Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis probably remember this post from this year’s A to Z Challenge, where I talked primarily about the difference between “vintage” and “retro.” The two terms are used interchangeably, but there is a difference: “vintage” refers to something that comes from the past, whereas “retro” is something that’s made new to look like it came from that period. An example is tie-dyed t-shirts, which make a comeback every so often: their heyday was the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. There’s a good chance that there aren’t any that have lasted 50 years. In fact, they were probably used to wash the car or dust the furniture before they were thrown away at last sometime before 1980. If there are any genuine t-shirts from the ’60’s, they’d be worth a fortune at vintage clothing stores, so if you find one, promise me you’ll split the proceeds with me. Anyway, tie-dye t-shirts you find today were probably made not that long ago, so they’re rightfully called “retro.”
Clothes aren’t the only thing that can be vintage or retro. I had (and unfortunately got rid of) a copy of Beatles ’65 from 1965. (I got it as a gift from my godmother for my Confirmation, which was in, you guessed it, 1965.) At the time I got rid of it, I hadn’t had a turntable in years and had all the music on my hard drive, to which I had ripped it from CD. Had I kept it, it might have been worth a few bucks at a vintage record store. Not that much, though: a minute ago I checked eBay, and found one that was still shrink-wrapped and ostensibly in perfect condition for $33. Mine was in considerably-less-than-perfect condition, meaning I’d likely have to pay someone to take it off my hands. I’m sure that Capitol Records will, at some point, reissue their catalog of Beatles albums on vinyl, and they would be “retro.”
Then, of course, there’s vintage TV. Mary and I watch a lot of vintage TV, including The Andy Griffith Show and Hogan’s Heroes on weeknights and Columbo movies on the weekends. We’ve seen these shows many times over, but they never get old. With Andy, we’ve only seen the episodes from the first five seasons, the ones that were filmed in black & white. The last three seasons of the show were filmed in color, but people don’t like them, primarily because Don Knotts, who played Deputy Barney Fife, had left the show to focus on movies. It’d be interesting to colorize the five black & white seasons and see what the reaction would be, whether people would see color and immediately assume they were no good.
CBS seems to have gotten into the habit of “updating” some of their old series and putting them back on the air. For example, they brought Magnum, PI back with a Hispanic Magnum and a female Higgins, and managed to keep much of the same feel of the original show. The same can’t be said for their reboot of Hawaii Five-O, where the characters were light years apart from the originals (more action figures than law enforcement professionals) and the new show being much more violent than the original. The same is true of MacGyver, which is nothing at all like its predecessor. And don’t get me started on their attempt at The Odd Couple…