The television classics of the 1980’s were fun, exciting, and entertaining. There were so many dramas, comedies, and action packed stories for all to enjoy. There were family friendly sitcoms like The Cosby Show, enthralling edge of your seat night-time soap operas like Dallas, and exciting action shows like The Fall Guy.
The style and vibe of the 1980’s really shined through within each television show. Thank goodness for videos, and fan blogs where we can relive the 1980’s all over again; they celebrate such a fun, and interesting generation. Below are just a few examples of the genre that represent the 1980’s an entertaining decade.
One of the most memorable moments in 1980’s television history was of course when J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) was shot at the end of the 4th season in the TV drama Dallas (1978-1991). It was the cliffhanger to beat all cliffhangers. For many people in the small fictional town of Southfork J.R. Ewing was enemy number one. When a shadowy figure creeps into the office of J.R. Ewing, he is shot by a gun, he falls to the floor, the screen fades to black, and the credits roll.
For the entire summer hiatus fans of the TV show Dallas was in agony as to who shot J.R. There were so many candidates who wanted to kill J.R.; he had crossed many characters on the show, Lucy, Pamela, Ray, his rival Cliff Barnes; also his wife Sue Ellen, and his brother Bobby- everyone was a suspect. They kept the audience in suspense for 8 months, and even then the audience did not get their answer until the 4th episode.
When the summer was over, the populace got their chance to relax, and found out who shot J.R., (spoiler alert) it was his wife Sue Ellen’s little sister, and JR’s mistress, Kristen Shepard (Mary Crosby). It was that kind of drama and viewer involvement that made Dallas one of the best 1980’s dramas; of course the popularity of the show spawned its own doppelgangers- such as the popular TV shows Dynasty, Knots Landing, and Falcon Crest.
“Thank you for being a friend.” Of course we all remember that line from one of the best sitcoms of the 1980’s, The Golden Girls (1985-1992). The Golden Girls gave us a different view on what it is like to get older, and taught us that getting older can be fun with a side of cheesecake. Betty White, Bea Arthur, and Rue McClanahan had all worked together before in other now classic shows. Bringing these talented women together in this show was one of the best decisions a network executive could have made; add Estelle Getty as Sophia, and we have comedy gold.
The Golden Girls taught the audience a lot of life lessons. At the same time, the show allowed the audience to have a laugh at those lessons. There were stories that dealt with serious issues like Alzheimer’s, death, heart conditions, pensions, Medicare, and social security. However, the primary lesson about life in the show was that life does not have to end by getting older; getting older can be fun, and life can be lived to the fullest.
Can you name all of the Cosby kids? I bet you can. So many of us fondly remember The Cosby Show (1984-1992), and the Huxtable bunch. This beloved sitcom was the top rated show of the 1980’s, The Huxtables were like your own family, it felt like they invited the audience to share their lives with them each night they were on. The Huxtables were the family you wished you would one day have, or the family you wanted to be a part of. Cliff and Claire Huxtable were the Patriarch and Matriarch of the family. They were professionals who showed a lot of care and concern for their children, and had a lot of fun doing it.
Comedian, Bill Cosby’s humor really shined through as Cliff Huxtable, a gynecologist who moved his practice into the basement of their Brooklyn brownstone so that his wife Claire Huxtable could return to work as a lawyer, after staying at home for a while to raise their kids. This seem to be the sign of the times; where the culture showed women heading back to work, and highlighting families that had two income households. The Cosby Show was a great and treasured classic.
One of the least noticed, but also one of the best 1980’s action shows is The Fall Guy (1981-1986). Lee Majors was on target as Colt Seavers, a movie stuntman making extra money on the side by catching bail jumpers. It was a show with high action, and amazing stunts that kept the audience on the edge of their seat for each episode.
The Fall Guy was just one of those TV shows where you can just relax, not think about your worries, and just be entertained. There was plenty in the show to entertain the viewer- with cars jumping over flames, stuntmen falling off of buildings, and the heroes fearlessly escaping any danger in exciting action packed ways. It was just a fun show that was sexy, had great humor, and had you rooting for the good guys each and every week. The Fall Guy TV Series is a show that never loses its appeal.
The above are but a few of the types of TV shows that illustrates the culture of the 80’s. The 1980’s were a fun, free, and creative time for people. Any issues or problems that people went through whether in the world or in each individual lives they can escape for a moment into the world of 1980’s entertainment. Fans can relive all the addictive, exciting, and funny classic TV shows above, as well as other great 1980’s TV shows in reruns, or you can own your own copies of the great shows and more on DVD entertainment.