50 Years of Television: Favorite Shows By Decade
I am almost 50 and I have just realized that in 50 years I have watched a lot of television shows come and go. To name the best show - or my favorite show of each decade would be nearly impossible. So I decided to share a handful of my favorite shows in each decade over the last 50 years.60s
I didn't watch much television in the 60s. The only shows I actually remember watching are Lawrence Welk and General Hospital. But, for the sake of this discussion I am including my favorite 60s shows - that I actually watched later in life. The decade of the 60s was filled with sitcoms, many of which remain popular today like Get Smart, Gomer Pyle, Bewitched, McHale's Navy, and The Adams Family. There is no question that my favorite show from the 60s - and for all-time is Gilligan's Island. They key to enjoying it is to not worry about things that aren't logical - like all the clothes and jewelry the Howell's have.
The 70s introduced me to Monday Night Football, and Howard Cosell's halftime highlights. It was significant because ESPN did not exist yet, and about the only place to catch a glimpse of Vikings' highlights from Sunday's game was on MNF. I loved Happy Days, One Day At A Time(of course,at age 12 I was very much in love with Valerie Bertinelli) The Six Million Dollar Man, starring Lee Majors, The Incredible Hulk, Sunday afternoons featured Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, with Marlin Perkins, and nothing was more hilarious than The Carol Burnett Show.
In the 80s I was finishing up high school, going to college, and getting married. I got into my first drama series Life Goes On, plus the A-Team, and Moonlighting, starring Bruce Willis and Cybil Shephard. That's Incredible, featuring amazing feats by humans and animals starred Cathy Lee Crosby, John Davidson, and former Minnesota Vikings' quarterback, Fran Tarkenton. The sitcoms I enjoyed were still very family friendly like The Cosby Show, Family Matters, and Full House. Check out this clip from That's Incredible, featuring 5-year old golf phenom Tiger Woods.
The 90s brought Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, starring Jayne Seymour and Walker, Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris. Remember Early Edition? It was about the guy who got tomorrow's newspaper today, and then went out trying to prevent disasters and tragedies. The 90s also brought some of my all-time favorite sitcoms like Home Improvement starring Tim Allen, King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Step By Step, with Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers in sort of a modern Brady Bunch-like setting.
By now, it seems times have changed, and I have moved almost completely away from sitcoms, which no longer seem very family friendly. I discovered 24, with Jack Bauer, Criminal Minds, , American Idol, and Mike and Mike, an early morning talk show on ESPN 2, and TNT's Leverage, which is a lot the A-Team, except without the violence. Four con-artists work together to help get revenge for people who have been ripped off.
I am hoping in the next 50 or so years of my life to spend less time watching television. Hopefully, the next time I reflect on the last 50 years of television the list will be pretty short.