It’s basically impossible to look back on the 1980s without thinking about the TV shows of the era. These were the years in which the words ‘less is more’ seemed to disappear from the vernacular altogether: we wanted everything bigger, louder, stronger and faster than ever before. That mindset absolutely included our small-screen viewing, from which we demanded laughs and thrills in a quick and plentiful supply, albeit with just enough breathing space for ad breaks.
The 70s had seen small-screen action grow larger in scale and more colourful in content, thanks to such hit shows as The Six Million Dollar Man, Charlie’s Angels, Starsky & Hutch and Wonder Woman. The 80s caught that ball and ran with it, bringing us all manner of larger than life heroes who made the 20″ box in your living room feel like a panoramic cinema screen.
That’s not to say that 80s TV didn’t give us plenty of more down to earth entertainment too, however. The decade saw the launch of some of the most popular sitcoms of all time, on both sides of the Atlantic. These shows reflected the changing times, and launched the careers of many stars who remain successful to this day.
These were the days before streaming and binge-watching; the days when you had to wait a full week for the next episode, and if you weren’t home in time (or hadn’t programmed your VCR) then you were going to miss it. Back then, when TV wasn’t all there on demand, these were the shows we most anticipated sitting down to watch together – the ones which brought us the most joy.
Scroll on down, and give a thumbs up to all your most beloved 80s TV shows – and if your personal favourite from the decade hasn’t made the list, go ahead and add it.