Charlie’s Angels and Downtown Julie Brown – It’s Retro TV Week!

We didn’t watch much television when I was a kid. We had only three channels, and we lived in Louisiana where everyone was outside year round, so I never was taken by TV. (Plus the characters in my neighborhood were WAY more entertaining than anything on TV.) But, I do remember as a young girl trying to touch the fire when the Charlie’s Angels would come on screen. I was mesmerized by these three beautiful, powerful women who could walk through fire. I wanted to be like them!

I also remember Buckskin Bill and his Monday Morning March. I would march around my living room before Kindergarten on Monday mornings with my baton and a dress-up hat. It was such a sweet, cheerful way to kick off the school week. And then there was Romper Room, when the lady would look in the mirror and convince all of us she could see us through the TV, especially if she called your name. “I see Bobby, and Sally, and Julie!” I’d be waving and smiling like a fool.

I remember Mr. Rogers, too. As a young child, he was my favorite person on the planet (and I still quote him constantly). His soul was too good for this world, and I imagine he’s got a pretty high spot in heaven right now. The angriest I ever got at my father was when he told me the show was stupid. I was about four and I’m still working on forgiving him for that one.

Our family didn’t get cable until I was older, and boy was that a BIG deal. I remember the first thing we all gathered around together to see was Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. It lasted for something like twenty minutes, more of a short film than a music video, and it was ‘thrilling’ indeed. I was of that whole Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince generation when music was coming alive in ways it never had for our parents. We welcomed our MTV icons into our very own living rooms, and there they taught us to dance and sing and be completely cool (like totally). It was rad! So I guess that’s really the only time I wanted to ‘be’ someone on TV. I wanted to be Downtown Julie Brown, an MTV VJ. What a job that would have been!

Aside from that, I think there were a few episodes of Happy Days, The Waltons, and Lavergne and Shirley. Plus Wonder Woman…I can’t forget her. And maybe a little Fantasy Island (The plane! The plane!) I can sing all the theme songs, so I guess I had to have been watching television more than I think I was, right?

What about you? Were you an MTV kid? Did you say “Goodnight Johnboy.” Or did you run to the screen and yell “Hot!” when the Charlie’s Angels walked through fire? At least tell me one of you was out there doing the Monday Morning March with me.


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Julie Cantrell

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author at Harper Collins Christian
Julie Cantrell is a tree-hugging organic-farm girl and mother of two who happened into a mid-life adventure as a novelist. She's having fun parenting, writing, teaching, speaking, and living the dream.

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  1. Lisa Wingate says

    Okay, I didn’t do the Monday Morning March, but I love your story about the lady convincing you she could see you through the TV. There were some elderly neighbors near our place, a pair of sisters, who covered the TV all their lives, whenever they weren’t “decent.” They didn’t want “those people” to see them in their unmentionables and tell everyone about it =D

    Loved your sweet post this morning, Julie!


  2. says

    OH, Julie! I remember jumping up and down in front of the TV wanting so badly for the Romper Room lady to “see” me and call out, “I see…Shellie…” She never did. Hurt me so badly that sometimes on my radio show I have Romper Room moments where I call out the names of everyone who is Facebook Chatting with me while I’m on the air. I look through my mirror and I call out their names! We’ve laughed about it a lot. Sometimes we learn to pursue healing in our own weird ways, yes? :))) Loved seeing your secret dream to be Downtown Julie Brown! Great post, girl. THX!

  3. Virginia Rush says

    LOL….we still yell goodnight John Boy, Erin, grandma, ma, pa….

    I think those goodnights will ring down through the years forever…

  4. says

    The Romper Room lady has never called out my name either…guess I’m going to have to pay closer attention to Shellie’s show for my therapy!

    I’m an 80s MTV kid myself! I grew up in a 3 channel (sometimes) town in SW Kansas. We had a TV but it was black and white. When I was 13 we moved to central Kansas where they had cable and we got a color tv. Talk about paradigm shift. Who knew all that was going on???

  5. says

    Brandi…”Who knew all that was going on?” Exactly! I was so clueless! And Virginia, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one saying goodnight to John Boy. Shellie, thanks for healing all of our old wounds for being Romper Room Rejects. And Lisa…that’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard! You have to put that in a book!

  6. Rachel Hauck says

    I love all of these shows! Charlie’s Angles was a favorite. Who didn’t want Farrah hair.

    And my whole family loved MTV when it first came out!!

    Great post, Julie!


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