By AD Lynn
Rue McClanahan's death coming within a week of Gary Coleman passing away seems remarkably symbolic. The Golden Girls andDiff'rent Strokes were hallmarks of a TV era - my formative TV era. What makes it all so poignant is how that generation of television is so completely unrecognizable by today's entertainment standards.
Rue McClanahan's Blanche Deveraux and Gary Coleman's Arnold Jackson weren't memorable simply because of these actors' sharp comic performances. Back then (Strokes ran from 1978-1986, Girls from 1865-92), with fewer channel choices and less or no interference from the internet, TV watching was a communal activity. We all gathered around the same shows. We were all following "Whatcha' talkin' about, Wills?" at the exact same moment. DVRs? Didn't exist. Online gaming? Barely a blip.
It makes me sad, as a mom, for my son. Will there be TV actors who hit the zeitgeist in the same way for his generation? People whoseRead More »from Rue McClanahan and Gary Coleman: Emblems of a Bygone Era (Who Will Our Kids Watch?)