Picks and Pans Review: TV's Greatest Bits

updated 02/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

VH-1 (Sat., Feb. 17, 6 P.M. ET)

GRADE C+

All last year the film industry celebrated the golden anniversary of 1939, a banner year for Hollywood. This special celebrates 1964, a bumper season for TV. Okay, so 26 doesn't have quite the elegant ring of 50, but then clunkiness has always been part of the medium's campy charm.

The time capsule contains some of that year's commercial totems (Speedy Alka-Seltzer, Choo-Choo Charlie and the luscious Chiquita Banana), its rash of hayseed sitcoms (The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C, The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction), its groovy pop-music anthologies (Hullabaloo, Shindig) as well as now forgotten series (The Rogues, Burke's Law).

Host Gary (Laugh-In) Owens is intrusively edited into the frames of the vintage clips, and the show doesn't tell us anything we don't already know. But the memories are still rich in their way. Any look back at TV's garish past, even one this Mr. Magoo myopic, is a kick.

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