80s TV [NOT 16/4/22]

The color screen for the TRS80 was a mere years away

What where your favorite TV shows of the 80s (assuming you were alive and conscious during the decade.)

I watched a lot of garbage TV as a kid. Mostly because my parents could afford the luxury of a 2nd TV so my sisters and I parked our dumb asses in front of the TV watching whatever shows we could see.

Being a male nerd I drifted to the crappy SF shows like The Adventures of Mathew Starr and action adventure like the cartoonish A-Team and pulpy Magnum PI. Avoided the nighttime soaps of the era. My sisters gravitated to family sitcoms like the Cosby Show and Family Ties.

However, my 80s TV watching abruptly ended in the 1988 season when I was told by my parents to focus on my studies instead of having my brain destroyed by the evil box of stupid as my dad called it. Looking back, they weren’t wrong, but it hurt to ween myself off the glass teat.

Favorite 1980s Shows In No Particular Order


Magnum PI

Simon and Simon


Married With Children


Star Trek: TNG (to be honest, I disliked the early seasons but I did watch infrequently)




  1. Does it count if I watched them as reruns in the early 90s?

    If so, then Full House and Saved by the Bell after school. But being a kid, I had no clue they were reruns. Also the Midwest used to be a solid 5-10 years behind the coasts with fashion, so the clothes still looked current.

    • I enjoyed both of those too.  Blue Thunder as well starring a pre SNL Dana Carvey, but it was terrible.

      I missed a lot of ToD because the Parental TV lock.  Only caught it on reruns or when my sisters would remember to tape it.

      Still one of the coolest TV themes (even though Full Metal Jacket covered it first) ever.

  2. I could go on an on about the best shows of the 80s, but I’ll just give the short list of shows I watched as a kid and didn’t fully understand:




    The Fall Guy



  3. And yet you grew up in Canada…was there no Canadian content at the time? When were those Canadian content rules imposed whereby the CBC and I think other broadcasters had to show a certain percentage of “Canadian” content?

    In the late-80s I was a young adult and I became addicted to the fledgling Fox network’s Sunday night lineup. Hear me out. This is what they had (I googled):

    Fox Sundays (1988–1989)

    7:00 21 Jump Street

    8:00 America’s Most Wanted

    8:30 Married… With Children

    9:00 The Tracey Ullman Show

    9:30 It’s Garry Shandling’s Show

    10:00 Duet

    • To be fair, I only watched a couple of Canadian shows at the time.  American shows were the junk food of my yout’

      Most Canadian shows of the time were shit especially from CTV.  CBC’s adult dramas mostly flew over my simple mind.

      Seeing Things (a paranormal mystery show).

      Bizarre (a comedy variety show which helped put Super Dave Osborne on the map.)

    • Canadian content was in effect in the 80s — SCTV was told they had to produce more overtly Canadian content, so they created Bob and Doug McKenzie in order to dump every possible Canadian stereotype on the screen in the highest possible concentration.

      The idiotic cooing sound that Doug made at the start was a reference to the loon calls that showed up in every Canadian produced show at some point to establish they weren’t just shooting in California.

  4. I didn’t watch much TV in the 80’s, I was too busy running wild. But I never missed St Elsewhere, I watched it with my sister. I tried to catch Hillstreet Blues when I could.

  5. I watched a lot of Nickelodeon back then*, so just about anything that was on there at the time probably went through my retinas and into my brain. (I had a particular fondness – or weakness – for Danger Mouse and You Can’t Do That on Television.)

    *This is back before the apparently unofficial sanctioning of the ’90s as the network’s “retro” era. I remember a handful of those shows as well, but I was already starting to age out of it all by then.

  6. We watched a lot of tv growing up even though in the summer – we were up at daybreak and only came home when someone’s mom called them in to dinner.

    Facts of Life

    Family Ties

    Different Strokes

    Love Boat

    Buck Rogers



    Afterschool – Starblazers

    My mom loved Taxi and my dad liked Wise-guy

  7. Pre-K me started the ’80’s loving the late-night (probably syndicated/rerun?) shows like Quincy ME, and The Rockford Files… and with those two, I’d also watch Johnny Carson, when I got up after mom & dad would go to bed…


    My bedtime back then was 7:00/7:30, and I’d basically sleep a few hours, then wake up, go out to the living room, “watch my shows” then put myself back to bed, and sleep until 9-10am😉

    I have always and legitimately been a night owl who sleeps late–even as a preschooler🤣

    Most of the other shows I watched as a kid have already been mentioned (The A-Team, McGuyver, Tour of Duty,** Different Strokes, MASH, Cheers, The Wonder Years, Magnum PI, etc.)

    Growing up in MN, I also saw tons of Hamm’s Beer commercials–whiiiich I thought were a regular cartoon show, when I was an elementary schooler!🤣

    And Sunday mornings in the early 80’s meant either you either had the option of “Church TV” (whichever grifter preacher was being aired at any given hour), or Pro Wrestling–in particular, the AWA at the height of its talent pool!

    Hulk Hogan, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Mad Dog Vachon, The Baron Von Raschke, The Crusher, Nick Bockwinkel, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and later on guys like The Undertaker & Sergeant Slaughter were a regular part of the Sunday-morning childhoods of most Minnesota kids…

    I can’t exactly remember the order of the shows, but the three non-church programs you could catch back then were; Grizzly Adams, The Wild Wild West, and AWA Wrestling.

    **that one was why one of the first three cassette tapes I ever bought (when I purchased my first radio/cassette player ) had Paint it Black. The three tapes I got that day at Best Buy were Steppenwolf’s Greatest hits, The Stones’ Through The Past Darkly, and of course, Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet.😉

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