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Best TV of the Decades


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#1 of 32 MattPeriolat

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Posted April 23 2009 - 08:10 AM

Thought this might be a fun discussion topic that has been kicking around in my brain, maybe even might get some new TV shows in my mind (always looking for those!

So, the $64,000 question is: what TV show was the best or best represented their respective decades?

For the 50s, it's not even a contest for me: I Love Lucy, all the way. Still one of the funniest things I've seen, consistently entertaining and, at times, very heartwarming.

For the 60s, it's a bit tougher. In one breath, I want to go with Twilight Zone with it's inventive, keep-you-guessing plots and solid acting and wonderful themes, while the next breath makes me want to go with Star Trek since it's so iconic with the futuristic shows of the time while giving us some very solid stories in the first two seasons.

For the 70s, I'm thinking Brady Bunch. Fun light family entertainment to keep you laughing and making you wonder what highjinxs were in store next.

For the 80s, and I'm going by memory here since I haven't seen it in quite a while, but gotta go with Dallas. Over the top, excessive, incredible plotlines that fit right in with 80s sensibilities along with some really iconic TV moments for the decade (Who shot JR? and you-know-who in the shower, anyone?)

For the 90s, it's really tough. I tend to lean toward ER though. Those early seasons and episodes were really must-see TV with some real nail biters and some really excellent acting all around.

For the '00s, it's once again, for me anyway, beyond doubt: Lost. Proof that protracted story telling that worked for soaps could still work, if written around a compelling story, in prime time and keep people interested (and guessing) for YEARS. To say nothing of good writing and some very underrated performances.

I hereby open the floor to opinions.
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#2 of 32 Theodore J. Mooney

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Posted April 23 2009 - 01:54 PM

50s: I Love Lucy (no contest)
60s: The Dick Van Dyke Show
70s: All in the Family
80s: Dallas
90s: The Simpsons
00s: Survivor
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#3 of 32 Radioman970

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Posted April 23 2009 - 11:30 PM

50s: I Love Lucy (joining the band wagon)
60s: Star Trek/TZ
70s: All in the Family/Sanford & Son/Doctor Who/Muppet Show
80s: Wonder Years Duh! (waits for everyone to edit their posts Posted Image )
90s: Survivor/Hercules/Xena
00s: LOST
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#4 of 32 Hollywoodaholic

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Posted April 24 2009 - 01:59 AM

To be really objective about which show best represented a decade, you would probably have to go to the best overall rated show for that decade, whether that was your favorite show or not.

My non-researched, pure amateur guesses for those would be:

'50s - I Love Lucy
'60s - Bonanza or Gunsmoke (Westerns ruled this decade)
'70s - M*A*S*H (115 million viewer finale!? That will never happen again)
'80s - Dallas (that sounds right)
'90s - X-Files (probably not the highest rated, but it changed television)
'00s - Survivor (Sounds right. It would HAVE to be a reality show to represent the prevailing trend of the decade)

#5 of 32 TravisR

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Posted April 24 2009 - 05:00 AM

Having not been born until the late 1970's, I'm going to stay out of naming the best show of those decades when I haven't seen a wide range of shows from those eras. That being said, I consider shows like I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, The Fugitive and M*A*S*H to be true classics.

From the 1990's, I'd say The X-Files, Twin Peaks, The Simpsons and Seinfeld are the best shows.

And from the 2000's, I'd say The Wire beats Lost by half a hair. Plus, honorable mentions for The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Shield.

#6 of 32 Curtis F

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Posted April 24 2009 - 05:08 AM

I can really only go back as far as the 60's so I will go with:

60's: Star Trek
70's: M*A*S*H
80's: Miami Vice
90's: The X-Files
00's: The Sopranos

#7 of 32 Joseph J.D

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Posted April 24 2009 - 02:20 PM

I'm not going to state what was best for each decade because I haven't seen everything out there.....I will; however, state my favourites for each:

50's - The Adventures Of Superman
60's - Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Get Smart, Batman
70's - Kung Fu, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, M*A*S*H
80's - Magnum P.I., Cheers, Miami Vice, Star Trek: TNG
90's - The X-Files, Star Trek: TNG/DS9, Babylon 5, Seinfeld, Frasier, Twin Peaks, Friends
00's - Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, 24
Recently watched- Friday The 13th(2009), The Sessions, Freddy vs. Jason, Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life, Jason X, Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday, Friday The 13th Pt VIII:Jason Takes Manhattan, Godzilla Vs. Biollante, Ninja II:Shadow Of A Tear, Friday The 13th Pt VII:The New Blood, Non-Stop(2014), Friday The 13th Pt VI:Jason Lives, Batman: Mystery Of The Batwoman, Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker, Gettysburg(1993)

Currently watching- Planet Earth, The Twilight Zone: Season 1, Cheers: Season 6, True Blood: Season 2, Gatchaman: The Complete Series, Simon & Simon: Season 3, Beauty and The Beast: Season 3
 

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#8 of 32 heathjack

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Posted April 25 2009 - 09:34 AM

50'S I LOVE LUCY AND THE HOONEYMOONERS
60'S Twilight Zone,GET SMART AND BATMAN
70's sanford and son and the jerffersons
80's Family ties and pERFECT STRANGERS
90'S BOY MEETS WORLDTHE WONDER YEARS,AND HOMEINPROVMENT

#9 of 32 jamoon2006

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Posted April 25 2009 - 11:36 AM

1950s - Have Gun - Will Travel
1960s - The Fugitive
1970s - Columbo
1980s - Murder, She Wrote (personal favorite, anyway!)
1990s - The X-Files
2000s - The West Wing

#10 of 32 LeoA

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Posted April 25 2009 - 12:12 PM

1950s - I Love Lucy
1960s - My Three Sons
1970s - M*A*S*H
1980s - Cheers
1990s - Home Improvement
2000s - Haven't seen anything I've liked besides some documentaries

#11 of 32 Bryan^H

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Posted April 26 2009 - 11:19 AM

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70's-Little House on the Prairie, and Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, and Planet of the Apes(live-action).

80's-St. Elsewhere, Growing Pains, Mcguyver.

90's-X-Files, Buffy

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#12 of 32 Jeff Flugel

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Posted April 26 2009 - 11:13 PM

Well, I'll choose to interpret this as "Favorite" in place of "Best"...because really, one person's "best" is another man's "worst."

So, my votes are for:

1950s: HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL, THE TWILIGHT ZONE
1960s: STAR TREK, THE PRISONER, THE AVENGERS
1970s: DR. WHO, COLUMBO
1980s: RED DWARF, SHERLOCK HOLMES (Jeremy Brett version)
1990s: THE X-FILES, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, CRACKER (UK version)
2000s: FIREFLY, LOST

#13 of 32 Radioman970

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Posted April 26 2009 - 11:44 PM

50s: I Love Lucy (joining the band wagon)
60s: Star Trek/TZ
70s: All in the Family/Sanford & Son/Doctor Who/Muppet Show/You Can't do that on Television
80s: Wonder Years Duh! (waits for everyone to edit their posts Posted Image )/Red Dwarf/Mystery Science Theater 3000/the Kids in the Hall
90s: Survivor/Hercules/Xena
00s: LOST/Seinfeld

Had to edit mine. (EDITED AGAIN)

The lack of Wonder Years in this thread makes me sad. If they could only clear those darn music rights this show would get rediscovered by everyone. Recently I started watching Pete & Pete, which I missed when it originally aired, and it reminds me how great shows about kids can be. The influence of The Wonder Years on it is apparent.
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#14 of 32 Dave Scarpa

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Posted April 26 2009 - 11:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattPeriolat
Thought this might be a fun discussion topic that has been kicking around in my brain, maybe even might get some new TV shows in my mind (always looking for those!

So, the $64,000 question is: what TV show was the best or best represented their respective decades?

For the 50s, it's not even a contest for me: I Love Lucy, all the way. Still one of the funniest things I've seen, consistently entertaining and, at times, very heartwarming.

For the 60s, it's a bit tougher. In one breath, I want to go with Twilight Zone with it's inventive, keep-you-guessing plots and solid acting and wonderful themes, while the next breath makes me want to go with Star Trek since it's so iconic with the futuristic shows of the time while giving us some very solid stories in the first two seasons.

For the 70s, I'm thinking Brady Bunch. Fun light family entertainment to keep you laughing and making you wonder what highjinxs were in store next.

For the 80s, and I'm going by memory here since I haven't seen it in quite a while, but gotta go with Dallas. Over the top, excessive, incredible plotlines that fit right in with 80s sensibilities along with some really iconic TV moments for the decade (Who shot JR? and you-know-who in the shower, anyone?)

For the 90s, it's really tough. I tend to lean toward ER though. Those early seasons and episodes were really must-see TV with some real nail biters and some really excellent acting all around.

For the '00s, it's once again, for me anyway, beyond doubt: Lost. Proof that protracted story telling that worked for soaps could still work, if written around a compelling story, in prime time and keep people interested (and guessing) for YEARS. To say nothing of good writing and some very underrated performances.

I hereby open the floor to opinions.

50's

The Honeymooners the Classic 39- Only 39 shows but their all Gems

60's

Star Trek - Without a Doubt

70's

Almost would have to say Star Trek too as it proved more popular in this decade. But if We're Strict Here lets go with: MASH

80's

Starts Getting tougher here but I'll give it to Trek Again Lightining in a bottle never thought they'd pull it off Twice: Star Trek: TNG

90's

Babylon 5 For basically starting the Arc Driven Drama and for being a successfull Sci Fi Series not called Trek

2000

Jury's Still Out Unlike past Decades we have alot to choose from, Sopranos, Deadwood, Rescue Me, Breaking Bad.. we'll see.
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#15 of 32 Montytc

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Posted April 27 2009 - 12:12 AM

50's - I Love Lucy
60's - Ed Sullivan Show- lots of good variety shows this decade
Batman- lots of silly shows this decade
70's - Rockford Files - A decade with a lot of great detective stuff
MASH - The best of the more "serious" sit-coms from this decade
80's - The Wonder Years and Dallas
90's - X-Files
00's - Gilmore Girls, Lost, Sopranos or West Wing

#16 of 32 Ethan Riley

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Posted April 27 2009 - 04:37 AM

1950s: I Love Lucy
1960s: Star Trek
1970s: Charlie's Angels
1980s: Dynasty
1990s: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2000s: Lost
 

 


#17 of 32 Bryan^H

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Posted April 27 2009 - 04:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioman970

The lack of Wonder Years in this thread makes me sad. If they could only clear those darn music rights this show would get rediscovered by everyone. Recently I started watching Pete & Pete, which I missed when it originally aired, and it reminds me how great shows about kids can be. The influence of The Wonder Years on it is apparent.
Trust me, It is a favorite of mine. Although I felt it started running out of steam by the time the 4th season hit, it was still very watchable.

The first few seasons were gold, and I'd give anything to have it on dvd. Music rights be Damned.

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#18 of 32 PaulP

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Posted April 27 2009 - 03:40 PM

1950s: I Love Lucy
1960s: The Twilight Zone
1970s: The Brady Bunch
1980s: The Wonder Years (runner-up Married with Children)
1990s: The X-Files (runners-up: The Simpsons, Seinfeld)
2000s: Six Feet Under (runners-up: The Sopranos, 24, Dexter, Lost)

The 2000s is so tough because we've had such a large variety of excellent shows. I could easily list a few more (Breaking Bad, Battlestar Galactica, Nip/Tuck, etc.)

#19 of 32 Radioman970

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Posted April 27 2009 - 11:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan^H
Trust me, It is a favorite of mine. Although I felt it started running out of steam by the time the 4th season hit, it was still very watchable.

The first few seasons were gold, and I'd give anything to have it on dvd. Music rights be Damned.
You know, I think you're right. It did start running out of steam at one point.

I remember the show so fondly because it was weekly visits with The Wonder Years and The Equalizer that helped keep me sane while in college. Posted Image
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#20 of 32 Albert_M

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Posted April 29 2009 - 04:54 AM

I don't think one show could really sum up any decade with the exception of say the 1950s and Lucy (though I laugh more at the Honeymooners, Lucy is hands down the show of the 50s).

But from the 60s on, no one show could represent the decade.

The 60s - yes Star Trek became iconic and its impact beyond huge - but then? Not so much and short lived at that.

Would it be Andy Griffith or one of the many campy shows? Twilight Zone?

70s- how do you choose between MASH, MTM, and All in the Family?

80s - Cosby is significant, so is Cheers, so are some of the big dramas.

Miami Vice was significant too.

90s had big impact from Seinfeld and Simpsons.

This decade one could argue the Sopranos because it is significant in its run and in pop culture, but it's still not that easy to say yet no other show except for Lost I think comes close.




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