Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Classic is in the eye of the beholder

If you've just been dying to watch old episodes of "Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," "Head of the Class" and "Kung Fu," good news: AOL will soon be offering these and other "classic" TV shows in streaming video for internet viewing. Some of the shows to be shown actually do have some cultural flashback value; I might be interested in watching "Alice" and "Eight Is Enough" again, and I'm sure there are people who'd feel the same about "The Fugitive," "Maverick," "Lois & Clark" and "Scarecrow and Mrs. King." But I have trouble believing there's really a big audience pining away for "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper" repeats. It makes me think about "The Hat Squad," a blink-and-you-missed-it series that got replayed endlessly on one of the few channels we had available while we were in Russia adopting our kids 11 years ago this month. I remember watching it with Russian dubbed over the voices and thinking: So this is where bad American TV goes when it dies. But now, I guess that distribution path is changing. Apparently, as with so much else, it goes on the internet.

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