Via Netflix, I’ve been watching CHiPs – The Complete First Season the past few weeks. Yes, Ponch and Jon are fighting crime in Southern California. I’m amazed at how far crime fighting, safety guidelines, and vehicle safety has come. I don’t think I ever saw old TV as a time capsule of society. Examples:
- no one is wearing seat belts
- tons of people smoke, even in public buildings
- women at headquarters are hit on by Ponch, in what surely today would be seen as harassment
- Jon and Ponch walk right up to the front of the drive’s window of a car they’ve pulled over. Today, the officer would stay back near the back seat door to force the driver to turn around
- Jon and Ponch move accident victims when there isn’t a risk of fire or explosion.
- Jon and Ponch frequently pull someone over, then park their bikes in or near a travel lane
All that said, I’m enjoying the shows. They’re a bit cheesy, but I am amazed at how many of the episodes I remember. Some of the episodes I don’t think I’ve seen since they were originally aired, and the plot floods back to me. I guess the shows made more of an impression on my ten year old self than I would have thought.
I also really like the closing credit sequence. The scene is played out with a few seconds of the characters doing something, then the camera freezes, and some of the credits appear on screen. It makes you watch the closing credits. Has any other TV show ever done something like that?