TV shows that don't hold up as well...

Mace Dolex

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Oct 18, 2009
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....whether you either watched them as a kid with rose tinted glasses and thought it was cool at the time or maybe the show wasn't good to begin with so I'll start, and this can pertain to sitcoms, hour long dramas/adventure/mystery.

ALF - as a teenager on the late 80's/90's I thought it was amusing but watching reruns on The Hub after so many years off TV I can't believe such an idiotic idea ever came to pass, the laugh track is clearly tacked on and the jokes are so excrutiatingly bad that I can see now how tough the actors had it.

Mork & Mindy - I didn't care for it as a kid but watching a few episodes it's just plain terrible, storylines are stupid that it's basically Robin Williams doing his schtick for a half hour.

Family Ties - I didn't realize it as a kid how phoney the dialogue is especially the father Steven Keaton saying some inane comment only to have his wife later clarify it for him to get a laugh from the audience.

Knight Rider - yeah as a kid everybody wanted a car like K.I.T.T. but if you take out the car and what few minutes of cool stunts like jumping ravines or super pursuit mode you get stuck with a guy nabbing jewel thieves, scheming real estate developers or the occasional person from Michael Knight's past.
Growing Pains

Because Kirk Cameron ended up being kind of a D-bag. :o
Highway to Heaven.

I still like it but in these more cynical times it's hard not to cringe at least twice an episode.
I'd say most sitcoms haven't aged well. Humor seems to change from era to era.

Then again, a lot of them were never considered very good.

A show like Full House would (thankfully) not work today

A lot of shows actually get progressively worse. Even a few good ones (think the Simpsons).
Hercules: The Legendary Journey. Also not that good to begin with, except for a few episodes here and there, but almost unwatchable now, particularly when compared to Xena (which is also aging but holds up a lot better than its sister show).

Thought it was awesome but seeing some of the eps recently and its pretty crappy.
Seinfeld is still decent, but the callous characters don't seem quite as shocking. And the laugh-track is really grating. Still enjoy it, but it has aged.

Cheers is worse. Used to love it, but can't sit through a full rerun now. The jokes are stale, the punch-lines predictable and the plots don't hold my interest.

NYPD Blue used to be the shocking police drama, but it hasn't held up in a post-'Wire' world.

HBO and other premium channel shows have really changed television and made a lot of old network classics seem quaint and dull in comparison.
I'm gonna have to disagree with you there. I mean, yeah, for the most part, cable series (and as a result, alot of network series) have advanced to the point where alot of the old stuff doesn't look so good anymore. But Seinfeld and Cheers are still damn good, as far as I'm concerned. At least by multi-camera comedy standards.

I'll take both of them over the Big Bang Theory or Two and a Half Men any day of the week.

I have to STRONGLY disagree. I just finished my 2nd re-watch (3 times through including its original airing) and it is still my favorite show of all time. You pick up on things on multiple viewings and the ending still brings me to tears particularly
when Hurley asks Ben if he'll help him run the island
As a 24 year old, I still loved and related to FAMILY TIES when I watched it during college. Not politically. But everything else just seemed every day and worked. Couldn't tell it was dated. Probably because it has the always skilled Michael J. Fox in it.

I'd say SAVED BY THE BELL.... all that tye-die! Wtf?
Small Wonder and Growing Pains. Mr. Belverdere is right up there too. Hercules is another.
Mmmmmmm... Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

I loved this show when I was a kid but every time I try to watch it these days it just seems so cheap and, I dunno... 90s...

Also, all of the characters speak in that highly irritating, proto-Juno speak.
Are these times especially more cynical than the 80s?

That is an interesting question, The Question :yay:

I rememember the 80s as a child and there seemed to be more violence on the street. Lots of things like drive by shootings and gang/drug violence. Gang violence, in particular, seemed to be much bigger in the 80s then today. I don't know if that made it more cynical, but it was a bit different. At least in the U.S. Hmmm....I'm going to pose this question to my friends and see what they think.

Back on topic...

I would add that Balki show to the list and 21 Jump Street.
I noticed some of the animated shows I loved when I was a kid haven't aged well at all.Like Ducktales,Darkwing Duck,and Gummi Bears.Mostly the Disney weekday lineup.Gargoyles on the other hand is still pretty good.
Unsure, film wise it was less (obviously) but didn't live in the 80s - just a fan of 80s cinema. My cousin told me it would be hard for films these days to recapture that aura that was found in films back then because there is a lot more cynicism these days - he's in his early 30s.
I can see that. I don't think it's posible to make a John Hughes movie in his day and age. It is something for a different age.
That's partly due to the nature of the studio system these days. Studios no longer see much of a profit in funding films unless they're extremely low budget or a massively expensive blockbuster. They've gotten out of the habit of investing in 20,000,000 dollar "mid-busters" like Ferris Bueller or Eyes Wide Shut.
Watching an episode of Beast Wars after well over a decade made me very sad indeed.
That definitely makes sense, but I really don't think a movie a la a Hughes film could be made in this day and age. I don't know if it's because we are more cynical, or less able to feel wonderous about the simple things in life because of the advanced technological age. Yet, I just cant see a movie made today capturing the essence of the moment when Watts finally gets her man in Some Kind of Wonderful (my favorite), or when Sam finally gets the dude with the porsche. Forget about something light hearted like skipping school and having a ball like in Ferris Beueller.

Today, I see movies like Project X and think that age of wonder is gone...long gone.


Speaking of old cartoons that didn't date well. I would say the old South Park before 2008 don't hold up well. The newer ones do, but not the old ones. You really see how horrible the animation is and it's hard to overlook.
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Mmmmmmm... Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

I loved this show when I was a kid but every time I try to watch it these days it just seems so cheap and, I dunno... 90s...

Also, all of the characters speak in that highly irritating, proto-Juno speak.

I agree. Buffy hasn't aged nearly as gracefully as Angel has.

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