If you have ever thought about what brought a revolution to the Hollywood and tele-media industry, it is the decade of the 80s. It was a whirlwind decade consisting of all types of metal bands gaining popularity, horror films, sitcoms, and fun entertainment for the whole family. The classic fans have always gathered around when watching a sitcom of the 80s as it tells a lot about the particular era. Much of these sitcoms are enjoyed today as well.
The Dukes of Hazzard
The Dukes of Hazzard aired on CBS for 6 years between 1979 and 1985. It was considered one of the best sitcoms of the era and belonged to the action-comedy genre. At one point it was so successful that it was in the second position of the top-rated television series. The show revolved around two men Bo and Luke Dake who had the role of cousins.
The story is about how young men evade corrupt law officers. What made the show even better was the 1969 Dodge Charger also named General Lee which became a symbolism of attraction. Later, the car got under severe criticism in 2015 right after the Charleston Church Shooting as it featured the Confederate Flag. It has influenced pop culture in many ways as many artifacts from the shows are on display while costumes and collectibles became common during the show.
The Golden Girls
Talk about a show representing women’s life and power? The Golden Girls is the best you can see. It started in 1985 and ended in 1992 with a total of 180 episodes over a span of 7 seasons. The Golden Girls was a comedy show with many ups and downs being dealt with in a funny manner. The show starred Beatrice Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty.
The Golden Girls has remained such a popular show that in 2014, it got the 69th position in 101 Best Written TV Series of All Time by the Writers Guild of America. Moreover, the show received three Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series as well an Emmy Award was given to each of the four stars. If you are planning on which “Season” should you watch next, this should be on top of your list.
Who’s the Boss?
The story is about a professional baseball player, Tony, who gets funny with the different problems he faces. The American Sitcom was aired between 1984 and 1992 being produced by Embassy Television and Columbia Pictures. The series is based on Tony which was played by the actor Tony Danza.
After relocating to Connecticut to work as a housekeeper for a divorced executive, Tony’s life takes many changes as the two fall in love but have conflicting personalities. The show was popular mainly because it addressed love in the mature age rather than young love which was in many other shows at that time. Who’s The Boss is rated in the top 10 primetime ratings between 1985 and 1989 with its popularity extending all over the world.
This one show was enough in the 80s to take away everyone’s attention. Many networks saw a decline in their show’s ratings right after The Jeffersons was launched. It revolved around the story of a family of African Americans, The Jeffersons. It got much fame because of breaking multiple stereotypes. It was the first one that featured interracial marriage as well.
It was broadcasted on CBS from 1975 to 1985 with 11 seasons and 253 episodes making it one of the longest sitcoms of the era. Some other issues are also raised in the sitcom which is why it is still enjoyed today. These include gun control, racism, alcohol, drug abuse, transgenders, and other similar sensitive topics. Key stars of the sitcom include Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, and Marla Gibbs.
This show is unlike the others and takes on somewhat an emotional and interesting side along with a touch of comedy too. Watch it to take a look at how life is for the Taxi drivers and what problems they face. The sitcom is about how many drivers are working and considering their job as temporary while Alex Reiger considers it as a full-time profession. It also takes on the account of Reverend Jim who has to get back to life after being burnt from drugs.
From editing to acting, the sitcom has received a total of 18 Emmy awards. What the viewers found interesting was that it took on a much realistic approach by tackling the issues of life like drug addiction, divorce, racism, animal abuse, harassment, grief, gambling, blindness, and others as well. Therefore, Taxi is not just about a Taxi but a way to present the life of the 80s.
9 seasons of the Night Court between 1984 and 1992 were probably a few of the best office entertainment shows of all time. The Night Court starred Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll, Selma Diamond, and Florence Halop. The show revolves around the characters of the Manhattan Municipal court with the judge being very young and unorthodox.
The workplace mechanism was quite unusual with a very young judge and elder lawyers prosecuting and defending the cases. Unlike usual courtrooms, this one does not have any seriousness rather it is a more funny-dramatic type. The sitcom had different punches by the Judge and by the Criminals making it a great time killer.
Read more about the pop culture trends of the 1980s – Highlights of the Major Pop Culture Trends of the 1980s.
If we talk about one of those sitcoms which had a major influence on pop culture, it would be The Family Ties. The entire sitcom was based on the gaps between conservatism and liberalism. The ideology behind the show was one reason why it got popular. Being a family comedy, it was admired by many people.
Family Ties is a comedy sitcom about Parents who tried to raise a suburban family compared to the general view that the parents are conservatives and the children are liberals. The show ran for 7 seasons between 1982 and 1989 after which it got multiple awards for its success. Micheal J. Fox got three Emmy Awards consecutively for being the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
Alien Life Form abbreviated as ALF was the sitcom series that targeted kids and family comedy. ALF was an alien which crash-landed in the garage of the Tanner Family. With his ship beyond repair, ALF was forced to stay back on Earth with this family. ALF was interesting for the 80s era because it was an unusual one compared to sitcoms.
Unlike today’s sci-fi characters, ALF was a bit behind but in the 80s, it was definitely a fun factor in the sitcom. There were 99 episodes in four seasons while special episodes such as Christmas ones were also held making a total of 102 episodes. The series is still considered enjoyable for the hilarious comments by the aliens. A reboot was planned by Warner Bros. Television in 2018 but was canceled later on.
227 starred Marla Gibbs, Hal Williams, Regina King, Jackee Harry, and Helen Martin. The story is about Mary Jenkins who is a bit crazy with her sharp tongue, endless gossip and manages to be the housewife as well. The show is quite interesting and showed the women’s power factor in a funny manner and numerous other ways.
With this sitcom, many stars were able to start off their career including Jackee Harry and Regina King. Jackee even got an Emmy Award for her exceptional performance throughout the sitcom and was nominated for several others as well. How did the sitcom get its name? It was the number of the apartment where the family lived in.
Learn more about the technological advancement during the 80s over here – 1980s Technology News In Review.
My Two Dads
Probably one of the most interesting and unexpected stories was seen in the sitcom My Two Dads. Two men claim to have loved a woman for years while she has a daughter of 12 years. Suddenly, the woman dies leaving the daughter behind. The sitcom revolves around how the two men try to raise the young girl while fighting in one way or another to overcome each other.
Three seasons were held between 1987 and 1990 with viewers asking for more. The sitcom was interesting due to its unique plot and the fact that it was considered a taboo subject. Stars of this TV Show include Paul Reiser, Greg Evigan, and Staci Keanan. The show was so successful that in 1990, the USA Network paid $250,000 an episode to Columbia Pictures for 15 runs over a three-year period. Reruns of the show are still often seen on many networks thereby proving that the show is still enjoyed today.
The above-mentioned American sitcoms have been interesting and intriguing since the 1980s which is why they remain popular even today. Since modern comedy has changed in numerous ways, you can always try to go back to the classic series and look for some of the best ones. Enjoy these sitcoms with your friends and family on the weekends because they give a great idea about how life went by during the 80s.