Note to the editors of Family Circle, circa 1971: adding embellishments to TV dinners does not make them ready for Bon Appetit magazine! This wacky article from back in the day shows how you can "glamorize" (their word, not mine) ordinary frozen meals. Some of the pepper-uppers are no-brainers and/or quite odd: rolled up salami cones for macaroni and cheese, and halfed cherry tomatoes mixed with corn. Pine nuts in your fruit compote and pimentos in peas say instant mmmmmmm. Something called onion bits were sprinkled onto the mashed potatoes, and "fish-shaped nibbles" float in the tomato soup. Um, you mean goldfish crackers?
Actually, they don't look all that bad. I admit that I used to love TV dinners when I was a kid - never mind that they were full of salty, processed excuses for meat. My favorite dessert was the chocolate cake/brownie.
Before and after pictures below...quite the inspiration for the aspiring retro chef: