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Re-meeting the Jetsons

Posted 4 years ago by Television

The Jetsons

As an aging geek, I’m starting to fall victim to stuff only old people do. For instance, I get up somewhat early on Sundays and watch CBS Sunday Morning. You youngins may know about this news magazine TV series hosted by octogenarian Charles Osgood. It’s a very well-produced show with a wide variety of news and features that we old people enjoy.

I know what you’re probably saying to yourself, “Whoa, slow down, grandpa. You’ll break a hip.”

Risking a shattered pelvis, I settled in for this week’s edition of the show and its Future theme. As usual, the show was exciting but not too exciting so as to soil my Depends. I was thrilled to see a segment about the “retro future” of the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons.

It’s hard to believe that the show is over 50 years old. I’m old but I’m not that old. I watched The Jetsons as a kid in the ’80s when it was already considered an old show. The Hanna-Barbera creation always surpassed predecessor The Flintstones in my eyes. As CBS reporter Lee Cowan indicates, the show’s charm is intensified by its role as a retro futuristic relic.

The short segment includes Jetsons expert Matt Novak. They only mention it in passing but Novak has a thorough report on each of the 24 episodes over at Smithsonian.com. Yes, even more remarkable than the half-century age of The Jetsons is that the fact that the original series only had 24 installments. The sci-fi sitcom lasted just the 1962-63 season but has had more cultural resonance than shows with 10 or more seasons.

Novak’s recaps even have the episodes themselves embedded. Even more important to the detail-rich reviews is his essay on why the show still matters. I couldn’t agree more.

If you’ve never experienced The Jetsons or just need to re-familiarize yourself, I strongly suggest reading Novak’s reviews and watching the episodes. In fact, I insist you do. Everyone knows they should listen to their elders.