Early Family TV Classics Not So Black & White

Herbie J Pilato
4 min readFeb 16, 2020

A Colorful Look Back At Retro Television Family Gold

I have tried to watch and like new television shows, specifically so-called “family shows.” I really have. But my gosh, I just can’t. I try. But I just can’t.

The new shows are so unappealing, so mean-spirited, so unlikable. All the characters look the same, talk the same; everyone is sarcastic, and everyone rolls their eyes.

Ok, maybe not everyone.

But mostly everyone.

And it doesn’t help that there are like a bazillion TV commercials that air or stream while trying to watch an assortment of modern dramas, comedies, specials, or movies, be they family-oriented or not.

Those in front of and behind the scenes have talent. And it’s not anyone’s fault, in particular. It’s a group effort, actually. Those in power who greenlight these shows do so because they think audiences want these shows.

But in the end, it’s all mishandled, misguided and improperly presented not only by the creative forces at work who are directly responsible for the given show’s production, but the advertisers, and investors who allow such bunk to ever get on the air — or stream in the first place.

The Early TV Family Classics

Back in the day, circa the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, there were tremendous shows like The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriett, The Donna Reed Show, My Three Sons, Leave It To Beaver., and so forth. And thanks to DVDs or classic TV-geared networks like ME-TV, COZI-TV, Antenna TV, and the like, those days can be here again anytime the audience wants them to be.

These are the top five genius television classics that were filmed in black and white.

However, contrary to popular opinion, from an organically-aesthetic perspective, each of these shows, and their characters, were not all that black and white, even though many early editions of such programming were filmed in exactly that way.

In fact, they were very colorful and multi-dimensional.

At times, and in retrospect, when any one of these programs are referenced in the spectrum of television in particular, and popular culture in general…

Herbie J Pilato

Herbie J Pilato is a writer, producer, and TV personality whose books about life and pop culture include THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS.