William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Monday, 28, July, 2008

An Under-appreciated Influence on American Television

Filed under: Forensics,Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 16:04

No, it’s not the BBC.  Though some shows Sanford and Son, made the transition from the UK to America , others Men Behaving Badly limped along, some Coupling died early deaths and others Red Dwarf never made it out of pilot and other Absolutely Fabulous never had a freaking chance considering the subject matter.

But just because you can’t show drugs being taken by the characters doesn’t mean that drugs aren’t a vital part of American Television.  Hmm.  This could bridge the gap between my Drugs of Abuse class and it might make a SAGES seminar for undergraduates.  All the television shows that drugs have served as either a creative influence or just their raison d’etre:

Addams Family



Beverly Hillbillies


Bosom Buddies

Car 54 Where Are You?

The Flying Nun–hallucinogens

Gilligan’s Island–cannabis

Green Acres–vodka

Herman’s Head–God knows


I Dream of Jeanie

McHale’s Navy

Mr. Ed–Hallucinogens, particularly

Mork and Mindy–polypharmacy

Monkees–hubris and alcohol

My Favorite Martian

My Mother the Car

Petticoat Junction

Three’s Company

Most Hanna-Barbera cartoons–volatile organic compounds from the paint


  1. Don’t forget pretty much every cop show ever. You could find a Dragnet episode with the EVILS of marijuana!

    Comment by Bardiac — Monday, 28, July, 2008 @ 17:03 | Reply

  2. No, Bardiac, you’re missing the point. I wasn’t referring to the subject matter, I was referring to the substances used to dream up the cockamamie idea in the first place. True, the Dragnet “Blue Boy” was a hysterical portrayal of LSD use. But really, it can’t compete with Scooby Snacks, Secret Squirrel, or indeed Mork and Mindy for sheer lunacy and only drugs made those seem to be a good idea.

    Comment by William the Coroner — Monday, 28, July, 2008 @ 20:44 | Reply

  3. Ahhhh, oops! Clearly my caffeine this morning was lacking, eh?

    Comment by Bardiac — Monday, 28, July, 2008 @ 20:56 | Reply

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