2020 DISMANTLING ANOTHER SEMBLANCE OF AMERICAN CULTURE: PEANUTS HOLIDAY SPECIALS MOVING TO APPLE TV+

The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown will not air on broadcast TV for the first time in 54 years. 

Good grief! 2020 has been a wacky year. Coronavirus, talks of ‘canceling Thanksgiving, and now this. Maybe it’s just another sign of the times, or the result of big corporations, either way news that Charlie Brown holiday specials would not be broadcasted on cable TV this year was downright depressing.

The special first aired in 1966 on CBS, 54 years ago. This year tradition will be ending as Apple TV+, a paid subscription streaming service has gained exclusive rights to ‘Peanuts’ holiday specials. 

At the very least, in my home it was a family tradition, and it took less than an hour. As a child and even into my teen years I remember my excitement to sit down in the living with my mother, father, and brother to watch the Peanuts Specials. No matter the busy schedules we had, we gathered to watch. There was something marked about the fact that it was a set date and time- something like the classic Sunday Dinner if you will. (Which arguably is becoming another ‘thing of the past’ that needs bringing back.) It was a symbolic event. It didn’t matter that year after year you knew Charlie Brown was getting a rock. To this day as I think back, now at 25, I can still hear my dads laugh.

Perhaps it’s just me though, and my sappy side seeping through that makes the change seem so distressing. The special has not been discontinued or forbidden, but the way in which we can view it will never be the same. Older folk who have tuned for years may not have the knowledge or resources to do so this year. Always on a basic cable station and now on the streaming service, those unfamiliar with new technology may miss out. On a bright side, if cost is a determining factor non members can stream the Halloween special for free 10/30-11/01. 

Does anyone else feel the way I do about the situation? Comment below with your feelings and if watching the peanuts special was a tradition in your household as well.

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