TV Series

Our generation has seen a radical change in what is exceptable to be on prime time television. We have series like Breaking Bad, which features the production of meth and the destruction of the classic American family. Pretty Little Liars is a teen series and it features so much sex and promiscuity. Walking Dead includes so much violence and horror it is unbelievable. Comparing this to the television series that were popular in the 1980s it seems unreal.

Some of the most popular TV shows around the 1980s era include:

Cosby Show

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Full House

Many of the series were centered around family values and the moral lessons we should all be learning. For example, every episode of Full House had to end with a moral lesson that we should all take home.

Now it is hard to find a TV show that is still airing that has a good heartfelt message that even has touching music playing in the background.

Not all TV series were quiet as family oriented as these were though:

Dukes Miami

However, comparing the “violent” scenes in these series to the ones in today’s series they are almost laughable.

At about 5 minutes in this clip we seen an gunfight. We don’t see any blood, just the gun shot and the victim fall to the ground dead. Now comparing that to these clip from Breaking Bad:

The VERY first thing we see is a partly decomposed body that has been half melted with hydroflouric acid! I mean it is disgusting and horrible gory and graphic.

Even just typing “80’s TV series” into Bing yields much more reserved results. There is a lot of pictures of groups of family and friends.

Now typing “Popular TV Series in 2013” into Bing we get a much more violent sense. A lot of the pictures portray guns or other weapons, half naked women, or zombies. We have two of the top hits being Breaking Bad as well as Walking Dead!

The overall feel of television has changed so much. We left the nice mildly violent or family-oriented TV series in the past to make room for the new ages horror, gore and thrillers we have today!

The 1980s car obsession

So it seems that a rather alarmingly large number of television shows and movies that came out in the 1980s revolved around a car. We’ve already explored the fact that a teen movie without a minor role being played by an automobile did not exist. The Ferrari in Ferris, the Rolls Royce in Sixteen Candles (two in that movie actually if you count Jake’s Porsche), the Yellow bug in Footloose, ect.

I find this pretty strange because its not like the automobile was a new invention… there had been decades of bigger- than-boat cars before the 80s. I think the most bizarre example of this trend was the Knight Rider. We didn’t have cable when I was a kid so I watched what ever was the antenna could pick up and a gem I remember vividly from my childhood was a TV show that starred David Hasselhoff and his chest hair

knight

Here is the weird thing…. in my memory the car was totally a girl and most likely David Hasselhoff’s girlfriend. In my memory it went something like this:

Her name was KITT. She had a weirdly electronic but sultry voice and flashing red lights. Her body was sick. He was a lucky man.

DavidsKITT

She kind of nagged him a lot, but when she was pissed she went into her special crazy “attack mode” and then you had better watch out.

attackkittfront

She meant business and she didn’t mess around when it came to her man.

This is not right…. memories are fickle weird things that are obviously bad with facts. So KITT was a man. I went back and watched some youtube clips and learned this the hard way. Definitely a man. The voice is a bit feminine but that might just be the English accent. So my whole memory of this show is very strange now because maybe KITT and the Hoff were just buddies? I find this super disappointing, but regardless there was a television show that essentially starred David Hasselhoff’s hair and a black sports car…. It does not get weirder than that.

Take a look at a great example of the love affair that was Michael and KITT:

 

 

Fashion 101: The Cosby Sweater

The ever-so-suave Bill Cosby and The Cosby Show brought attention to an fashion trend that gained its popularity in the late 80s and early 90s: The Cosby Sweater. It was notorious for its array of asymmetrical patterns and abstract color schemes.

Still not ringing a bell? Maybe these photos will help…

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The Cosby Show, which ran on NBC from 1984-1992, depicts an upper-class African-African family living in Brooklyn and trying to deal with all the issues life throws at their family. Right from the start, Bill Cosby’s character, Cliff Huxtable, started wearing these outrageously colorful and innovative sweaters, and thus the “Cosby Sweater” was born. These sweaters worn by Cosby personified his character, making him appear as a friendly family man often caught up in his childlike actions and mannerisms.

But how did these sweaters get their start? In this video, the creator and Dutch fashion designer Koos van den Akker, goes into detail about his inspiration and creation of these infamous Cosby Sweaters here.

Not only did these sweaters add to the mise-en-scene on the Cosby Show, but many of them actually pertained to what was actually happening in each specific episode.

For example, this sweater was designed for an episode in which Cliff Huxtable runs track and field in a rematch with an old nemesis.

cosby_one290x303 

And then there was that time when two jade-colored tigers that licked each other on a bed of hot lava..

Yeah, that one never happened. But anyway, as for this fashion trend, the Cosby Sweater also sparked creation of many other artistic ventures, such as band names. The song below is called “Huxtable Hustle” in light of the Cosby Show’s characters, and it surprisingly isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard.

Now, many of these Cosby Sweater-inspired creations are sold all over the world, and many sport this fashion, especially at “ugly sweater”-themed gatherings. They are for sale on the website Etsy, just to name one place. You can buy them here!

You’re welcome.

Who you gonna call?

Ghostbusters!

There is no doubt that this 1984 supernatural comedy film has become popular throughout the world. The tale of these three unemployed professors who go on to catch ghosts in the city of New York  is a success in using these two genres to entertain the people at the time.

When I chose to watch this movie, I had no idea how funny or entertaining it would be. I always thought that it looked corny. However, the blend of special effects and comedy really makes this film a fun movie to watch.

Bill Murray’s first big role

I was a little confused when the essence of evil took form into a giant marshmallow man, but it still managed to work for the film, and essentially, set it apart from all the other films at this time.

Marshmallow of evil

In addition, with the success of the movie, came the success of one of the most famous songs in the 80’s. As the line goes, “Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” really portrays the true success of the film. Everyone is similar with that phrase.

With the release of the movie, the release of the main theme of the movie came out. Ray Parker Jr., the composer of the music for this film, actually had a lot of trouble writing the theme for this film. The issue was resolved when he saw an advertisement on television. He wanted the song to take a catchy tune like advertisements did. As a result, the song was #1 on the charts for 3 weeks straight.

Theme song

The success of Ghostbuster’s continues on even today. The theme for the music can still be heard on the radio, at theme parks, etc. The movie was even able to get a show to come about about after the movie was made. Universal Studios even had a show dedicated to the movie that visitors can go see when visiting the parks.

Show Intro

Consequently, this film was so successful in the 80’s that even today we are aware of Ghostbusters.

“I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman!”

Imagine you’re on a date and just leaving the midnight showing of Skyfall. It’s dark, cold, and you’re walking to your car. As the crowd disperses, a few men start walking behind you as you walk across the empty parking lot. As you get closer and closer to your car, you notice the group is walking faster and getting awkwardly close to you two and your car is the only one is sight. As you go to open the door they push you against the car and demand for you money and pull out a knife. You fumble and pull out your cash, dropping it on the ground. There’s a whoosh of material and sound of struggle. You look up and the thieves are on the ground writhing in pain. You notice in the corner a dark figure and you lock onto eye starring back at you. You turn your head to look at your date and next thing you know, whatever was there is gone. Could it be? Is it really? I had to be… Batman…

Batman originally appeared in the 1930’s and was known to have the comedic “BOOM! POW” with Adam West. Tim Burton’s Batman now takes a darker spin filled with Prince being played in the background and sets up the Batman Anthology that ran into the late 90’s.

If you’re looking to find the backstory of how Batman is developed, this isn’t the movie for you. You are immediately immersed into action with the bad guys fearing “The Bat!”

Bruce Wayne may look like a pushover, but rest assured, this glasses wearing, tuxedo sporting millionaire has deep hatred in his blood for those evil-doers and his solution is a  glove covered back fist! Played by Michael Keaton, who starred in Gung Ho and was fresh from another famous Tim Burton film, Beetlejuice, had the right attitude and innocence to pull of the role.

Jack Napier, who is turned into Joker, is played by Jack Nicholson. Being known more for his role in The Shining, Nicholson is able to play the nuisance role superbly

Accompanied by the BEAUTIFUL Vicky Vale, Kim Basinger, this movie is able to not only pit Batman versus Joker to save Gotham, but the damsel in distress. Just like all the movies from the 80’s, this one has the potential to make your night at home just as nostalgic.

Make sure to check this out and see what inspired the Batman Animated Series.

 

Return of the Nerds

Advertisements have been all over TBS lately for their new show King of the Nerds. I figured I’d share a commercial for it since it’s going to be hosted by some of the stars of Revenge of the Nerds (1984).

Almost 30 years after the film came out portraying nerds as losers who get picked on mercilessly, nerds have become “popular,” with nerdy dress being trendy and shows like The Big Bang Theory featured all over television. Interesting turn around.

Beauty and the Beast Premieres on CW tonight

First, I’m attacked by a robot from the future and now I’m smitten with a Beast. I need to talk to my therapist.

So the CW premieres its latest fantasy television show tonight, aptly called Beauty and the Beast.  However, did you know that in the 80s there was a television show that ran on CBS also called Beauty and the Beast?  It featured Ron Perlman as the beast.  (Perlman played Hellboy and is now on the biker show on F/X.)  It featured Linda Hamilton (The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day) as the beauty.

Check out a clip here.

“Jessie’s Girl” sung in New York Subway

 

“I wanna make her mine…”

Rick Springfield, 80s heart throb, actor and singer, appeared on the New York Subway, guitar in hand, to lead commuters on a sing a long of his biggest hit “Jessie’s Girl.”

Here is the original version.

 

And here is the version under the city streets of Manhattan.

http://youtu.be/kFQsVdm3PlU

 

Which sounds better?

In honor of SNL premiering this week

 

After the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players (Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Dan Ayckroyd, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radnor, etc.) left Saturday Night Live, there was a great deal of concern that the new performers replacing them would not be up to scratch.  After all, how do you replace the greatness of that line-up and the material they presented?

Folks needed not to worry–SNL in the 80s featured a troupe of performers who were able to handle the pressure, and while most of them aren’t household names like the original players (Brad Hall, Mary Gross, Joe Piscopo), others have managed to transcend the decades (Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss).

In honor of SNL premiering this Saturday, here is a clip of Eddie Murphy, who defined SNL in the 80s and then became the biggest box office draw in the late 80s, doing one of his stand-up routines.