Monday, November 13, 2006

Crockett Rocked It

Anyone remember James Crockett? No? Alright young 'uns, how about Crockett's Victory Garden?

Ah, yes, drop the Crockett and voila - Victory Garden. Just isn't the same anymore, is it?

I found a bit of interesting history while mulling over my nostalgia for the show:

"The show debuted on April 16, 1975 was originally produced by James Underwood Crockett and was entitled Crockett's Victory Garden. The garden was located at WGBH's studios in Allston, Massachusetts. Crockett died July 11, 1979 soon after the show became successful. Bob Thompson hosted from Crockett's death until 1991 when failing eyesight prompted him to step down as host. He died on October 2, 2003, following a battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Roger Swain began appearing on the show in the mid 1980s, and hosted it from 1991 until 2001. In that year, longtime producer Russell Morash decided to end his tenure, leading to a complete turnover in the cast and crew. Swain has differentiated between the show he was on and the current Victory Garden show: "If you get rid of Ernie and Cookie Monster and Big Bird, you don't have Sesame Street anymore," he said. "So let's call the new show something else, because whatever it is, it ain't The Victory Garden." "

He wasn't kidding!

I so miss that show. Victory Garden has got to be one of the better gardening shows still on TV, though Michael Weishan doesn't really rock my socks. I wonder what it is about him that turns me off?

I like Erica Glasner, she's not afraid to admit she doesn't know a plant, but she's just so...boring.

Paul James, well, he gets points just for the fact my kids and D will sit still long enough to watch a gardening show. I take silent glee in the fact they are learning something and don't even realize it.

Garden Police, eh. I can take 'em or leave 'em. I don't like the fact they never mention exactly how much all those 'perfectly suited' plants are costing. Hope that show has a large budget.

Rebecca's Garden I consider my so-so gardening show. I'll watch if I'm in the mood. Rebecca Kolls does have personality, but I've finally faced the fact that some of her stuff is plain ole dumb. I gave up on her after the pond build. NOT nishikigoi friendly, Honey! In any way, shape or form!

There's one I can't quite remember the name of - it's on the tip of my tongue, but I've probably mentally blocked it because of my distaste for the host. Don't get me wrong, there's lots of good plant info and they do tell you how much all those plants cost, but the host is so dang condescending to the guests! I cringe every time he makes a rude remark or gives plant info as if they were five. Who does that to their friends, much less people they hardly know?

All right, rant over for the day. There's only whining left now and I'm feeling much like Veruca Salt. "I want Crockett's Victory Garden back. I want it nooooowwww!"


Sissy said...

"Michael Weishan doesn't really rock my socks. I wonder what it is about him that turns me off?"
To me, it's the fact that he walks onto that wonderful show with a slight lisp and a little lift in his pants and acts as though he is entitled. He drives me nuts. He is as transparent as can be. Roger Swain got dirty. He spoke of his Brussel Sprouts as though he had won the lottery.
Weishan never picks up the shovel. He travels around the East Coast and acts like he knows what he's talking about. His arrogance and lack of dirt on his hands drives me nuts!!
(gosh, I feel better, now, Tina!!)

Colleen said...

I loved VG back when Roger Swain was on it, when Barbara Damrosch was a regular, and when it was a GARDENING show, not yet another garden-tour show. Another great show, though I don't know when or how long it was on (I only saw it in re-run) was the show that Barbara Damrosch did with hubby Eliot Coleman---now talk about gardening show hosts getting in there and actually digging and planting....

I like Paul James, mostly because of his enthusiasm and obvious love of trees...could do without all of the segments on yet another way to use stone in the garden..

Rebecca's Garden was okay if there was nothing else on, as was A Gardener's Diary. My favorite gardening show right now is "Backyard Habitat" on Animal Planet. Not a ton of gardening, I guess, but lots of info on attracting wildlife.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Colleen and I agree on yet another thing--I was going to mention that show with Eliot and Barbara, too. I giggle at Paul James... he's kind of like the Emeril Lagasse of plant shows, isn't he? And Erica was fine, but like Tina said she's kind of insipid.

Thomas said...

Sissy, that's a pretty mean thing to say about Michael Weishan, and it's just plain not true. I had the privilege to meet Michael once, and tour the set where they filmed The Victory Garden during his time as host. Michael was fun, funny and charming, and he really KNEW about gardening. Not only has he written three books on gardening himself - which were not ghostwritten like Crockett's - but he gardened the entire three-acre space where the show was shot, mostly by himself. In fact, it was HIS YARD. (Kip Anderson was principally responsible for the vegetable garden.) The morning we arrived, we found Michael out in 90 degree heat, covered in dirt and sweating, dividing iris. That's hardly the mark of a non-gardener. All I can say is, if you didn't like Michael, then you must really hate the show now, with that new Australian host and his impossible to understand accent, talking about absolutely nothing practical for the average American gardener. Personally, I think Michael Weishan was great, and hope he reappears on television soon.