As a society, we’re so enthralled with this current golden age of television, it can be easy to forget some of the great shows from the past. In particular, when it comes to the 80’s and early 90’s, there was this pretty eclectic mix for all tastes, from amazing mystery shows to ongoing romantic comedies, legendary action shows and, of course, some of the most iconic family sitcoms of all time.
Here are a few of our favorites from the decade with the biggest hair!
1. ALF (1986-1990)
Perhaps the most beloved alien ever to make its way to the small screen, ALF captured the hearts of an entire generation – and he’s coming back on the big screen soon!
2. The A-Team (1983-1987)
One of the most iconic action shows of the decade, The A-Team has spawned numerous pop culture references, a film remake and, soon enough, a reboot series.
3. Cheers (1982-1993)
Oddly enough, this revolving around a bar might just be the one everyone most relates to family. With a lot of quirky characters, few shows have aged as well as Cheers, except for the fairly unhealthy Sam and Diane pairing.
4. The Cosby Show (1984-1992)
Although its legacy has been tainted with by numerous allegations against its star and namesake, it’s still one of the most iconic family shows in TV history, and paved the way for other African American-centered ones like the recent Black-ish.
5. Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1986)
Another iconic family show from the 80’s, this one in particular was pivotal in later development of serious subjects in comedies, tackling heavy topics like drug use and racism.
6. Family Ties (1982-1989)
One of the shows that best reflects the change of perspective between the laidback 70’s and the money-focused 80’s, the show was funniest when former hippie parents Steven and Elyse dealt with their super conservative son, Alex P. Keaton. Family Ties also gave us Michael J. Fox, so that’s one thing we should be forever thankful for!
7. The Golden Girls (1985-1992)
A show about four older women leading independent lives in Florida, The Golden Girls lives on as one of the most important female-centric shows of all time, and it can be argued that shows like Sex and the City and Girls wouldn’t exist without Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia.
9. The Jeffersons (1975-1985)
As much a 70’s show as it is an 80’s one, this long-running show was one of the longest-running sitcoms in history, a particularly important feat as its cast was primarily African American.
10. MacGyver (1985-1992)
A show that spun a million jokes, Richard Dean Anderson’s turn as the handiest man ever to live in the small screen lives on in pop culture and on every person who can make a bomb out of a Q-Tip and a piece of gum. There’s also a 2016 reboot of this one, starring Lucas Till.
11. Magnum, P.I. (1980-1988)
Another beloved action show, Tom Selleck’s most famous role was a breath of fresh air with its fun Hawaii setting and its tropical crime vibe.
12. Miami Vice (1984-1990)
Also in the “tropical crime” category, few shows scream 80’s the way this one: Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas kept Miami safe from vice throughout most of the decade, through big hair and clear-colored pants!
13. Moonlighting (1985-1989)
The show that kick-started Bruce Willis’ career, this deeply underrated series is funny, sweet, and had some of the quirkiest characters on television at that point. It also featured one of the best TV couples ever!
14. Mork & Mindy (1978-1982)
Another beloved alien show, Mork & Mindy gave us to one of the best comedy actors the screen has ever seen: Robin Williams. It’s wild to watch the episodes now and see all the potential that turned him into one of the biggest stars in the world!
15. Who’s the Boss? (1984-1992)
This sitcom survives as one of the most charming shows of a time gone by, with a famous TV couple that’s still one of the most legendary of this medium.