September 4, 2015

Television history: A glimpse into the 1980’s

Few members of this generation would recall television in the 1980’s. The light-hearted atmosphere. The almost always focus on technology and machinery. And of course, the big fluffy hairstyles and clothing that would sometimes not even fit!

But the 1980’s has a heavy nostalgia effect that is fondly remembered by people who are over the age of 35. It was a much more simpler time in a world that was viewed as much brighter for most.

Today we are going to talk about a few of 1980’s best television shows for those that wish to look back with a penchant for simplicity in a more agreeable world with less complications that has now seemed to have overshadowed the lives of many.

Knight Rider

Premiering with it’s pilot episode in September of 1982, the plot of Knight Rider was about a cop, who reached lieutenant status, that was supposedly fatally shot in the head in the Nevada desert by thieves who wanted to steal the latest microchip designs for their own dastardly purposes. But little did they know that Michael Long was rescued by a multimillionaire who invested his fortune in the technology industry to design an advanced vehicle that was capable of fighting crime in the form of a black sports car, more precisely a Pontiac Trans-Am, that was loaded with many special abilities. Included was ejector seat and rocket thrusters that could make it boost up into the air. It even came with its own artificial intelligence! This was David Hasselhoff’s claim to fame, a show that he tends to still remind people with when in the spotlight. While the pilot episode was quite dark in mood, the television series that soon followed was more child friendly, A new episode would premiere every week for four years before being cancelled in 1986 by NBC. Numerous reboots have come and gone but none have had the same success as the 1982 original series.


The A-team was another Universal Studios production that succeeded in the footsteps of Knight Rider, but the back story wasn’t as sophisticated. Four military soldiers, who served in the Vietnam war, escaped from capitivity after being framed for a murder. While fugitives on the run from the authorities, they helped civilians for the greater good who found themselves being wronged. Unlike Michael Knight in Knight Rider, however, they charged a fee for their services in order to keep surviving. The fun elements of the A-team was seeing what creative inventions they would come up with toward the conclusions in order to defeat the bad guys, most of which would involve some sort of ridiculous presentation of machinery. The four heroes, BA, Face, Murdock and Hannibal all had their own individual personalities that would border on the comical side. To date, the A-team has not had any kind of revival on the small screen but it did have a 2010 feature length theatrical movie that has now mostly been forgotten about. Mr. T is known for this role, as well as his part in Rocky III, the third instalment in the dramatic boxing franchise.


One for the adults, Dallas was a thirteen year long soap opera debuting in 1978. But the show did not reach the pinnacle of its success until the early 1980’s when famous villain, J.R was shot in what turned out to be a nationwide “whodunnit.” Like other shows, it had its own memorable theme tune that became one of the most illustrious in television history. J.R had something to do with most of the scenarios featured in the weekly episodes, although occasionally other people out to dethrone the Ewing family made their presence known. However, conflict often occurred within the family itself, with members often switching sides for their own personal gain! A reboot once again hit the small screen in 2012 but did not survive to see a fourth season, no doubt due to the death of Larry Hagman. Dallas is probably the most prominent soap opera you will ever come across that was screened in the ‘golden decade.’ Shhhh, Dynasty!

About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.



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