I know the theme song to the horrid TV show Step by Step. By heart, even.
Step by Step aired for six years on ABC’s “TGIF” lineup, and then for a seventh on CBS, totalling 160 episodes. At thirty minutes per episode (including commercials — this was pre-DVR), a person who watched the entire run wasted over three whole days of his or her life. It is still being aired in syndication on ABC Family: once a day on weekdays and twice-daily on weekends.
The show featured six children and later, a seventh and one cousin. It was not significant enough, however, to vault any of those eight actors and actresses beyond the show itself. A quick perusal of Wikipedia confirms this; in fact, one of the actors is so insignificant that he did not even have an entry in Wikipedia until 2009. That’s not terribly surprising. Step by Step was not something you commiserated over the next week at school. No cultural icons came out of the show; there was no Balki Bartokomous or Tony Micelli or Mike Seaver. Even in retrospect, the only things I can remember about the show is how across the board stupid the characters were (except for the nerdy kid, who was hardly praised for being smart) and, of course, the theme song. Heck, it was only marginally funny.
Yet, I watched it often enough to be able to sing a significant part of the theme song by heart, over a decade after it ceased production. And apparently, I am not alone.
We’re enamored by the lure of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and social media generally. But don’t underestimate the power of television.