My childhood was a strange mix of the normal selection of programming for kids as well as watching repeats of 1980s alternative comedy. However, one of my favourite shows was The Monkees. Essentially think of it as the 1960s version of S Club 7 series Miami 7.
It used to be part of Channel 4′s flagship breakfast show The Big Breakfast sandwiched in between jokes about Johnny Vaughn’s plums and alien puppet duo Zig and Zag.
The series followed four young men as they desperately tried to get a gig but instead the plot would become Chuckle Brothersesque as the band found out that their new employers didn’t appreciate their music just wanted them to teach music to his self-made pet monster. Or saving a bankrupt circus by pretending to be French tightrope walkers.
This wasn’t just the odd episode that was a bit crazy as a diversion from the regular storyline of band wants more gigs every episode — the whole show was just crazy.
Each episode contained songs from the The Monkees as, depending on the plot, would either perform for a crowd or a one of their songs would accompany the mad cap ending.
It was a strange scenario as The Monkees were a manufactured band who had been selected through auditions as music moguls wanted to make an American version of The Beatles. Thereby creating a band who had a television about themselves except they weren’t really playing themselves nor playing out their real lives.
But who cared? It was silly, comical and knew what kind of programme it was. In fact it seemed like sometimes they themselves were shocked at the success of it as revealed in small interviews sometimes tacked on the end when an episode had run short.
But then I reached my teenage years and much like when you hide away your teddies behind that big poster of the band you currently like I hid my tapes of episodes away.
That is until I then came out of the teenage years and realised all over again that it was just silly fun with stupid gags and nothing to be ashamed of. I would be more ashamed to say I watched X Factor or any other Saturday evening entertainment than I watch The Monkees.