Bring back Happy Days TV

Does anyone else wonder what happened to happy TV? Everything on TV is so dark these days.

Clare is a huge Archie comics fans, so when she heard they created a TV show based on the comic series, she was excited to start watching it on Netflix. I thought it might be fun to see how Archie, Jughead, Veronica, Betty and the gang were portrayed on the small screen, so I watched the first few episodes of Riverdale with her.

It became clear in the first ten minutes this was NOT the Archie comics I grew up with. Moose shot by a rogue serial killer, Veronica ordering hits on her ex-boyfriend, characters cruising the woods after dark looking for a potential hook up. WTF?!?

I miss the days of happy TV. The days of Friends, Seinfeld, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and yes, Happy Days, when teenagers were teenagers who hung out in soda shops or coffee shops, and when the biggest drama was who you were going to ask to prom.

We were telling Clare the other night about Fantasy Island, where people flew in (who can forget Tattoo yelling, “ze plane, ze plane”) each week to live out their fantasies and The Love Boat, where Julie, Isaac and the crew helped people find love by the end of each episode. Call me nostalgic, but I miss those shows.

When did shows like NCIS, Dexter, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead take over the airwaves? The next generation of dark TV is even darker, shows like 13 Reasons Why, Stranger Things and Riverdale, ridden with themes like suicide, murder and blackmail.

No wonder teenage mental health is in crisis. TV used to be a place where we could escape the harshness of the world; today angst, anxiety and negativity washes over us from the airwaves.

This week’s #HappyAct is to boycott dark TV. Let’s all call on Netflix and HBO and the networks to bring back happy days TV, shows with positive messages and themes. Clare last week said she’s had enough of Riverdale. Let’s follow her lead.

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Have an active fantasy life

Cast of TV show fantasy islandSince starting this blog, I’ve become a big fan of the postsecret.com blog which I gave a nod to on my About page.

One of the secrets shared last week was “Sometimes when I am driving I pretend a famous person is sitting in the passenger seat having a great time with me.”

While I haven’t done that exactly, I’ll admit there’s been the odd morning when I’ve arrived at work after my 40-minute commute without even being conscious of driving because I daydreamed about what I would do if I won the lottery.

I’ll reveal another one of my secrets. Growing up, I loved watching Love Boat and Fantasy Island on Saturday nights. It was exciting to be whisked away each week to an exotic locale, a new romance and a new fantasy.  Today, fantasy TV has been replaced by reality TV. Why? It must be because there’s just not enough reality in our lives.

I think it’s time we bring fantasy back into our lives. Fantasizing can be liberating, exciting, and inspiring.  It’s an escape from the ho-hum and can get your creative juices flowing, spark your imagination and make you feel happy.

And yet I’m going to go out on a limb and say I bet most people won’t admit to having an active fantasy life. It’s a bit like admitting you vote Green or watch The Batchelor.

This week’s Happy Act is to fantasize. I don’t expect you to share your fantasy but if you are comfortable sharing, please keep it clean—this blog is rated G and some of my kids’ friends read it. I would like to try a little experiment though. How many of you are willing to at least post a comment admitting you fantasize sometimes (and I know you do). How brave are you? Let’s see.