80s television

Occasionally, when I’m sick and too braindead to read, I watch ’80s TV. It’s kinda fun to revisit the shows of my teens, many of which didn’t last more than a season or two. In addition to the stereotypical shows like Knight Rider and The A-Team (whose unrealism bothered me even then), I really liked shows like Automan, Manimal, Street Hawk, and Air Wolf. Usually, I can’t watch more than a few episodes before I’ve had enough. There have been three exceptions.

Misfits of Science was undeniably cheesy, but it is still entertaining. And somehow, more than any other show I’ve seen, feels quintessentially ’80s. I don’t know how they do it, but it feels like it embodies that decade, cheese and all.

I had completely forgotten about Stingray, but ran across it while conducting a survey of ’60s and ’70s TV themes while building an instrumental funk station on Pandora. (It’s not from that period, I just found it while looking there. :) Stingray is surprisingly well done, but it was apparent that by the second season they were trying to figure out how to mix it up and keep people interested. Somehow they manage to do that for me through the second season, more than 20 years after the series ended.

Sledge Hammer! was, and continues to be, my favorite ’80s show. I own the DVDs. As satire, it’s spot on. It’s highly imaginative and logically extends the original material to the point of silliness. It probably helps to know the material being satirized (Dirty Harry, ’80s pop culture, etc), but having grown up immersed in it all, it’s hard for me to say.

I’ve not watched everything I enjoyed back then, but I think I’ve revisited most of it. I’ll post again if anything else is remarkable.

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