If it was up to me we would permanently cut the cable cord in my home. Even more so after we (and many other Califonians) were dumped by Verizon FIOS and picked up by the awful Frontier. With a combination of free Digitial Television, Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Apple TV (and all of the content apps), there is more media than I can handle in any one sitting. Unfortunately, my wife’s addiction to HGTV and HBO trumps my desire. So thecable-cord syringe remains fully plunged in our arms. 

I still enjoy free Digital TV and the classic shows and movies it shows with at work hooked up with an antenna. And if you are interested in cutting the cable chord get to know these free movie channels: ThisTV, Movies and GritTV. I have watched many of my favorite classic movies from the 1960s through the 1990s, including one of my all-time favorites Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and even some from the 2000s on these channels.

A few years ago when my wife and I were living in separate cities I did completely cut the cable cord and mastered the available free Digital TV channels. Back then there were less channels than there are today. I became a big fan of free Retro TV show channels, AntennaTV, MeTV and, more recently, Decades. MeTV used to have a Sunday Night Noir special and that is when I started watching two of my favorite shows, The Fugitive and Route 66. You can still catch those shows sporadically on random free channels, especially during marathons on Decades. 

Both The Fugitive and Route 66 take place in different cities throughout the early 1960s, and mostly in the Western portion of the United States. Both shows operated on the semi-anthology format, i.e., shows that devoted most of their screen time to the weekly guest stars. Some of the notable (and then younger) guest stars on The Fugitive were Kurt Russell, Carol O’Connor, Charles Bronson, Robert DuVall, Telly Savalas, Leslie Nielson, Beau Bridges, Donald Pleasance and many others.

Route 66 followed two young somewhat lost men around the United States in a Chevrolet Corvette convertible, and the events and consequences surrounding their journeys, connections and odd jobs. The Fugitive, however, had a purpose: pursuit of the one-armed man, the true killer of Dr. Richard Kimble’s wife. 

I have read that The Fugitive was the first television show about paranoia, which is one of the reasons I enjoy it because there is always tension and suspense underlying every episode. I also enjoy the snapshots of early 1960s Americana in both shows. As “broken” as some people (i.e., Trump) say this country is today, many of the issues that we face today (income inequality, racism, alienation, broken homes) perhaps with the exception of terrorism (which is a relatively new problem that commenced with the First World Trade Center Bombing in February 1993) mirror those that are presented as topics in Route 66 and The Fugitive. And I find that comforting because we were still able to survive and prosper as a country notwithstanding those pervasive issues.   


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