There are some TV series which were very popular and even respected when they were on, which have kind of faded from pop culture over the years.Â Oh sure the fans who loved the series still do, but getting new fans to appreciate that series is a real challenge. There are lots of reasons for this. Maybe theÂ series will do things that date themselves, and make the episodes a lot less relatable years later.Â Maybe the series was so grounded in its time period that the only people who appreciate it are those who lived in that period. Some series do not have this problem, like The Dick Van Dyke Show. That show is just as relatable as now as it was when it was first on, because the stories were general tales that anyone who has a family or who works with nutty co-workers can relate to. How about The Golden Girls, why is that re-run constantly? Because the series was about growing older and who can’t relate to that?
But some series, for various reasons, aren’t so lucky. Here are five:
Probably the best example. This show was a major it when it was on, but now you hardly ever see it in re-runs. True a cable channel has been re-running them this year which helps. There is only one DVD volume out, the interest was so low that no other season from the series has been released! Of course the show tried very hard to pretend that it was set in the real world with references to then recent political events and current news makers that no one would get these days. Unless you’re a history buff or something. It’s a shame to because the series was well written and funny (except the last two years but I digress). Speaking of TV series which can’t get a complete DVD release, where the hell is Who’s The Boss, Benson, or Perfect Strangers?
There was a time when people heard Batman, they thought Adam West. In the 60’s the campy Batman was a monster hit. That changed in 1989 when Michael Keaton was featured in a much darker “Batman”. Years later Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins and Dark Knight pushed that Adam West image even further out of public conscience. You can still find re-runs I think and the series is out on DVD. But it’s safe to say people don’t repsect it the same. I think most people who grew up with the darker version look back at this show and think it’s lame. The humor, the over the top acting, the corny stories. Yeah it is a bit dated but it was a lot of fun. It’s important to remember that if it hadn’t been for this series, whether you want to believe it or not, there would never have been any movies.
A Different World
Granted it’s probably an overstatement to say that this show was a big hit. The story centered around Hillman College and tackled all sorts of issues facing black people and others of the day. But if you watch this show, the episodes seem so dated. For instance, I was watching a re-run centered around Thanksgiving and part of the plot involved a protest for Haitian rights. Who remembers when that was a problem? Sure some of the things this show discussed still is a problem, but because they tackled such topical issues lots of people coming to this show just aren’t going to relate to it.
You Can’t Do That on Television
This was a monster his in TV programming when I was a kid. This Canadian show put Nickelodeon on the map and gave them their green slime trademark. But over the years, the green slime stayed but the show has faded away. I loved this show, but I understand why people looking at it today may frown. Including the Nostalgia Critic. With stuff like Ren & Stimpy and South Park (among others), is this show edgy or just silly? This show had a special place in the 80’s and I just think it’s kind of stuck there. They’ve tried a DVD release but it still hasn’t happened. I admit even when I watch it today, that I get it. At the time it was different and cool, we just didn’t have shows like it anywhere. Today, yeah it’s a dime dozen and it doesn’t surprise me that the only people who like it are people my age who saw it and cherished when it was originally on.
The Wonder Years
What the heck happened to this show? I’ve seen it in re-runs here and there but it never lasts. You would think a show about the past would never get dated. And yet you never see it or hear about it. But I think the problem is that when this show was on, people watching it literally remembered those days. Today, not so much. Happy Days has lasted because the characters transcend the time period. With this show, it’s all about the time period. And the show felt unique with it’s format of not using a studio audience. These days it’s odd for a sitcom to use a studio audience (that makes me sad). It is on DVD so I guess that’s something though it took forever to finally get it out.
I remember all of these shows and I am sure many of you do too. It just surprises me how these hit shows didn’t stand the test of time as well as other shows did.