Friday, October 15, 2010

Flashback Friday: Great 80's Sitcoms


Welcome to Week Twenty-Four of Flashback Fridays where the old and new collide on everything from books to movies to first loves to favorite vacations. This week I've succumbed to 80's sitcom nostalgia.

As the Chilean miners were being brought to the surface, someone on twitter mentioned how it reminded them of Baby Jessica. If you lived during the 80's, you remember when eighteen month old Jessica McClure fell into an abandoned well in her backyard in Midland Texas, and her rescue captured the nation's attention. I was just a kid and out camping, against my will, with my parents. Since I was missing my favorite show at the time, Rags to Riches, one of my dad's friends had taken pity on me and used his generator to rig up a tv. Just as I settled back in my lawn chair ready to watch my show, NBC broke in to show live footage of the rescue. Yeah, I was totally pissed that I had to miss my show....I was eight, you know!

So all of that got me thinking of Rags to Riches, which I like to think of as a Glee before its time since each episode was like a mini-musical of revamped 50's and 60's songs. The show isn't on DVD, but through the wonder that is the internet, I found where I could buy DVD's of someone's transferred VHS's. I was stoked! Then I started thinking about some of the other favorites from my childhood.
First up, is the aforementioned Rags to Riches. Ah, the innocence of the 80's....a rich CEO adopts 5 orphans to improve his corporate image. Even though the show took place in the early 60's, it wouldn't happen today because of all the pedofile implications of a bachelor raising teenage girls. It had great musical numbers, and it took on serious issues like sex, discrimination, and racism. I remember my mom and dad even watched the Sweet Sixteen episode with me because it dealt with Diane turning 16 at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. My cousin, who was like my sister, and I would tape the episodes on our cassette players and then reenact the musical numbers with cosumes and lip synching....ah, good times!

Can we just say how much I loved this show growing up? Not to mention the megasized crush I had on Michael J. Fox. I loved when they introduced Nick as Mallory's love interest. They were hilarious together!

Loved me some big and beautiful, Nell Carter! I also can remember NBC's Thursday night line up in the early 80's because it had something for both me and my parents. I also remember when tragedy struck the line-up and every show lost a cast member. The dad off Gimme a Break died of a heart attack, Selma died on Night Court, Coach on Cheers, and one of the detectives on Hill Street Blues, my parents all time favorite.

My cousin and I loved this show growing up. I guess that Jo was my favorite. I also loved in the later shows when George Clooney worked at the store Mrs. B owned.


Such a clever and cute show. I remember crushing on a Paul Reiser while my cousin crushed on Greg Evigan. As I've gotten older, I wonder what was I thinking? Greg was way hotter!

And how could I forget two greats from Nickelodeon? You Can't Do That On Television & Hey Dude. My cousin and I used to totally reenact the locker scene with YCDTOT with the linen closet door at my grandparents house! And we may have used a tea pitcher to do the "water" scenes over our heads!

So, did you love some of these shows? Or what are your favorites from the early, mid, or late 80's?


Jamie B said...

YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON TELEVISION! Man, haven't thought of that one in FOREVER. :) Family Ties is on Hub - a new Nat Geo kids programing thing - saw it on last night!

Pam Harris said...

Rags to Riches? I thought I was the only one that remembered that show! Thanks for the memories. :)

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh man, I hadn't thought about YCDTOT for years! I wasn't allowed to watch much TV, but somehow I managed to sneak in that one. I don't remember anything about him other than that he had dark hair, but I'm pretty sure that show yielded up my first ever TV crush.

Jamie said...

What a great list! My favorite from the 80s would have to be Growing Pains...ahh Kirk Cameron!

J.S. Wood said...

Wow! Those bring back so many memories!!

Growing Pains, A-Team, Alf, MacGyver, Doogie Howser, Wonder Years, Murder She Wrote, Who's The Boss, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Quantum Leap, oh and Stak Trek The Next Generation - I drooled over Wesley Crusher every Sunday night while I rolled quarters from the paper boxes.

Melissa said...

Rags to Riches was awesome! I can still recall singing "I Will Follow Him" on the playground at recess the day after the girls sang it on the show. And "Dream Lover" too!

Mel said...

I watched all of them. And Punky Brewster...and the Cosby show...and Webster. But Growing Pains had to be my favorite. I wanted to marry Kirk Cameron.

Shayda Bakhshi said...

Ah! Rags to Riches! :)

My nana recorded the TV movie for me and I watched it over and over again while I was growing up.

Nina, put that down!

Jessica Love said...

The Rags To Riches shout out has totally made my day.

Jennifer Walkup said...

OMG These are great. My two dads! Totally forgot about that one. I loved Facts of Life too. Also, Who's the Boss was one of my favorites. Gosh, I am such an 80s dork, it's not even funny.:p

Bee said...

I wasn't born in the 80s, so I never ended up watching any of those shows.
But I did get to see reruns of Small Wonder and Full House and I totally loved them!