Monday, November 3, 2008

Mr. T versus Alf?

When it comes to the Hulu Award for Best Show of the Eighties, our panelists are very divided. After starting with a list of 28 eligible shows, we now have a sweet sixteen list of proposed nominees.

Remember, readers of The Hulu Review and the general public can vote on their favorite shows in the comments section of this post. The total audience vote equals one panel member.

Here are the nominees. Below, check out what our panelists have to say about them.

The A Team
The Facts of Life
Hill Street Blues
The Incredible Hulk
Married With Children
Miami Vice
Remington Steele
Silver Spoons
St. Elsewhere
WKRP in Cincinnati
Who's the Boss?
The White Shadow
Fantasy Island


Sam from (read his full, witticism-filled post for more)

The White Shadow: I absolutely loved this show when I was in high school. A lot of my friends were on the basketball team and we would sit around the day after it showed every week talking about it the way we all talked about BtVS a few years ago. A wonderful drama with heart that almost never disappointed, even when I really didn’t agree with its conclusion.Fame: Another great CBS drama that I didn’t really discover until the ‘90s. I had a job where I spent every night basically watching tv and this became a staple for all of us there. A teen drama not very much different from The White Shadow, this was interesting in the same way. And it had Khan’s wife on it, as one of the kid’s mother.

Hill Street Blues: NBC also struck gold in this decade with the cop drama, and this Steven Bochco creation was fantastic. The forerunner to NYPD Blue, this was hard hitting for its time and holds up very well today. And there’s the ep where Bochco took a script from his own little watched Judd Hirsch vehicle Delvecchio and remade it virtually shot for shot. Waste not, want not.

The Facts of Life: Why? Because I did like it and there were any one of about seven shows I could have picked for this last one, and I hadn’t picked a sitcom for the ‘80s. It was just a fun show to watch.

John from (read his full, witticism-filled post for more)

Miami Vice
– While quality-wise this may not be the best show on the list, Miami Vice is the eighties. From the hair, to the outfits, to the slick production, to the MTV meets Cop Drama premise (literally it began life when an exec at NBC scratched “MTV-Cops” on a piece of paper) this series embodies much of what characterized that decade so it belongs at the top of this list. And it was a pretty good show to boot.

Hill Street Blues – For better or worse, this show changed the cop show genre and moved it away from action-oriented shows to drama. And Hill Street Blues presented some pretty riveting drama throughout its run (while also adding a healthy dose of black humor). This show set the template for many of the crime dramas that would follow in the years to come.

WKRP in Cincinnati – This irreverent and often chaotic series ranks as one of the all-time best sitcoms and managed to stay funny throughout its run.

The White Shadow – A unique series that took a rather real look at urban life among predominately minority teen-agers. It wasn’t afraid to address the issues faced by young people and to often provide realistic if unsatisfying conclusions.


Emily from

Benson was a show that challenged racial stereotypes of its time, while also providing intelligent humor. It's nice to see how far we've come concerning racial issues - some of the situations this sitcom dealt with seem completely foreign now.

The Facts of Life is a show I grew up with. I always loved the shows that aired long enough to see the characters grow up, and that was the case here. It was fun to see Blair, Tootie, Natalie, and Jo learn the facts of life together. Plus, this show introduced us to a young George Clooney.
"Mr. McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." A classic line from my favorite '80s show: The Incredible Hulk. From the haunting opening theme to David Banner's lonely walk down a desolate highway as the credits rolled, I was always hooked. As a child, I was slightly disturbed by the sight of the massive green Hulk, with his shaggy hair and ragged remnants of clothing. But David Banner's journey across America, during which he was always helping other people while searching for a cure for his condition, was never dull. In my opinion, Lou Ferrigno was a better Hulk than any CGI version will ever be. Maybe he wasn't a top-notch actor, but as a human, he had the ability to convey emotion, which made viewers care more about him. And Bill Bixby was well cast as Dr. Banner. This show proved that American viewers enjoy following the adventures of a person who cares more about the people around him than himself, despite serious personal issues (similar to Quantum Leap a decade later). Part drama, part suspense, plus lots of cheesy goodness: The Incredible Hulk was in a class of its own.

Lindsay from :

Married with Children. I wasn't allowed to watch this when it first came on because it was too raunchy. But that is why I chose it. It was the first of its kind: rude and offensive. Roseanne followed soonafter. Now we all sorts of those kinds of shows.

Miami Vice. I couldn't bring myself to watch the remake, but weren't Crockett and Tubbs just the smoothest? And the clothes are the epitome of 80s cool.

Facts of Life. Not sure why this one stuck out to me but I had to choose it. Was it the grouping of a really diverse group of girls in a house? That isn't all that exciting now (see any reality TV show), but I sure like it at the time. Plus, who doesn't love to say Tootie?


Liz from

Alf--I loved this show as a kid, but now fully appreciate Alf's snarkiness that totally flew over my head during it's broadcast years.

The Facts of Life--This show is one of my all-time favorites...watching now the four-female ensemble kind of reminds me of an earnest pre-"Sex and the City."

WKRP--A fantastic show with compelling characters...and most of the time it straddles both comedy and drama which always makes things much more interesting.


Rae from

Miami Vice - It brought a whole new style and look to TV during the 80s that I think we still see reflected in the shows of today. Married with Children - Much like how I think Miami Vice helped change the look of TV, I think Married with Children helped usher in a new era of sitcoms. Along with shows like Roseanne, it really helped change the type of families we could expect to see on a sitcom. Families that, in some ways, were more like your average family than the typical "sitcom family." St. Elsewhere - Though I'm not a huge medical drama fan, there's no denying St. Elsewhere helped pave the path for the many reality-based medical dramas that followed in its wake. Plus, it had an outstanding cast. The A-Team - It had it all. Action, adventure, comedy, and heart. Plus, Hannibal and BA Baracus.


Antonice from

The Facts of Life-- I enjoyed watching this show,in fact, I still do. How can you not enjoy the antics of Jo, Natalie, Blair and Tootie. This, in my eyes, defined a generation of TV viewers. I mean...come brought us Different Stokes! Also, Molly Ringwald was in the first few episodes of this show!

The Incredible Hulk-- Ok. I didn't exactly watch this when it aired but I watched the repeats on the Scifi Channel a few years back and reacquainted myself with the show. I loved it. He means no harm unless provoked and, even then, he tries to apologize for trying to hurt people. He means well and gets a bad wrap.I hate that!

Who's The Boss--I did watch this when it was on air. I still get a few shows in here and there. It showed a single dad trying to make ends meet and take care of his daughter as he watches her grow up. It has some great funny parts and it introduces the world to Alyssa Milano. I love Charmed but, that's a different time and different category!

Fantasy Island--I am a late- 80's kid and caught the tail end of some of these shows. I watched some of these in syndication on TV-Land or Nick At Night. I got into this show by accident. I was flipping through the channels and caught it on Nick at Night and, I was hooked ever since. I even tried watching the updated version they tried to do a few years back that didn't last very long!!


Tamara from

The A-Team - Seriously. It's The A-Team. People who don't like Mr. T have no souls.

The Incredible Hulk - This was always a little too depressing for me as a kid but Bill Bixby is a fantastic actor and deserves as much recognition as possible.

Remington Steele - I loved, loved, loved this show when I was a kid. I was like, five or six when it first came on and I totally had a crush on Pierce Brosnan.

Silver Spoons - Because seeing mini-Jason Bateman again after all these years warms the cockles and sub-cockles of my heart.


Sara said...

Remington Steele! That show is amazing. :)

Anonymous said...

Fantasy Island by far!
Ricardo Montalban is so classy!

John said...

Laura Holt & Remington Steele!

Andrew said...

Married with Children, FTW!