Same Time, Same Station
A familiar phrase popped into my head recently and it got me thinking…
Do you remember hearing “Same Time, Same Station?” I heard it often as a kid when one of my favorite TV shows, like Superman or Carol Burnett or Andy Griffith signed off for the week. My parents heard the same phrase as Fibber McGee and Molly or The Lone Ranger or Mystery Theater signed off on the radio a generation earlier. My kids have never heard Same Time, Same Station.
What’s changed? For one, everything now is On Demand—Netflix, Hulu, Disney, all the streaming services. But what’s lost? That sweet anticipation and expectation of having to wait a week to see if Superman would die from the kryptonite or if Roy Rogers really succumbed to that gunshot wound. Part of the thrill of stories whether you read, watch, or listen to them is the need to know, the burning desire to find out What Happens Next?
What Happens Next?
First, the VCR and then streaming took that away. I can binge-watch the next episode of Stranger Things and I’ll find out what happens next. I don’t have to wait. But half the fun is not knowing, guessing with your friends on the next fateful fall or the will-they or won’t they of romance. Will Richard Castle finally kiss Detective Kate Beckett? Will Lorelai Gilmore ever find true love?
This change in viewing and listening and even reading habits has me worried. The joys of anticipation in modern life are giving way to the relentless desire for instant gratification. But isn’t the anticipation of an event in a story even more engaging and suspenseful than the consummation; the build-up more of a joy than the climax; the journey and struggles of life more satisfying than the accomplishments?
Then there was the stability and reliability of knowing yes, Clark Kent, Big Hoss, and the Smothers Brothers will be back next week. And guess what? I can’t wait.
Do you remember Same Time, Same Station? If you do, please share in the COMMENTS below what you were watching or listening to when you heard it.
And read for FREE some of Charles Levin’s short stories:
Nora Delivers the Package
The Permission Slip
10 Life Lessons I Learned from Playing Poker
Missing the Ghost in the Palace Theater
Moon Landing Memories
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I do remember this line from many shows whose name I no longer remember. But I can name one show with that line slightly modified: Batman show in the 60’s always signed off with “Same bat time, same bat station”
Funny. I remember that one too. Thanks for sharing. You gave me a bat smile and a bat laugh.
Oh, yes! The sweet torture of having to wait a whole week to find out what happens next; to sit in the playground and later in the break room at work speculating on how the adventure will turn out or how the crime will be solved. …and not forgetting the agony of having missed a vital episode!
My partner and I discussed a similar thing about music, these days you can download or stream the entire discography of an artist within minutes. When I was a youngster, it was a pleasure to go to a record shop, spend hours (if the shop assistant let you) listening to records and then choosing one to buy and take home and the pride you felt, dusting and looking through your slowly growing LP collection.
Same goes for books.
When I was a little girl Penguin books issued a decorative The Chronicles of Narnia box, which could be bought together with the paper back of The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe. The next six books could be then bought individually and added to the box. The joy of saving up and buying the next book and the pride I had in my complete collection almost outshone the pleasure of reading them – only almost though.
Haha, sorry, this has turned into a bit of a long story.
I love your story and it brings back my memories of taking the bus to get to the record store to listen to and then buy a 45 RPM record, I love the book set idea too. Thanks for sharing!
I’m laughing because the first one I thought of was Batman, too! There were many shows that signed off with the phrase in my childhood, but none came to mind as fast as Batman. Not only was a continuing story a source of look-forward-to-it anxiety but that anxiety built as the clock slowly ticked towards the tie the show ended and I would think, “This is going to be a ‘To Be Continued’ episode!” I am going to share this article with my 30-something children to see if they remember the phrase.
LOL. Everytime we saw “To be continued…,” we’d groan in disappointment. But we couldn’t wait until the next episode appeared. Let me know what your kids say.
The whole idea of a “station” is disappearing. Now it’s a “platform.”
Thanks for sharing!
I am in the “same bat time, same bat channel” group too. 🙂
Yes, we have lost so much to instant gratification. 🙁
Thanks for the smile.
And thank you for your bat comment. It’s good to know that I’m not alone.
I like smiles:)