20 October 2012

Rich Man, Poor Man

I love public libraries. There is a lovely smallish one right next door to my daughter's school and I drop in there several times every week. Sometimes I go in with a specific book or film in mind, but other times, if I'm early for pick-up, I pop in and just browse.
Last week I came across Rich Man, Poor Man the TV mini series. Although I'd barely given a thought to this show in the last 35 years, as soon as I saw the cover a flood of memories washed over me.
I remember watching it with my mother, just the two of us, I think. My dad worked evenings and my siblings were too young. It was considered rather racy in its time.
Yesterday I was feeling a bit tired and finally sat down to watch the first episode. At first I thought it was a bit slow, by today's standards at least, and dated. I wasn't sure I'd watch the first episode to the end, let alone the entire series; but you know what? By the end of episode one I was hooked!
I had forgotten a lot of it, but the title music gave me chills. It took me back to my teenage years and to our patterned sofa – eating pumpkin seeds (Greek snack food) with my mother. I remembered feeling a little bit grown up as I watched it with her every week. And I specifically recall Nick Nolte. It was the first thing I'd ever seen him in and I thought he was a spunk! 
I also vividly remember how sad I felt every week as the end titles rolled and I knew that I had to wait another week to see what would happen next. There were no video recorders then, DVD boxed sets, or online catch-ups. We savoured every show as it aired on television. We did not check our phones for messages or text, or play games during slow bits. We gave it our full attention.
It was a very different time indeed; and the memories evoked by watching the show, brought home to me how very much the world has changed since 1976. 
Anyone else out there old enough to have watched Rich Man, Poor Man?


  1. There's nothing like a bit of retro Hariklia, I've heard of it and seen the odd episode!

  2. I don't think I saw it (I was five years old) though I remember hearing about it, maybe saw ads for a TV rerun or something about the ads stuck in my five year old mind. I looked at the title sequence on YouTube after reading this post and it has a perfectly '70s feel with those great illustrations and the sweeping lyrical music. Does the DVD set you got from the library include the follow-up mini-series, "Book Two?"

    1. Yes, very 70s. I'm up to the last episode now and have enjoyed it. The library does have the sequel too, but I don't think I'll bother. From memory it wasn't nearly as good - and no Nick Nolte!