TV shows from the 80’s were about big hair, crazy clothes, and being in a place where everyone knew your name! It was a time when we could connect with the issues of dealing with growing teen questions or getting away from our problems by hanging out at the local bar. TV shows from the 80’s gave us wholesome characters that we didn't mind watching together with our parents. Here are a few of my favorites.
Table of contents:
- the facts of life
- family ties
- the cosby show
- miami vice
- the golden girls
- full house
- the wonder years
1 The Facts of Life
What I loved most about this TV show from the 80’s was that there was a character to represent the teenage girl in all of us. There was Blair, the blonde miss know it all who had everything; Natalie, the sweet, girl next door type who would do anything to be your friend; Tootie, the adorable, younger teen who was always in everyone’s business; and Jo, the tough chick who acts like she would kick your butt, but deep down inside she just needs a friend she can trust. “The Facts of Life” was a about four girls in boarding school who needed each other and needed a mother figure, which they found in Edna, the head of the dorm. "The Facts of Life” ran from 1979 to 1988, just shy of making 10 years on air!
This TV show from the 80's wasn’t just about drinking at the bar, it was about connecting with people who were there to listen and at times would try to help. Would you believe that “Cheers” almost didn’t make it past it’s first season, but eventually became a hit and was on air for eleven years from 1982 to 1993? Ted Danson’s character owned the bar and fell in love with two lead female characters, first played by Shelley Long as Diane, and later Kirstie Alley came in to play girlfriend Rebecca. So do you have a favorite place like Cheers, where "everybody knows your name"?
3 Family Ties
Many of the issues that the Keaton family faced in the 80’s in “Family Ties” are what many families are still dealing with today. Mom and dad are hippie liberals while their kids have different political opinions or none at all. Son Alex, played by Michael J. Fox, is very conservative, daughter Mallory isn’t the headstrong, feminist mom would like her to be, and Jennifer just wants to be a normal teen. However, behind all of the political differences, they are still a family who stand behind each other and care for one another no matter what. This was a TV show that pushed issues that most teens weren't thinking about or discussing with their parents, which is why it lasted for seven years from 1982-1989.
4 The Cosby Show
What’s not to love about “The Cosby Show”? It was a wonderful show when it originally aired and is still being loved by new generations on syndication. It was a big step for black actors and black families in America, but it was much more than that. No matter what background you came from you could relate to the Cosby family and enjoyed laughing, crying, and coming together with your family to see what Bill, wife Clair, and kids Sondra, Theo, Denise, Vanessa, and Rudy were up to next.
5 Miami Vice
From family television to two undercover, cool, sharp dressing detectives who made the 80’s awesome! Don Johnson’s character on “Miami Vice” made the white blazer a fashion statement and really brought the culture of the 80’s to life. It was more about the hot cars, music, and bright colored clothing than who the detectives were trying to catch or spy on. It ran from 1984 to 1990 and inspired a movie remake 16 years later that starred Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx.
6 The Golden Girls
Who would have ever thought that a show about four older women would become a hit! Well, when you have actresses like Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty playing those funny older women of “The Golden Girls,” you just know there will be laughs shared by everyone watching. Betty White continues to make us all laugh on screen and off; sadly the other amazing “Golden Girls” have passed away. I grew up watching these ladies share good times and stick together through the bad times, and now I get the enjoy it all over again as my step-daughters have fallen in love with the re-runs on TV land! The show originally aired from 1985 to 1992.
7 Full House
From 1987 to 1995 we watched three little girls grow up right in front of us, and now it’s hard to believe that little baby Michelle, played by the Olsen twins, will be 30 years old in three years! The Tanner family showed us what it meant to be family and what it meant to have a sister who you loved and hated at the same time! Behind everything that happened between each family member on “Full House,” there was always a lesson to be learned, and dad Danny, played by Bob Saget, was always good at teaching you right from wrong. We all fell in love with Uncle Jessie, who went from bad boy to family man, and watched as two of the three sisters, D.J. and Stephanie, went through those awkward teen years. It’s another great show from the late 80’s that is still loved by many families who watch it in syndication.
8 The Wonder Years
It’s funny to remember “The Wonder Years” as a show from the 80’s since it was a television show that portrayed the life of a teen boy growing up in the 60’s. It was an interesting show to watch for those of us who didn’t know what the 60’s were like, as well as for those who could reminisce about the that era. I loved that as we watched main character Kevin Arnold stumble through his teen years we could also hear what was going on through his mind, as his older self was narrating the show. Oh to know what was going through the mind of the opposite sex; how crazy would that be!
Did you watch any of these TV shows from the 80’s? Did I forget any of your favorites?
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