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Best TV of the Decades


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31 replies to this topic

#1 of 32 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 ONLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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- Guardians Of The Galaxy 3D, Ender's Game, Escape From L.A., Highlander 2, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Escape From New York, The Interview, Trancers, Don Jon, Under Fire, Major Dundee: Extended Version, Brannigan, Used Cars, Hard Times, The Mechanic(1972), The Dogs Of War, Fast & Furious 6

Currently watching- Planet Earth, True Blood: Season 3, Gatchaman: The Complete Series, The Equalizer: Season 3, Tales From The Crypt: Season 2, WKRP In Cincinnati: Season 2, Star Trek: Season 2, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1, Game Of Thrones: Season 2, Heroes: Season 2, The Pacific
 
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#8 of 32 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted April 26 2009 - 11:19 AM

OOOHHHHH FUN! 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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted April 26 2009 - 11:49 PM

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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted April 27 2009 - 04:44 AM

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 OFFLINE   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 OFFLINE   Radioman970

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Posted April 27 2009 - 11:58 PM

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 OFFLINE   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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