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Tenpinmaster's avatar

What decade do you think created the best TV shows and movies?

Asked by Tenpinmaster (2925points) January 24th, 2010

What decade (i.e. 1980s or 1990s) do you feel the television industry and movie industry was at its peak. Or do you feel that the best entertainment is still to come?

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19 Answers

Tenpinmaster's avatar

I absolutely loved the 1990s because a huge majority of new ideas for movies and just very interesting TV shows started to blossom during that time. Computer technology really started to change the way we viewed and heard entertainment with special effects, CGI technology, and THX (or equivalent) sound quality. We have really stretched the limits of our imagination during this decade and produced some of the most masterful of movies. I think I am meant to relive the 90’s over and over and over again. I seem to be stuck there. lol

Alleycat8782's avatar

In my personal opinion I believe that the 1980s created the best movies. I am a huge fan of the retro, new wave, and brat pack era. My favorite movies are any classics that starred Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, or Pretty in Pink). As far as tv shows, I would say the 1990s because I grew up watching some amazing cartoons/tv shows (Full House, Doug, Power Rangers, and etc).I just don’t think they can make movies or tv shows better these days. I am just afraid that the future is going to bring more and more reality tv and garbage.

Austinlad's avatar

Agree with @Tenpinmaste that the ‘90s produced some great TV, but so did every decade:

‘50s: I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke
‘60s, Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Route 66, Dick Van Dyke, Eastside/Westside
‘70s: Bob Newhart Show, M*A*S*H
‘80: Star Trek: Next Generation, Hill Street Blues.
And many others in each decade.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I think the 1980’s was a very good decade for music, movies, and television. I’ve seen a little improvement since then (mostly in movies) but also a lot of material to be unhappy about in television (reality television programs especially).

As far as the best entertainment still to come, James Cameron’s ”Avatar” is definite proof that movie magic is still alive and well and evolving and that motion pictures will continue to amaze and improve with technology and new ideas.

Austinlad's avatar

Meant to add that, especially to younger TV viewers, the shows I listed above and others from those decades will look dated and maybe silly. But each was a ground-breaker in its day and set the rules(like third-wall breaking, anthology, sitcom format, and using standup comics to anchor their own shows) and led to the TV shows we watch today, no matter how far out some some of them are.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think I’m going to go with the 1970s.

It was the decade where a new paradigm for producing mass culture performing art had to be created wholesale, since the film studios were dead in all but name (they’re distributors today, instead of the producers, distributors and exhibitors they had been in the past), and there was a freedom to explore new thematic territories with the utter demise of the Hays Office and the mood of the country being more introspective after the tumultuous 1960s.The filmmakers of the 1970s were young enough to have been affected by what went on the decade before, but were now also old enough to explore and work through those deep changes in their art.

The Godfather could not have been made in any other decade, nor Taxi Driver, Star Wars, Network or even Jaws. These wouldn’t be mainstream movies today. Barney Miller, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, Taxi or Soap would be considered too risky of projects for US network TV in the 2010s. Producers and writers were more willing to take those artistic risks in the 1970s. And it wasn’t just in the US, but in other countries as well. Would ANY producer work with the madman Klaus Kinski today? Hell, no!

We wouldn’t be where we are now without the groundbreaking developments in technology and television production and film-making styles of the 1970s.

HA! This feel like the summary of a paper I could have written for Professor Bordwell back at school. Minus the “Hell, no!” of course.

filmfann's avatar

The 70’s!
The Godfather
Apocalypse Now
Star Wars
Annie Hall
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

All In the Family
Barney Miller
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Saturday Night Live (when it was consistanly good)

sweetteaindahouse's avatar

I grew up watching 90s cartoons and they are the best ones that were made in my lifetime (Kablam, Hey Arnold, etc.). Then there are always the classics like Scooby Doo, and Tom and Jerry.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

oh yes.. the cartoons of the 90s were fantastic! Man do i miss those days. I loved coming home and turning on the TV to find my favorite cartoons on. I don’t like the stuff they have out now..

Chongalicious's avatar

It’s all about the 90’s in entertainment!!! No matter how much people just want to put that decade down for being “tacky, corny, etc.” That’s not the point! The 1990’s was a decade where people were truly unafraid to stand out and come up with raw, new ideas; instead of playing the copycat.

ShoulderPadQueen's avatar

im gonna have to go with the 80’s. they had good tv shows and all the action movies with Arnold, Stallone, Willis and all those tough guys. lol

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The decades prior to the proliferation of cheap, unintelligent “reality television” programs, talented writers and directors created excellent, entertaining and thought provoking television series.

Others have lists excellent examples from various decades. Some shows were great hits at the time but don’t hold up well decades later. “Mork” and “Alf” are good examples.

“Mr Ed” and “My Favorite Martian” were cute in their time but audiences quickly became too sophisticated for such fare.

Shows like “MASH” transcend the period they represented and the period in which it was in production.

I believe the 1970s and 1980s produced some of the most enduring television shows along with a lot of garbage best forgotten.

The “Andy Griffith Show” came from much earlier and still plays well today. Other shows from that period such as “Leave it to Beaver” are hopelessly mired in their own time periods.

Shows like the “Ed Sullivan Show” have nothing like them today but they introduced some incredible talent the public might never have had a chance to know and appreciate. Today, real talent has so many other ways to be exposed to the public without requiring the “Variety Show” genre.

American Idol, despite its cynical and sarcastic content that draws and holds much of the audience has launched (and crushed) many previously unknown talents. Without Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, the show will lose the audience for which sponsors pay. The show itself will be no great loss.

Zyx's avatar

@Chongalicious I wanted to flag your post as completely repulsive.

I’d like to think we’re still learning and the old ways will still pop up every now and then so there’s nothing sad about it either. I’m going to go with 00–10 because it was the first one I was completely awake for.

Aster's avatar

The 90’s

Nullo's avatar

@Zyx makes a good point; a lot of us weren’t really paying attention to previous decades as well as others might. I, for one, got started on 90s-era pop culture.

That said, I prefer older sitcoms. I suspect that only the favorites made it to the rerun channel. Never did think much of Mr. Ed or The Bunch of Bradys, but I liked Gilligan’s Island, McHale’s Navy, The Andy Griffith Show, and that one with the genie. And Star Trek, of course. I was disappointed, when I got around to watching The Next Generation, to find out that Picard was wussier than Kirk.

cletrans2col's avatar

No question to me that it’s the 70s. All in the Family, Sanford and Son, the Jeffersons; those shows still make me laugh, and that is a credit to the writing. Now I don’t mind going to the lowest denominator, but I like the shows that do comedy in an underhanded way.

I’d say the same for movies, too. It was all about the talent in front of and behind the lens,not played special effects (I’m looking at you, Michael Bay).

Ladymia69's avatar

I think they all had their own incredible moments.

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