This Month in TV History- October

Emily Proctor, Co-News Editor

Looking back, October has been the month of late fall television premieres and hilarious Halloween specials, and while the weather turns from 70 and sunny to the low 50s and eventually freezing, it might not hurt to come home from school and enjoy a nice cup of coffee and start binge watching a new (but technically old) television series.

Sunday, Oct. 2

On this day in 2000, the comedy “Scrubs” premiered on NBC (before later transferring to ABC for its final two seasons). The show, which starred Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke and Donald Faison, portrayed the life of medical students turned hospital staff interns at the fictional Sacred Heart Hospital in California. The show followed the ups and downs of hospital work and J.D. (Braff) and his friends’ triumphs and failures while working with the ill.

Each episode was narrated by the main character, J.D. and a lot of the laughs came from his relatable awkwardness and anxieties surrounding his new job. The series also encapsulated the friendships made in the workplace and how much patients’ lives can affect employees.

The comedy ran for nine seasons, finally concluding in 2012. The first eight seasons starred the original main cast, before handing over the torch to a new group of interns in the ninth and final season.

Wednesday, Oct. 5

My number one suggestion for teenage girls and their mothers to binge watch entering high school will always be “Gilmore Girls”. The show starred Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel as a mother-daughter duo that were unlike any other. The hit series premiered on Oct. 5, 2000 on the CW network. The premise was slightly unusual, a young mother named Lorelai (Graham), had her daughter when she was just 16 years old. When the series begins, her daughter Rory (Bledel) is a 16-year-old precocious high school student that dreams of going to Harvard one day. Lorelai is the “cool mom” and is growing up right alongside her daughter.

This show is so great for a number of reasons. First off, it was one of the first of its kind to portray a teenage girl as driven and exceptionally smart in her schoolwork. Rory was unlike any other teen. She is shown studying and working for her grades (in between sharing lots of coffee with her mother, a staple of the series) whilst being quirky and best friends with her mom. Another big theme of the television show is complicated family relationships. By getting pregnant at 16, Lorelai was anything but the ideal daughter for her conservative parents, which is what makes their dynamic so interesting as the series progresses, as well as the relationship Rory eventually forms with her grandparents.

I’m currently rewatching the show with my mom and I am being constantly reminded of how funny and smart it is. Whether one of the girls are making a reference to a movie made 20 years ago, or talking as fast I do in real life, the show is simply perfect. And it reminds me just how lucky I am to have my mother as my best friend.

Monday, Oct. 10

On this day in 1996, “Seinfeld” aired its 138th episode entitled, “The Little Kicks.” The episode has been one that is remembered by fans for the dance that Elaine (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) does at a work event she is hosting. While attempting to show her groovy moves in front of her coworkers, Elaine manages to make a complete fool out of herself without even realizing it, thereby promoting excessive mocking by her employees.

The other plot line in the episode is about Jerry (Seinfeld himself) and Kramer (Michael Richards) going to see a new movie with one of Kramer’s friends who happens to be a fan of recording movies on video camera in the theater and then selling them on the street. So, super illegal stuff. Jerry eventually gets himself caught up in it, finding he has a knack for videotaping.

The episode is short and sweet and everything needed for a quick laugh.

Tuesday, Oct. 11

Everyone (or mostly everyone) knows Saturday Night Live. The live sketch comedy show that airs nearly every Saturday night hosted by some big name celebrity. In 1975, the show premiered and was first hosted by comedian George Carlin. It launched the careers of many famous actors of today including Steve Martin, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

Recently, SNL has been under fire by Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, for the sketch show’s portrayal of him, played by actor Alec Baldwin. Trump insulted the show via Twitter, even though he hosted the comedy last November.

On the same day in 2006, NBC premiered a new half-hour comedy called “30 Rock.” Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin starred in the series, which ran for seven seasons and received several Emmy awards and nominations for “Outstanding Comedy Series.”

The comedy was about Fey’s character, Liz Lemon, and her life as a writer on the fictional show “TGS” which starred a fictionalized version of Tracy Morgan named Tracy Jordan and played my the actor himself.

The show was loosely based on Fey’s experiences herself starting out as a television writer in New York so many of the plotlines reflected Fey’s reality.

Wednesday, Oct. 12

Remember when Disney Channel was good? Or at least when people our age watched it regularly. Those were the days, and on this day in 2007 a little show entitled “Wizards of Waverly Place” premiered. It starred Selena Gomez as a teenage wizard named Alex, who alongside her brothers was training in magic and preparing for the Family Wizard Competition. The show launched the career of Selena Gomez and also brought about a number of awards to the cast and creators for “Outstanding Children’s Program.”

The series ran for four seasons on Disney Channel and came back for a one-hour revival special in 2013. “Wizards” also had its own Disney Channel Original Movie entitled, “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie” which premiered in 2009. To this day it is one of my personal favorite shows to look back on and remember the hilarious magical mishaps of the Russo family.

Saturday, Oct. 15

65 years ago today Americans were invited to watch the fictional lives of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo (played by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz respectively) in one of the most critically acclaimed American television series, “I Love Lucy.” The couple also happened to be married in real life at the time of show, before eventually divorcing.

The half-hour comedy was the first of its kind to showcase a woman being pregnant to coincide with her real life pregnancy, this being the case in the show’s second season when Lucy gives birth to her son, Ricky Ricardo Jr. In real life, Ball and Arnaz were actually expecting a son together. The hilarious sitcom was like an exaggeration of the couple’s lives together, complete with Ball’s remarkable physical comedy.