Why 80s TV is awesomeI recently got rid of cable because I was sick of bending over every month when I got the bill.  However, I didn’t want to miss rotting my brain on a daily basis so I’ve turned to things like Hulu+ and Netflix to help me get my fix of mindless TV.

Imagine my excitement when I began exploring and discovered many of my favorite 80s television shows were available for viewing.

So I grabbed my jelly bracelets, poured a glass of Tang and got to work re-watching the best television sitcoms ever.

Except they weren’t the best.

Some of them were actually pretty horrible.  What were we thinking in the 80s?  How did we find these premises entertaining?  A show about an abandoned child who took up residence in a vacant apartment only to be subsequently adopted by the building owner?  And her name was Punky Brewster?  Seriously?  Her adoptive father wasn’t reported to Child Services for letting her keep that name? Preposterous!

Then I realized most of the 80s sitcoms were equally as ridiculous, so I made a list of 10 of my favorite shows of the 80s and what was wrong with the premise of each.

It didn’t take long.

Why did we watch this-Saved by the Bell:  This kid-friendly show starred a lead character who was positively horrible.  He regularly screwed over his friends who always forgave him, only to set themselves up to be screwed over again the following week.  And since when is a preppy kid best friends with a nerd and a jock?  Not in my high school!

Mr. Belvedere:  This was one of my favorites although I never realized how creepy the show was.  A housekeeper who wore a jacket and tie everyday?  Strange.  A guy who kept a daily journal about living with kids and then read it aloud to himself every night in his room?  Hello sex offender.

Alf:  The Tanners were able to keep a talking stuffed animal quiet and undetected even though he lived in their DETACHED garage?  How stupid are we?  My neighbors root around in my detached garage and all that’s in there is a raccoon nest and bags of leaves I keep forgetting to get rid of. He would have been discovered in one week…tops.

Murder, She Wrote:  A show about a famous author who solves mysteries.  Here’s one mystery she never solved; why was everyone around her always getting murdered?!  Maybe that should have been the series finale.

My Two Dads:  So basically, your mom was a slut?  That’s the premise of the show that we’ve somehow managed to overlook in this quirky comedy.  And she was such a hoebag that didn’t even have a “type” as the two potential fathers were polar opposites.  Clearly she just gave it away to any guy she met at a bar. Not exactly clean family fun.  Wait, that describes some of my friends in college.

The Cosby Show:  I never understood why Bill Cosby’s character was named Cliff Huxtable yet it was called “The Cosby Show.”  It baffled my young mind and continues to do so.  Why not just call it “The Huxtables” or give the characters the last name of Cosby?  It seems to me Bill Cosby must have had insecurities that people wouldn’t watch the show unless they knew who was in it.

tv-46909_1280Cheers:  A show about a bar that was open in the middle of the day and only a few people ever paid for drinks.  Given the fact they were literally giving it away, that bar should have been a lot more crowded than it was.

Who’s the Boss?:  It’s not so strange to me that a man was hired as a housekeeper.  Not only can I get on board with that, I like it.  What’s a hard hard sell here is that he was a good housekeeper.  Vacuuming the curtains with the actual vacuum and not an attachment?  Really Tony?  I can only imagine how he “cleaned” the bathroom.

Doogie Howser, M.D.:  Right.  Because I’m going to let a guy who hasn’t yet grown pubic hair remove my spleen.  My standard rule of thumb is if your voice sounds like a chipmunk and you still believe in Santa Claus, you’re not getting into my organs.

Diff’rent Strokes:  A show about two boys from Harlem who go live with their dead mom’s millionaire boss?  Is that how it goes in real life?  When you die your estate goes to your boss?  If that’s the case, my boss is going to be pumped when he gets  my collection of VHS tapes.  (And as a sidenote, why is there an apostrophe in the title?  Is it to show us the dad is pretentious?  His never-ending barrage of three-piece suits told us that.)

Even though I realize that most of these shows have ludicrous plots, I also know that I still love them and will watch them whenever they’re available.

After all, one thing’s for certain:  “I want Charles in Charge of Me.”

23 Thoughts on “Why 80s TV is still awesome, despite its ridiculousness

  1. How funny that I see this today. I got excited when the movie “A Fish Called Wanda” came on the other night, thinking how much I liked it back in the day. I watched it, then began doubting every single thing I said I liked about the 80s.
    I, too, have always wondered why it was called “The Cosby Show”. It makes no sense.
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    • I’m so glad the timing was perfect! I’ve seriously been questioning my judgement on so many shows I used to watch. So many of them have the worst actors in history and the dialogue is written by a third grader.

      Except for John Hughes movies. Those are still gold.

      Do you think we’ll be saying this in 20 years about what we’re watching now?

  2. The writer for alf had a $6000 a week heroin habit. They made a movie about him…I was forced to watch it in college. It shed a lot of light on the ridiculous sitcom…
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    • OF COURSE HE HAD A HEROIN HABIT! That’s the perfect explanation for that show. All of a sudden things start to fall into place….

      You had to watch it in college? What other movies about our favorite 80s sitcoms were you forced to watch?

  3. OMG you threw some memories I my face!!

    The Cosby Show, Cheers, Alf…all DO NOT miss shows for me. I loved the Cosby family.

    What a fun trip down memory lane. And a not so fun trip reminding me of just how friggin old I’m getting!!

    Loved it, girl!! =)
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    • I’m glad I threw some memories in your face but I hope they didn’t sting too badly in the eyes. I love TV from when we were kids, even if watching it now is positively painful (which it is).

  4. I LOVED ’80s TV, even if a lot of it was weird. It’s so much better than the crap we have now. My only thing with “The Cosby Show” is that he was a gynecologist with AN OFFICE IN HIS BASEMENT. Of course he didn’t do exams there or anything, but still…creepy.
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    • YOU ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT HIS OBGYN OFFICE IN HIS BASEMENT! I never thought about that but it’s disgusting! He also didn’t have a secretary or receptionist or anyone to make appointments, answer the phone or do billing. How did he get paid?

      And what if one of his kids walked in? How bad did his basement smell?

      You’ve opened up the basement door to so many questions.

  5. Lisa I love this! I can’t believe some of the shows I watched in the 80s- and my parents let me! I LOVED The Love Boat. Now why would my parents let a pre-pubescent little girl watch a show about Herpes on water?? Adults hooking up for just three days? And then Fantasy Island was on after that. Don’t get me started about that one. Though, some of the stuff that’s on t.v. today just goes too far and is really disturbing. But I guess I can always choose not to watch it.
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  6. Forgot all about My Two Dads but I loved that show. Your deduction is right I think!
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  7. I am CRACKING UP!! The Mr. Belvedere one really took me over the edge! This is SO funny!-Ashley
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  8. I’d love to see an 80s super cut about an abnormally small black kid who gets adopted by a white male housekeeper and an abominable snowman (who must stay hidden).
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  9. This post made me really miss Solid Gold.

    • It made me miss that show “Too Close for Comfort.” Remember that one? I didn’t put it in there because I figured people wouldn’t know what it was. It sounds like you have more distinguished tastes so you probably do.

  10. Oh man, I loved these shows. Although I didn’t watch much of Mr. Belvedere. I mean, I watched it, but it wasn’t an every week thing. It must have been on when I was an older kid. I used to think the exact same thing about Saved by the Bell. Those people would NEVER be friends in real life. That show used to irritate the crap out of me. Just put some hot guys and chicks in a tv show and everybody will watch. Which is why I loved 90210.
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    • Saved by the Bell always annoyed me and I’m not sure why it was popular for some long. It probably was just because Kelly Kapowski showed her midriff.


      • Totally. I had to come back here because last night I watched a Howard Stern interview with Mario Lopez. Howard said the guy who played Screech came on their show a while back and said that Mario was on SavedBtB having sex with all the girls. Mario said no, only one. Then he said he didn’t understand why Screech said those things when he (Mario) was the only one who ever talked to him on the show. I guess Screech was younger than the rest of the cast and so they didn’t hang. So, the set was like reality, while the TV show was totally not. Haha!
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        • I figured screech couldn’t have been liked much on the cast. He just seemed annoying and I don’t believe any of those guys are actually good actors….thus….he must have been annoying.

          Plus, he went on to do nasty porn and then he got super hateful and bitter about everyone and started bashing them. He lost all his money and his house and then went on some show on VH1 that I totally watched. I think it was Celebrity Fit Club or something.

          He was crazy! He accused someone of saying something anti-semetic and they totally didn’t. WHACK-JOB!

  11. I loved all these shows. And the theme songs! I can still sing all of the theme songs from memory. Throw in some from the 70s and a bottle of wine, and I can entertain you all night. 😉
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