Many of you reading this post probably grew up during the 1980’s. Great news is that it’s time to delve into some nostalgia again on the Junk Mail blog. Today I’m featuring 3 top rated television shows from the 1980’s.
Let’s face it folks, television has changed a lot since the 1980’s. Nowadays TV schedules are dominated by reality shows and an over abundance of adverts for products that you don’t really need. In case you did not know, a TV show might be scheduled for an hour, but in the United States 18 minutes of that hour is dedicated to advertising. I’m speaking under correction, but I think that rate used to be a lot lower back in the 1980’s.
The A-Team: If you grew up in South Africa in the 1980’s you will most certainly be familiar with this show about four Vietnam veterans who were framed for a crime they didn’t commit and devoted their time to help the innocent while they were on the run from the military. The A-Team first aired back in 1983. 98 episodes of the series aired until 1987.
During this period John “Hannibal” Smith (played by George Peppard), Lieutenant Templeton “The Faceman” Peck (played by Dirk Benedict), Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock (played by Dwight Schultz) and Sergeant First Class Bosco B.A. Baracus (played by Mr. T) became household names in many countries around the world.
In case you did not know, the initials B.A. stand for ‘Bad Attitude’ and Murdock’s real first name was never revealed throughout the entire series. After the series ended in 1987 there was some talk about an A-Team reunion and a TV movie where the A-Team was given a full pardon for their crimes, but idea was completely dropped when George Peppard died in 1994. However, an A-Team movie was finally released in 2010 and featured cameo appearances by some of the cast members of the TV show. The A-Team was definitely one of the top rated shows from the 1980’s and even though it aired for the the first time nearly 40 years ago, it’s still as good as it was back then.
Airwolf: This show will always be remembered as “the show with the fast helicopter“. In case you forgot, Airwolf was about a renegade pilot going on missions in an advanced battle helicopter as part of a deal with an intelligence agency to look for his missing brother.
The main character in the show was Stringfellow Hawke (played by Jean-Michael Vincent). The show also featured appearances by Alex Cord (who played Michael Coldsmith Briggs III) and Ernest Borigine (who played Stringfellow’s sidekick Dominic Santini).
79 Episodes of Airwolf aired from 1984 to 1986. It was definitely one of the most popular TV shows in South Africa in the 1980’s. The producers of Airwolf actually needed special permission from the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) for Airwolf to fly with its weapons deployed. The weapons were props, but the FAA insisted on it. The helicopter used in the series was actually a Bell 222 and was used as an air ambulance after the show was cancelled. The show also spawned 8 Airwolf themed video games.
There has been talk of an Airwolf movie, but nothing substantial has been announced yet. The fact remains that this was definitely one of the top rated television shows from the 1980’s.
MacGyver: Arguably this was the most popular show on South African TV back in the 1980’s. 139 episodes of MacGyver aired on TV from 1985 until 1992. MacGyver featured the adventures of a secret agent armed with an almost infinite skill of scientific resourcefulness. The main character was played by Richard Dean Anderson (who later gained fame for his role in Stargate SG-1). Dana Alcar played Macgyver’s boss and best friend Pete Thornton.
Dana Elcar started suffering from glaucoma during the time the series was airing and started losing his sight in real life, the makers of the show gave his TV character the same condition.
Also, the “MacGyverisims” that were shown in the show (for example, Macgyver building a bomb out of the simplest ingredients) are all based on scientific fact, but not all of the steps needed to create the experiment were shown in the series. The makers of Macgyver did this to prevent children from trying to copying the experiments and injuring themselves.
MacGyver was definitely one of the top rated television shows from the 1980’s, there’s no doubt about that in my mind. Richard Dean Anderson became a household name and audiences were reminded that they could do anything if they put their minds into it.
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Great news if you want to relive the glory of these shows: All three of them have been released on DVD over the last few years. If you’re not finding them in the shops, turn your eyes towards the Movies and DVDs category on Junk Mail.
If you’ve got any classic TV shows on DVD that you need to sell, you’re more than welcome to advertise them on Junk Mail.
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