 2018 but had to wait until the second season started streaming to watch it. I’m more than halfway through.

Once I’ve finished The Rebel, I’ll start watching Coronet Blue on DVD. Then comes Blondie (NBC, 1957) on DVD. After that, I’ll probably rewatch recent obscurity Surface (NBC, 2005-2006) on DVD. If I get through all of those shows, next on the watch list is The Immortal.

What are your TV watching goals for 2020? Will you be enjoying any obscure TV shows this year? Hit the comments with your thoughts.

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13 Replies to “Musings on Obscurity: My TV Watching Goals for 2020”

  1. I’ve long been interested in the DuMont Television Network, and I want to view episodes of it’s shows that seem most appealing to me. Though money is tight, I bought a used copy of a Rocky King Detective DVD so I can “own” a bit of DuMont, plus I’m watching all the additional episodes that are on YouTube. After that I’ll choose some of the shows available for viewing through links. The website has links to 3 of The Adventures of Ellery Queen episodes from 1950 – 1951, so that’s a do-able number to watch.

    I’d like to sample some episodes of The Goldbergs (the 1950s series, not the current one) if I can figure out how to tell which ones were the 1954 DuMont ones.

    Those 3 series are about all I should set as a goal to watch this year.

    1. The Goldbergs are on Shout Factory and you can find them on You Tube and Internet Archive. There are 4 versions of the show [CBS,NBC, Dumont & syndication] and they are about the same. However, having watched all the shows, you can identify Dumont episodes because they were sponsored by a health tonic!

    2. I’ve now finished the basics of my DuMont TV viewing goal — Rocky King, Ellery Queen, and two 1954 episodes of The Goldbergs. All low budget, but enjoyable. I plan to watch all of the DuMont Goldbergs available on YouTube, then try to hunt up some more Ellery Queen episodes.

      Life has been a bit of a challenge for me, so I’ve become low budget. It’s comforting to watch DuMont shows on my tiny Kindle via YouTube. Somehow it wouldn’t seem right to watch them on a big screen. I’m thankful that the rent of my one-room apartment includes access to the building’s WiFi, so I can spend the year getting to know more about DuMont. I hope everyone else enjoys reaching their TV watching goals.

  2. I’ve been working on the shows Carter Country & the 1977 Betty White Show for a few months and hope to finish them soon.

    Not quite as obscure but it was mentioned briefly that Chico & the Man might be coming to HBO Max, so I’m waiting with baited breath for that one.

  3. “DAYS OF DUMONT” is dedicated to the old Dumont network. Roku has an app by that name which has a good number of surviving programs. There is also a Facebook page by that name. I enjoy watching the clips and programs on the app.

    1. I don’t have Roku TV, but my apartment building has WiFi, so I can get the Internet on my Kindle Fire. Thank you for letting me know of other sources preserving the history of poor old DuMont.

  4. I hope to watch these from my DVD collection this year
    (not many obscurities except for maybe Fantastic Voyage and Marvel Superheroes, which are bootleg DVDs)

    Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
    V:The Series – all
    Fantastic Voyage (1968-1969)
    Ren and Stimpy – seasons 1 & 2
    The Simpsons – seasons 6-9
    South Park – season 14
    Mr. Show – all
    The Office – season 9

    and these therafter:

    Ghost Story/Circle of Fear – all
    Tales From the Darkside – season 4
    Space: 1999 – all
    Star Trek – TOS – all
    Red Baron (Japanese tokusatsu)
    Marvel Superheroes (1966)
    Pink Panther – original shorts – all
    Ren and Stimpy – The Lost Episodes
    The Simpsons – seasons 10-16

    I too would like to watch Coronet Blue and The Immortal! I need to add those to my list!

  5. I found the earlier episodes of Man from Atlantis to be the weakest ones. They relied too much on Victor Buono as the bad guy, and given that he was constantly defeated he wasn’t much of a threat. Many of the later ones without him were more interesting, but by that time it was too late for the show. And the show never quite seemed to be as good as the movies. It was really an Aquaman TV series without the copyrighted character.

  6. Which Immortal are you planning to watch?

    Also I liked the Man from Atlantis episode where Mr Shurbert had run out fo money and was trying to extort $100,000 since he had spent his fortune on grandiose schemes. No one thought tit was him since that would have been petty cash for him.

    1. I’m planning on watching ABC’s short-lived The Immortal from the 1970-1971 season, starring Christopher George.

  7. Hi there, I’m currently watching the original Battlestar Galactica series. With the Carona virus, our cable network in Australia gave us extra channels, and BSG happened to be starting from the beginning. I did see the pilot when it originally aired. I didn’t end up watching the whole series then. I have found some episodes plodding and tedious, and it’s definitely a poor man’s star wars. It’s comforting to see old Ben Cartwright in his familiar fatherly role. Apollo and Starbuck are likeable enough. After some boring episodes i was tempted not to keep watching, but I’ve checked out the synopsis for upcoming episodes and they seem interesting enough, so I’ll stick with it.
    I’ve also been watching in 2020 The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries. I’m absolutely loving them. I did watch the show as a kid. The first season is the best as it shows the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew as alternating episodes equally. The second season is more Hardy Boys heavy and a lot of the supporting characters are dropped. The highlights of the second season is the crossovers where Nancy and the Hardy boys meet. I remember being confused as a kid when Nancy starts being played by a different girl, but I haven’t gotten up to those yet.
    Another more recent obscureity I got on dvd was Joey season one. I did watch and enjoy Joey when it was on. I wanted to see the episodes again as they are never rerun, while Friends is rerun continually.

  8. I have seen “Deadline”, a syndicated series hosted by Paul Stewart from 1959 about journalists writing up those news stories when they were heroes of newspapers were king. A very rare find, found in a New Jersey garage after being stored there for more than 50 years, brought to DVD by FilmChest. It’s worth watching!

  9. I recently watched Hyperion Bay on Youtube (17 episode 1 season wonder) – although, the last 2 episodes were missing! i need to see these last 2 episodes and see how it ends!

    Also wanted to mention, that someone has uploaded all 6 episodes of FOX’s Cracking Up on Youtube. Very cool to see those again, those were “unavailable” for a long time. Now if we could only get the unaired episodes somehow.

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