Best in Shows
Our Sunday nights aren't the same since that little smile lit up Don Draper's face, and his greatest idea concluded the series. Reruns (amc+, Freevee) remind us of the series which has thus far set the standard for 21st century U.S. television.
Outstanding Game/Panel Show
What's My Line?
Class. Sophistication. Good manners. A bizarre take on the role of women in society. At 10:30PM on CBS Sundays in the 1950's and '60's, millions of Americans enjoyed a genteel parlor game. Watch reruns in sequence on YouTube.
This period detective drama renders with unique historical accuracy the WWII and early Cold War era setting. Michael Kitchen's brilliant portrayal of Christopher Foyle captures forever the timeless values of his character's generation. Streams on AcornTV.
The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
Carson's personality was perfectly suited for the TV medium. He was never smug, and never acted superior to part of the population. Today's late night hosts should go to school on his reruns.which you'll find on Peacock TV.
Professor T (PBS Masterpiece, an Amazon Prime channel)
This Belgian police drama (with English subtitles) may be the best show you've never seen. Three seasons, all with standalone classic mystery twists, and a fascinating lead character (played by Koen De Bouw) you'll not soon forget.
Hold the Sunset (Amazon Prime)
Catch season two of this BBC comedy with John Cleese and Alison Steadman plus a top tier supporting cast including Jason Watkins, Joanna Scanlan, and Anne Reid. Produced by Humphrey Barclay.
New Tricks (Hulu)
A cross between a light detective drama and a "cold case" based procedural, this early 2000's Brit hit is just what you need as a respite from the humorless darkness that imbues too much 21st century television.
To Tell the Truth (YouTube)
Reruns of the late 1950's and early 1960's version of the Goodson-Todman panel game are available (in sequence!) on YouTube.
Radio's Superman Bud Collyer usually hosts. Panelists include Tom Poston, classy Kitty Carlisle, brainy Peggy Cass, and the clever and hilarious young Orson Bean. Weekly snapshots of a the era's culture more revealing in ways social historians rarely capture..