Saturday, 26 March 2011

Opening credits - 80s sitcom special

We've already amply established I didn't do much in the 80s except watch TV. And it occurred to me today that I watched many really bad sitcoms. I don't know if they even have an equivalent today of the sitcoms of the 80s. They all had exceptionally cheesy opening credits with syrup-laden ballads crooning over them. So here I present a few for your delectation.

First up, Family Ties. The show that brought us Michael J Fox and therefore always holds a place in my heart. It also has Jason Bateman's sister in it! It was about a liberal family who had a conservative son (MJF - Alex). This was the show that taught me about the evils of Richard Nixon. I also liked the dad quite a bit - not sure why in retrospect. Cheese rating: 8/10.

Next up - Charles In Charge. Does anyone else remember this? At my school, we were obsessed with this and used to rush home to watch it. Scott Baio! Can you ever fail? Scott was Charles who looked after a family while the parents worked. That's all I remember about it and I've never seen it repeated. It's another white, middle-class family folks. Cheese rating: 9/10

Next! Kate and Allie. I loved this show. Two recently divorced women living together with their kids in NYC. Fab-u-lous. I wanted to be Susan Saint James who was basically the lesser man's Kate Jackson. She was super cool in this. Plus the kid who played Allie's daughter turned up in The West Wing years later (she was annoying in that too). Each show opened with a little head to head with Kate and Allie. The main credits were at the end so I include them both. Cheese rating: 7/10

Next! Empty Nest. Oh dear. This really was bad. I think it may have been late 80s/early 90s. I can't defend it except to say it must have been on after Cheers. A dad with grown-up daughters who don't leave home. That's about it. Cheese rating: 9/10

Finally, to prove that black people did exist, A Different World. Another show I adored when Lisa Bonet was in it. A spin-off of The Cosby Show, it showed Denise Huxtable at college. It was cute and funny. I reckon those early episodes would stand up to a viewing now. Cheese rating: 5/10. This wasn't that cheesy at all.

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