What it was like Growing Up in the Eighties (1980s)
  • Thu. Nov 30th, 2023

Growing Up in the 1980s – 80s TV and Films

Growing Up in the 80s

Relive the 1980s Television and Movies through our web pages. Our 80s website is dedicated to the 1980s, the greatest decade to grow up in.  Remember the classic TV shows, sitcoms, theme songs, commercials, quotes and movies.

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80s TV and Films

Television was transformed in the 1980s. With the advent of cable, the three major networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — lost their monopoly on what Americans viewed in their living rooms. In the late Seventies, Time Inc.’s Home Box Office became available. In 1980, Ted Turner unveiled the Cable News Network (CNN). Media baron Rupert Murdoch paid a billion dollars for Twentieth Century Fox and, with Barry Diller, created TV’s fourth network, Fox.

The decade was the golden age for primetime soap operas — DallasDynastyFalcon Crest, andKnots Landing all had their legions of faithful viewers. New life was breathed into the sitcom, with hit series like The Cosby Show, Cheers, Family Ties and the irreverent Married. . .With Children.The animated sitcom The Simpsons debuted in 1989, though Bart Simpson had previously made appearances on Fox’s The Tracey Ullman Show. Top crime dramas like Magnum P.I. and Hill Street Blues enjoyed long runs in the 80s, while the innovative Miami Vice had a significant impact on television imagery. Programs like thirtysomething and Moonlighting appealed to the yuppie crowd. TV talk shows hosted by the likes of Geraldo Rivera and David Letterman became more provocative and occasionally outrageous.

A group of young stars who became known as The Brat Pack dominated the youth-oriented films of the decade. Many of them joined the ensemble cast of St. Elmo’s Fire (1985); they included Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Demi Moore and Judd Nelson. There were others — Molly Ringwald, Matt Dillon, Charlie Sheen, Anthony Michael Hall, Sean Penn and Robert Downey, Jr.

The Eighties was the decade of the sequel, and in some cases the sequel was as good as (or even better than) — and as commercially successful — as the original. Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones became an American icon in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Comic Eddie Murphy became a big star of the big screen with Beverly Hills Cop (1984) and Beverly Hills Cop II (1987). Lethal Weapon(1987) and Die Hard (1988) defined the action flick, and both spawned hit sequels. Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo flexed America’s muscles and represented the nation’s renewed patriotic fervor inFirst Blood (1982), Rambo: First Blood, Part II (1985) and Rambo III (1988).