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.
The stories all have horror themes, and usually very uninteresting. I did see one with children. The episode is called "The Secret." The boys at an orphanage wear shorts. The principal role has the boy in pajamas for much of the beginning. The boys appear together very nicely dressed in ties, dressy shorts, and proper gray knee socks. The director of the orphanage has them all nicely lined up. All very British, except they wear sweaters instead of blazers. The director is of course terribly mean. Very unusual for American TV, especially in the 1990s. There is another scene where the boys are washing dishes and also appear to be in shorts. Our hero is the biggest boy, I'd say 11 or 12. A rich couple brings one boy home. They soon have him in longs. The rest of the episode is uninteresting. He turns out to be werewolf and his adopted parents vampires. After dispatching his evil adopted parents, he returns to the orphanage to sort out the director.
I don't like it's horror orientation, but boys were often featured. I once saw Huckleberry Fox in a nice short pants suit.
This series had several interesting episodes with boys:
Galloping Foxely: This was a real classic. A new boy is taken to his boarding school by his father who dresses down one of the older boys. He then takes it out on the new boy who becomes his fag. He hazes him and beats him relentlessly. He is called Galloping Foxely because he positions his victims in a hall, and then gallops down the hall to built up his momentum before striking the younger boy with his cane.
Turtle Boy: A boy of about 12 helps convince adults to save a turtle fishermen have brought in. The film ends with the boy swimming away forever with the turtle.
A black teacher is hired by a snooty private boys boarding school. The boys wear blazers, but of course long pants.
A HBC reader reports a British reality TV show, "That'll Teach 'Em". The program is a five-part series in which thirty selected teens try to survive four weeks at a
replica of a 1950s era state boarding school. The program was among the most popular shows in Britain during summer 2003.
Rather well done American drama about the lives of realistic middle age couples. One of the couples, separated, has a boy (Luke Rossi) who is about 10 years old. I have only seen him in longs.
Another hideous American sitcom with typically obnoxious kids. The family is a scrappily married couple living in daffy affluence, embracing all the wrong values. The little boy, 7-year old Edmund played by Jesse Tendler, is the most sympathetic of the lot. It received some favorable reviews.
A divorced daughter returns to live with grumpy old grandpa. There are three girls, including one boy, Harry (Haley Joel Osment) who is about 8 or so. While Harry is not a typically cute TV boy, he is a rather charming little chap. He always wears longs. He went on the play many important boy roles in movies.
The boy Jeff had curly hair. Jeff often appeared in period costumes, but I never saw any really fancy ones.
"To serve Them All My Days" is a R.H. Dealderfield (1912-73) novel set in a British public school. It follows life at a fictional public (exclusive private) school over the tears. The costiming is quite accurate. The younger boys wear shorts. A new headmaster from South Africa sets out to root out evil. A very nicely written and acted series. It was shown in the United States as part of the PBS Masterpiece Theatre series. This is a dramatization of R.F. Delderfield's final novel about a boy's boarding school in Devonshire, England, between World War I and World War II. Delderfield was a journalist and novelist who had served in the military. The fictional school is called Banfyld School. The boys wear uniforms consisting of blazers with
the school shield on the breast pocket and gray trousers--shorts as well as
longs. With shorts the boys wear the traditional gray knee socks. HBC archives made for TV films as movies. It is a little confusing how to archive these serialized dramatizations, but we generally have been archiving them in the TV section.
Elliot Gould adopts an ethnic grab bag of kids.
This excellent series was carried by PBS. Classic tale about a British public (exclusive private) school. The show is a typically well-made British production. The novel is set at Rugby school at a time when a reforming headmaster was beginning to change the character of the school.
I have not seen this program. A HBC reader reports that the boy in "Tom's Midnight Garden" wears shorts. I think the boy is Anthony Way, who played in "The Choir".
BBC 1 broadcast a nightly serial (2009). It is not a story about children as such, but they play a leading role in the plot. Aliens known as 456 use them to tell the world they are coming. The series is about alien's who want to abduct British Children for recreational drug use. The children never die but remain attached to the Alien for ever. The Alien's want 10 percent of the world's children. If the world tries to resist then a deadly virus will be released killing all human kind. Thus the aliens get their what they want. There is not much choice but to comply and 80 percent are gathered but the 456 Aliens require the full quota. The United States is miffed because the aliens chose Britain. The 456 Aliens return 40 years later for the 10 percent of the world's children. Earth fights back but the 456 Aliens demonstrate their power and the resistance crumbles. Government ministers with families shoot their children and themselves. The British prime minister is a dastardly double crossing politician and he gets it at the end. Families flee with their children but there is no hiding place. The world was saved by an 11 year old boy. The savation of the world is through its children- particulary one boy who is the young St George who defeats the Dragon. Unfortunately he dies saving the world, but not before forcing the alien's to flee back to their own part of the Cosmos. It was a thriller but the end was a bit of a cop out. A guy had been searching for 40 years for a radio fequency breakthrough. The young hero found it in 30 secondss. There was only 10 minutes to go. The hero was a time Lord who could not be killed after it was all over he zoomed off into the Cosmos.
Family sitcom with a widow with five children and a boarder. Two of the kids are boys, about 8 and 11 (Lee Norris and Aron Michael). The little one is nicely mannered, but the older boy is a typical smarty TV kid. Strangely the older boy wears very long hair, about the longest I have seen in a sitcom. It is especially unusual, as long hair had gone out of style. Both boys wear longs.
A Canadian kids short segment series. I'm a little confused as some of the kids appear in proper shorts with grey knee socks. There were many clips from the "You Can't Do That on Television Show." I've only seen a few, but they often have little clips about short pants, I think because the kids help make up the material. The show is carried on Nickolodian cable. Some of the segments touching upon clothing were:
1) You see a boy doing body building with weights, all you see is his chest. After he exercises a bit, he looks over to his mother and exclaims, "No, I won't do it! I don't want to do it any more." He wines a bit more, than the camera pans back, revealing the boy clad only in a diaper. He is sitting on his mother's lap. "No, mom I don't want to be in the bouncing baby boy contest any more. I'm too old. I think he then puts his thumb in his mouth and his mother pets him.
2) Vance Vain High School Cool: One nice feature is "Vance Vain, High School Cool." He often appears with his little brother who is a little blond boy named Jason.
Short pants: The younger brother is usually seen on the top of two bunk beds in his pajamas. In the best episode he is in shorts and pulling up his white knee socks. His big brother comes in and says, "You're going to have to tell mom to stop making you wear those little shorts. It's cold out there.
"I know, mom makes me."
"You look so silly."
The younger boy keeps pulling up his knee socks. "It's embarrassing, but I don't mind so much."
"The girls feel so sorry, that they come over and rub my bare knees to keep me warm."
Pinching; The little brother asks his big brother it is alright to allow the girls to pinch him on his cheeks. Vance replies, "No, you shouldn't let them do it because they are treating you like a little boy. Besides it might mess up your face.
"Oh, no Vance," replies the little brother. "It's not my face they are pinching me on!"
Drama Class: I don't remember this very well, but I think the little brother asks his big brother about participating in drama. Vances discourages him, until the Jason explains that all the other participants are girls.
3) Wedding Pages: A boy in a dressy kilt with short white socks is featured with a girl in the wedding in various skits. The boy is the same as the boy who plays Brian in the "Babby Sitter".
Kissing: The boy keeps hitting his glass with a knife to get the bride and groom to kiss. Finally the bride hits her glass and he has to kiss the little girl.
4) Gramps and Sonny: It isn't usually very good, but there have been a few nice items of late. Sonny is nice.
HomeEc: once Gramps asks Sonny why he is taking home-ec, "Only the girls took it when I was in school," he says.
"It still the same Gramps, but mom made me take it. It's really lucky being in there with all those girls. They even make me wear a frilly little apron," and sonny makes like he is playing with the hem of his apron. He then says, "Last week I made a peanut butter and anchovy casserole."
"That sounds terrible," says Gramps.
"I know, but that was the only way I could prove to the guys that I'm still a real boy."
Pinnies: Sonny shows up in the garage to help his grandfather sweetly dressed in a pinafore.
"What is that? What are you dressed in?" demands his grandfather.
Sonny replies, "It's a pinafore Gramps. Grandma said it would keep my clothes from getting dirty."
"What are you, some kind of a sissy," replies Gramps in disgust. "Boys don't wear silly girls' pinafores."
Sonny replies innocently, "But gramps, that can't be, Grandma says this is the pinafore that you used to wear when you were my age."
5) The psychiatrist:. Once he had a boy for a patient and the boy wore a brown suit with short pants. Another time the boy appears to be in a red velvet suit with white knee socks and very short shorts. Another time a boy was in a sailor suit with white knee socks
6) The dentist: The boys who are his patients wear grey shorts, often with grey knee socks. He usually chains them to his chair. Lately one of the boys appeared without his knee socks and those unsightly high top tennis shoes.
6) The babysitter: Several scenes with a teenage baby sitter and her young charge Brian who usually appears in shorty pajamas, but for some reason the tops never match the bottoms. Several incidents:
The dress: Brian is pictured being fit for a dress. He thinks it is for someone else and he is just being used to hem it. The baby sitter explains that his mother always wanted a girl and she has decided to make him wear it when he doesn't behave.
The straight jacket: The baby sitter is seen making a jacket. She tells Brian that it is for him and he is excited about trying it on. He thinks that the sleeves are a bit long. She quickly ties him up and sends him off to bed.
Playing Indian: Brian plays Indian with the baby sitter and ties her up.
Teddy Bear: I think Brian was playing with his teddy bear once. The baby sitter tells him to go to bed. He refuses. She threatens to tell. He says that his mother won't do anything to him. The baby sitter says that she meant that she would tell his friends that Brian plays with teddy bears. The boy runs off to bed.
The test: Brian is worried about a test. He runs outdoors (during the winter to roll in the snow. I think he had a bathing suit on. He explains to the baby sitter that he wants to get a cold so he won't have to take the test.
The stocks: The baby sitter brings in a set of head/wrist stocks which she locks on Brian. She then tells him to stay quiet as she is going to fix a set of chains on his bed. "Oh, no!" he cries. "Wait until my mom gets home." The baby sitter replies, Brian, guess who gave me the money to buy these."
Girls' clothes: In one skit a boy in a dress kilt looking over the party frock another boy is wearing. I=m not sure what the story line was.
"The Twilight Zone" was a classic of 1960s televcision. Sort of a mild Sci-fi show, in fact one of the few such shows on American television. It wa very popular on American TV and achieved cult status. Some episodes occasionally included boys. A friend tells me that the following are of interest: "The After Hours" (1960), "The Changing of the Guard" (1962), "The Eye of the Beholder" (1960), "The Invaders" (1961), "The Lonely" (1959), "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" (1960), "One for the Angels" (1959), and "Time Enough at Last" (1959). "The Changing of the Guard" is set in a boys' prep school. A teacher forced into retirement thinks his whole career has been a waste until he's visited by the
ghosts of former students. The spirits convince their mentor that his lessons imparted the bravery and heart they needed to face challenges. This is rather a "teacher's
episode", isn't it? The tributes the boys gave Donald Pleasence would delight any teacher. One of the boys, the one who played Dickie Weiss, who died while rescuing the injured at Pearl Harbor, was Buddy Hart. He was a long time member of the cast of "Leave It to
Beaver"; he was Wally's friend, Chester. Another episode was entitled "In Praise of Pip". Jack Klugman portrays a bookie who trades his life to save his wounded son, a soldier
injured in Viet Nam. Billy Mumy, "Will Robinson" of "Lost in Space", plays the young Pip; Bobby Diamond, grown up from his days on "Fury", plays the older Pip. Rod Serling believed that this was the first TV mention of a casualty in Viet Nam (the show aired originally on Sept. 27, 1963). A poiginent episode.
Angus T Jones played the boy in "Two and a Half Men". This is a sitcom
starring Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer. Charlie Sheen plays a womanising jingle writer and bungling bachelor whose life is shaken up when his uptight chiropractor brother moves into his Malibu apartment, with his horribly precocious son Jake, after being kicked out by his wife. Charlie Sheen's character soon finds out that young Jake, his nephew, is a "chick magnet"..
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