80s TV Shows: Zealous Zone

The EqualiZer
1985 - 1989

Click image to watch opening...yeah, still ringing no bells
Kind of a bummer that I have to end this blog challenge w/ a show I'd never even heard of before.  Other than The Young Ones, I just didn't watch too much TV between '85-'89, so if it didn't stretch into the 90s or come back in syndication, it was lost on me.  Anyone out there ever watch this detective show starring Edward Woodward as Robert McCall?

"Don't do something you won't live to regret."

In the pilot episode, a regular from Seinfeld appears as the character who gave McCall his nickname, the Equalizer.  Anyone care to make a guess what actor that was?  

On Monday I'll post all the answers to my 80s TV Show trivia questions along w/ links and kudos to everyone who got them right. :) It was lovely seeing you all and getting to visit your A to Z posts.  Much thanks to Arlee, Alex, Talli, Jen, Jeffrey, Candace, Karen & Stephen for organizing the fun! 


80s TV Shows: Youthful Yutzes

The Young Ones
1982 - 1984

Watch hilarious clip that includes Hugh Laurie!
Aha, so I guess it was the reruns on MTV that I was glued to during college.  Before that it was only on BBC. I imagine if you weren't just the right age at the time Rick, Vyvyan, Neil and Mike might've passed you right by.  

The Young Ones was a great show, even if it did mark the beginning of the end of strictly videos on so-called Music Television.  But hey, at least it featured a live band on every episode---and the reason for that was there was no money in the BBC budget for a sit-com, and adding live music allowed it to be classified in another category.

It was horrible. I sat in the big hall and put my pocket of Polos on the desk. And my spare pencil and my support gonk. And my chewing gum and my extra pen. And my extra Polos and my lucky gonk. And my pencil sharpener shaped like a cream cracker. And more gonks with a packet of Polos in each. And lead for my retractable pencil. And my retractable pencil. And spare lead for my retractable pencil. And chewing gum and pencils and pens and more gonks, and the guy says "Stop writing, please."

What was the occupation of three of the four cast members (all but the actor who played Mike) before The Young Ones?

More info about The Young Ones and other 80s TV Shows


80s TV Shows: Xenohuman Xanthrocroid

MaX Headroom
1987 - 1988 
(Come on, I can't be the only one cheating on X day)

Click image to watch Max in a Coke commercial
I never even knew before now that Max Headroom had his own series; I thought he just did Coke commercials (1986).  But he started with The Max Headroom Show in the UK, in which he played videos and talked in-between.  Then there was a TV movie, Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into the Future, which provided Max's background (he's the result of an experiment in a world taken over by television).  ABC took interest and asked the producers to make episodes of an all-new Max Headroom sci-fi TV series for the U.S. market. 
...Anyone else's head hurt?

"How can you tell a network executive is lying? His lips move!"

What is Max Headroom's name derived from?

Next week I'll post the answers to all my 80s TV trivia questions.:) 

More info on Max Headroom and other 80s TV shows


80s TV Shows: Wild about Winnie

The Wonder Years
1988 - 1993

Click image to watch original show opening
Possibly thee cutest series ever on TV.  This is a double look back, because we're looking back at this 80s show that looked back at growing up in the 60s/70s.  What made it even more fun for my family was that my sister was Winnie Cooper's 1980s doppelgänger---no wonder Fred Savage's character had such a crush on her throughout the series!

"When you're a little kid you're a bit of everything: scientist, philosopher, artist. Sometimes it seems like growing up is giving these things up one at a time."

This coming of age TV series was inspired by a classic 1983 movie.
Can you name the movie? 


80s TV Shows: Visiting Viking

1982 - 1983

Click image to watch Voyager! opening
This was a one-season time travel series about a pirate from the past who travels around fixing "problems" throughout time with a boy he saved in 1982.  I don't believe I ever saw this one, but in this photo, the pirate guy looks exactly like my high school boyfriend (or at least how I remember him).  It's kinda freakin' me out, actually.  Moving on...

"When the omni's red, it means history's wrong, its' our job to get everything back on track."

The guy who looks like my boyfriend, Jon-Erik Hexum, was expected to be the next big thing in Hollywood, but he tragically died in 1984 as the result of an accident with a prop revolver on set of his new TV series, Cover Up.

More information on Voyager! and other 80s TV Shows


80s TV Shows: Unraveling Uncertainty

Unsolved Mysteries
1987 - It's still going!

Click image to watch a 1987 promo
Although it's hopped around from network to network and had gaps in production, for the majority of the last quarter century, Unsolved Mysteries has transmitted goosebumps over TV airwaves as it re-enacts real life mysteries---including unsolved crimes, missing persons, conspiracy theories, and unexplained paranormal-like phenomena. Mwahahah!

"Whenever possible, the actual family members and police officials have participated in recreating the events. What you are about to see is not a news broadcast."

The concept of the show is based on a series of three specials run on NBC in 1986.  The success of these specials, which focused only on missing persons, led to an expanded focus and the creation of Unsolved Mysteries as we know it today.  Does anyone remember the name of those three 1986 specials?

More info on Unsolved Mysteries and other 80s TV shows 


80s TV Shows: Turbulent Tranquility

1987 - 1991

Click image to watch thirtysomething opening theme

If it was "A" day, I guess I'd call this one Angsty Adults.

As barely twentysomething during the tenure of this late 80s TV show, I didn't really get what they were all whining about.  Now that I'm a fortysomething...please God, let me be past all that.

"I mean, Michael's cute and all, but how much fun can it be sitting at home watching him sulk night after night?"

This series was influenced by a 1983 movie that also featured an ensemble cast of baby boomer yuppies.  What move was it? 

More info on thirtysomething and other 80s TV Shows


80s TV Shows: Sassy Students

Saved by the Bell

Click on image to watch opening theme
Little did the youthful cast of this high school comedy know that they were destined to become the C-list celebrities of the future.

"I like school... it's a good way to kill time between weekends."

Only four of Saved by the Bell's seven regular characters (pictured here) appeared in each of the TV show's eighty-six episodes. Can you name them?

More info on Saved by the Bell and other 80s TV shows


80s TV Shows: Reluctant Romance

Remington Steele
1982 - 1987

Click image to watch Remington Steele Intro.
Hullo, Pierce Brosnan.What I remember most about this show is being freaked out that my mom had such a crush on the man masquerading as Remington Steele, the fictitious boss invented by independent P.I. Laura Holt. 

"Someone ALWAYS shoots at us when we're kissing!"

One of the show's early writers and producers, Glenn Gordon Caron, quit after the first ten episodes to start his own production company.  He went on to write and produce another hit 80s TV show, also about a pair of bickering "I hate you/I love you" detectives.  Know what it was?

More info on Remington Steele and other 80s TV Shows


80s TV Shows: A Quirky Quandary

Quantum Leap

Click image to watch a fan-made Quantum Leap video
I think my favorite part of this show was each week's ending---when Sam Beckett, scientific genius, would wake up in a new body, in a new time & place, usually in the midst of some sort of "Oh, sh!#" moment. Or as Sam would say "Oh, boy..."

Al (Sam's wisecracking sidekick who appeared to him through time as a hologram): "Don't do anything I wouldn't do. And if you do, take pictures."

Scott Bakula was recently (type) cast in as another scientific genius with recurring appearances in a contemporary NBC show.  He played Orion, the long-missing father of what lovable nerd/spy?

More info on Quantum Leap and other 80s TV shows


80s TV Shows: Paradoxical Peers

Perfect Strangers

Click image to see the Dance of Joy
This TV show was the odd couple of the 80s, with highly-strung "Cousin Larry" and the effervescent, naive, and hilarious Balky Bartokomous, fresh off the Mediterranean isle of Mypos.

"Don't be ridiculous."
"Oh Cousin, congratulations! Your ship has finally hit the fan."

 Perfect Strangers is set in one of the greatest cities in America, nay the world, with many famous city icons featured in the opening credits.  What city is it? 

More info on Perfect Strangers---Seriously, a whole website dedicated to his and no other 80s TV shows!


80s TV Shows: Outlandish Obscurity

Out of this World
1987 - 1991

Click image to hear the trivia voice
Does anybody even remember this one from the 80s?  Apparently this Evie girl was half human and half alien and lived in California...ring any bells?  None whatsoever for me.

"Do sharks like swimsuits made out of beef jerky?"

The famous actor who did the voice of Evie's alien father (who's never seen) asked for his name to not be in the credits, since he was only doing this as a favor to the producers.  Care to guess who that was?  Hint:  He was also involved in another TV show at the time---Evening Shade.

More info on Out of this World and other 80s TV shows


TV Land Awards---Tonight!

Speaking of 80s TV Shows...tonight is the TV Land Awards show, featuring Family Ties, The Cosby Show, and Facts of Life. Welcome Back Kotter too ('75 - '79).   To top it off Hall & Oats will perform!!!  Nice timing, huh?

And today my interview has posted at iZombie's  Two Thumbs, Eight Fingers review blog. Thanks iZom. ;)


80s TV Shows: Naughty Nocturnal Nonsense

We're over the half-way hump!  Can you believe it?  Thank you all for playing along w/ my triva madness.  After we get through this blog challenge, I'll post a listing of all the answers along w/ a link to blogs of those who guessed right!

And tomorrow, iZombie is going to post a 20 questions interview with me at his Two Thumbs, Eight Fingers review site. :) 
Night Court
1984 - 1992

Click image to watch a Night Court short
This crazy cast of characters and their corny schtick were the perfect match for the nutty cases coming to night court.  Night Court was a part of NBC's legendary "Must See Thursday" line-up, which included uber successful 80s TV shows: The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Cheers.

"Your Honor, according to witnesses, Miss Congeniality led the attack with a kick to the groin."

Harry Anderson, who played unconventional judge Harry Stone on Night Court, also played the recurring role of trickster con-man Harry the Hat on which of the other "Must See Thursday" shows?

More info. on Night Court and other 80s TV shows


80s TV Shows: Marvelous Man

Magnum P.I.
1980 - 1988

Click image for opening theme
This tongue-in-cheek action series, featuring Tom Sellek as Thomas Magnum, private investigator, was one of the most popular TV shows on Thursday nights in the 80s.  Magnum P.I. was made more fun by quirky sidekicks---Higgins, TC & Rick---and its Hawaiian setting.   

"You might try the strawberry jam too, it’s really quite good. An old comrade from the Burma campaign sent it to me -- Tanky Moran. Got his name when he single-handedly took on a Japanese tank and knocked it out...now he’s selling jam in Devonshire."

Throughout the series, we never get to see Magnum's mysterious absentee employer, Robin Masters.  Producers had eventually planned to reveal a very famous actor/director as the mysterious Masters, but the actor died before the end of the series.  Any idea who that might've been?

More info. on Magnum P.I. and other 80s TV Shows


80s TV Shows: Legal Lackeys

L.A. Law
1986 - 1994

Click image for LA Law opening theme
This ensemble drama centered on the lives and trials of professionals at an L.A. law firm and brought us the likes of Arnie Becker and the triumphant return of Laurie Partridge to a TV series. L.A. Law is one of my all time favorite 80s TV shows because it's sexy, smart, and funny.

 "Bigamy. Bigamy! Do you know how rare it is? This is the divorce lawyer equivalent to a hole-in-one!"

What was the name of the law firm they all worked for?


80s TV Shows: KITT and Kaboodle

Knight Rider
1982 - 1986

Click image for Knight Rider intro
Who could forget the Hoff and his crime-fighting car, KITT?  The idea for the show was the result of Brandon Tartikoff jokingly pitching "The Man of Six Words."  The trouble with casting handsome men in lead roles was that few of them could act---so Tartikoff suggested a show where the guy says six words and the car does most of the talking. Execs love it!

"Keep your scanners peeled."

On KITT's jumps, the shot often switches to another angle---like Michael driving---because more often than not, the stunt car's front end was totaled upon landing.
What is KITT's exact make and model (year too)? 

More info. on Knight Rider and other 80s TV Shows


80s TV Shows: Jarring Justice

So the consensus on yesterday's show was pretty much "It's a...huh?"  Does this one sound more familiar?
Jake and the Fatman

Click image to watch intro.
In this one hour crime drama, a veteran District Attorney teamed up with a young private investigator to solve cases. The show started in L.A., moved to Hawaii, and then came back to L.A.

"If you were a lady, honey, you wouldn't have called me over here without clothes on."

Jake and the Fatman was supposed to be canceled after its first season, but it was saved when another 80s TV show ended and CBS wanted to make use of the expensive unexpired lease on that show's studio facilities in Hawaii---what show might that've been, hm?  


80s TV Shows: Impish Interactions

It's a Living

Click image to watch opening theme
The history of this 80s TV sit-com about a group of waitresses and a cheeky piano player in a swanky restaurant atop a skyscraper is surprisingly complicated.  It first ran in 1980, changed its name to "Making a Living" in 1981, got canceled in 1982, then picked up in syndication in 1983 where it caught a following, and began making new shows again (w/ the original name "It's a Living") in 1985.

"Ladies and gentlemen, are we in for a treat tonight---we have with us a group of acrophobiacs, who despite their morbid fear of heights are going to sit by the window.  Should be interesting." 

Part of the shows success on its second run is attributed to Ann Jillian's public announcement of her struggle with breast cancer---she was one of the first celebrities to do so, and viewers wanted to show their support. 


80s TV Shows: Huge Hit

Hill Street Blues

Click image to watch opening theme
This is the original "ensemble drama" featuring the overworked staff of an urban police precinct.  Hill Street Blues set the stage for many other successful 80s TV shows of the same genre (e.g. L.A. Law, Thirtysomething).

"Hey, let's be careful out there."

"Oh my Gawd! Here it is Christmas Eve, and I'm gonna get shot dead in a moose suit!"

The show is set in an anonymous city, but do you know which real city it's based on?


80s TV Shows: Groovy Geriatrics

Golden Girls
1985 - 1992

Click image to watch the ladies buy condoms
Picture this---Miami, 1985...four single women of very different personalities decide to live together after being widowed/divorced.  Hilarity ensues.

"Like we say in St. Olaf, Christmas without fruitcake is like St. Sigmund's Day without the headless boy."

Two of the actresses were originally supposed to play different roles, but they worried about being typecast so they traded.  Which of these two do you think it was: Sophia, Blanche, Rose, Dorothy?   

Since we're speaking of the letter G, I'd like to cordially invite anyone who'll be in or near the Fox Valley (western Chicago suburbs) on April 28th to my event, Grapes & Guys

We'll be pairing a wine with each of the Daves from Three Daves!

Afterwards, I'll post the wine selections here. :)


80s TV Shows: Fabulous Family Fun

Family Ties

Click image to watch opening theme
Michael J. will always be Alex P. to me.  This TV show can still make me laugh as much to day as it did back in the 80s.  Why do I never see this one in syndication?  

"Of all the Basic Applied Economic Principles of Capitalism in the Post-Industrial Era Seminars in the world, you had to walk into mine."

What Oscar-winning actor played Elyse Keaton's alcoholic brother?  Too easy?  Fine, who's picture was on lil' Alex's lunchbox.


80s TV Shows: Think ER Wasn't on TV in the 80s? Think Again.

1984 - 1985

Click image to see the trivia answer in action
I know!  Crazy, right?  I found out about this other E/R TV show during the trivia game at one of the 80s themed book clubs I went to.  80s E/R was a sitcom, but like the later ER, it was also based in Chicago.

"Stay back of the white line!"

A regular cast member of the later ER was also a regular on all 22 episodes of this E/R.  Do you know who?

More info. on E/R and other 80s TV Shows


80s TV Shows: D is For a Whole Decade of Decadence

1981 - 1989

Click image for a Krystal/Alexis Catfight
This was a daytime soap dressed way up for 80s prime time TV.  The Carringtons brought us blatant greed, sex and cattiness...and I'm pretty sure my parents wouldn't let me watch it. Dangit.

Alexis: "Nobody takes me to bed and to the cleaners in one night."

One of the main cast members regularly vetoed any story lines involving adultery.  Whoever could that have been?  By the way, after this blog challenge is over, I'll post the answers to these 80s TV trivia questions along w/ links to those who got each answer right.

For anyone hungry for more 80s nostaliga, Liz P over at 8-Bit Words is featuring 80s childhood memories throughout the A to Z challenge.

More info on Dynasty and other 80s TV shows


80s TV Shows: Cheers all around!

1982 - 1993

Click image for Cheers Theme song
Sammy and the gang are so timeless, I forget this TV show began its lengthy tenure in the midst of 80s pop culture.

Norm: "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear." 

 One of the original regulars wasn't even in the script until the actor (after auditioning for and not getting the part of Norm) created an impromptu character on the spot and impressed the producers. Everybody at Cheers knew his name...do you?

More info on Cheers and other 80s TV Shows 

Taking this A to Z theme even further, Cali Cheer Mom, hostess of the weekly Meet an Author Monday blog hop is out of town at what else...a cheer competition!  So I'm hosting that hop this week.  Good luck to your girls, Lisa!

Authors!  Have a book out?  Are you under contract for publication?  Make sure you join in the hop. This is a great way to network your blog and let readers know who you are! Here's how it works:

  • Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well.  Leave a comment as you hop from blog to blog!  We'd love to chat with you!
  • Follow any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
  • You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
  • Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
  • The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
  • To make it easier for followers, please included the code with the hop list in your post.  Click "Get the code here" below and grab it.  


80s TV Shows: B is for Bosoms and Buddies

Bosom Buddies

Click image to watch the opening
That's right younglings, before Tom Hanks wore a space suit or a military uniform or a tux to the Oscars, he wore a wig and a dress...and called himself Buffy so he and his roommate could take advantage of cheap rent at the Susan B. Anthony residence for women.

"She certainly gives credence to those rumors Eva Braun made it out."

The series was short-lived (and rightly so) but when Tom Hanks started attracting attention for his role in a popular 1984 movie, ABC bought the rights to Bosom Buddies and re-aired select episodes.  Know what that movie was?


Let the Blog Challenge Begin!

So here we are at the A to Z Blog Challenge. :) Each day of the challenge, I'll bring my visitors back in time to a hit TV Show from the 80s---one for each letter of the alphabet. And I promise to keep it bite-sized.  Today we have:


Click image to watch 22 second clip
Remember this furry, cat-eating, smart-ass from the planet Melmac? 

"Putting humans in charge of the earth is the cosmic equivalent of letting Eddie Murphy direct."

ALF is actually an acronym.  Know what it stands for?

More info on ALF and other 80s TV Shows