The 1980s was a great time for television – some of the best sitcoms came to the small screen in this time. From family comedies to crime dramas, there was pretty much everything out there.
Some of the greatest stars were born (figuratively) in this time, such as Michael J. Fox and Gary Coleman. Others were already in the midst of successful and long careers, such as Tom Selleck, Andy Griffith, and Betty White. Whether we were watching our favorite series with friends after school or with family in the evening, TV time was always a good time.
Aside from the great acting and lasting catchphrases, there were also memorable themes songs that were so catchy, we still have them stuck in our heads almost four decades later. It’s true what everyone says: they just don’t make TV like they used to. Nowadays, theme songs barely exist and the name of the show just flashes across the screen rather than there being a full title sequence. Back then, there was enough time to make popcorn before the show actually started.
While there are some great sitcoms today, there are also many blasts from the past that have us feeling nostalgic for the way TV used to be.
This show follows the lives and goings on of some of the regulars at a Boston bar, which is owned by a former Red Sox relief pitcher. The main characters take turns working at, hanging out at, and falling in love at this beloved bar where “everyone knows their name.” There is even a spinoff of the show in the ’90s – both of them ran for eleven years and were wildly popular with their viewers. (See answer after videos bellow)
This show is often considered a love story for the ages and it’s about a pre-teen boy growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this time, he goes through some turbulent events in his young life. He experiences many mishaps and misfortunes, finds love, and truly discovers himself as he comes of age. He “gets by with a little help from his friends” and ends up being alright, but there were a few close calls. (See answer after videos bellow)
This series was based off a movie with the same title and storyline. They even share the same theme song, Suicide is Painless, but the show’s is just the instrumental version. The staff of an Army hospital during the Korean War makes it through their difficult situation by resorting to humor and jokes rather than letting the trauma of war get them down. To this day, the comedy is considered one of the highest-rated shows in U.S. television history. (See answer after videos bellow)
In this family sitcom, a retired Italian-American baseball player moves to Connecticut to start “a brand new life.” His new job is a housekeeper for a big time New York ad exec and he also helps take care of her two children, whom she is raising as a single, working mother. The two have an undeniable attraction for one another and it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore. Another prominent character is a man-crazy mother who is also there to help out around the house. (See answer after videos bellow)
Nearly 20 years after The Andy Griffith Show ended, the talented actor moved on to the other side of the justice system, going from sheriff to criminal defense attorney. In this series, the lawyer is so good at his job that he charges $100 thousand to take a case. He does, however, prove that he is worth it because he typically ends up getting his clients acquitted. How? He declares their innocence by finding the real killer instead. (See answer after videos bellow)
This series centers around four girls attending an all-female boarding school who come across many different issues that they must tackle as they move from teenagers to adults. Their housemother is there to help them through adolescence and eventually the girls even assist her with a big career move from a dietician to opening her own business. At the time, this show was the longest-running series of the 1980s and was a spinoff of Different Strokes. (See answer after videos bellow)
It doesn’t get much better than Tom Selleck portraying a former Navy SEAL living and working in Hawaii. The now private investigator resigned from the military at the age of 33 because he felt he had missed out on being 23 and wanted to experience those glory days. Orson Welles voiced the mysterious unseen character that acts as Selleck’s host and client throughout the show. This crime drama series ran from 1980-1988 and is even about to have its very own reboot this September. (See answer after videos bellow)