The WB and The CW

Lately, I’ve been feeling old.

It all began when I started watching Millennium and went to look up Lance Henriksen. Despite knowing him from Aliens and Pumpkinhead, it didn’t occur to me how old he’d be (82 for those interested.) It helped me realize that the 90’s was not ten years ago. It wasn’t even twenty years ago. It was older than that.

Those same fresh-faced folks I watched on TV who were in their late twenties and early thirties are now nearly senior citizens. The wheel of time keeps on spinning and for some reason it just seems stuck in the early 2000’s in my head.

There has been a lot of talk about The CW network being for sale. This startles me, because I still feel like The CW and its predecessors, The WB and UPN, are still the new stations. Of course, The WB debuted back in 1995 which was almost thirty years ago.

When I combine this nostalgia with watching the occasional episode of One Tree Hill with my wife, it makes for a comfy dose of memories. It takes me back to a time when TV was exciting and having new regular TV stations felt so groundbreaking. I can remember watching the ads before The WB debuted and then watching the night it debuted and being so excited for a channel that seemed geared for people of my age and a bit older (I was twelve at the time.)

Then I remember watching the final night of The WB and the twinges of sadness that followed. It feels like that was last year sometime, but it was sixteen years ago back in 2006. I’ll never forget waiting to see if Supernatural would get renewed. The ratings weren’t great and it was debatable, but I never could have imagined it would go to run an additional fourteen seasons! I would have just been happy with those first five.

The other major WB moment for me was the debut of Dawson’s Creek. The marketing was huge for Dawson’s Creek and the debut episode was appointment TV for everyone in the eighth grade. From the guy who wrote Scream came a TV show about teenagers that promised to deal with real teenage issues. That may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but the debut episode did discuss masturbation which was not something we were used to seeing on TV.

Over the years, I enjoyed some CW shows. I really dug the first few seasons of Arrow and The Flash. I watched Supernatural till season five and then off and on till around season ten. But for the most part, I was absorbed in the world of DVD collecting and then eventually streaming. Commercial breaks got longer, time moved on, TV changed and now I look back and wonder if I missed out. I guess, that’s part of getting older, you can look back and relive the good times, and wonder about the missed opportunities.

For now, I’ll keep enjoying the early 2000’s melodrama that One Tree Hill provides with my wife and she’s expressed an interest in watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer so we may watch that afterwards. The CW may be sold and turned into a family friendly TV channel, but I’m going to remember it as the edgy, stylish, indie rock driven, Michigan J. Frog hosted channel that it once was. I’ll remember Roswell, Charmed, Buffy, and Angel. I’ll remember Smallvile and Zoey, Duncan, Jack, and Jane. But most importantly, I’ll remember being younger, having the whole world in front of me, and feeling hopeful and positive about it all.

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