But what a great resource it is for research, especially different periods of history. As well as the wonderful visuals of fashion, furniture and transport, many of the programmes point to the wider issues of the day. Whether through politics, women's lives, relationships, we often have the whole gamut of society paraded before us.
In just one week, I've taped or watched the following:
The Three Musketeers - I taped this last night and can't wait to watch this new version. I studied European history through several centuries and love this enjoyable escapade in 17th century France. I imagine Peter Capaldi will make a good Richelieu.
Mr Selfridge - the previous series took us from the turn of the century to the new series beginning last night at the cusp of the Great War in 1914 with news of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. What a lavish set with stunning outfits and the historical background of a real iconic store.
Father Brown - I've been taping this afternoon programme to watch while ironing. I love the nostalgia of the English country setting in the early 50s, and the clothes worn by women from servants to the local Lady. I'm also interested in old cars!
The Bletchley Circle - beside the obvious pleasure of the post-war setting and solving mysteries, I love the occasional flash-back to the secret war work at Bletchley Park. This is also good for noting the fashions ordinary women now wore, and the difference between the lives of the single females and the highly intelligent woman who was now expected to be a stay at home wife and mother.
Call the Midwife - everyone's favourite nostalgia story about late 1950s midwives in London's East End. Here we have a great variety of characters and situations from the period and last night's episode even gave us a historical context for the recognition of Cystic Fibrosis. A great combination of human stories and medical/health issues as we start to leave the 50s behind.
And these don't include Downton Abbey and The Paradise - another two programmes useful for visual research!
If anyone is inspired by all the 1950s nostalgia, you might want to try writing and submitting a novella to Entangled who have put out a call for stories of 15,000 to 20,000 words set between 1950 and 1959. See the full details for Love me Tender submissions on the Entangled website. Closing date is 31st March 2014.