I am a tad bit biased, but the 80s was the best time to grow up. We latchkey kids often arrived from school to empty houses with large console televisions and Atari gaming systems. We had our Cabbage Patch Kids and Transformers to keep us company as the boob tube acted as our babysitter until one or both of our parents came home from work.
What a time!
I miss my childhood, but luckily, as a way to midlife way to soothe myself, I’ve found that I can go back in time with the help of YouTube. With a YouTube account, I can be transported to a simpler time when the Cold War raged on, Reganomics trickled down, and being able to do the moonwalk made you popular.
Here’s A Generation X Guide to Watching YouTube:
Did you know that some of your favorite 80s TV shows are on YouTube–for free? If you want to wax nostalgic, just type your favorite 80s TV show in the search bar and you’re sure to stumble on a bunch of hidden gems and obscure 80s sitcoms that’ll bring back some memories.
Some of my favorite 80s classics to watch on YouTube are Webster, Double Trouble, 227, and Small Wonder. I dare you to go to YouTube and search for your old favorites.
Remember the Time
The 80s were a newsworthy time, as we didn’t know if the Cold War would result in the end of the world as we knew it. YouTube has various press and worthy news items of the time like the Tylenol Murders, the Challenger Disaster, Adam, the Cabbage Patch Kids craze, and so much more.
Weird History’s ‘Timeline’ series on YouTube does a great job recapping each year of the 1980s with all of the news and goings on in chronological order.
Video Killed the Radio Star
Speaking of going down memory lane, the 80s were the peak period for pop videos, and there were plenty of one-hit wonders that were on top one day and in the clearance section the next. Even if it was a minor hit, chances are that the video is on YouTube for you to fall in love with all over again.
Need an example? Michael and Janet Jackson were the King and Queen of the 80s, but their sisters La Toya and Rebbie both had minor hits themselves, resulting in memorable videos that–yes–are on YouTube.
Go ahead and try your luck. Search for your favorite 80s one-hit wonder faves on YouTube.
Another method of self-soothing that I enjoy doing is watching vintage commercials on YouTube. There is hours and hours worth of 70s, 80s, and 90s era commercials on the platform, and I find myself watching them while doing other things around the house. It takes me back to my childhood, and I remember many of the commercials still by heart.
Here’s a gem from 1986 that I know line by line to this day. Do you remember this one?
When it’s the holiday season, I like to watch old holiday-themed commercials, often awed by the low cost of things back then.
The Movie of the Week
I grew up during the era of The Movie of the Week, which usually appeared on one of the Big 3 Networks on Saturday or Sunday night. Sometimes, these were miniseries events that took up several nights of television viewing. Miniseries like The Thornbirds were popular, and Danielle Steele’s books turned into TV movies were par for the course. Monday Night and Sunday Night movies were also a thing.
The made-for-tv movie genre of the 80s got even larger in the 90s and resulted in what is now known as Lifetime movies.
Kate’s Secret was a popular made-for-tv movie from 1986 and starred Meredith Baxter Birney about a mom and wife who suffered from anorexia nervosa.
There’s so much Gen X goodness on YouTube, and if you are into taking a stroll down memory lane, can give you hours of viewing pleasure.
I hope you will put my Generation X Guide to Watching YouTube to use. Let me know what you think.
What are your 80s and 90s YouTube picks?