Figure 1.--A long-running serial appeared on Disney's "Mickey Mouse Club" in 1956. Marty was a snooty boy from a rich family that shows up at a boys' dude ranch in a short pants suit. The boys on the show always wore white "T" shirts and jeans, often with Keds.
HBC will list TV series alphabetically here to make them easier to find. TV shows, except for American TV shows, are generally not well know in countries other than in the countries in which they were made. They are also much more current than movies. Almost all TV shows date from the 1950s at the earliest. Costume dramas have the same problems as in the movies, but a great deal of useful information is avialible from TV shows set in contemporary periods. As non-American TV shows are not as widely distributed as movies, often little information is available on these shows outside each country. Movies are often widely distributed in foreign countries. TV shows, with the exceptiion of American programs, are generally not. As an American, we have, for example, never seen German, French, and Italian TV shows. Thus the TV pages provide a much-needed source of information on foreign programing.
Nickelodeon sitcom set in a summer camp. Focuses primarily on teenagers. The episode I have seen prominently feature girls, but boys are also involved. One of the main characters is about 12 or 13 years old and wears glasses. He is sometimes depicted as a bit of a bookworm. The boys often appear in shorts, although they are usually long baggy ones.
Teen-age high school sitcom. The show is a gold-mind of information about contemporary teenage styles. The main character is a bubble headed boy, Zak (Mark Paul Gouselaar) who wears preppy styled clothes. I can remember a Wonder Works show with him as a 14-year-old. He played his part beautifully.
Mrs. King has two boys (Greg Morton and Paul Stout). Unfortunately they always have very small roles. The show is so absurd that I never watched it.
New kiddy game show.
A German reader tells us about " Schwarzwaldhof 1902 ". It is about a German family travels from Berlin which travels to the South of the Black Forest (village of Münstertal) on a special kind of holiday. They were trained and clothed like a farmers family of 1902 and had to look for their farm, which was rather difficult. It offers an interesting insight into the everyday live as a German farmer at the turn of the 20th century. They didn’t succeed, I’m afraid, but they did learn a lot about time and our modern technical devices (e.g mobile telephones, electric light and water closet). The boy in the family wears long trouser with suspenders, a shirt and large hat. Today in Germany hundreds of people travel to the farm and the number of people staying over night at Münstertal, has increased also. Yhe thought after being on the farm, that live was hard as a farmer and lost their thinking of romance (merry old time). Similar informative reenactment series have been made in America about a family living like pioneers and in the U.K. about modern families going back in time and living in different periods.
Lovely little TV show about a large family which includes some boys. The show seems to focus on the older boy--who is a bit of a pain. The boys do wear shorts as it is set in Florida.
Gian Sammarco plays a precocious teenager suffering through the limbo of adolescence. He goes to a comprehensive and of course wears longs. Even during a beach trip he rarely wears shorts. But it is a fairly sensitive presentation of a boy's journey through the teen years.
PBS ran a lovely version of the classic Frances Hodgson Burnett book. A rich boy is shut away cared for because everyone thinks he is sickly. A poor relation comes to live with the family and her vitality helps him recover. He has nice long hair. He appears in nightgowns and a velvet knicker-length Fauntleroy suit and lace collar, worn with white stockings and patent leather shoes. He also wears a Norfolk-type suit with above the knee knickers and white knee socks.
We worked up a paragraph on "Seven Up", but somehow managed to delete it. I'll try to recreate what I had as it is a very important British televion program. Granada Television in 1964 broadcast "Seven Up". The premise of the program was that a person's character was set at age 7. The producers interviewed 14 London 7-years olds at age 7. The children included both boys and girls from a range of social backgrounds. The interviews in themselves were fascinating. The children were ernest and honest. There was none of the humor asosiated with Art Linkletter or Bill Cosby's interviews of children. These interviews were very serious. ll the boys wore hort pants and kneesocks, including three vey proper boys in a prep or pre-prep school. It was only later that Granada conceived of following up on the children every 7 years to test the premise.
A HBC reader reports, "The kids on 7th Heaven, dress more like a fashion show, rather than the more realistic look earlier in the series."
Disappointing sitcom about a new female sheriff. The sheriff has two children. One is a boy (Tallesin Jaffe), but he is only given very small roles.
Admirable Granada production carried on the PBS "Mystery" series. One episode, "The Priory School", featured the kidnapping of a Duke's son, Arthur, at an exclusive school. The boys at the school wear late-19th century outfits. A photograph is pictured again and again of Arthur (Nissar Modi?), his Italian wife, and his son Arthur. Arthur is dressed in a lovely velvet suit, with a huge white lace collar and lace cuffs, knickers, and white stockings. He didn=t wear that in the actual episode.
Moon's sun is a little on the sassy side. He attends a grammar school where the boys have to wear shorts. In one episode, he gets his first pair of longs he tries to wear them to school, but is sent home.
Nice little show for preschoolers. It began with Ringo Star as Mr. Conductor, but has been replaced with George Carlin. There are always a few children involved. The boys usually wear longs, but I have seen at least one boy in shorts. They were, however, the current long baggy type. One little chap in 1995 was about 9 or so. The show is usually quite dull, but nice for preschoolers. I have only seen one scene where clothing was a factor. One long time part is "Sheemer," a con man. I don't know if he appears often, but in one recent (95) show, there was a nice little chap about 11 playing Schmeer's nephew--"Schmeer" who like his uncle tries to cheat people. Schmeer wore a smashing grey short pants suit, with a red plaid cap, plaid necktie, and red knee socks. It is interesting how the boys dressed up in nice short pants suits are often either spoiled little rich boys or nasty boys.
Short TV programs from various countries. One from New Zealand entitled "Stalin's Cycle" pictured a nice Catholic boy (Stacy Adams?) in New Zealand. He is pictured in an altar boy uniform and his school uniform, blue sweater and grey shorts with knee socks. Older Protestant boys in shorter shorts tease him. Another called "Two Soldiers" was a beautifully done look at a rural southern boyhood staring Huckleberry Fox.
A program set in New Zealand is Shortland Street a drama series. We have few details about the series, but some of the boys on the show are costumed in school uniforms.
See "The Last Electric Knight"
The main child character is a girl, taken in by a gay man. Some of her little friends provide many views of contemporary children=s clothes.
Dreadful sitcom, only enlivened with Ricky (Ricky Schroeder). The show ran several years. There were a few episodes dealing with clothing: 1) Ricky dresses up a girl for a party, he handles himself quite nicely, 2) a friend wears white tights and dresses up as Cupid, 3) the boys appear in Scout-type shorts*, 4) Ricky's mother comes to take him a way and brings him a sissy suit, explaining they are lederhosen. Ricky of course wants no part with them. (If only they had made him wear them.) "Later with the hosen," he tells his mother. Dereke (Jason Bateman) played his nemesis in the first few years, as a contrast to sweet little, well behaved Ricky. [*Many American television shows had scenes with Scouts, but did not use actual Scout uniforms. I=m not sure why this was. Perhaps they had to pay a fee to the BSA or perhaps they needed permission from the BSA.]
Absolutely horrible British series, I don't quite know how to describe it--one of those avauntguard Dennis Potter shows. The protagonist, detective Philip Marlow, is extensively featured as a boy, about 12 or so. He wears long, baggy shorts. He is very effectively played by Lyndon Davies. I quite like his accent. There is one quite extraordinary scene, actually presented in several long sequences at the boys' school. His horrid teacher, a stereotyped old maid shrew of a teacher, is outraged because some one defecated on her desk. She terrorizes the class until she gets Philip to admit he knows who did it. She then threatens a terrible canning if he doesn't tell her who the culprit is. She canes one boy for inattention before her. Philip resists as he is the class goody goody and doesn't want to tell in front of everyone. In a previous scene he is shown coming up with all the answers and being praised by the teacher. The kids catch him after class and taunt him with, "Cleaver Dick, cleaver Dick...................." The teacher makes him stand in front of the desk staring at the mess, and constantly telling him how much time before he gets his canning with the heavy cane in front of the entire school. I thought for a while that he would stand up to her, but in the end he starts crying and tells on the boy before the whole class. Apparently I missed a bit, because later on it is revealed that he lied about the boy he accused. His classmates back him up though, apparently because they want to see the other boy caned. He invents an elaborate story and convincingly tells it to the teacher. The sequences with the boy are convincingly presented from the boy's perspective, but it is a bit drawn out. In another scene the teacher has the class all sitting upright at their desks with their hands behind their backs.
The Australian children's series Skippy--a bit like Flipper, but starring a kangaroo instead. The series is set in contemporary Australia, that is, 1992 and the clothes are typical.
A HBC reader mentioned "The Sleepover Club" to us. We're not sure just when it was made. It was in 2004 show by Nickolodeon on Sky. The storyline is about five teenage girls and does centers to a large extent on life at school. The the boys that appear all wear shorts albeit not like the current grey ones in Britain. It is set in Australia and appears to be a recent series and the uniform appears to be shorts all the way through secondary school with a checked type shirt in school colors.
We have few details about this Australian program. Some times boys are involved in the plot. They wear blue school shorts. There were 26 30 minute episodes made. It was produced by Australian Southern Star Entertainment Pty Ltd. The Executive Producers were Noel Price, Kris Noble, and Nick Wilson. The writers were Graeme Koetsveld, Robert Greenberg, Mark and Shirrefs. The series was distributed by Nine Network, Channel 5, Southern Star. The series was set in the beautiful ommunity on Sydney's northern beaches. The shows tell the story of unlikely friends. Abby is the daughter of a well-to-do middle class traditional family. Marian is a boy from a group of trendy parets who are almost nomads and are called the Ferrals. Their arrival disturbs the peace of the community. It is also the source of the plots for the shows various episodes. The costuming is used to point up the difference in the communities - the Ferals and boys from the local school.
A HBC reader reports that he saw a new feature on Showtime called Snow in August It was about an 11 year-old boy in 1947 in Brooklyn NY. He wore shorts, socks and
hightop sneakers through most of the film. The shorts came to the top of
the knee. The kid did a great job in this fantasy/drama involving baseball
Another family sitcom combining two families. There are three children including one boy (Billy L. Sullivan). This is not a particularly interesting show. The boy is about 13 or so.
Presentation of Warwick Deeping's novel. A typically well did British production. The conspicuously well-behaved 12-year old son, Kit, is played by Paul Critchley. He wears knickers. He only appears as a 12-year old in the first episode. There is a fleeting shot in the opening credits showing a younger Kit in a sailor suit and nice straw hat.
Non network family. The girl (Vicky) is actually a robot. To keep Vicky the family has to adopt her and enter into school for which a doctor's certificate is needed. It's decided to dress the boy up as her for the medical. He wears the same outfit, frilly dress, pinafore, white knee socks, and Mary Jane patent leather shoes. The father pulls the boy back into the room by the bow of his pinny when he begins to chicken out.
The "Spin and Marty" series was a serial appearing on the "Mickey Mouse Club" beginning in 1956. It dealt with snooty young Marty Markham who is left in the care of family butler, Perkins and sent off to a dude ranch for the summer.
The story of the first serial has Marty, a wealthy city boy, who has been raised without the
companionship of children his own age, antagonizing everyone by calling the Triple R a dirty old ranch
when he arrives with his personal butler. Marty dislikes the outdoors and makes things difficult for his
fellow ranchers in the process. He is afraid of horses and is harassed by the other boys. Good-natured
Spin tries hard to help the other boys get accustomed to life on the Triple R. Marty tries to leave, but
eventually decides to stay. With help from foreman, Bill, doubling as camp counselor, he conquers his
fear of horses by learning to ride Skyrocket, even though he gets thrown. Interestingly, the boy who eventually played Spin, Tim Cosidine, was originally chosen to play Marty. As the original book was built around Marty--that was how the TV serial was planned. Tim had his own idea. He was very self-possessed. Since acting was his idea, he felt he should be able to choose his roles and he argued that he should have the part of Spin--the "cool" boy. In contrast, David John Stollery III who played Marty was a different story. His mother had pushed him into acting and he had many acting credits before showing up at Disney. He was used to being given a role and then performing it. For him "Marty" was a role, not part of his teen-age ego. The series had a huge following from the old days of "The Mickey Mouse Club". Lawrence Edward Watkin had written a book entitled Marty Markham that had come to the attention of
Walt Disney and his Mickey Mouse Club producer, Bill Walsh. They decided that it would be a good story to serialize on the television show, and so early in the summer of 1955 work began on what would
be Production 8209 at the Disney Studio. Jackson Gillis was brought in to write a screenplay based on the Watkin book. The boys on the show always wore white "T" shirts and jeans, often with Keds.
Carried on PBS here in the States. This Coupling classic was set in a boarding school
Included a boy, Wesley (Will Weaton) who is apparently a computer whiz. He was about 15 when the season began. I have seen him boy featured a few times. I think this sequel is much better than the original series. I never saw, however, anything episodes touching upon clothing.
Not a very well done sitcom, but it had an engaging boy, about 13 years old. He always had small parts.
"Brady Bunch"-type show about the combining of two families. Very poor reviews, but proved popular. Not at all smaltzy like the Brady Bunch. The combined family included three boys, two little guys and one dim-witted teenager, JT (Brandon Call). The boys never appear in shorts, even the younger boy was quite a little guy, about 7 when the series began. The other boy was a little older and plays a bit of a nerd.
A Australian TV series set in the late 1930s to early 1940s is The Sullivans. It is perhaps the most widely known Australian TV program outside of Australia. It provideds good examples of period clothing in Australia during the 1930s. Sort of an Australian soap opera, but two older teenage boys have imprtant roles. Both wear short pants and knee socks. One boy wears a cap, but I've never seen him in a blazer. I'd say the boys are about 16 years old. I was watching this with a girl friend, she remarked, "Aren't those boys awfully big to be wearing short pants and kneesocks?" There is also a younger borother who makes it to grammar (academically selective secondary) school
The TV program is based on Arthur Ransome's wondeful series of children's books, Swallows and Amazons. A group of adventuresome children get up to adventure in the British countryside during the summer vacation. The series featured British children during the 1920s and 30s between the two world wars. The children summer with their mother at a lake: there is sailing, going on imaginary expeditions, exploring a deserted island,
getting to know the interesting neighbors. There is also a movie with this title.
A family sitcom with a boy, 5 year old Bart (Edan Gross), who is just starting school. The show received some good reviews, but I haven't seen it yet.
(Die) Swart Kat or The Black Cat is an Afrikaans youth adventure series. It was based on a book written by Chris Sasner in the 1970s (?). It is essentially an action adventure stories featuring a 12/13 year old boy who at night dons on a Superman type uniform and with his ingenuity single handedly foils crooks and thieves
with their unlawful deeds. i.e. locking them them up in a storage freezer to be collected later by the police. The program proved popular with both Afrikaans and English viewers.
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