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What Drama or Comedy best captures the decade in which they aired? (1 Viewer)

DouglasRobert

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Pick one Drama and one comedy that best captures the decade in which they aired.

For those shows that aired in two decades, then the decade in which they aired the most episodes would count. Example: Brady Bunch aired from 1969-1974, so the decade they fit would be the 1970's.

Obviously this would mean first run,, and not re-runs.

My Picks:

1950's:
I Love Lucy
No pick for drama, as most were westerns.

1960's:
The Beverly Hillbillies
Man from UNCLE

1970's:
The Brady Bunch or Three's Company
Hawaii 5-0

1980's:
Dallas
Family Ties

1990's:


2000-Now



Please feel free to add your picks.
 

Yee-Ming

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For mid 1980s drama, Miami Vice; mid-late 1980s drama, I'd say LA Law; 90s, NYPD Blue to add to ER that's already been posted.

2000s? For comedy, maybe Sex And The City. Drama? Beats me. CSI? L&O? The Sopranos?
 

Richard Travale

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1970's:
Fantasy Island
Three's Company/The Love Boat

1980's:
Miami Vice
Cosby/Cheers

1990's:
90210/ER
Seinfeld/Friends/The Simpsons


2000-Now
The Sopranos
ironically enough 'That 70's Show'
 

Michael Hughes

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1950's: The Honeymooners, Drama n/a

1960's: Dick Van Dyke Show, Twilight Zone

1970's: The Brady Bunch, Mission Impossible

1980's: Hill Street Blues, Taxi

1990's: Seinfeld, ER

2000-Now: Tie: Survivor/Sopranos, Comedy: Ameican Idol ;)
 

Craig S

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1950's: I Love Lucy, Drama n/a

1960's: Dick Van Dyke Show, Star Trek (think about it)

1970's: All In The Family, Charlie's Angels

1980's: Cheers, Hill Street Blues

1990's: Seinfeld, The X-Files

2000-Now: Sex & The City, The Sopranos
 

Lew Crippen

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50s:

Your Show of Shows—brilliant writing by almost everyone you ever heard of, including Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart, Mel Tokin and Neil and Danny Simon. Plus a lot of on the spot improv by Sid Caesar. Underneath all of the craziness was a lot of commentary on the era. Live TV at its best. This of course was not a series but a series of bits—very much the 50s. If you mean a straight sitcom, then

I Love Lucy—the 50s family at its most sincere. And most zany.

Gunsmoke—true a Western, but one where contemporary issues were often the subject of that week’s episode. If Westerns are disqualified, then

Playhouse 90, which every week had plays like Requiem for a Heavyweight (original play by Rod Serling) and A Diamond as Big as the Ritz, which I think is an adaptation of a a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Live drama that has not been equaled on a consistent basis. If this is disqualified because of it was not a continuning series, then,

Dragnet—the sincere cop show at its peak. This was while most of the population still trusted the cops to always do the right thing.


60s:

Dick Van Dyke—more sophisticated than Lucy—but just as funny and the family was still the model of the day.

The Fugitive—the problems of the day addressed while searching for the one-armed man.


70s:

All in the Family—what was then a groundbreaking approach to issues that had not often been shown on series TV.

M*A*S*H—the Vietnam question disguised as Korea.


80s:

Cheers—the home away from home.

Hill Street Blues—this changed forever the rules about how TV was presented—and was among the first to portray cops as real, complex people. I’ve always thought that this was the best drama ever on TV—until the Sopranos and some of the other, limited series on HBO.


90s:

Seinfeld—another ground-breaking show that brought our concerns about ‘shrinkage’ front and center. Probably the most consistently funny show ever.

Northern Exposure—the quirky, small town in Alaska, filled with characters we all know.


00s:

The Sopranos—TV drama grows up all the way. This slot could also go to many of the other HBO dramas, almost equally fine—but this one started the trend. Perhaps the death of traditional network TV.

Gilmore Girls—another pick from an alternative source. Here we have the single parent family as idealized as the family sitcoms of the 50s and 60s—but with an edge never directly addressed then. Ending with the demonstration that some things just don’t change.
 

Malcolm R

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Sure you don't mean the 70's "The Bob Newhart Show" where he played a therapist?

80's "Newhart" was where he played an innkeeper in Vermont.
 

Chris

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That's what I was thinking..

I'll throw out some different ones..

70s:

Sesame Street - no other program has risen to such prominence in any of our lifetimes. I place Sesame Street here in this decade as it's when it started national roll outs. I had seriously thought of putting it in the 80s, because, honestly, I can think of no television (outside of news) that had as much impact on a generation as Mr. Hooper's death in 1983. It's one of those moments that ranks up there with the Challenger, JFK's death, etc. I can't think of any regular program that addressed/addresses the issues the way Sesame Street does.

80s:

Cosby Show: I know, a lot of people give the Cosby Show flack for showing an "unrealistic" situation, but Cosby did something that hadn't been done before and really, hasn't been done since. He presented an example of an African American family that was successful, well knit together, smart, and funny. He did so in a smart fashion that said "we've arrived" Excellent programming that broke the mold.

The Simpsons: No other program that I can think of single handedly saved a network. The Simpsons kept Fox, a struggling network with 3 nights of original programming on the air. While "Parker Lewis" "21 Jump Street" and other struggled to find an audience, The Simpsons became a rage.. and Fox stayed on.

90s:

I have two:

Law & Order... L&O presented the public a non-Matlock view of the courtrooms. Up through the eighties, courtroom dramas were all about slick summations, hot looking lawyers or "gotcha!" moments ala Matlock / Perry Mason. The attorneys had it figured out. In LA Law they were devious backstabbers, but in the courtroom, they made it click, and police officers just turned over the information.. Law & Order was willing to show cases fall apart, failures of evidence, the reliance of Lawyers on Police and vice versa.

X-Files... The X-Files took a conspiratorial concept and sold it. It helped Fox expand to seven nights a week in programming, and it provided the kind of dark, brooding conspiratorial stories that were not often on broadcast.
 

Lew Crippen

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You are correct. I mixed up my Newhart's. With that I will edit my post, changing my selection to Cheers.
 

ZacharyTait

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For me, Family Ties and Fresh Prince of Bel Air capture the look and feel of the mid to late 1980's and early 1990's respectively.

Friends captures the 90's perfectly.
 

Marty M

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A very interesting topic. I agree that Playhouse 90 and other live drams shows would be the drama for the 50s. There are a number of other live dramas that were later turned into movies -- Marty, The Days of Wine & Roses to name a few.

For comedy in the late 60s, I choose Laugh In. They didn't invent sketch comedy, but they brought out a edgier, more cynical humor, that reflected the mood of the country in the late 60s. The mood and temperment of the US was so much different in the late 60s than it was in the early 60s before JFK was killed.
 

Rex Bachmann

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DouglasRobert wrote (post #1):


1980s:

Thirty Something (". . . and what about MY needs?")
 

ScottR

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50's: I Love Lucy
60's: The Dick Van Dyke Show/The Twilight Zone
70's: All in the Family/Charlie's Angels
80's: The Facts of Life/Dallas
90's: Seinfeld/E.R.
00's: Will and Grace/C.S.I.
 

Parker Clack

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I agree with all the above and I would add.

70's - Saturday Night Live. - Bringing something about our times to the masses in a crazy way with Weekend Update and characters that are still being quoted today.

00's: The West Wing. - By bringing the White House to your house in a way that makes you pay attention.
 

ScottH

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Actually, in the 80's Newhart, he played a therapist who had a really long dream about being an innkeeper in Vermont. :D
 

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