Last week, I did and article on the 10 movies I’d use to describe the 80’s to someone who would ask that. In that same mode, this week, I’m doing the 10 TV shows to Describe the 80s. This list is PRIME TIME TV. If I would include all TV, this list would pull heavily from Cartoons. I didn’t want to do that, so today, this list is for prime time television shows. Like last week, this is not a Top Ten. This list is in no particular order. So, without further ado, here is 10 TV Shows I would use to describe the 80s to someone.
I have never, ever, seen an episode of Dallas. Well, I’ve seen bits and pieces, but never a whole episode. Well, why the hell did I include this on this list? Two reasons come to mind.
First, the theme song; who doesn’t hear it and instantly not know what was on? I forget what day of the week it came one, I keep thinking Saturday, but I know that when the theme song came on, it was bed time. The only way we could stay downstairs longer was to cry, “Just let us here the theme song for Dallas, and then we will go to bed, we promise!” That usually worked, so I grew a liking for that song.
Second, even know I was young when it was popular, and I never watched it, J.R. being shot was so huge, that it even hit me! I had know idea who J.R. was, later found out he was the guy with the hat, or that he was a scum bag, but I heard everyone talk about it, and it almost peaked my interest enough to try to sneak in a few minutes of the show. I almost did, but alas, by the time the show came back on in the fall, I could care less. Probably because I was 5.
- The Dukes of Hazard
Come one, what little boy was not totally intrigued with this show? Two cool looking guys got to drive their orange car all over the place and ran from the law and all that goodness. I was totally mesmerized by the end credits. No, I didn’t care about the director or producer or the best boy, but I loved how they drove through this open field and invaded the cops.
Also, this show, like Dallas, came on when it was time for me to go to bed, so, again, I would use the excuse that I just wanted to hear it come on to stay up a minute longer.
I use to love this show so much, that when I was younger, they had these wind up car in the shapes of the General Lee and the Cops Car, and you had this strap that went around your wrist. You’d put the car in the container on your wrist, wind it up, and set it as close to the floor as you could and let them go. I use to love them! The case is gone, but my two wind up General Lee’s are now bringing happiness to my kids…and me to
- The Wonder Years
This show was a major part of my life. But it went more than that. It was a major part of the life’s of every kid my age. Why is that? We had, on TV, a TV show that revolved around a kid our age, going through the same things we were going through, and it fucking rocked! Ok, it was set in the 1960’s, but that’s ok! Back then, the 60s were all retro, and it was awesome! I remember seeing kids, especially when I was a freshman in High School, dressed as Hippies. Funny as hell!
But this show was more than that, in that it was GOOD! Well, at least at first it was. But I was so into it, that when it started going down hill, I still loved it. Every Tuesday night, I was there, with my sisters, watching this.
My senior year of High School, this show was voted as our favorite show growing up.
- The Cosby Show
If this wasn’t the number one show of the 1980s, it was definitely the number one comedy of the decade. Thursday nights at 8pm, my family, with other countless millions, would sit at home, turn on NBC, and watch this masterful comedy.
I remember watching the very first episode where Theo gets his ear pierced, all the way to the last episode where Dr. Huxtable finally get’s that door bell to ring, and he and Mrs. Huxtable dance off the stage to the applause of the crowd. That was the first time that I was ever sad to see a show end, because I loved the Cosby Show. It wasn’t as funny and was loosing its steam, but I grew up with that show, and loved it. It was hard to see it go, but then, it was on every afternoon in syndication, so I didn’t really lose it. I think I’ve seen every episode 5 times.
- Growing Pains
I liked this show, didn’t love it, but liked it. The first season or two, before Kirk Cameron became “Born Again” and changed his character, it was a wonderful show. Off course for a second, nothing against being “Born Again”, it’s just that he totally destroyed his character after that, and it was a great character, but if you do some research on some of the story lines he vetoed, you’d be upset too,
Anyway, there is a two part episode that sticks out in my mind, and that two part episode hit me at a time in my life that it had such a dramatic impact on me.
The two part episode was called “Dance Fever”, and it had three storyline’s around the three kids. Mike was at the dance and spots a gorgeous girl there and becomes obsessed! I did too because this was around the time puberty set in for me, and the girl, Lynda, was smokin! Carol’s was set at the same dance, but her two friends were all about hooking up with guys our of there league, and Carol ends up spending time with Mike’s friend Bonner, and they end up having fun, while Carol’s friends stand at the side, bummed. And Ben, with his friend Stinky (the writers of this show really came up with some kick ass names for they guys friends), go to a diner to play pinball with a machine that pays money! Unfortunately for them, to act cool, they order pie and blow all their money on that and none on the machine.
I saw those episodes ONCE! But they have stood out in my mind and I am eagerly waiting until that season is out on DVD so I can get it. Anyone know where the torrent for that episode is?
- Perfect Strangers
God this show was stupid. A guy, Larry, moves to the city of Chicago for a job, and ends up meeting his distant cousin, Balki, and they move in together and their lives are just a pile of fun!
I watched this show because there was nothing else on at that time worth watching. And since cable TV at that time sucked, well, Perfect Strangers was what I watched. So why include this show when I didn’t love it? Because if I said “Cousin Larry”, who doesn’t know who I’m talking about? If you would talk in Balki’s ridiculous accent, who doesn’t know who you are imitating?
Moved from Tuesday, to Wednesday, it finally ended up on Fridays on ABC when they started their TGIF lineup. That is probably what I watched it. All those TGIF shows were lame, but I watched them anyways. That’s what the 80s were about!
One of the greatest shows ever! This show, set in the bar Cheers in Boston, is amazing! Though the real bar in Boston is small and compact, much unlike the show version, I don’t think anyone cared about that. The writing and acting for this show were amazing, and that kept it around for a long time!
Part of NBC’s Thursday lineup, I wasn’t allowed to watch this show when it first came on. I had my bead time, and couldn’t stay up past it. But in later years, when I was allowed to, I was hooked. Me, being a HUGE baseball fan, I loved the fact that Sam was a pro ball player in the past before becoming Bartender/Owner. His flings with Diane, and then Rebecca, were legendary. The great dumb bartender Coach, and later Woody were a great comic relief, Carla the angry waitress and we can’t forget the patrons, Norm, Cliff and Frasier, rounded out a cast that is legendary. They had so many characters to pull stories from, that most episodes were amazing! I don’t know too many people who don’t smile when they talk about this show.
- Who’s the Boss
Who’s the Boss was a wonderfully fun show when it first started, but as it went on, and the story lines got stale, it became an awful show. But let’s face it, when it did first came out, it was awesome. The sexual tension between Tony and Angela was great, until the show writers actually decided to put them together. Sam as the tomboy who grew up and became a beautiful woman, and I don’t think I can stress beautiful enough. Jonathan started out as a typical boy, but as he grew up, became annoying and I wish they would have sent him to boarding school. The actor in real life is gay, who didn’t see that coming, and maybe it would have been more fun if they made his character gay too. If nothing else, would have spruced up a very dull character. Finally we have Mona, the sexy grandma. Yea, definitely sexy.
Unfortunately the writers played the easy way out in later years and the show because dull and boring. Every storyline they came up with was easy to see where it was going, and since you could watch one episode and see where the next few where going, that and Tony and Angela getting together, people didn’t care. But when it first came out, it was very good, and that is what I will remember.
- The A-Team
What guy in the 80s didn’t love this show? Ok, being as young as I was, I never saw much of it in the 80s, but when I finally did get to see this, I loved it! To me, it really didn’t have to heavily of an 80s feel to it. Well, besides Mr. T, you could have moved this show to the 90s and it would work there too!
Four ex-US Army Special Force members who go and work for money, they get into all kinds of adventures. Any red blooded man would love this show.
Unfortunately, I don’t have many memories of this who in the 80s, well, none besides eating Mr. T Cereal, I pity the fool who don’t eat my cereal, but that wasn’t really A-Team related. I guess that fact that I use to hear my cousin’s talk about it all the time really got me hooked. I wanted to see it, I heard them talk about how awesome it was, so I guess the anticipation of someday watching it made it make this list.
- Golden Girls
Thank you for being a friend. Travel down the road and back again. Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant. I did that totally on memory, so if I got it right, awesome! If not, well, I’m sure I’m close. Saturday nights, at 9pm are not considered a great time for TV. You see many networks throw shows there that they like, but don’t do well. But Golden Girls was placed there, and was in the top 10 for most of it’s run.
My grandmother use to love this show, and that is one of the reasons I like it. On Saturdays, I was able to stay up later, so I’d watch this with her. Besides watching with her, this was a very funny show. With four “older” ladies living together, who’d have thunk that it would be a top 10 show? But the ladies they cast were perfect. Bea Arthur was wonderful as Dorothy Zbornak, Betty White did a spot on job as Rose Nylund, Rue McClanahan was amazing and sexy as Blanche Devereaux, and Estelle Getty, the youngest actress of the four, often stole the scene as the oldest Golden Girl, Sophia Petrillo.
Thankfully, Bea knew when to get out and did at the right time, as Golden Girls was sliding in the ratings and the show just didn’t have the punch that it use to. The remaining three when on to Golden Palaces, where they owned and ran a hotel, but that was a flop. But thankfully, that flop didn’t pull down the memory of Golden Girls, and it is still shown on reruns today.
So there you have it. Remember, this is not a top 10, but how I would show someone who doesn’t know about the 80s, through TV. What 10 TV shows would you use to show the 80s? I’d love to here your 10, so leave a comment and let me know!