April 14th, 2011
When I was a kid, one of the major networks (I can’t remember which one, but we didn’t have cable, so it had to be one of the Big Three) aired The Wizard of Oz once a year. It was always an event at my house. We would adjust the foil-capped rabbit ears to optimize the picture and settle in for an evening of entertainment. Eventually, we got a VCR (I know, what’s that?) and bought The Wizard of Oz on tape. However, when the time of year rolled around for it to air on TV, we would still watch. It didn’t matter that the film was strewn with commercial breaks or that we could have watched it without interruption on VHS. There was something special about watching it on television. Maybe it was the feeling of a shared experience with other viewers around the nation who were watching the same thing. Or perhaps it evoked a sense of nostalgia and tradition. It could be that then, as now, I was a sucker for just about anything on the old tube. Your pick. Whatever it was, I was drawn into this film every time it was on.