80s TV!



"Love and marriage, love and marriage..."

MARRIED WITH CHILDREN was breakthrough television in the 80s. This was one of the FOX networks earliest and biggest successes. Television taboos and stereotypes were shattered. No longer were families going to be portrayed as perfect, shining examples of society. No, it was time to get real. Al Bundy was an unhappy, shoe-salesman father of two dim-witted kids. He was married to their mother - lazy, unemployed, big-haired, bad dressing, redheaded, Bon-Bon-eating, Oprah-watching Peggy Bundy. Their kids were the older bleached blonde bimbo, dumb-blonde stereotype Kelly, and her younger brother, the insecure, yet willing to try to be happy, Bud Bundy. They also had a shaggy dog named Buck. Their "perfect" neighbors were first Steve and Marcy. Then Steve left the show (they "divorced") and Marcy met Jefferson D'Arcy. When they married, yes, she became Marcy D'Arcy. This was when the show got a little out of control for me. I loved it at first. The earliest episodes were best. I was a metal music chick at heart (still am) and it was awesome to see who Kelly was going to date or what she was going to wear. I was never so daring, or dumb! But later on I think the show really dumbed down and became too chauvenistic and sexist. I mean, it was always sexist both ways to some extent. It got really out of hand toward the end, though. Just my opinion. Everyone's got one! My favorite episodes? The one where the band Anthrax came over for a house party thrown by Kelly. I also *love* (and this is my most favorite) the one where Kelly was in the video by the band The Guttercats. Man, that was so awesome to me at the time. The Guttercats really were an L.A. band, I've heard. Anyway, remember her being so dumb she couldn't follow direction in the video? And she blew her father up in a car in the end? Good stuff!
This show was like a breath of fresh air from all of the "family" sitcoms that were all starting to look the same. For once, a show didn't worry about being politically correct. Married With Children took certain stereotypes and amplified them as far as they could. Sure, these characters were ridiculous but I tend to think that most families are more like the Bundys than the Cosbys. On a side note, I think the producers of this show stole the staircase from the set of Gimme A Break. Take a look, it's the same one.


Wow, my friend Norah and I used to LOVE Miami Vice! She even named her cats Crockett and Tubbs (Crockett was a yellow tabby and Tubbs was a black cat - no kidding!). I had a sweatshirt with mice dressed all Miami-ish and it said "Miami Mice" underneath it. I thought that sweatshirt ruled. I wish I still had it! :o) For some reason in junior high this show was tops with us. I remember the guest star episodes, like when Sheena Easton (my namesake, of course) was on. Norah and I had catch-phrases we used that we got from the show. Like Tubbs would say he hated doing laundry or hated machine guns. So we would just randomly blurt out: "Tubbs don't like machine guns!" or "Tubbs don't like doin' people's dirty laundry!" and we thought it was unparalleled hilarity. I also remember my parents and I counting how many words Edward James Almos' character spoke in an episode. He talked so little it became a "thing." I think the least was maybe 10 words or something. I don't really remember. GREAT SHOW!
The only time I watched Miami Vice was once in 1986 because Gene Simmons (from KISS) appeared on the show. Other than that, I just remember the obnoxious clothes they wore, that theme song, and Don Johnson's stubble. Once I was able to grow facial hair, I often would go around with a couple days worth of stubble. People would accuse me of trying to look like Don Johnson, but I only looked like that because I was lazy and hated shaving. I wonder if that's how it started with Don as well? Maybe he was just being lazy one day and the look stuck.


"Moonlighting strangers, who just met on the way..."

I used to stay up late and watch this by myself because no one else would watch it with me. I am a fan of Cybill Shepard. I like that she keeps it real. Bruce Willis is a dink (remember those Seagrams commercials of the 80s? *groan*), but he was a newcomer then. Their chemistry was magical. Then there was their whacky secretary. Yepper, this show was cool. My friend Betsy and I would always talk about it. We loved it.


"Mork calling Orson...come in Orson..."
"Nanoo, nanoo"

I have no idea if I spelled that last one right! Mork was from Ork. Ork is another planet. Mindy (played by Pam Dawber, who later starred in MY SISTER SAM, scroll down for that one) was the pretty, but unfortunate, chick he met and got to shack up with. He did annoying things like stand on his head on the couch to sleep. But it was funny. Very funny. He wore rainbow suspenders, which I think brought on that craze. Mork was played by Robin Williams in his breakout role.
In my appreciation of Mork, I got (and continue to use) a rainbow guitar strap. I used to put silly buttons on it like he did but they have since disappeared. A friend of mine tells me that the rainbow thing is mostly associated with something else now, but I don't agree. Anyway, Mork was sent down from Ork to earth in an egg to study the strange earth customs and report his findings back to Orson. Mork actually first appeared on an episode of Happy Days where he tried to kidnap Richie. Even the Fonz couldn't stop this alien with strange powers from doing what he wanted. Of course, it ended up only being a dream that Richie had. Shortly after Richie woke up, however, a stranger rang the doorbell asking for directions. You can probably guess who this stranger was.


Man-oh-man, did I ever HATE this show!!! That older son ("Kevin" I believe) just made me sick to my stomach, he was so gross! Some may disagree, but I don't care. Mr Belvedere was the butler or something. He was a snotty English know-it-all. This show just wasn't my thang. How 'bout you, Flavor?
Sorry, I have no memory of this show either. Like I said before, I grew up in the 80s but I think I spent alot of that time watching reruns from the 70s. In the music section I'll definately make up for my lack of comments in the TV section.


This is another show my friend Karie and I would reenact in my playroom. I think she got to be Sam because she was younger. I know this show has something to do with a photography studio, and starred Pam Dawber, formerly of MORK AND MINDY (see above). This show also starred Rebecca Shaefer in the title role. This show came to a terrible, screeching halt, when a man who was stalking Ms. Shaefer came to the door of her house and shot her to death when she answered the door. The story still brings tears to my eyes. She was a true talent, and a real beauty of a girl, taken way to early from this world. I will always look back fondly on MY SISTER SAM - she was wonderful. Rebecca will always be missed.


Starring Paul Reiser in his breakthrough TV role (the "serious, business-like dad"), MY TWO DADS was kind of an odd show, but pretty good. I can't remember exactly why the girl had "two" Dads. Was it that her mother had died and even her mother hadn't known which of those guys was her dad? Man, that's kinda bizarre for TV. Greg Evigan played the other Dad (the "artsy fartsy dad"), and Stacey Keenan (later of 90s show Step By Step) played the feisty daughter, Nicole. A young Giovanni Ribisi (then going by "Voni" Ribisi, and now a movie star) played Nicole's first boyfriend. Dick Butkus was on this show and I used to just think "Dick Butkus" was the funniest name ever - isn't it fun to say? LOL! And then there was The Judge, who was luckily there every episode to find the happy middle ground in all of the fathers' disputes over Nicole. Like I said, good 80s television!

Comments by Kelly and Brian

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