The 80s was my era. Since I was born in 1975, my formative years took place in the 80s and I loved every minute of it. Talk about a time when kids played outside until the lights came on, hung out at the mall, and made memories that we still hold on to even now.
When it came to TV, the 80s was everything. We had so much offered to us through NBC’s Must See TV, ABC’s TGIF, and the birth of Fox. And while the Boob Tube had a lot to offer back then, there were a plethora of programs that came and went but still left an indelible mark on me.
So much so that I am sharing my favorite Five Obscure Television Shows from the 80s. Take a walk down memory lane with me and let me know if you remember any of these programs.
She’s fantastic, made of plastic. Microchips here and there.
If you remember that phrase from the theme song, then you are my people. Small Wonder was one of those shows that was so bad that it was good, and it had preteens like me in a chokehold.
Small Wonder focused on Ted Lawson, an engineer, and his family. He created the Android V.i.c.i (Voice Input Child Identificant) that looked like a 10-year-old girl physically. Vicki (as she was renamed) became a member of the family due to her being an orphan so no one would catch on, and the rest is television history.
The syndicated sitcom followed the Lawson clan and followed what happens as they try to assimilate Vicki to the ways of 80s culture. Of course, nosey neighbors, the Brindles, make things hard because they always seem to pop up at the most opportune moments, making it entertaining, at least for us younger folk at that time.
Out Of This World
Since we are in a Weird Science kind of vibe, it’s only fair that I follow the first entry of this gem of a show with something out of this world. See what I did there?
Out of this World was a syndicated program that focused on Evie and her mother Donna. Pretty non-interesting, right? Well, the hook of the series was that Donna was married to Troy who was an alien from the planet Anteres. They had a baby named Evie, who learned on her thirteenth birthday that she was half-alien because she began to have superpowers.
Troy was summoned back to Anteres shortly after Evie’s birth and her mother ended up raising her on her own. Once she was able to share the truth with her daughter Evie, they both began to communicate with Troy via The Cube in Evie’s room. Troy was voiced by the actor Burt Reynolds.
One of the powers Evie had was the power to stop time. She did this often throughout the series when she was caught in some trouble.
Out of this World was a favorite of mine and I watched it for multiple seasons. Do you remember the show?
Rags To Riches
I’ve already blogged about Rags to Riches before on my blog, but it deserves mentioning here. It was an hour-long dramedy about six (then five) orphans who are adopted by a rich frozen foods magnate who raises them in Bel-Air (before Fresh Prince). What was different about this show was that it featured musical numbers and it took place in the 60s.
What happens when twins from the midwest move to The Big Apple to live with their aunt?
Double Trouble was my jam when I was in the third and fourth grades. I couldn’t wait to see what twins Allison and Kate were up to as they navigated teenagehood as daughters of a widower in Des Moines (first season) and as newbies to New York (second season). It starred twins Jean and Liz Segal who also happened to be the sisters of Katey Segal of Married With Children.
The padded shoulders, 80s music, and whole vibe of the show gave me life back then. It only lasted for two seasons but found another like on the USA Network. What a time.
This ABC sitcom didn’t get a full season but I remember it fondly. Its theme song, “Love Each Other” by the Dimples is one of the greatest unknown theme songs of all time. Truly. Listen to the video below to hear for yourself.
Homeroom focused on a fourth-grade teacher who left his cushy corporate gig to teach inner-city students in New York City. He and his wife live rent-free with her father, and they all try to live happily even though the father isn’t too keen on the situation. It aired from September 16, 1989, to December 17, 1989, and was canceled due to low ratings.
The show only had a 13-episode run, but as a fourteen-year-old, it sticks out as a favorite of mine.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a look back at some shows from the 80s that you may have forgotten.
What are your favorite obscure television shows from the 80s?