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The Best TV Shows of The 80s And 90s

Some of the 80s and 90s best shows

The Best TV Shows of The 80s And 90s
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As the years press on the television show options change rapidly. Americans are being given more options and genres to become enthralled in. Unfortunately as the times change we are also being given even more violent and bloody programs, one’s that simply dig into the minds of the younger generations. That’s not to say that the TV shows of the past weren’t violent and frightening but it seems that we have lost a few quality TV shows along the way. This writer for one, a child of both the 80s and 90s, misses some of the TV shows of the past, ones where the storyline was basic, cheesy and completely enjoyable. So let’s take a trip back to the 80s and 90s and remember some of the best shows of their time.

The 80s

Baywatch  (1989)– A bunch of gorgeous men and women running up and down the beach in swimsuits and occasionally rescuing idiot swimmers going far too deep in the water, what isn’t exciting and simple about that? Besides for all the men of the world this show gave birth to their favorite sex symbol, Pamela Anderson.

Cheers (1982) – Everyone wants to go where, “everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.” The theme song along brings a smile on the faces of everyone who watched the show. A simple show about a Boston bar where friends gathered to discuss their lives and get advice from others all while sharing a few drinks.

Alf (1986) – The wisecracking alien made everyone fall in love with his commentary and relationship with his adoptive family. The alien, a brown fur ball of comedy, crash-landed into the family’s garage and the rest is history. Alf can still be seen on commercials and of course on every show that involves awesome 80s memories.

21 Jump Street (1987) – What child of the 80s didn’t rush home to see this comedic and cheesy cop show? 21 Jump Street breathed life into the gorgeous and talented actor some of you might know…Johnny Depp. Before it was a terrible movie remake (no offense Channing Tatum we still love you), 21 Jump Street brought the world a new spin on the typical cop-related television show. Now “JUMP! Down on jump street!”

DuckTales (1987) – Scrooge McDuck and the wild boys, Huey, Dewey & Louie (Donald Duck’s nephews) go on wild adventures throughout this series but always return to McDuck’s incredible vault of gold. This cartoon remains popular even with newer generations thanks to the wonderful technology called, DVDs.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) – Genetically enhanced everyday turtles turned ninja crime fighters…YES! Fans of all ages and genders fell in love with Raphael, Michael, Leonardo and Donatello and their master, Splinter (a rat). This show sparked many movie spinoffs and still remains a popular action figure.

The Transformers (1984) – Robots from outer space fighting other robots from outer space, what an awesomely weird concept. Weird as it may have sounded this cartoon sparked generations of enjoyment and even a successful movie franchise staring Shia LaBeouf.


Now let’s take a trip from the 80s straight into the 90s. Don’t forget we have to stop at The Max and catch up with our friends, Zack and Kelly.


The 90s

Beverly Hills, 90210  (1990)– This is arguably one of the most popular teen shows from the 90s created by Aaron Spelling. The show followed the lives of teens living in Beverly Hills, though the actors looked like anything but teenagers. The drama and the cheese factor were on the highest level but it worked exceptionally well. The show remains in syndication on SoapNet.

My So-Called Life (1994) – Hello Jared Leto! Claire Danes (Homeland) starred in this teenage angst show that followed the life of Angela Chase and the seemingly unrequited, then requited romance between her and her high school crush, Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto). What girl of the 90s didn’t share Angela’s crush on Jordan Catalano?

The Nanny (1993)  - Fran Drescher exploded onto the scene with this sitcom that followed the lives of one very rich family and their nasally and wild nanny, Fran Fein. Drescher’s nasal inflections and wild behavior captivated audiences each week and eventually won over the heart of her boss, Max Sheffield.

Blossom (1990) – Come on you remember Blossom! Okay, even if you don’t remember the show about a teenage girl living in a house with her two older brothers and widowed father, you will certainly remember the line that made Joey Lawrence famous…”whoa!”

Dawson’s Creek (1998) – Dawson or Pacey? The question on everyone’s minds in the late 90s was whom will Joey Potter choose, her best friend and first love, Dawson Leary or his friend and unpredicted love, Pacey Witter? While the show had a much deeper plot than just the love triangle that seems to be what kept the show going and what it is most remembered for.

Boy Meets World (1993) – Ben Savage, brother of Fred Savage, struck gold when he was chosen for the role of adolescent Corey Matthews. The show revolved around Corey’s life, loves and struggles as he tried to find his place in the world. A major story focus of this popular 90s show was the love story of Corey and Topanga, the quirky girl from school. Of course, this show made everyone want a teacher like Mr. Feeny, who seemed to teach every single class and year that the main characters were in.

Seinfeld (1989) – Okay so this technically began in the 80s but it had become such an influential show on the years following its inception. The show about, nothing, captivated audiences and remained popular until it finally ended nearly ten years later. The show even sparked the HBO hit series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, starring Seinfeld co-creator, Larry David.

Friends (1994) – The one where Friends became quite possibly the most popular show of all time. The concept was simple, six friends living in New York trying to find love. Lasting ten seasons every episode seemed funnier than the last and the characters grew even more quirky and amusing. The show brought the world Jennifer Aniston and showed the comedic genius of Matthew Perry. This is one show that will never fade away and will always remain in high syndication. This writer and her friends often quiz one another on Friends trivia quoting lines and asking one another to either finish the line or name the episode in which it appeared. More often than not we fly through these quizzes with flying colors.

The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991) – This show followed the wild adventures of the odd couple of a somewhat diabolical Chihuahua and his companion, an incredibly bone-headed cat. The show was cancelled because it was a bit too racy for some audiences however, it came back in full-force and fans couldn’t wait to see what quirky thing this odd pair would do next.

Pinky and the Brain (1995) – We’ve all heard the idea that cats want to take over the world but what about a would be world dominating mouse? This cartoon showed the world just how diabolical and entertaining one genius and one idiotic mouse could be.

Tiny Toon Adventures (1990) – The show was exactly what it sounds like, only with new Warner Bros. Looney Toons miniaturized. The show followed the adventures of Buster and Babs Bunny, Plucky Duck, Furrball, Hampton J. Pig, Elmyra Duff, Dizzy Devil and many other wacky cartoon characters.

Doug (1991) – This hit series followed the cartoon life of Doug Funnie who has taken up life in a town called Bluffington and is constantly writing his innermost thoughts and desires, especially when it came to his crush Patti Mayonnaise.


How does this list stack up? Did we leave any of your favorites off this list?

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