“ The phrase ‘counter-culture’ encompasses more than just an anti-war activism. In the 1960s, and therefore on The Monkees, counter-culture included anti-authority attitudes, anti-capitalist views, less conservative clothing styles, and even the introduction of Eastern philosophies into mainstream America. “
One of my favorite parts of researching and writing the book was the fact that I met such interesting and wonderful writers from television’s golden age of sitcoms, the shows I watched as a kid and rewatched in reruns across most of my life.
While we often become enamored of the actors and actresses we see in our favorite shows, I never forgot that the things they were doing and saying came from the imaginations of those other, elusive creatures known as writers. The chance to meet so many of them and hear their stories was precious.
Writer Treva Silverman – known for classics like Room 222 and the Mary Tyler Moore Show – broke into televsion when lady scribes were virtually nonexistent. Enjoy this excerpt from her Archive of American Television interview.
“The Monkees as a television program allowed this new counter-culture ideology to sneak into the homes of middle-class teens around the country by slipping jokes about President Johnson’s War on Poverty and the Domino Theory of Communist Containment between their silly, vaudeville-styled adventures.”
In this episode Bobo falls in love with guest supermodel Cindy Crawford and goes into a “60s Retro Montage Fantasy”. He begins singing “I’m a Believer” and is soon joined by Micky Dolenz who helps him finish the song.
This aired as episode 5 of Season One in 1996 – ten years after the massive success of the 20th anniversary reunion concert tour and five years before Donkey sand the song on Shrek. Solid proof of the place The Monkees have held in popular culture across the decades.
“There has not been a television season since The Monkees that did not air a show that catered to teenagers including Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gossip Girl, Veronica Mars and the appropriately titled The Secret Life of the American Teenager among the more recent. The Monkees paved the way. “