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Slices of Life: Nostalgic for TV shows past

I grew up in the era of classic, they-don't-make-them-like-that-anymore television shows. Of course, this is my opinion. But who can argue with the iconic status of "The Brady Bunch," "Little House on the Prairie," "The Carol Burnett Show," "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island?" (The last two so much different than what shows with those titles might be today!)

It was a television era of "Happy Days." Literally.

I could go on and on like a series in reruns, which many of us watched as well. There was Gilligan and his ever-stranded gang. I believe the Beaver (who predates the Bieber by decades) would be another, as would Sheriff Andy Taylor and his adorable son, Opie.

I loved Lucy in black and white on a screen that was more fat than flat. The picture was often fuzzy, something we called "snow."

No one had high definition because it hadn't been invented yet. Nor had reality TV — unless you counted "The Lawrence Welk Show."

We huddled around the extra-large, 24-inch picture tube console and got up from the couch when we wanted to change one of the four or five channels that our rabbit ears were able to pull in.

I remember those days of childhood with a pair of rose-colored glasses. Life was different then. In all honesty, I'd prefer to leave it that way.

I remember Cindy as a little girl with pigtails; "The Love Boat" crew as young and hip; Fonzie as the epitome of cool; and "Star Trek" as cutting edge.

This isn't reality, but I don't want to be confronted with the knowledge that Charlie's Angels could be grandmas.

I've no need for a modern-day Brady reunion. Seeing them on my flat screen doesn't bring on feelings of nostalgia. Reruns can do that. Seeing the Brady "kids" grown up and middle-age makes me feel, well, grownup and middle-age.

I'm guessing others experience the same gut reaction. Hardly anyone embraces the constant unfolding of time after a certain point in time.

I'm also OK with Betty White's return because she's Betty White and she's always been golden — in years and personality.

But seeing someone go from child star to 40- or 50-something lacks the luster the networks lust after. I'm only being honest.

The golden era of television was just that. It was a time when we'd buy into the idea that seven people really could survive (and not ever get rescued) on a stranded isle.

It was a time when TV hadn't yet discovered the Kardashians or the real wives of wherever and we scheduled our Saturday nights around "The Carol Burnett Show" because that's when it was broadcasted.

Times have changed. TV has changed. Oh sure, we have more choices and channels now then we did then and our screens have stretched to a size beyond what we would have imagined possible 20 years ago. We can fast-forward through commercials and record our favorite programs to watch when it's convenient. We no longer have to arrange our Saturday evenings to watch our favorite show.

Call me sentimental, but sometimes I wish we did. Besides, maybe we lacked for choices back then, but at least there was no cable bill to pay each month. Carol Burnett and the other good folks from her era delivered for free — with the help of advertisements, of course. Some things never change.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.