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Old 05-13-2019, 11:07 PM   #1
SheRaaa
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Crazy Watching in 2019...what makes you realize just how long ago UM aired?

Now that the original Robert Stack episodes are back on "that site," it's been a blast re-watching the episodes in all their glory. It's crazy to think about how long ago UM began - the original specials started airing in January of 1987, over 30 years ago!

If anyone is re-watching the series like me, what are some things that jump out at you that show just how much things have changed since then?

This morning I was at the gym and watched a random episode - it was the Mark Dennis episode involving Vietnam - it's crazy to think that at the time the episode aired, the Vietnam War would still have been somewhat recent, not a distant memory or something you only read about in history books.

In that same episode, there is an update on Kenneth Robert Stanton, the creepy child molester guy who was (thankfully) caught in an update. In the update, they show his "registration card" at a hotel, which was a physical, paper card haha.

One thing that spans across so many older episodes (late 80s/early 90s) is how strong the regional accents are in the people being interviewed. Whether it's New York (Ricardo Caputo segment) or Ohio (Kurt Sova segment), the accents are super noticeable and a reminder of how these strong regional accents are not quite as distinct today, especially in younger generations.

What have you noticed?
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:51 AM   #2
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Three things stand out to me:

1. The HAIR: Whether itís mullets on men or big, styled bangs on women, the hair just screams 80ís on so many segments.

2. Words that are no longer acceptable: Whether itís referring to Asian people as ďOrientalsĒ or going out of their way to not mention homosexuals, the times have changed.

3. Parolees: UM has been on so long, Iíve lost count of how many people were wanted, later arrested, and then served out their sentences only to be set free. The updates on Amazon never cease to amaze me, including violent felons who served their time and are back on the street.
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:12 AM   #3
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Things that stand out:

1. Everybody is still reliant on landlines and payphones.
2. Outside of banks, no security cameras - not even for shopping malls and late night convenience stores.
3. LOTS of stonewashed denim jackets and jeans!
4. All that satanic panic nonsense.
5. Alien abduction stories - when was the last time you heard one? Yet they seemed to be very common back in the day.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:40 AM   #4
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The one thing that sticks out is the amount of ugly brown colors. This is especially noticeable in homes and in the reunion scenes at airports. We can complain about how bad flying is but can't deny airports are FAR nicer buildings than they were in the early 90s.

While it wasn't a major part of the show, it's also fascinating to see people smoking inside a building, especially a police interrogation room. It's going to make me feel old when I explain to my son how in the early 90s people in Canada and the USA used to smoke EVERYWHERE with the only exception being elementary schools.

I also can't forget the hair! I just watched an episode where this attractive young woman was interviewed: it looked like she stuck her hand in several electrical outlets before the cameras starting rolling!

Last edited by Mike82; 05-15-2019 at 07:24 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
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What have you noticed?
This is more of a personal nature, but when UM was on TV, I was in grade school and the grades corresponded with the seasons. So, for example, season one aired when I was in first grade, season two in second grade and so on down the line. I'm 37 years old today. Graduated high school in 2000. That all seems like a lifetime ago.

As far as UM itself a few things stick out to me...

1) Any segment about computers or technology is outdated (e.g., Kevin Poulsen).

2) The LACK of cell phones, and how people communicated or did not - pay phones; "so and so didn't come home that night" - now we would be concerned about unreturned texts, calls going straight to voicemail.

3) Any segment on bank robbers where we now have a photograph or video of the robber for the first time because banks they robbed previously didn't have cameras.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:40 AM   #6
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To piggyback off the computer angle; The age enhanced computer photos of missing children were REALLY bad more often than not.

Probably the best example would be Anthonette Cayedito. Her computerized aged photo looks exactly the same, only her face is slightly stretched. Even 1992 technology should have been better than that.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:54 AM   #7
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1. The film quality.

2. The pacing-actually setting/telling the story, without all the loud music, gimmicky stuff that the modern shows have. Much prefer the old shows for this.

3. The keyboard music.

4. The hairstyles-mullets for the guys & big hair for the ladies.

5. Nobody has mobile phones-unless they are rich & then they are huge blocks.

6. CRT Monitors/Television sets.

7. No mention of LGBTQ issues/Virtue Signalling.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:07 AM   #8
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To me I understand that the show started 30+ years ago, I remember when it started and I watched faithfully from the very beginning, now it just seems so timeless to me. I think that's because it dealt with real people and situations, not to mention that cases profiled are still being solved to this day. That itself reinforces to me just how timeless the show is. The filming style and the narrative style (reminiscent of old-time radio) draw you in and stir the mind. I can't think of another show on television that had this capability.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:02 PM   #9
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Low def TV.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:43 PM   #10
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Those huge 80s/90s eyeglasses. If someone wore those in 2019, they'd be labeled a creep and/or child molester.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:45 PM   #11
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The ages/birthdays of some of the involved people.

For example, I'm reading Suzanne Finstad's book on the Richard Minns/Barbra Piotrowski case. Piotrowski, now known as Janni Smith, is 66 years old today. Minns would have been 90 YEARS OLD this year. Quite a striking thing to realize, given all those photos of them as golden, toned, athletic young folks in bikinis and Speedos.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:13 AM   #12
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This definitely makes me feel old. Take for example the white bird segment. The old man interviewed gives his testimony of hearing an airplane for the first time in his life.

I always look back to the lifetime era when I religiously watched the show everyday. Seeing some of the newer segments that talked about modern technology like internet and DNA. that was 15 years ago!
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The ages/birthdays of some of the involved people.
To piggyback off that, it blows me away to think of how many people from the show have passed away - not just criminals, but also victims, family members, police officers, random interviewees, etc. The "deaths of some people" thread is a testament to that.

I think it's especially pronounced in segments where all the principal figures are dead. For example, in the lost loves segment about Carl Dentai and his daughter Brigitte's search for an old friend - Phillip Pelletier, who was found as a result of the show, Dentai, his daughter, and Pelletier have all since died. Yet, we can watch their story and see the reunion over and over again. I'm pretty sure it's even on Amazon.

Also, it's sadder in still unsolved cases where all the key parties are dead. For instance, in the Charles Southern segment, his father, mother, and sister are all dead. It makes you wonder who, if anyone, is going to continue searching for answers.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:21 PM   #14
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A lot of segments had interviews with people who could share their experiences of life in the early 20th century. It gives UM a sort of historical significance as there's no one left to give these types of interviews, even if they're just sharing stories about everyday life instead of major historical events. For example, the sister of the young woman who knew Curly Green in his youth, or the lady who thought the Marfa lights should be left a mystery.

UM did have a lot of segments full of religious dogma. That kind of programming still has a niche market on cable tv today, but you don't see anything like that on the major networks anymore.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justins5256 View Post
To piggyback off that, it blows me away to think of how many people from the show have passed away - not just criminals, but also victims, family members, police officers, random interviewees, etc. The "deaths of some people" thread is a testament to that.

I think it's especially pronounced in segments where all the principal figures are dead. For example, in the lost loves segment about Carl Dentai and his daughter Brigitte's search for an old friend - Phillip Pelletier, who was found as a result of the show, Dentai, his daughter, and Pelletier have all since died. Yet, we can watch their story and see the reunion over and over again. I'm pretty sure it's even on Amazon.

Also, it's sadder in still unsolved cases where all the key parties are dead. For instance, in the Charles Southern segment, his father, mother, and sister are all dead. It makes you wonder who, if anyone, is going to continue searching for answers.
How long until it makes sense to start a "People on UM who are still alive?" thread?

I hope this forum is still around at that point
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