The 1960s was a decade which helped shape modern entertainment as we know it today. The period saw a number of cultural shifts from the old ideas to something absolutely new. The youth had managed to start dictating the mainstream by this time. This happened mainly because of the fact that huge unrest was growing among the youngsters after they saw the Vietnam War claiming the lives of their friends by the thousands. Songs, movies, poems, and literature were produced during this time which questioned the government policies and wanted answers at any cost.
Television, too, saw a sea of change during the 1960s. This was the first decade after the television got introduced to every American household. We saw major shows like ‘Star Trek‘ (1966-1969), ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ (1960-1968), ‘Batman’ (1966-1968) and others being produced during this time. The legendary Johnny Carson took over ‘The Tonight Show’ in 1962 and changed television forever. Comedy shows became very popular during the 1960s. Shows like ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ (1961-1966) and ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ (1962-1971) became some of the most watched programs on television. With shows like ‘Get Smart’ (1965-1970), ‘Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C’ (1964-1969), and ‘Green Acres’ (1965-1971), satires and sitcoms also garnered a lot of viewership during this decade. If you are interested in older television shows or are feeling nostalgic about the times gone by, then you have come to the right place. Here’s the list of really good 60s shows on Netflix that are available to stream right now:
5. Dad’s Army (1968-1977)
With the huge popularity of comedy shows, sketches, satires, and sitcoms during the 1960s, various themes started getting incorporated on television programs with a fresh comic touch. One such show is the highly popular British television show, ‘Dad’s Army‘. It is a sitcom set during the Second World War, and the main characters of the series are a group of British Home Guard Officers. These are officers who were declared unfit for the army and are much older gentlemen (hence the name of the show). The main source of fun in the series is the Home Guards’ complete lack of preparation and their inability to fight. The humor is also sometimes based on relationships where the class roles have been reversed. When the series initially began, the humor was much darker than what it later became. It must be said here that the portrayal of Home Guards had drawn some criticism from critics when the series was initially aired.
4. Jeopardy! (1964-1975)
‘Jeopardy!‘ is one of the most famous and earliest game shows on American television. Merv Griffin, who is one of the most successful talk show hosts in America, is the creator of the show. ‘Jeopardy!’ is a quiz show which goes on for several rounds until a winner is declared. The winner of an episode appears in the next episode to start off the game and play with the new contestants. The game starts with a 6*5 grid, within which each box contains a clue and the value of the question written on it in dollars. Naturally, tougher questions are valued higher. ‘Jeopardy!’ is widely regarded as an iconic American television by many. It was also among the most popular shows on television during its run. It won an unprecedented 33 Daytime Emmy Awards. Many publications have regarded it as the best game show in television history.
3. The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968)
One of the most popular sitcoms on television ever, ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ premiered in 1960 and aired for 8 seasons with 249 episodes to its name. The show is set in a fictitious town called Mayberry, North Carolina. Andy Griffith’s character, Andy Taylor is the protagonist of the series. He is the sheriff of Mayberry and lives with his son Opie (Ron Howard) and aunt-cum-housekeeper Bee Taylor (Frances Bavier). Another important character is Taylor’s incompetent deputy, Barney Fife (Don Knotts).
The story of the show follows Andy as he strictly enforces police action against any kind of criminal activity. He is a strict, honest, and disciplined police officer, and thus, a threat to the local miscreants. Andy’s life is made problematic by his deputy Barney Fife’s actions. When not working, Andy likes to go on fishing trips with his son and his aunt. Throughout its run, ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ was always among the most watched programs on American television. The show was mostly rated at seventh or above in terms of the number of viewers. The last season of the series was the then-highest watched show in America. Besides popularity among the audience, ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ also received love from several critics and was awarded numerous Emmys during its run.
2. Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-1974)
Monty Python is among the most talented comedy groups ever, and the members of this group have created several iconic movies and TV shows during their time. The 1966 show ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ is another one of their crowning achievements. The show is full of sight gags, puns, and innuendos which are mostly observational in nature. Most of the sketches are performed by the six members of the group — Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. Sometimes, they use other actors for the supporting roles.
Being highly educated themselves, Monty Python always focused on the idiosyncrasies of professors, doctors, lawyers, and other such respectable British professions. Their education often reflected on their comedy, and thus, the sketches are full of references to poets, philosophers, and their works. So a little initiation into western philosophy will help the viewers grasp the humor in its entirety. Though the show was extremely popular and loved by all, the third and fourth seasons, according to the audience and the Pythons themselves, were not up to the mark and they consider it mainly a derivative of the earlier episodes.
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1. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969)
‘Star Trek’ is the most iconic thing that ever happened to the television industry in the 1960s. After the release of the series, the television industry changed forever, with grander stories exploring themes of science fiction being made. ‘Star Trek’ is created by Gene Roddenberry. Interestingly, the show was released at an ideal point of time. It was during the 1960s that man was sent to space and walked on the surface of the moon for the first time. The series is set entirely in space and the story follows a spacecraft called USS Enterprise. This spacecraft is out to look for any other form of life or civilization that may exist in the universe.
Captain James T. Kirk is the commander of Enterprise and the crew consists of Spock, the First Officer, and Science Officer, Leonard McCoy, the Chief Medical Officer, second officer, and chief engineer Lieutenant Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, communications officer Lieutenant Uhura, and helmsman Lieutenant Sulu. ‘Star Trek’ was canceled only after three seasons because the ratings were poor. The show later became a cult icon after reruns. It has gone on to spawn one of the biggest franchises in entertainment history. NBC’s decision to cancel the show is now widely regarded as among the greatest blunders in television history.
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