The Monkees Were the First to Mark This Milestone on Television Claims Micky Dolenz
As a television series, The Monkees made their mark on the television industry in several different ways. They were the first actors to play a musical group in a weekly series. The Monkees maintain a Billboard chart record for having four number one albums in the span of one year. Adding to their list of accomplishments was a moment that is a source of pride to Monkees member Micky Dolenz.
Dolenz starred in the series, which ran for two seasons on NBC, alongside Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Davy Jones.
Prior to ‘The Monkees,’ television had a different look
The crop of series on television during the late 1960s didn’t cater very much to the new generation of viewers. They appeared to tire of their parent’s favorite series.
The Lucy Show, Bonanza, Green Acres, Red Skelton, Gomer Pyle, Andy Griffith, A Family Affair, and Rat Patrol topped TV ratings. However, these series did not generate enough interest to draw in younger viewers reported the website Retro Waste.
Micky Dolenz admitted ‘The Monkees’ was the first series to mark this milestone on television
In an interview for Best Classic Bands, Dolenz says The Monkees series showcased the hippie lifestyle for the first time on television
“I think that may be the legacy. It made it OK to be a hippie, have long hair, and wear bell-bottoms. It did not mean you were a criminal, a dope-smoking fiend. The only time you saw people with long hair on television was when they were being arrested or treated as second-class citizens,” he explained.
“Let’s not forget that The Monkees was a TV show about an imaginary band that lived in this beach house and had these imaginary adventures. It was probably the closest thing to musical theater on television,” he continued.
“It was about this band that wanted to be famous, like The Beatles. They represented all those garage bands around the country and the world in that sense. On The Monkees show, the Monkees were never famous. It was all about the struggle for success that made it so endearing, I think to the public, anyway,” Dolenz concluded.
Following ‘The Monkees’ success, television embraced the hippie counterculture
Shortly after the success of The Monkees, television series such as The Mod Squad embraced hippie culture. The show’s premise was of three rebellious, disaffected young social outcasts and persuade them to work as unarmed undercover detectives for the LA Police Department.
This was part of an attempt by all of the networks to lure baby boomers back to prime-time when it appeared this group had abandoned the medium.
The generation’s counterculture soon became visible among family-friendly primetime series such as Gilligan’s Island, The Partridge Family, Batman, The Dick Cavett Show, Laugh-In, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and The Brady Bunch.
The hippie movement continued its representation on All in the Family, Room 222, and Love American Style, to name a few of the more notable drama series where hippies were the main characters.