Its 1972 and my mum and her four other siblings are awaiting the arrival of their brand new coloured tv, one that her parents had saved for several years prior. She tells me it was the time coloured tv was just emerging with prices retailing at around $300 to 400 for just the tabletop so it took time to put aside money for such a luxury item. Prior to this they had a small, dated, black and white tv that was extremely difficult to watch anything on.
For the Barnes family, TV was an important part of life, with media progression developing through various forms of new technology; the TV brought with it an appeal that extended to the whole family.
For my mum and her family, TV was a space that brought everyone together, whether it was the 6 o’clock news the whole family sat and watched every evening or the primetime family TV shows such as ‘The Brady Bunch’ and ‘I dreamed a Genie’. Particularly with a show like the Brady Bunch, my mum and her siblings could very much relate to the experiences, with Brady bunch becoming a family favourite.
The lounge room became a symbolic room, a room for bonding. My mum tells me no matter what program was on at the time the whole family would sit together especially on a Sunday evening and simply watch something together. Even when only one person was watching something at a time, at some point one by one everyone would eventually make there way into the lounge room until they were all in there watching together.
She points out that the TV was left on all the time, all day and all through the night, regardless if anyone was in there watching it. (And I can personally attest to this still to this day my grandparents leave the TV on!) The tv in her household held special value. When the tv was on, it made the home more homely. My mum contemplates how something as simple as a square box could have such an impact on the family unit and her growing up.
When I ask my mum if she had more than one TV she gave me an interesting look, “No darling, I wasn’t as lucky as you”. Fast-forward 40 years and here she is with her own five children, the only difference is… we have three tv’s…