Before anyone starts, I know the show isn't even close to being historically accurate. I was born and raised in Kentucky. I was educated in the Kentucky public school system (yes, blame them). I attended and graduated from college in Kentucky. I have heard of Daniel Boone. I do have some knowledge of who he was and what he meant for Kentucky. Despite what the rousing theme song of the TV show said, Daniel Boone didn't wear a coonskin cap. To my knowledge he never had a half Cherokee, half English sidekick either - in particular one that sing like Ed Ames. For that matter, the geography of the TV show isn't all that grand either. I've been all over the Bluegrass State. Not only does the scenery look like no place I've ever seen in Kentucky, I'm pretty sure no one can ride a stage coach or a horse overnight from the Bluegrass region in central Kentucky to New Orleans.
That being said, I loved the show because it was for entertainment value, not a history or geography lesson. I know it's considered politically incorrect today. Then again, so are other TV classics like Gunsmoke and Bonanza. No broadcast or cable network would attempt to produce an original show along those lines today. The anti-gun people would be up in arms (no pun intended - okay, it was) over the muskets on display and in use. The animal rights people would turn purple over the use of animal skins for clothing. The vegetarians would protest the hunting and eating of meat. I'm not going to even touch the terms used to describe various Indian tribes. It's safe to say if the name "Washington Redskins" offends you, this is not your kind of show.
I love TV Land. It's the television equvilent of the PGA Senior Tour. Sure, there are some very good golfers on the PGA Tour, maybe even a couple of greats. But the legends are the guys on the Senior Tour. It's the same with TV. There are a few good shows today but TV Land is where to go to see the all-time greats. I'm convinced there's not a show on television today that can stand up to the Andy Griffith Show. I'm just glad there's a place for people like me that want to enjoy television without having to examine the social and political ramifications of an hour of entertainment. Call me simple, but the news in the real world is depressing enough. Keep Survivor. I'll take Petticoat Junction any day. I like visiting a time when terrorism wasn't a concern; when confessed pedofiles didn't become media sensations; and when the most annoying commercials on TV dealt with popcorn or kitchen cleaners, and not the latest Girls Gone Wild DVD.
To paraphrase another TV icon, live long and prosper TV Land.
Richard Evans is Editor of the Claiborne Progress