Venturing back to the vibrant neon lights, big hair, and iconic pop culture moments, the 1980s was a golden era for television.
Shows from this decade entertained and broke new ground, influencing the landscape of TV production for years. Here are the 15 best ’80s TV shows that still hold their appeal and remain remarkable.
The Golden Girls
“The Golden Girls” broke new ground, focusing on the lives of four older women living together in Miami.
Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia quickly became beloved figures, showcasing camaraderie and quick wit. The show’s progressive themes and departure from era stereotypes made it groundbreaking.
If you needed help and could find them, you could hire… The A-Team! With Hannibal’s “I love it when a plan comes together” and B.A. Baracus’s iconic “I pity the fool” mantra, the show was a thrilling blend of action and humor. It was absurd, but that made “The A-Team” unforgettable and fantastic!
With their power struggles, betrayals, and extravagant lifestyles, the Ewing family was an iconic part of 80’s television.
Remember the “Who shot J.R.?” cliffhanger that had the world speculating? It was a binge-watching dream, but we had to wait an agonizing summer for answers.
Thomas Magnum, portrayed by Tom Selleck, is a charming private investigator in Hawaii, solving intriguing cases while facing personal challenges.
The show’s mix of playfulness and professionalism, along with solid character development and captivating plots, makes it a timeless standout.
Married With Children
Centered around the dysfunctional Bundy family, this show offered humor, sarcasm, and wit. Al Bundy’s relatable struggles as a shoe salesman and put-upon patriarch, along with Peggy’s outrageous outfits and aversion to housework, added to its charm. The cringe-worthy yet hilarious antics of their children, Kelly and Bud, fueled its enduring popularity.
Knight Rider captivated viewers with its crime-fighting hero, Michael Knight, and his talking car, K.I.T.T.
Cheers, the adored sitcom that spanned 11 seasons, captivated audiences with its lovable characters and clever writing.
The show remarkably earned 28 Emmy Awards and launched the careers of renowned stars such as Ted Danson and Kelsey Grammer.
Viewers were captivated by the emotional narratives in each episode, addressing real-world issues faced by doctors and patients alike. “St. Elsewhere” remains a groundbreaking series that shaped modern medical dramas.
Diff’rent Strokes’ famous quote, “Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” by Arnold Jackson, is a memorable ’80s T.V. quote. The show brought laughter and also covered topics like drugs, eating disorders, and stranger danger.
MacGyver, the resourceful secret agent portrayed by Richard Dean Anderson, was known for his extraordinary abilities with duct tape, bobby pins, and a Swiss Army knife.
The character’s ingenuity and survival techniques have even led to “macgyver” becoming a verb for making something out of nothing.
The adorable, witty, pint-sized dynamo Webster shook up the traditional Papadapolis family dynamic. In their grand house filled with hidden passages and secret dumbwaiters, he brought laughter, surprises, and valuable lessons about family and love.
“Fame,” which premiered in 1982, followed the lives of talented students at New York’s High School for Performing Arts.
Blending vitality, ambition, and the realities of stardom, the show broke T.V. storytelling norms by incorporating musical performances that showcased diverse artistic expressions.
Miami Vice tracked detectives Crockett and Tubbs as they fought crime in South Florida, propelling Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas to fame.
The series won four Emmys and is known for its iconic trends, such as Johnson’s vibrant T-shirt under a suit jacket and the sockless look with suits.
The series explores the triumphs and challenges of the Keaton family as liberal parents clash with their conservative sons. With notable guest stars like Tom Hanks and Courteney Cox, Family Ties remains a beloved T.V. classic.
The Wonder Years
With heartwarming and relatable storylines, the show explores the ups and downs of Kevin Arnold, a young adolescent, capturing the audience’s hearts. The recent reboot of A.B.C. features a Black family at the center while delving into the era’s significant events.
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