The 1980s: Was it Really as Good as I Remember?

Have you ever looked back upon your childhood and tried to recall the best years of your life? I mean even if you had a screwed up childhood, there was always that one decade where you can look back and remember having something that made you happy.

For me this time would be the 1980s. This was the decade in which I was introduced to the world, and when I think back it is probably my most favorite. But now I have a problem. As I look at how fucked up (sorry for the language, but there are worst things happening in 2012 than my potty mouth) things are right now I am starting to wonder if my admiration for the 80's can be chalked up to the irresponsible days of adolescence or if they were really as good as I remember. In other words; was I happier back then because I was a kid or was there something else about that decade that makes it stand out in not only my mind, but many others?

Chill Out
Chill Out

When I think back to the 80's many things come to mind, but three things in particular stand out to me.

  1. It seems like my parents (who were still married at the time as were many parents) always had money.
  2. The music was epic and every song had a certain feeling to it.
  3. Movies and television shows were good, I mean even the bad ones.
  4. Everybody was cool and only cared about having fun.

Lets look at my first topic...

Society

Look at that picture at the top there; of the two guys. That's Crockett and Tubbs, the coolest cops on the planet. I chose that picture because I think it epitomizes what people were like during this era. Just read the description of the show from tvropes.org:

Miami Vice is a crime drama Buddy Cop Show which ran on NBC from 1984-1989.Conceived by Brandon Tartikoff as "MTV Cops," the series drew much of its premise from real-life laws allowing property seized from drug dealers to be used in drug enforcement. In other words, if a drug dealer has a Cool Car or Cool Boat, and that drug dealer is jailed, the police can use his stuff. These laws gave the producers a perfectly valid excuse for putting their public-servant characters in Ferraris and Armani suits.The series starred Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas as James "Sonny" Crockett and Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs, undercover Vice detectives posing as drug dealers. Crockett was the Cowboy Cop; Tubbs was a New York cop who came to Miami to avenge his brother's murder.The series was notable for its use of contemporary popular music, and for being one of the first shows regularly broadcast in stereo. By design, the show often resembled a music video rather than a standard Police Procedural. Extended musical sequences were common, often featuring little or no dialogue and numerous images of cars, boats, guns, nightlife, and scenery. The show was filmed on location in Miami, and made use of a distinctive color palette, mostly white and pastels.

Crockett's white-suit-over-t-shirt style, Perma Stubble, and Ray-Ban sunglasses all became fashion trends. His lack of socks did not.

Not only did the show resemble a music video, but life itself WAS a music video back then. Everyone was cool, happy, and suave. And everything was big budget and grandiose. And speaking of music videos, they were productions back then. Watching a new video was like seeing a movie. Nowadays its the same half naked women shaking their asses while guys flash money and cars trying to look cool. Hey they're all trying to be like Crockett and Tubbs!

FAIL


Money

Everyone suppresses certain memories from their conscious mind. This usually stems from negative experiences that a person has gone through. As a result many people are more inclined to recall positive memories when asked to look back on their childhood. When it comes to money, no memories are more fonder to me than the 80's.

I can still remember the best toys back then; Transformers, He-Man, GI Joe, Nurf, laser tag, Ghost Busters, board games, the list goes on forever, but more important than the list is the fact that everyone seemed to be able to afford these toys. That is the way I remember it.

If I needed money for something and my parents wouldn't give it to me I would just sell one of my toys to a friend of mine. Everyone always seemed to have money, even kids! let's see if these memories make sense.

The 1980s: The Reagan Revolution and Reaganomics

During and after the 1980 presidential election, these disaffected liberals came to be known as “Reagan Democrats.” They provided millions of crucial votes for the Republican candidate, the personable and engaging former governor of California, Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), in his victory over the incumbent Democratic president, Jimmy Carter (1924-). Reagan won 51 percent of the vote and carried all but five states and the District of Columbia. Once a Hollywood actor, his outwardly reassuring disposition and optimistic style appealed to many Americans. Reagan was affectionately nicknamed “the Gipper” for his 1940 film role as a Notre Dame football player named George Gipp.

Reagan’s campaign cast a wide net, appealing to conservatives of all stripes with promises of big tax cuts and smaller government. Once he took office, he set about making good on his promises to get the federal government out of Americans’ lives and pocketbooks. He advocated for industrial deregulation, reductions in government spending and tax cuts for both individuals and corporations, as part of an economic plan he and his advisers referred to as “supply-side economics.” Rewarding success and allowing people with money to keep more of it, the thinking went, would encourage them to buy more goods and invest in businesses. The resulting economic growth would “trickle down” to everyone. (history.com)

Music

The 80's was all about POP CULTURE (popular culture). This was music that transcended all genders, races, and genres. All of the music back then had an epic feel to it. There was a kind of emotional attachment that connected to massive audiences. They music just like the money that was flowing around in the economy made you feel good. In fact there is a particular song about a lady named "Billie Jean" written and performed by a man who's name (Michael) became the most popular baby name of the entire decade, that can make the meanest, angriest, most unsociable people in the world get the urge to hop out of their seat and grab their crotch. I kid (no pun intended) you not. Here is a list of Billboards #1 hits of the 1980s courtesy of popculturemadness.com. Try to look at this list and not find at least one song that doesn't "takes your breath away." I dare ya, I double dare ya (remember that show?).


Billboard Number One Hits

1980
December 22, 1979 - January 4, 1980:Escape (The Pina Colada Song) - Rupert Holmes January 5 - January 18:Please Don't Go - KC and the Sunshine Band January 19 - February 15:Rock With You - Michael Jackson February 16 - February 22:Do That To Me One More Time - Captain & Tennille February 23 - March 21:Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen March 22 - April 18:Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) - Pink Floyd April 19 - May 30:Call Me - Blondie May 31 - June 27:Funkytown - Lipps Inc. June 28 - July 18:Coming Up (Live At Glasgow) - Paul McCartney & Wings July 19 - August 1:It's Still Rock and Roll to Me - Billy Joel August 2 - August 29:Magic - Olivia Newton-John August 30 - September 5:Sailing - Christopher Cross September 6 - October 3:Upside Down - Diana Ross October 4 - October 24:Another One Bites the Dust - Queen October 25 - Noveber 14:Woman in Love - Barbra Streisand November 15 - December 26:Lady - Kenny Rogers December 27, 1980 - January 30, 1981:(Just Like) Starting Over - John Lennon


1981 December 27, 1980 - January 30, 1981:(Just Like) Starting Over - John Lennon January 31 - February 6:The Tide Is High - Blondie February 7 - February 20:Celebration - Kool & The Gang February 21 - February 27:9 to 5 - Dolly PartonFebruary 28-- March 20:I Love A Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt March 21 - March 27:Keep On Loving You - REO Speedwagon March 28 - April 10:Rapture - Blondie April 11 - May 1:Kiss On My List - Hall & Oates May 2 - May 15:Morning Train (Nine To Five) - Sheena Easton May 16 - June 19:Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes June 20 - July 24:Medley - Stars on 45 July 25 - July 31:The One That You Love - Air Supply August 1 - August 14:Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield August 15 - October 16:Endless Love - Diana Ross & Lionel Richie October 17 - November 6:Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do) - Christopher Cross November 7 - November 20:Private Eyes - Hall & Oates November 21, 1981 - January 29, 1982:Physical - Olivia Newton-John


1982 November 21, 1981 - January 29, 1982:Physical - Olivia Newton-John January 30 - February 5:I Can't Go for That (No Can Do) - Daryl Hall & John Oates February 6 - March 19:Centerfold - J. Geils Band March 20 - May 7:I Love Rock n' Roll - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts May 8 - May 14:Chariots of Fire Theme - Vangelis May 15 - July 2:Ebony and Ivory - Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder July 3 - July 23:Don't You Want Me - The Human League July 24 - September 3:Eye of the Tiger - Survivor September 4 - September 10:Abracadabra - The Steve Miller Band September 11 - October 1:Hard to Say I'm Sorry - Chicago October 2 - October 29:Jack & Diane - John Mellencamp October 30 - November 5:Who Can It Be Now? - Men at Work November 6 - November 26:Up Where We Belong - Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes November 27 - December 10:Truly - Lionel Richie December 11- December 17:Mickey - Toni Basil December 18, 1982 - January 14, 1983:Maneater - Hall & Oates


1983 December 18, 1982 - January 14, 1983:Maneater - Hall & Oates January 15 - February 4:Down Under - Men at Work February 5 - February 18:Africa - Toto February 19 - March 4:Baby, Come To Me - Patti Austin featuring James Ingram March 5 - April 22:Billie Jean - Michael Jackson April 23 - April 29:Come On Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners April 30 - May 20:Beat It - Michael Jackson May 21 - May 27:Let's Dance - David Bowie May 28 - July 8:Flashdance... What A Feeling - Irene Cara July 9 - September 2:Every Breath You Take - The Police September 3 - September 9:Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Eurythmics September 10 - September 23:Maniac - Michael Sembello September 24 - September 30:Tell Her About It - Billy Joel October 1 - October 28:Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler October 29 - November 11:Islands In the Stream - Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton November 12 - December 9:All Night Long (All Night) - Lionel Richie December 10, 1983 - January 20, 1984:Say Say Say - Paul McCartney featuring Michael Jackson


1984 December 10, 1983 - January 20, 1984:Say Say Say - Paul McCartney featuring Michael Jackson January 21 - February 3:Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes February 4 - February 24:Karma Chameleon - Culture Club February 25 - March 20:Jump - Van Halen March 31 - April 20:Footloose - Kenny Loggins April 21 - May 11:Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) - Phil Collins May 12 - May 25:Hello - Lionel Richie May 26 - June 8:Let's Hear It For the Boy - Deniece Williams June 9 - June 22:Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper June 23 - July 6:The Reflex - Duran Duran July 7 - August 10:When Doves Cry - Prince August 11 - August 31:Ghostbusters - Ray Parker, Jr. September 1 - September 21:What's Love Got to Do With It - Tina Turner September 22 - September 28:Missing You - John Waite September 29 - October 12:Let's Go Crazy - Prince & The Revolution October 13 - November 2:I Just Called To Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder November 3 - November 16:Caribbean Queen (No More Love On the Run) - Billy Ocean November 17 - December 7:Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Wham! December 8 - December 21:Out of Touch - Hall & Oates December 22, 1984 - February 1, 1985:Like a Virgin - Madonna


1986 December 21, 1985 - January 17, 1986:Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie January 18 - February 14:That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder February 15 - February 28:How Will I Know - Whitney Houston March 1 - March 14:Kyrie - Mr. Mister March 15 - March 21:Sara - Starship March 22 - March 28:These Dreams - Heart March 29 - April 18:Rock Me Amadeus - Falco April 19 - May 2:Kiss - Prince May 3 - May 9:Addicted to Love - Robert Palmer May 10 - May 16:West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys May 17 - June 6:Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston June 7 - June 13:Live to Tell - Madonna June 14 - July 4:On My Own - Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald July 5 - July 11:There'll Be Sad Songs (to Make You Cry) - Billy Ocean July 12 - July 18:Holding Back the Years - Simply Red July 19 - July 25:Invisible Touch - Genesis July 26 - August 1:Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel August 2 - August 15:Glory of Love - Peter Cetera August 16 - August 29:Papa Don't Preach - Madonna August 30 - September 5:Higher Love - Steve Winwood September 6 - September 12:Venus - Bananarama September 13 - September 19:Take My Breath Away - Berlin September 20 - October 10:Stuck with You - Huey Lewis & the News October 11 - October 24:When I Think of You - Janet Jackson October 25 - November 7:True Colors - Cyndi Lauper November 8 - November 21:Amanda - Boston November 22 - November 28:Human - Human League November 29 - December 5:You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi December 6 - December 12:The Next Time I Fall - Peter Cetera featuring Amy Grant December 13 - December 19:The Way It Is - Bruce Hornsby & the Range December 20, 1986 - January 16, 1987:Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles


1987 December 20, 1986 - January 16, 1987:Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles January 17 - January 23:Shake You Down - Gregory Abbott January 24 - February 6:At this Moment - Billy Vera and The Beaters February 7 - February 13:Open Your Heart - Madonna February 14 - March 13:Livin' On a Prayer - Bon Jovi March 14 - March 11:Jacob's Ladder - Huey Lewis & the News March 21 - April 3:Lean On Me - Club Nouveau April 4 - April 17:Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now - Starship April 18 - May 1:I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) - Aretha Franklin & George Michael May 2 - May 15:(I Just) Died In Your Arms - Cutting Crew May 16 - June 5:With Or Without You - U2 June 6 - June 12:You Keep Me Hangin' On - Kim Wilde June 13 - June 19:Always - Atlantic Starr June 20 - June 6:Head to Toe - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam June 27 - July 10:I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston July 11 - July 31:Alone - Heart August 1 - August 7:Shakedown - Bob Seger August 8 - August 21:I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2 August 22 - August 28:Who's That Girl - Madonna August 29 - September 18:La Bamba - Los Lobos September 19 - September 25:I Just Can't Stop Loving You - Michael Jackson September 26 - October 9:Didn't We Almost Have It All - Whitney Houston October 10 - October 16:Here I Go Again - Whitesnake October 17 - October 23:Lost In Emotion - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam October 24 - November 6:Bad - Michael Jackson November 7 - November 20:I Think We're Alone Now - Tiffany November 21 - November 27:Mony Mony "Live" - Billy Idol November 28 - December 4:(I've Had) The Time Of My Life - Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes December 5 - December 11:Heaven Is a Place On Earth - Belinda Carlisle December 12, 1987 January 8, 1988:Faith - George Michael


1988
December 12, 1987 January 8, 1988:Faith - George Michael January 9 - Januray 15:So Emotional - Whitney Houston January 16 - January 22:Got My Mind Set on You - George Harrison January 23 - January 29:The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson January 30 - February 5:Need You Tonight - INXS February 6 - February 19:Could've Been - Tiffany February 20 - February 26:Seasons Change - Exposé February 27 - March 11:Father Figure - George Michael March 12 - March 20:Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley March 26 - April 8:Man In The Mirror - Michael Jackson April 9 - April 22:Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car - Billy Ocean April 23 - May 6:Where Do Broken Hearts Go - Whitney Houston May 7 - May 13:Wishing Well - Terence Trent D'Arby May 14 - May 27:Anything For You - Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine May 28 - July 17:One More Try - George Michael June 18 - July 24:Together Forever - Rick Astley June 25 - July 1:Foolish Beat - Debbie GibsonJuly 2 - July 8:Dirty Diana - Michael Jackson July 9 - July 22:The Flame - Cheap Trick July 23 - July 29:Hold On to The Nights - Richard Marx July 30 - August 26:Roll With It - Steve Winwood August 27 - September 9:Monkey - George Michael September 10 - September 23:Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses September 24 - October 7:Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin October 8 - October 14:Love Bites - Def Leppard October 15 - October 21:Red Red Wine - UB40 October 22 - November 4:Groovy Kind Of Love - Phil Collins November 5 - November 11:Kokomo - The Beach Boys November 12 - November 18:Wild, Wild West - The Escape Club November 19 - December 2:Bad Medicine - Bon Jovi December 3 - December 9:Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley - Will To Power December 10 - December 23:Look Away - Chicago December 24, 1988- January 13, 1989:Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison


1989
December 24, 1988- January 13, 1989:Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison January 14 - January 20:My Prerogative- Bobby Brown January 21 - February 3:Two Hearts - Phil Collins February 4 - February 10:When I'm With You - Sheriff February 11 - March 3:Straight Up - Paula Abdul March 4 - March 24:Lost In Your Eyes - Debbie GibsonMarch 25 - March 3:The Living Years - Mike & The Mechanics April 1 - April 7:Eternal Flame - The Bangles April 8 - April 14:The Look - Roxette April 15 - April 21:She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals April 22 - May 12:Like a Prayer - Madonna May 13 - May 19:I'll Be There for You - Bon Jovi May 20 - June 2:Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul June 3 - June 9:Rock On - Michael Damian June 10 - June 16:Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler June 17- June 23:I'll Be Loving You (Forever) - New Kids On The Block June 24 - June 30:Satisfied - Richard Marx July 1 - July 7:Baby Don't Forget My Number - Milli Vanilli July 8 - July 14:Good Thing - Fine Young Cannibals July 15 - July 21:If You Don't Know Me By Now - Simply Red July 22 - August 4:Toy Soldiers - Martika August 5 - August 11:Batdance - Prince August 12 - September 1:Right Here Waiting - Richard Marx September 2 - September 8:Cold Hearted - Paula Abdul September 9 - September 15:Hangin' Tough - New Kids On The Block September 16 - September 22:Don't Wanna Lose You - Gloria Estefan September 23 - October 6:Girl I'm Gonna Miss You - Milli Vanilli October 7 - November 3:Miss You Much - Janet Jackson November 4 - November 10:Listen to Your Heart - Roxette November 11 - November 24:When I See You Smile - Bad English November 25 - December 9:Blame It On the Rain - Milli Vanilli December 9 - December 22:We Didn't Start The Fire - Billy Joel December 23, 1989 - January 13, 1990:Another Day In Paradise - Phil Collins

Movies and Television

Where to Begin? I could spend 10yrs. naming all of the best movies, tv shows, and cartoons of the 1980s. Trust me you can not do that with any other decade I guarantee you. In fact most of the crap you see today is basically recycled stuff from the 80's. To make matters worse these lazy, uninspired, talent-less hacks have even stopped trying to even cover up the robbery anymore. Nowadays they just try to remake the whole thing and slap the old title of the original on the project in hopes of catching some of that lighting in a bottle a second time. That's one of the problems with post 80's entertainment; there is no originality left anymore. In fact it looks like we may have had our last bit of originality in the 90s with "The Real World."

Everything had a lesson in it whether it was science, morality, or giving you the incouragement to chase your dreams.

Just look at the movies; Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Back To The Future, Weird Science (they made their own girlfriend using science!!!).

The TV shows were scripted not reality bullshit; Miami Vice, Married With Children, The Cosby Show (a black family as role models for America!).

And the cartoons, oh the cartoons would put today's crap in the toilet where it belongs; Transformers, Looney Toons, even the goddamn Care Bears which I hated was better than this crap. At least they tried to teach you to be nice to people. What the hell does Sponge Bob teach you to do?!

VH1's "I love" series started with "I Love the 80s". That premiered in 2008! They could have picked any era! They picked the freaking 80s!

You know I have lists:

Movies (courtesy of digitaldreamdoor.com)

1. Raging Bull - (1980, Martin Scorsese) (Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci)
2. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial - (1982, Steven Spielberg) (Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace)
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark - (1981, Steven Spielberg) (Harrison Ford, Paul Freeman)
4. Amadeus - (1984, Milos Forman) (F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce)
5. Platoon - (1986, Oliver Stone) (Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen)
6. Cinema Paradiso - (1988, Giuseppe Tornatore) (Philippe Noiret, Salvatore Cascio)
7. Once Upon a Time in America - (1984, Sergio Leone) (Robert DeNiro, James Woods)
8. Blade Runner - (1982, Ridley Scott) (Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer)
9. Ran - (1985, Akira Kurosawa) (Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao)
10. Do the Right Thing - (1989, Spike Lee) (Spike Lee, John Turturro)
11. Blue Velvet - (1986, David Lynch) (Kyle MacLachlin, Dennis Hopper)
12. The Empire Strikes Back - (1980, Irvin Kershner) (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford)
13. The Elephant Man - (1980, David Lynch) (John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins)
14. The Shining - (1980, Stanley Kubrick) (Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall)
15. Full Metal Jacket - (1987, Stanley Kubrick) (Mathew Modine, Adam Baldwin)
16. Brazil - (1985, Terry Gilliam) (Jonathan Pryce, Robert DeNiro)
17. Airplane! - (1980, Jim Abrahams) (Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty)
18. Das Boot - (1981, Wolfgang Peterson) (Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Gronemeyer)
19. Tootsie - (1982, Sydney Pollack) (Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange)
20. The Untouchables - (1987, Brian De Palma) (Kevin Costner, Sean Connery)
21. The Terminator - (1984, James Cameron) (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton)
22. Die Hard - (1988, John McTiernan) (Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman)
23. The Last Emperor - (1987, Bernardo Bertolucci) (John Lone, Joan Chen)
24. Gandhi - (1982, Richard Attenborough) (Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen)
25. Raising Arizona - (1987, Joel Coen) (Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter)
26. The Princess Bride - (1987, Rob Reiner) (Cary Elwes, Robin Wright Penn)
27. The Big Chill - (1983, Lawrence Kasdan) (Kevin Kline, Glenn Close)
28. Fast Times at Ridgemont High - (1982, Amy Heckerling) (Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh)
29. Scarface - (1983, Brian De Palma) (Al Pacino, Steven Bauer)
30. A Christmas Story - (1983, Bob Clark) (Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon)
31. Poltergeist - (1982, Tobe Hooper) (Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams)
32. Terms of Endearment - (1983, James L. Brooks) (Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine)
33. This Is Spinal Tap - (1984, Rob Reiner) (Michael McKean, Christopher Guest)
34. Crimes and Misdemeanors - (1989, Woody Allen) (Woody Allen, Martin Landau)
35. sex, lies, and videotape - (1989, Steven Soderbergh) (James Spader, Andie MacDowell)
36. Back to the Future - (1985, Robert Zemeckis) (Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd)
37. Rain Man - (1988, Barry Levinson) (Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise)
38. Ordinary People - (1980, Robert Redford) (Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore)
39. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? - (1988, Robert Zemeckis) (Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd)
40. Hannah and Her Sisters - (1986, Woody Allen) (Woody Allen, Mia Farrow)
41. When Harry Met Sally - (1989, Rob Reiner) (Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan)
42. Henry V - (1989, Kenneth Branagh) (Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi)
43. Blood Simple - (1984, Joel Coen) (John Getz, Frances McDormand)
44. The Right Stuff - (1983, Philip Kaufman) (Scott Glenn, Ed Harris)
45. The Color Purple - (1985, Steven Spielberg) (Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg)
46. Kagemusha - (1980, Akira Kurosawa) (Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki)
47. Wings of Desire - (1987, Wim Wenders) (Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin)
48. The Little Mermaid - (1989, Ron Clements, John Musker) (Jodi Benson, Sam Wright)
49. Tender Mercies - (1983, Bruce Beresford) (Robert Duvall, Tess Harper)
50. Chariots of Fire - (1981, Hugh Hudson) (Ben Cross, Ian Charleson)
51. Salvador - (1986, Oliver Stone) (James Woods, James Belushi)
52. Atlantic City - (1980, Louise Malle) (Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon)
53. My Left Foot - (1989, Jim Sheridan) (Daniel Day Lewis, Fiona Shaw)
54. Glory - (1989, Edward Zwick) (Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman)
55. Jean de Florette - (1986, Claude Berri) (Gerard Depardieu, Yves Montand)
56. The Killing Fields - (1984, Roland Joffe) (Sam Waterston, John Malcovich)
57. The Last Metro - (1980, Francois Truffaut) (Gerard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve)
58. A Room With a View - (1986, James Ivory) (Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter)
59. A Passage to India - (1984, David Lean) (Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee)
60. Missing - (1982, Costa Gavras) (Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek)
61. Places in the Heart - (1984, Robert Benton) (Sally Field, John Malcovich)
62. A Soldier's Story - (1984, Norman Jewison) (Adolph Caesar, Howard E. Rollins)
63. Prizzi's Honor - (1985, John Huston) (Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner)
64. A Fish Called Wanda - (1988, Charles Crichton) (Kevin Kline, John Cleese)
65. Witness - (1985, Peter Weir) (Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis)
66. Driving Miss Daisy - (1989, Bruce Beresford) (Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy)
67. Fanny and Alexander - (1982, Ingmar Bergman) (Pernilla Allwin, Bertil Guve)
68. Return of the Jedi - (1983, Richard Marquand) (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford)
69. A Nightmare on Elm Street - (1984, Wes Craven) (John Saxon, Robert Englund)
70. Broadcast News - (1987, James L. Brooks) (William Hurt, Holly Hunter)
71. The King of Comedy - (1983, Martin Scorsese) (Robert DeNiro, Jerry Lewis)
72. Bull Durham - (1988, Ron Shelton) (Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins)
73. The Vanishing - (1988, George Sluizer) (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets)
74. Hope and Glory - (1987, John Boorman) (Sebastian Rice Edwards, Sarah Miles)
75. My Dinner with Andre - (1981, Louise Malle) (Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory)
76. Field of Dreams - (1989, Phil Alden Robinson) (Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones)
77. Hoosiers - (1986, David Anspaugh) (Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper)
78. Ghostbusters - (1984, Ivan Reitman) (Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray)
79. The Breakfast Club - (1985, John Hughes) (Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez)
80. Big - (1988, Penny Marshall) (Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins)
81. Caddyshack - (1980, Harold Ramis) (Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield)
82. Arthur - (1981, Steve Gordon) (Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli)
83. Kiss of the Spider Woman - (1985, Hector Babenco) (William Hurt, Raul Julia)
84. The Color of Money - (1986, Martin Scorsese) (Paul Newman, Tom Cruise)
85. She's Gotta Have It - (1986, Spike Lee) (Tracy Camilla Johns, Spike Lee)
86. Body Heat - (1981, Lawrence Kasdan) (William Hurt, Kathleen Turner)
87. The Executioner's Song - (1982, Lawrence Schiller) (Tommy Lee Jones, Rosanna Arquette)
88. Moonstruck - (1987, Norman Jewison) (Cher, Nicolas Cage)
89. The Stunt Man - (1980, Richard Rush) (Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback)
90. Local Hero - (1983, Bill Forsyth) (Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert)
91. Melvin and Howard - (1980, Jonathan Demme) (Jason Robards, Paul Le Mat)
92. Dangerous Liaisons - (1988, Stephen Frears) (Glenn Close, John Malcovich)
93. Ferris Bueller's Day Off - (1986, John Hughes) (Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck)
94. The Road Warrior - (1981, George Miller) (Mel Gibson, Syd Heylen)
95. The Last Temptation of Christ - (1988, Martin Scorsese) (Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel)
96. Mona Lisa - (1986, Neil Jordan) (Bob Hoskins, Michael Caine)
97. Fatal Attraction - (1987, Adrian Lyne) (Michael Douglas, Glenn Close)
98. Out of Africa - (1985, Sydney Pollack) (Meryl Streep, Robert Redford)
99. Stand By Me - (1986, Rob Reiner) (River Phoenix, Corey Feldman)
100. Lost in America - (1985, Albert Brooks) (Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty)

Television (courtesy of tripletsandus.com)

Top Shows: 1979-1980

60 MinutesThree's Company M*A*S*H Alice Dallas Flo The Jeffersons The Dukes of Hazzard That's Incredible One Day At A Time Archie Bunker's Place Eight Is Enough Taxi House Calls(tie) Real People(tie) Happy Days Little House On The Prairie(tie) CHiPs(tie) Charlie's Angels Trapper John, M.D.

Top Shows: 1980-1981

Dallas60 MinutesThe Dukes of HazzardThe Love BoatPrivate BenjaminM*A*S*HHouse CallsThe Jeffersons(tie) The Two of Us(tie) Little House on the PrairieAliceReal People(tie) One Day at a Time(tie) The Greatest American HeroThree's CompanyMagnum, P.I.(tie) Too Close for Comfort(tie) ABC Sunday MovieDiff'rent StrokesArchie Bunker's Place

Top Shows: 1981-1982

Dallas60 MinutesThe Jeffersons(tie) Joanie Loves Chachi(tie) Three's CompanyAlice(tie) The Dukes of Hazzard(tie) Too Close for ComfortABC Monday Night MovieM*A*S*HOne Day at a TimeNFL Monday Night FootballArchie Bunker's PlaceFalcon CrestThe Love Boat(tie) Hart to Hart(tie) Trapper John, M.D.Magnum, P.I.Happy DaysDynasty

Top Shows: 1982-1983

60 MinutesDallas(tie) M*A*S*H(tie) Magnum, P.I.DynastyThree's CompanySimon & SimonFalcon CrestThe Love Boat(tie) A-Team, The(tie) NFL Monday Night Football(tie) The Jeffersons(tie) Newhart(tie) The Fall Guy(tie) The Mississippi9 to 5One Day at a TimeHart to Hart(tie) Gloria(tie) Trapper John, M.D.(tie) Goodnight, Beantown

Top Shows: 1983-1984

Dallas60 MinutesDynastyThe A-TeamSimon & SimonMagnum, P.I.Falcon CrestKate & AllieHotelCagney & LaceyKnots Landing(tie) ABC Sunday Movie(tie) ABC Monday MovieTV's Bloopers & Practical JokesAfterMASHThe Fall GuyThe Love BoatRiptideThe JeffersonsScarecrow & Mrs. King

Top Shows: 1984-1985

DynastyDallasThe Cosby Show60 MinutesFamily TiesThe A-TeamSimon & SimonMurder, She WroteKnots Landing(tie) Falcon Crest(tie) Crazy Like a Fox(tie) Hotel(tie) CheersRiptideMagnum, P.I.NewhartKate & AllieNBC Monday Night MovieHighway to Heaven Night Court

Top Shows: 1985-1986

The Cosby ShowFamily TiesMurder, She Wrote60 MinutesCheersDallas(tie) Dynasty(tie) The Golden GirlsMiami ViceWho's The Boss?Night CourtCBS Sunday Night MovieHighway to HeavenKate & AllieNFL Monday Night FootballNewhart(tie) Knots Landing(tie) Growing PainsYou Again?

Top Shows: 1986-1987

The Cosby ShowFamily TiesCheersMurder, She WroteThe Golden Girls60 MinutesNight CourtGrowing PainsMoonlightingWho's The Boss?DallasNewhartAmen227(tie) Matlock(tie) CBS Sunday Night Movie(tie) NBC Monday Night MovieNFL Monday Night FootballKate & AllieNBC Sunday Night Movie

Top Shows: 1987-1988

The Cosby ShowA Different WorldCheersThe Golden GirlsGrowing PainsWho's the Boss?Night Court60 MinutesMurder, She Wrote(tie) ALF(tie) The Wonder Years(tie) Moonlighting(tie) L.A. LawMatlockAmenNFL Monday Night FootballFamily TiesCBS Sunday Night MovieIn the Heat of the Night(tie) My Two Dads(tie) Valerie's Family

Top Shows: 1988-1989

The Cosby ShowRosanneA Different WorldCheersThe Golden GirlsWho's the Boss?60 MinutesMurder, She WroteEmpty NestAnything But LoveDear John(tie) ALF(tie) L.A. LawMatlock(tie) Unsolved Mysteries(tie) In the Heat of the NightGrowing PainsHunter(tie) NFL Monday Night Football(tie) Head of the Class

Top Shows: 1989-1990

RoseanneThe Cosby ShowCheersA Different WorldAmerica's Funniest Home VideosThe Golden Girls60 MinutesThe Wonder YearsEmpty NestNFL Monday Night FootballUnsolved MysteriesWho's the Boss?(tie) Murder, She Wrote(tie) Chicken SoupGrandL.A. LawIn the Heat of the NightDear JohnCoachMatlock


Cartoon (Courtesy of 80scartoons.net)

  • 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, The (1985-86)
  • Abel's Island (TV Special) (1989)
  • Adventures of Energy (TV Special) (1983)
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (TV Special) (1984)
  • Adventures of Jonny Quest (1986)
  • The Adventures of Popeye (1978-81)
  • Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy (1988-90)
  • Adventures of Sinbad (TV Special) (1980)
  • Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin (1986-87)
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers (1986)
  • Adventures of the Get Along Gang (TV Special) (1984)
  • Adventures of the Little Koala (1987-93)
  • Adventures of the Little Prince (1982)
  • Adventures of the Scrabble People in "A Pumpkin Nonsense", The (TV Special) (1985)
  • Alf (1987-90)
  • AlfTales (1988-90)
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (TV Special) (1983)
  • All-American Sports Nuts (TV Special) (1988)
  • The All-New Ewoks (1986-87)
  • All New Popeye Hour (1978-81)
  • All-New Pound Puppies, The (1987-88)
  • All-New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, The (1983-84)
  • Alvin & the Chipmunks (1983-91)
  • Amazing Bunjee Venture, The (TV Special) (1984)
  • Amigo and Friends (1980-82)
  • An All-New Adventure of Disney's Sport Goofy (TV Special) (1987)
  • Art of Disney Animation, The (TV Special) (1988)
  • Astro and the Space Mutts (1981)
  • Babar (1989-1993)
  • Bananaman
  • Barbapapa (1981)
  • Beany and Cecil (1988)
  • The Bedrock Cops (1980-1981)
  • Beetlejuice (1989-92)
  • Belle and Sebastian (1984)
  • Berenstein Bears (1985-86)
  • Best of Scooby Doo, The (1983-84)
  • Beverly Hills Teens (1987-88)
  • Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines (1986)
  • Bionic Six (1987-89)
  • Biskitts, The (1983-85)
  • Blackstar (1981-1982)
  • Bluffers (1984-1987)
  • BraveStarr (1987)
  • The California Raisins (1989)
  • Camp Candy (1989-91)
  • Candy Candy
  • Cantinflas (1980-82)
  • Captain Caveman (1980-1981)
  • Captain Caveman and Son (1986-1988)
  • Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years (1985)
  • Captain N: Game Master (1989-92)
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
  • Care Bears (1985-86)
  • Care Bears Family (1986-88)
  • Casper and the Angels (1979-80)
  • Centurions, The (1985)
  • Challenge of the Gobots (1984)
  • Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, The (1983-86)
  • Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers (1988-89)
  • Comic Strip, The (1987)
  • The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley (1988-89)
  • C.O.P.S. (1988)
  • Count Duckula (1988-93)
  • Crazy Claws (1981-82)
  • Curious George (1980)
  • Danger Mouse (1984-87)
  • Defenders of the Earth (1986-87)
  • Dennis the Menace (1985-86)
  • Denver, the Last Dinosaur (1987-89)
  • Dink, the Little Dinosaur (1989-91)
  • Dino and the Cavemouse (1980-1981)
  • Dingbat and the Creeps (1980-81)
  • Dino-Riders (1987)
  • Dinosaucers (1987)
  • Dino's Dilemmas (1986-1988)
  • Dinky Dog (1978-81)
  • Dirty Dawg (1981)
  • Disney's Gummi Bears/Winnie the Pooh Hour (1989-91)
  • Donkey Kong (1983-85)
  • Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds (1981, 1985)
  • Donkey Kong Jr. (1983-85)
  • Dr. Snuggles (1981)
  • Dragon's Lair (1984-85)
  • Drak Pack (1980-82)
  • Drawing Power (1980-81)
  • Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C3P0 (1985-86)
  • Duck Tales (1986-91)
  • The Dukes
  • Dungeons and Dragons (1983-87)
  • The Ewoks(1985
  • Fangface and Fangpuss(
  • Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972-84)
  • Fantastic Max (1988-90)
  • Flash Gordon (1979-81)
  • Flintstone Kids (1986-1988)
  • Flintstone Funnies (1986-1988)
  • The Flintstones Comedy Show (1980-1981)
  • The Flintstone Family Adventures (1980-1981)
  • The Flintstone Family Adventures Hour (1981)
  • Fluppy Dogs
  • The Flying House
  • Fonz and the Happy Days Gang (1980-82)
  • Foofur (1986-88)
  • Fraggle Rock (Animated) (1987-88)
  • The Frankenstones (1980-81)
  • Frogger
  • Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera (1985)
  • The Further Adventures of Superted (1988-89)
  • Galaxy High (1986-87)
  • Galtar and the Golden Lance (1985)
  • Garfield and Friends (1988-95)
  • The Gary Coleman Show (1982-83)
  • Gentle Ben (1981)
  • Get Along Gang (1984-85)
  • Ghostbusters (Filmation) (1986-88)
  • G.I. Joe (1983-87)
  • Gilligan's Planet (1982-83)
  • Glo Friends (1986-87)
  • Godzilla (1979-81)
  • Goldie Gold and Action Jack (1981-82)
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales (1989)
  • Gummi Bears (1985-89)
  • HBO Storybook Musicals (1987-93)
  • The Heathcliff and Dingbat Show (1980-81)
  • The Heathcliff and Marmaduke Show (1981-82)
  • Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats (1984)
  • Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater (1987-88)
  • H.E.L.P. (Dr. Henry's Emergency Lessons for People) (1979-80)
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983-87)
  • Herculoids (1981-82)
  • Hero High (1981-82)
  • Holiday Classics (1988-91)
  • Honey Honey (1984)
  • Hulk Hogan's Rockin' Wrestling (1985-87)
  • The Incredible Hulk (1982-1985)
  • Inhumanoids (1986-87)
  • Inspector Gadget (1982-86)
  • It's Punky Brewster (1985-87)
  • Ivor the Engine
  • Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors (1985-86)
  • Jem (1985-87)
  • Jetsons (1984-85, 1987-88)
  • Jokebook (1982)
  • Karate Kat
  • Karate Kid (1989-90)
  • Kidd Video (1984-87)
  • Kideo TV (1986)
  • The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam (1981-82)
  • Kissyfur (1986-87, 1988-89)
  • Kwicky Koala (1981-82)
  • Lady Lovely Locks and the Pixietails (1987)
  • Laverne & Shirley in the Army (1981-82)
  • Laverne and Shirley with the Fonz (1982-83)
  • Lazer Tag Academy (1986-87)
  • The Legend of Zelda (1989-90)
  • Littl' Bits (See: Mori no Yogi na Shojintachi: Berufi to Rirubitto) (1980/1991-95) NEW!
  • Little Clowns of Happytown (1987-88)
  • The Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show (1983-84)
  • The Little Rascals (1983-84)
  • The Littles (1983-86)
  • The Little Wizards (1987-88)
  • The Lone Ranger (1980-81)
  • Lunch Box (1989)
  • Macron One (1985)
  • Macross (1982)
  • Madballs (1986-87)
  • The Magical Princess Gigi (1985)
  • Maple Town (1987)
  • The Marvel Action Universe (1988)
  • M.A.S.K. (1985)
  • Maxie's World (1989)
  • Mazinger-Z
  • Meatballs and Spaghetti (1982-83)
  • Mighty Man and Yukk (1979-80)
  • Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures (1987-89)
  • The Mighty Orbots (1984-85)
  • Mini-Monsters (1987-88)
  • Monchhichis (Monchichis) (1983-84)
  • Moon Dreamers (1986-87)
  • Mori no Yogi na Shojintachi: Berufi to Rirubitto (aka Littl' Bits) (1980/1991-95) NEW!
  • Mork and Mindy (1982-83)
  • The Mork and Mindy/Laverne and Shirley/Fonz Show (1982-83)
  • Mr. Benn
  • Mr. T (1983-86)

Muppet Babies

  • My Little Pony Tales (1986-1988)
  • My Little Pony and Friends (1986-1987)
  • My Pet Monster (1987-88)
  • Mysterious Cities of Gold (1986-90)
  • The New Adventures of Jonny Quest (1986)
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988-90)
  • The New Archies (1987-88)
  • The New Scooby Doo Mysteries (1984-85)
  • New Scooby and Scrappy Doo Show (1984)
  • The New Shmoo (1979-80)
  • The Noozles (1988-93)
  • Orguss (1983-84)
  • Pac-Man (1982-84)
  • Paddington Bear
  • Pandamonium (1982-83)
  • Paw Paws (1985-87)
  • Pebbles, Dino and Bamm-Bamm (1980-1981)
  • Pigeon Street
  • Pink Panther and Sons
  • Pitfall
  • The Plastic Man/Baby Plas Super Comedy Show (1980-81)
  • The Plastic Man Comedy-Adventure Show (1979-80)
  • Pole Position (1984-86)
  • Police Academy (1988-89)
  • Poochie (1984)
  • Popeye and Olive Show (1981-83)
  • The Popeye Show (1981-83)
  • Popeye and Son (1987-88)
  • Popeye's Sports Parade (1978-81)
  • Popeye's Treasure Hunt (1978-81)
  • Popples (1986-87)
  • Potato Head Kids (1986-87)
  • Pound Puppies (1986-87)
  • The Power Team (1989-90)
  • Prehistoric Popeye (1981-83)
  • Private Olive Oyl (1981-83)
  • Punky Brewster or It's Punky Brewster (1984-86)
  • A Pup Named Scooby Doo
  • The Puppy's Further Adventures (1983-84)
  • The Puppy's Greatest Adventures (1983-84)
  • Q*Bert (1983)
  • The Raccoons (1985)
  • Rainbow Brite (1983-84)
  • Rambo (1986)
  • Real Ghostbusters (1986-88)
  • Richie Rich
  • The Richie Rich/Scooby Doo Hour (1980-81)
  • Rickey Rocket (1979-80)
  • Ring Raiders (1989)
  • RoboCop (1988-89)
  • Robotech (1985-86)
  • Robotix (1985-87)
  • Rocklords (1985)
  • Rose Petal Place
  • Rubik, the Amazing Cube
  • Rude Dog and the Dweebs (1989-91)
  • Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs (1987-89) (Updated!)
  • Saturday Supercade (1983-84)
  • The Scary Scooby Funnies (1984-85)
  • Schoolhouse Rock (1972-80)
  • Scooby and Scrappy Doo (1979-80)
  • The Scooby, Scrappy and Yabba Doo Show (1982-83)
  • Scooby's Mystery Funhouse (1985-86)
  • Seabert (1987-88)
  • Sectaurs (1985)
  • Shazam! (1981)
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985-86)
  • Shirt-Tales (1982-85)
  • Silverhawks (1985-87)
  • Simpsons (1989-present)
  • Sky Commanders (1987-88)
  • Slimer & the Real Ghostbusters (1988-92)
  • Smurfs (1981-86)
  • Snorks (1984-86)
  • Space Ace (1984)
  • Space Ghost (1981-82)
  • Space Stars (1981-82)
  • Space Stars Finale (1981-82)
  • Space Stars with the Teen Force (1981)
  • Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea (1985-86)
  • Spiderman and His Amazing Friends
  • The Spiral Zone (1987)
  • Sport Billy (1982)
  • Star Blazers
  • Star Com (1987)
  • Strawberry Shortcake (1981)
  • Stoppit and Tidyup
  • Street Frogs (1987)
  • The Super 7 (1978-80)
  • Superbook
  • The Super Friends Hour (1980-83)
  • Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984-85)
  • Superman (1988)
  • Super Mario Brothers (1989-90)
  • Super Mario Brothers Super Show (1989-90)
  • Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985-86)
  • Super Sunday (1985-86)
  • Swiss Family Robinson (1989-92)
  • Sylvanian Families (1988)
  • Tales of Little Women (1988-90)
  • The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour (1981-82)
  • Tarzan and the Super Seven (1978-80)
  • Teen Force (1981-82)
  • Teen Wolf (1986-89)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-96)
  • This is America, Charlie Brown (1988-90)
  • Thundarr the Barbarian (1980-82)
  • Thunderbirds 2086 New!
  • ThunderCats (1985)
  • TigerSharks (1987)
  • The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show (1981-82)
  • Transformers (1984-88)
  • Tranzor-Z
  • The Trollkins (1981-82)
  • Turbo Teen (1984-85)
  • Ulysses 31 (1986)
  • U.S. Acres
  • Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light (1987)
  • Voltron, Defender of the Universe (1984-87)
  • The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle (1984)
  • Vytor, the Starfire Champion (1989)
  • Wildfire (1986-87)
  • Wolf Rock TV (1984)
  • The World of David the Gnome (1988)
  • The World's Greatest Super Friends (1979-80)
  • Wuzzles (1985-87)
  • Yogi's Treasure Hunt (1985-1986)
  • The Young Astronauts(1986)
  • Zorro (1981-1982)


Don't Be A Fool Stay In School

Can you imagine that it was actually cool to be smart and go to school back in the 80's? No way you say? Yes way. Now I'm not saying that nerds were like the most popular kids in the school, but being smart was a turn on and it usually led to you making money which used to be all you needed to get hot chicks back then. I think it still works today.

A 1980 study by UCLA and American Council on Education indicated that college freshmen were more interested in status, power, and money than at any time during the past 15 years. Business Management was the most popular major.

American education came under fire during the 1980s. Liberals cried out against budget cuts and rising student costs. School districts offered teachers exams and exit exams became a part of graduating for Education majors. Conservatives like E.D.Hirsch, Jr. and William Bennett advocated a return to the classics for college students and back to the basic skills for public school students. An attempt was made to improve the teacher quality by raising salaries slightly. Efforts to censor books tripled in the eighties. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , The Grapes of Wrath,and Catcher in the Rye were among books banned in New York State. Roget's Thesaurus banned sexist categories: mankind became humankind; countryman became country dweller. Columbia University, the last all male Ivy League school, began accepting women in 1983. President Reagan endorsed a constitutional amendment to permit school prayer. It was defeated.

Nerd's became a hot commodity in the 1980s. Wealthy and brainy computer wizards like Stephen Wozniak helped. So did movies like Revenge of the Nerds, Lucas,Stand by Me, and Peggy Sue Got Married. TV joined the nerd ranks with ABC's hit series Head of the Class. (kclibrary.lonestar.edu)


Great Scott!!

So let's see...

By my calculations its safe to say that in the 80s:

people had more money to spend

people were happier (so what most people were on coke? I wasn't, I was happy)

people were smarter

music was better

people were nicer and seemed like they wanted to help each (Hello... "We Are The World!!!!!!!", "We Are The Freakin World!").

entertainment was witty, original, educational and usually contained positive messages

and toys were not only better, but they also educational as well (board games, Rubik's cubes, etc.).

There was a bunch of other "grown up" stuff going on while I was busy being a kid. Here's a few:

1981

1982

  • E.T. Movie Released
  • Falkland Islands Invaded by Argentina
  • King Henry VIII's Ship the Mary Rose Raised After 437 Years
  • Michael Jackson Releases Thriller
  • Reverend Sun Myung Moon Marries 2,075 Couples at Madison Square Garden
  • Vietnam War Memorial Opened in Washington, DC

1983

  • Cabbage Patch Kids Are Popular
  • Reagan Announces Defense Plan Called Star Wars
  • Sally Ride Becomes the First American Woman in Space
  • Soviets Shoot Down a Korean Airliner
  • U.S. Embassy in Beirut Bombed

1984

1985

  • Famine in Ethiopia
  • Hole in the Ozone Layer Discovered
  • Mikhail Gorbachev Calls for Glasnost and Perestroika
  • New Coke Hits the Market
  • Wreck of the Titanic Found

1986

  • Challenger Space Shuttle Explodes
  • Chernobyl Nuclear Accident
  • Ferdinand Marcos Flees the Philippines
  • Iran-Contra Scandal Unfolds
  • U.S. Bombs Libya
  • U.S.S.R. Launches Mir Space Station

1987

  • DNA First Used to Convict Criminals
  • Klaus Barbie, the Nazi Butcher of Lyons, Sentenced to Life in Prison
  • New York Stock Exchange Suffers Huge Drop on "Black Monday"
  • West German Pilot Lands Unchallenged in Russia's Red Square

1988

1989

  • Berlin Wall Falls
  • Exxon ValdezSpills Millions of Gallons of Oil on Coastline
  • Students Massacred in China's Tiananmen Square
  • U.S. President Bush Announces That He Doesn't Like Broccoli

I could probably keep writing for days about this stuff, but I think this excerpt from History.com puts the whole era into a neatly packaged perspective:

In some respects, the popular culture of the 1980s reflected the era's political conservatism. For many people, the symbol of the decade was the "yuppie": a baby boomer with a college education, a well-paying job and expensive taste. Many people derided yuppies for being self-centered and materialistic, and surveys of young urban professionals across the country showed that they were, indeed, more concerned with making money and buying consumer goods than their parents and grandparents had been. However, in some ways yuppiedom was less shallow and superficial than it appeared. Popular television shows like “thirtysomething” and movies like “The Big Chill” and “Bright Lights, Big City” depicted a generation of young men and women who were plagued with anxiety and self-doubt. They were successful, but they weren't sure they were happy.

At the movie theater, the 1980s was the age of the blockbuster. Movies like “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Return of the Jedi,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Beverly Hills Cop” appealed to moviegoers of all ages and made hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. The 1980s was also the heyday of the teen movie. Films like “The Breakfast Club,” “Some Kind of Wonderful” and “Pretty in Pink” are still popular today.

At home, people watched family sitcoms like “The Cosby Show,” “Family Ties,” “Roseanne” and “Married...with Children.” They also rented movies to watch on their new VCRs. By the end of the 1980s, 60 percent of American television owners got cable service–and the most revolutionary cable network of all was MTV, which made its debut on August 1, 1981. The music videos the network played made stars out of bands like Duran Duran and Culture Club and made megastars out of artists like Michael Jackson (1958-2009), whose elaborate "Thriller" video helped sell 600,000 albums in the five days after its first broadcast. MTV also influenced fashion: People across the country (and around the world) did their best to copy the hairstyles and fashions they saw in music videos. In this way, artists like Madonna (1958-) became (and remain) fashion icons.

As the decade wore on, MTV also became a forum for those who went against the grain or were left out of the yuppie ideal. Rap artists such as Public Enemy channeled the frustration of urban African Americans into their powerful album “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.” Heavy metal acts such as Metallica and Guns N’ Roses also captured the sense of malaise among young people, particularly young men. Even as Reagan maintained his popularity, popular culture continued to be an arena for dissatisfaction and debate throughout the 1980s.

Yes, dissatisfaction. After the 80's came the 90's and as the old saying goes; "all good things must come to an end". But was it all good? Or was the whole decade of the 1980s just an explanation to the phrase, "everything that glitters isn't gold"? Perhaps we are starting to pay for all the fun we had back then.

To be continued...


More by this Author


Comments 5 comments

SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

Thanks - a fun retrospective. I'm a bigger fan of the '60s, myself. By the way, the term "Popular Culture" is from about 160 years earlier, and the short term "pop culture," became pop - I mean hip - I mean popular - in the 1960s. Voted up and funny.


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

Thanks - your hub got me curious, and I checked out "popular culture" on Wikipedia. My favorite parts of the sixties were peace, love, and rock & roll!


dndswordsmith profile image

dndswordsmith 4 years ago from Philadelphia County PA

I've been HubHopping and hopped onto your Hub. You have taken me back. The 80's were my stomping grounds, and that nostalgic feeling has brought a smile to my face. For this moment I thank you. Great, great Hub!!

Voted up, awesome, interesting, funny and useful


tHErEDpILL profile image

tHErEDpILL 4 years ago from New York Author

Yes Sid, peace and love are good things. Rock and roll ain't to bad either.


tHErEDpILL profile image

tHErEDpILL 4 years ago from New York Author

I am glad to see you liked this hub wordsmith. The 80's were...epic. No other word can explain it.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working