Older Americans who grew up watching television on a device that looked more like a grand piece of stationary furniture than a portable black mirror shouldn’t be timid about embracing current technology to meet their entertainment needs.
Entertainment is a source of great joy, and sometimes it’s our favorite TV shows that bring us the most happiness. Good TV shows never get old, but through traditional television channels, they can be hard to find or only available during odd hours.
Adults over 55 are rapidly moving away from ad-supported, conventional platforms like cable and satellite services. Increasingly, they’re streaming favorite shows over the internet through on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Apple TV and Amazon Prime. As a matter of fact, online viewership of seniors over the age of 65 has increased 36 percent since 2013.
While there’s always something to do at Cambridge Court, there’s nothing quite like watching old favorites at your own convenience. Here are some classic television shows to watch while you’re relaxing alone or with friends in your apartment in the assisted living community at Kearny.
1. The Andy Griffith Show
With plausible storylines and genuine characters, this show just never gets old. Sherriff Andy Griffith, pure-hearted champion of fairness and justice, does his best to raise his son in the small, southern town of Mayberry. An inept deputy, a sassy housekeeper, eccentric townspeople and temperamental girlfriends make for some of the best television ever created.
This western drama series ran for an incredible 20 seasons. Lawman Matt Dillon keeps the peace in the frontier town, where people often have little respect for the law. Dillon employs bravery and wisdom to solve problems associated with rugged frontier life, including cattle rustling, gunfights, brawls and land disputes. But it was character development — not shootouts — that makes us want to see each episode again and again.
3. Star Trek – The Original Series
Set in the Milky Way galaxy during the 2260s, this show features Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. “Bones” McCoy and a crew that travels the frontiers of space on the starship Enterprise. This classic sci-fi series takes viewers to new worlds where the morals and values of the crew are often very different from the civilizations they encounter. Every episode highlights the challenges of maintaining a noble purpose under difficult circumstances.
4. The Jeffersons
An African-American dry-cleaning entrepreneur builds wealth and moves his family into a posh high-rise apartment in Manhattan. George Jefferson, opinionated and set in his ways, is constantly checked by his level-headed, open-minded wife, Louise. Often in open conflict with his neighbors, George fails to secure true enemies because everyone knows there’s a soft side just under the surface of his gruff exterior.
5. The Rockford Files
Not your standard detective, Jim Rockford lives paycheck to paycheck in a rundown trailer along the California coast. Rockford works low budget insurance scams and missing persons cold cases as a private investigator for hire. Jim Rockford is flawed, and we love him for it. He possesses humanity and humility not often seen in the personality of traditional television heroes.
6. The Waltons
The saga follows a Virginia family during the decades that defined The Great Depression and World War II. Told through the lens of aspiring author John Boy Walton, this classic show tackles coming of age, financial hardship, rural mountain life, marriage and death. But its timeless message of the bonds created through the love of God, family and community is why this show remains a favorite across generations.
7. Highway to Heaven
An angel stripped of his wings, Jonathan Smith is sent back to earth to help people in trouble. To earn his entry back into Heaven, Jonathan must complete assignments given to him by God where he is required to use his humanity to help various troubled souls overcome problems. Smith shows us that even bad guys are worthy of being redeemed and that God’s love is both available and infinite.
8. The Golden Girls
Three widows and one divorcee navigate life as single women and find companionship in each other’s company while living together as roommates in Miami, Florida. Critically acclaimed for its ability to explore some of the most progressive views available on television at the time, this newer classic endures because of its broadest themes. The show was very optimistic in its view of aging. It showed that even after the trauma of death or divorce, you don’t have to be alone. You can still have fun as an older adult. And more importantly, you can create a new family with your friends.