Thanks to my Google Alerts for words and phrases like Jetsons, Minority Report, utopia, dystopia, Blade Runner, Star Trek, apocalypse and a host of others, I’ve been monitoring the way that we talk about the future for years. And no point of reference has been more popular and varied as a symbol of tomorrowism than “The Jetsons.”But as Novak explains, because almost all those viewers in 1962-63 saw the show in black and white, the future didn't look as bright as it did to those of us who caught the show in the 1970s/80s in syndicated reruns, which is why it may have only lasted one season, yet made such an impact on the viewers who followed.
“The Jetsons” was the distillation of every Space Age promise Americans could muster. People point to “The Jetsons” as the golden age of American futurism because (technologically, at least) it had everything our hearts could desire: jetpacks, flying cars, robot maids, moving sidewalks. But the creators of “The Jetsons” weren’t the first to dream up these futuristic inventions. Virtually nothing presented in the show was a new idea in 1962, but what “The Jetsons” did do successfully was condense and package those inventions into entertaining 25-minute blocks for impressionable, media-hungry kids to consume.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
EEP, OPP, ORK, AH-AH: Just seven months after John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth from space, The Jetsons debuted on ABC, fifty years ago today. It was the network's first program broadcast in color (The Flintstones was produced in color, but broadcast in b/w for the first two seasons), and its impact goes well beyond its mere twenty-four episodes. The Smithsonian's Matt Novak explains:
Posted by Adam at 12:53 PM