Bring That Back: 80s And 90s Sitcoms We Wouldn’t Mind Making A Comeback
These shows helped raise a generation and since shows like “Boy Meets World” and “Beverly Hills 90210” have been revived, here are a few sitcoms from the 80s and 90s that we wouldn’t mind coming back to television with an updated twist.
Many Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen fans may be too young to remember when these identical twins first started out in Hollywood but the rest of us certainly remember Uncle Jesse and the rest of the cast from “Full House.” The show followed widow Danny Tanner as he struggled to raise his three young daughters with the help of his goofy best friend Joey Gladstone and his smoking hot brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis. Many of the show’s viewers tuned in every week to drool over Jesse, played by John Stamos. The long-running show was on the air from 1987 to 1995 but recently there has been talk that “Full House” may be the next 90’s show to be given a second life.
Who could forget the monotone voice robot Vicky from “Small Wonder?” She was built to help handicapped children and was brought home by her creator to get acclimated to a family environment and we quickly fell in love with her as she tried to get an understanding of the humans around her. If brought back today, it would be interesting to see how the Voice Input Child Identicant (V.I.C.I.) would fare in today’s society with so many electronics and technological advances.
An alien life form crash-landed into the Tanners’ garage and “ALF” was born. Viewers fell in love with the floppy-hair, cat-eating alien and the show enjoyed a four-season run. After “ALF” went off of the air, the wise-cracking alien became a part of pop culture history and he was brought back to life in a short-lived animated series. Like many other celebrities, ALF was also given his own talk show, which was modeled after Johnny Carson’s famed late night show. However “ALF’s Hit Talk Show” only lasted for seven episodes.
We loved nerdy Steve Urkel on “Family Matters,” high-water pants, coke bottle glasses, suspenders and all. Soon the show revolved around the breakout character. The sitcom centered around Chicago police officer Winslow and his family. Daughter Laura was hounded incessantly by neighbor Urkel but when he got older and decided to clone himself into the suave and smooth Stefan Urquelle, Laura couldn’t get enough of him. “Family Matters” lasted for nine seasons and became the second-longest Black sitcom on television behind “The Jeffersons.”
“Step By Step”
A lot of families nowadays do not resemble the traditional families of the 50’s and 60’s. More and more families are blended and consist of adopted or step-children. “Step By Step” was an updated version of “The Brady Bunch” with Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Summers playing single parents of three children each who meet one other away on vacation and decide to get married on a whim. The sitcom was a part of ABC’s “TGIF” lineup in the early 90’s and stayed on the network for six seasons before finishing up its seventh and final season on CBS in 1998.
There probably hasn’t been a self-described white trash, working-class family who was more loved than the Conners. Parents Roseanne and Dan may not have had a lot of material things to offer their three children but their Lanford, Illinios home was filled with a lot of love and even more laughs. The popular sitcom was based around Roseanne Barr’s stand up routine and the show lasted for nine seasons.
While “Roseanne” centered around a working-class family that was used to having their electricity shut off for lack of payment, the Keatons were an upper class family. “Family Ties” followed former hippie parents Steven and Elyse raising a family in white suburbia. There was a lot of comedic tension between the peace loving parents and their oldest young Republican son Alex, played by Michael J. Fox. The cultural divide on the show highlighted the difference between parents of the 60’s and their children, who shunned the counterculture and embraced conservative politics and Reagonomics that was popular in the 80’s.
Punky Brewster’s father walked out on his family and then her mother left her and her dog Brandon at a Chicago shopping center. With nowhere else to turn, Brewster found refuge inside of a vacant apartment and the decision to hang out there was a blessing in disguise. The elderly, cantankerous building manager found a soft spot in his heart for Brewster and he became her foster father before he was legally able to adopt her. “Punky Brewster” lasted for two seasons and then a year after it went off of the air, it returned for one more season.
Identical twins Tia and Tamera were separated at birth and adopted by two different people but they were reunited 14 years later. That was the premise of “Sister, Sister” and although it was heartwarming to watch the two girls who had grown up by themselves and always wanted to have a sibling now have their dreams had come true, it was even more entertaining to watch their parents, who obviously had a visible disdain for each other, play nice for the sake of their children.
Each week we tuned in to “Growing Pains” to watch stay-at-home psychiatrist dad Dr. Jason Seaver try to keep order in the house with their three children after wife Maggie went back to work as a reporter. Playboy Mike, his lovable idiotic best friend Boner, bookworm honor student Carol and rambunctious Ben were constantly getting in and out of shenanigans and it was all Dr. Seaver could do to keep from pulling that full head of hair of his out. The show introduced us to teen heartthrob Kirk Cameron but it was little Leonardo DiCaprio who would go on to be a Hollywood titan and one of the most bankable actors today.
“Who’s The Boss?”
We loved watching fish out of water Brooklynite Tony Micelli try to finagle his way through the suburbs as a housekeeper and nanny to rich marketing exec Angela Bower on “Who’s The Boss?” Plus the obvious attraction between Micelli and Bower made for interesting television. The popular sitcom started in the mid 80’s and it helped buff boxer turned actor Tony Danza become a household name. The show also introduced us to child star Alyssa Milano who grew up and is still acting and can be seen on ABC’s “Mistresses.”
“Out Of This World”
Can you imagine being a teenager and going through puberty and then learning that your father was an alien and you had some powers of your very own? That was the premise behind the sitcom “Out Of This World.” The show started in 1987 and Evie Garland learned on her 13th birthday that her father was born on another planet and merged lifeforms with her mother to create her. Evie struggled to figure out how to use her super human abilities and keep them under control and hidden from nosy neighbors and classmates. The show lasted for four seasons and ended with a cliffhanger when Evie’s mother accidentally switched places with her father who came to Earth for a visit and ended up staying for good.