Today’s entertainment media offers us literally hundreds of options to watch at any given time during the day, any day of the week, whether it’s a TV show or a movie on a DVR, a live show on one of the many cable channels available, or one of the many options offered by internet services such as Netflix. However, just 30 years ago, people had to carefully decide what to watch from just a few options available on TV and wanted to be entertained on the confort of their living room.
Sitcoms were one of the most popular types of shows people would watch back then. Important and careful decisions about what channel you were going to watch had to be taken before you could actually sit down and chill, since not all TVs came packed with a remote in the early eighties. You would have to stand up and walk all the way to the TV if you got bored with what you chose and decided to watch something else.
American Sitcoms from the 80s —broadcasted almost everywhere in the world in various different languages— sometimes featured similar themes, so knowing which show was better was a crucial thing to know. Coming up next, a series of face offs between similar sitcom superstars! Who will win?
FAVOURITE BLACK SMALL KID RAISED BY WHITE PARENTS
Two of the most succesful sitcom in the eighties featured young black males that were adopted into largely white households. These shows had a good impact to society since they attempted to address the problems affecting the social class and cultural differences within biracial families, albeit with comedic touches.
Kirk Cameron, a Christian Evangelist, often demanded that entire episodes be re-written when he objected to content, normally when sexual behaviour was involved, and even forced the producers to fire the actress playing her girlfriend just because she appeared nude in Playboy.
On the other hand, Michael J. Fox played a prototypical Young Republican during the Reagan era. His popularity was the result of Fox’s comedic talents and charm, which made the character endearing to fans. As we all know, Fox unfortunately later developed Parkinson’s Disease and has become since then one of the biggest supporters of stem cell research, something conservatives like Cameron oppose and ridiculously describe as “harvesting babies for their organs”.
The winner is, of course…
… Alex P. Keaton
Comedian Bill Cosby starred as Dr. Cliff Huxtable in one of the first primetime sitcoms that showed African Americans as intelligent, witty, and competent and not butlers or chauffeurs. Some critics said it “failed to address significant problems such as racism and created a fantasy world in which these problems were no longer an issue in the black community”, an idea that “contradicted reality for Black America during the 1980s as it struggled with the problems of police brutality and crime”. But, come on, it was just a sitcom, not a social studies documentary!
Doogie Howser was a genious kid who became a doctor at the age of 14 seeking acceptance by both others his age and his professional colleagues. The series dealt with wider social problems like AIDS awareness, racism, sexism, homophobia, gang violence, access to quality medical care, and losing one’s virginity.
This one is a tough one… but the winner is….
…Dr. Cliff Huxtable