Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Kromm

Sell By Date Expiration: Old Shows That Don't Stand Up To The Test Of Time

Recommended Posts

What shows have "aged" the worst?

To be clear, these should be shows that seemed pretty good the first time around.  The criteria you use after that can vary.  It can be that repeated viewings weaken the experience (that you see more and more weaknesses).  It can be that elements in the show are simply less understandable years later because the culture has changed.   It can be that the effects, acting, film stock used, etc. don't hold up and are intrusive.  It can be that time passing has made it seem corny.  Or any combination of these.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

As much as they a defining part of my generation's childhood, the Steven Spielberg animated shows. Wall-to-wall dated pop culture references, some of which were already dated even as they were airing.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Babylon 5. As much as I liked it, the CG effects haven't dated well. I'm thinking of one particular space ship that was meant to be pretty advanced. It had an odd design, but that was about it. I think it was meant to be either crystaline or organic, but the texture didn't uphold that idea. And the comedy subplots weren't funny either. They only served to take away from the drama instead of highlight it.

Share this post


Link to post

I remember as a teen I loved "Wonder Woman" - I knew it was camp, but Linda Carter was so perfect. I've been watching the reruns on MeTV every Saturday, and I can't believe how corny it is. (Linda Carter spinning into Wonder Woman is still one of my favorite TV moments, though!)

Edited by MaryMitch
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

A lot of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons don't do it for me. With Boomerang showing them, and my children rolling into the age group where they might want to check them out, I thought it would be fun to watch some stuff I watched when I was a kid.  As it turns out, I would much rather watch some of the newer stuff on Disney and Nick than I would almost any old episode of any Hanna-Barbera cartoon.

 

Having said that, Boomerang is also showing the old Warner Brothers cartoons, and they are just as awesome today as they were when I was a kid. Giant Acme steel ball to the head will always be funny.

Edited by JTMacc99
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

One of the many reasons I don't like watching reruns of Friends is that I cannot stand seeing their awful clothes.

I never got the whole Rachel hairstyle hoopla.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Most dramas made in the eighties and early nineties I can't deal with any more because the clothes, jewelry, and hair styles make me crazy in retrospect.  I adored Miami Vice but my god, the shoulder pads, the chunky gold jewelry, the big hair, the red red lipstick!  No socks with a suit!  Argh.  They were all about catching drug dealers but it was the fashion that was the true crime. 

It's odd to me that a show like The Brady Bunch actually feels less dated now than Miami Vice.  Both are totally outdated in what people wear and look like, but with The Brady Bunch, because (I at least) don't have active personal memories of the early 1970s, I can treat it like a period piece a lot easier.

That said, even though I was around on this planet and old enough to remember, I didn't live IN MIAMI at the right time, and so pastels and Members Only jackets maybe only traumatized me second-hand. 

Share this post


Link to post

I loved Quantum Leap back in the day, and I still do. I'll always watch re-runs if I happen to come across them, but now they seem kind of cheesy and corny.

Share this post


Link to post

I'll go with Max Headroom. I didn't watch it when it originally aired. I read so many good things about it I decided to rent it from Netflix. I found it disappointing, dated and cheesy.

Share this post


Link to post

I'll go with Max Headroom. I didn't watch it when it originally aired. I read so many good things about it I decided to rent it from Netflix. I found it disappointing, dated and cheesy.

In truth it was cheesy (and kind of annoying) the day it was made.

 

I mean come on... this.

 

giphy.gif

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

It probably goes without saying that comedies from the fifties and early sixties haven't stood the test of time.

Yeah, but for some reason some of those shows seem to work as period pieces, whereas others for some reason don't.  I've never quite been able to figure out the exact parameters of what old shows "still work" and which don't, because there doesn't appear to be much rhyme or reason.

 

I mean, for example, I still find Brady Bunch episodes fully entertaining, and I'd argue the same about most Lucy episodes.  Whereas something like My Three Sons or The Dick Van Dyke Show doesn't seem to hold it's value as well.  And really none of that makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post

I mean, for example, I still find Brady Bunch episodes fully entertaining, and I'd argue the same about most Lucy episodes.  Whereas something like My Three Sons or The Dick Van Dyke Show doesn't seem to hold it's value as well.  And really none of that makes sense.

See, I'm the exact opposite; I really love the old B/W programs but can't watch The Brady Bunch.  Different strokes, I guess.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

See, I'm the exact opposite; I really love the old B/W programs but can't watch The Brady Bunch.  Different strokes, I guess.

It;s not that the ones I cited were black and white.  I Love Lucy is black and white, for example, and seems to hold up FAR better than lots of stuff from decades later (Lucy's own later series, for example).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

My guess is that The Brady Bunch (and M*A*S*H, and Hogan's Heroes, and so on) was kind of deliberately anachronistic with regards to its own time period, while shows that were more contemporary haven't aged as well because they feel like the [decade]s. It's the same kind of reason early episodes of The Simpsons worked well and later episodes haven't.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

This is such an individual thing for each of us, isn't it? I have trouble watching I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners now, even though I (no doubt conditioned by my parents' enjoyment) loved them as a kid. Now they just seem kind of endless and unfunny -- and the occasional mention of hitting, even though I don't necessarily take it as solemn evidence of true spousal abuse, doesn't add to the good-times feeling.

 

But clothes and hairstyles don't bother me or make a show unwatchable. I always figure it was fashionable once, it may be again, and our styles will look ridiculous someday too. So it's just part of the landscape for me. But older medical and police shows like Emergency or Adam-12 just seem so simple-minded now that complexity has been introduced to the genres.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Hill Street Blues was one of those shows for me. Back in the day it won lots of tv awards and praise from critics. Ten years after it ended I caught several shows. Wow, I didn't feel the same way about it. With all the ground breaking things they did on that show and it was SO popular, for me it's unwatchable now. Law & Order had come along and was miles ahead of HSB.

 

I laughed at the Miami Vice reference. Fashion crime, ITA! Looking back, that show seemed like one long music video with long close ups and some crime fighting thrown in.

 

I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show are favorites of mine. Both still hold up over time for me. The clothing and decor are definitely different. Definitely some of the attitudes about women having to stay and home and hopefully getting an allowance and a good-girl pat on the head from hubby. Much of the humor and basically how people are still people makes me want to watch them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Okay, I agree it's hard to call sometimes which shows "stand up".  I mean in my opinion (and tons of other people right here on this board too, I think) Columbo stands up magnificently, despite the aspect that it doesn't have any of the scientific procedural stuff.  I'd argue, in fact, that it will eventually stands up better than some of those shows, if it's all looked back at in ANOTHER few decades.  

 

Why?  Because some show aren't about the details, but more about the "feel" of things.  Columbo is like Original Star Trek (which to me somehow seems less dated at times than Next Generation).  Both of those shows are more morality plays than realistic--and that's by design. It could be that the shows which AIM for realism may be better in the moment, but which risk feeling dated later on.  Not that the likes of "Miami Vice", or "Kojak" or "Beretta", were ever all that realistic, admittedly, so maybe it's not quite that simple either.  I dunno.  I haven't pinned this down ever, even with my own likes and dislikes with this.  But I know I can watch an old TOS Trek, a Mission Impossible, a Columbo, even a Gilligan's Island, and never feel all that frustrated by any "period" influence over those.  And I can't with tons of other shows (many mentioned before, like Kojak, Beretta, Miami Vice, etc.)

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Kromm, funny you brought up TNG because that is definately one show that shows its age. Not just because the special effects, but just the whole "lack of internal conflict" thing that Gene Roddenberry insisted on. The TNG crew is just so damn boring as a whole.

But certain episodes have ad much if not more relevance now than when they aired. "The High Ground"'s take on terrorism sticks out, along with The Loss (the only Troi-centric episode I don't hit FF on).

Share this post


Link to post

I think I'd have to include two of my favorite sitcoms ever--Murphy Brown and Designing Women--on this list.  They were most definitely shows of their time (two words: Dan Quayle), and looked it, and despite moments of sheer brilliance were loaded with references most younger viewers today would probably consider quaint or miss entirely.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

As a kid, I used to love Full House and Michelle was my favorite character. Now that I'm an adult, I realize that the show is actually pretty awful and that Michelle was quite possibly the spawn of Satan.

  • Like 11
  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post

For me, the original Star Trek does not hold up against Next Generation et. al. because of the sets. They look so cheap and fake. Even if the writing was good and the acting was good, the sets are just laughable. Ironically, Lost in Space holds up much better in that regard, even though the show was more cartoonish and campy. Somehow it managed to pull off a more realistic look (costumes aside). 

Share this post


Link to post

For me, the original Star Trek does not hold up against Next Generation et. al. because of the sets. They look so cheap and fake. Even if the writing was good and the acting was good, the sets are just laughable. Ironically, Lost in Space holds up much better in that regard, even though the show was more cartoonish and campy. Somehow it managed to pull off a more realistic look (costumes aside). 

That's odd, because for some reason my mind always interprets the sets as window dressing and nothing more.  Watching an original Trek episode for me in like watching a stage play--the sets are just the framework.  It's when a lot MORE effort was put into sets or costumes, but they wind up looking set in a particular time period that doesn't work as a declaration of a period piece, that I have a problem.  Next Gen doesn't actually HAPPEN in the late 1980s, so all of those cues from that time is what looks odd to me.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

For me, the original Star Trek does not hold up against Next Generation et. al. because of the sets. They look so cheap and fake. Even if the writing was good and the acting was good, the sets are just laughable. Ironically, Lost in Space holds up much better in that regard, even though the show was more cartoonish and campy. Somehow it managed to pull off a more realistic look (costumes aside).

I understabd where you're coming from. I can forgive shows from the 60s for their cheesy effects, but for somereason, the effects from early TNG stand out a lot and not Iin a good way.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, God, Full House. I've tried to enjoy it on a snarky level, but it just makes me want to die.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Probably a UO, but Seinfeld is one for me.  Maybe I never got over the final episode, which pissed me off mightily, but whereas when it was airing I'd be upset to miss it, now I just pass over the reruns. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

This is such an individual thing for each of us, isn't it?

Definitely.  Personal taste is going to be a massively-dominant factor in any consideration of this.  Still, there are some commonalities, like the mentions of shows that were very much tied to the current events of their time, compared to more generalist fare.  I think I recall columns from the late '90s saying that something like Murphy Brown was doomed for syndication value because it was too specifically-dated.

 

But older medical and police shows like Emergency or Adam-12 just seem so simple-minded now that complexity has been introduced to the genres.

And then this is where personal taste comes back into the game.  Watching those two shows on MeTV (and myself only being dirt and air when they were first broadcast), I like their relative simplicity and directness, compared to some of the overwroughtness of procedurals and dramas these days.  Adam-12 makes me think of a very clean version of COPS. Emergency! is a little too earnest at times, but does pretty well by sticking to the procedural side of things.

 

On the other hand, Dragnet ends up feeling strangely out of place whenever Joe (and occasionally others) goes off on a huge monologue about the moral panic of the day, made doubly hilarious by the direction of social change in recent years and how those hippie boomer kids on the show are now a large portion of the older generation that are doing their own share of panicking now.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I wouldn't say that Three's Company has aged that badly since it was never particularly funny, but the premise is certainly out of date for a number of reasons

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

MacGyver does not hold up, at all. Not just the effects but it's so cut and dry: bad guy bad, good guy good.

 

I love Richard Dean Anderson in Stargate: SG1 but man, MacGyver is a show better left in the 80s. Same with Airwolf. 

I think The A-Team held up really well and watching it as an adult brings a completely different perspective to the show than I had as a kid. Man, Murdoc was really really fucked up.

 

As a kid, I used to love Full House and Michelle was my favorite character. Now that I'm an adult, I realize that the show is actually pretty awful and that Michelle was quite possibly the spawn of Satan.

Seriously, and DJ always got the shaft. I've been watching some of the early episodes (don't ask) and damn Uncle Jesse had the most character growth. Womanizing man whore who thought nothing of wanting a lady friend spending the night to married man and father.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I agree about Full House for me its Michelle and Joey. Michelle for the obvious reasons but Joey. From beginning to end he's living with someone else's family. He never has a family of his own, no wife, no girlfriend, no life, nothing? Its sad.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

My guess is that The Brady Bunch (and M*A*S*H, and Hogan's Heroes, and so on) was kind of deliberately anachronistic with regards to its own time period, while shows that were more contemporary haven't aged as well because they feel like the [decade]s. It's the same kind of reason early episodes of The Simpsons worked well and later episodes haven't.

I think The Brady Bunch took place in real-time, as in it took place at the same time period in which it was filmed.

Share this post


Link to post

I Love Lucy is still funny, but what's with all the wife-beating that went on? Lucy rubbing her sore behind because Ricky gave her a spanking for spending too much money. That's not only kinky, but spousal abuse.

I always hated when Lucy would call Ricky "sir". "Looooocy, did you by that hat when I told you not to?" "Yes sir." "You won't do that again." "No sir."

Share this post


Link to post

I did a rewatch of Star Trek: TNG and Voyager last year. I was one of the few people who seemed to like Voyager when it was on. I even made the point of watching it live in the last season, but it really has not held up over the years. YMMV obviously but for me, something has to be a classic if I enjoy it or find it provocative or interesting years later. With the exception of a few episodes, I realized how boring it was on the whole and how I really only like 1-2 characters. I think seeing it on the whole made me appreciate it less and see more of its flaws.

 

I watched TNG much more than any other Trek and it still holds up for me with the exception of the awful S1 and some of S2 of course, but on the whole, it's held up really well. I always liked the cast and the writing so it still works for me to this day.

 

Haven't tried Full House yet, but I did watch some Saved By the Bell a few months ago and it was terrible. Not just the fashion, but I realized that Zac Morris is a sociopath and if I had kids, I wouldn't let them watch it.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I never found I Love Lucy funny at all. Even as a child, I hated it and The Honeymooners, and time has only made me dislike them more.

 

I try to avoid watching shows I did like as a child because I don't want to ruin the memory. Seeing The Wild Wild West on TVLand as an adult...no. No amount of scenes featuring Robert Conrad's tightly-clad ass justifies that show. However, I think Man from UNCLE held up pretty well if you can overlook Napoleon's piggishness (easier in some episodes than others).

 

Thought of another one: I LOVED The Night Stalker when it was first on. It's unwatchable now.

Edited by ABay
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I never found I Love Lucy funny at all. Even as a child, I hated it and The Honeymooners, and time has only made me dislike them more.

Oh how I HATE The Honeymooners! And lots of I Love Lucy. There are very few episodes I can stand.

Why couldn't Ricky just have given Lucy a damned small part in the show that she could handle and save himself so much misery?

  • Like 1
  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post

 

Probably a UO, but Seinfeld is one for me.

I thought I was the only one. I cannot watch it anymore, and it has nothing to do with the finale. I just don't think the characters or the situations are funny anymore. Maybe it's because it's a view of New York right before 9/11. I want to shake them out of their self-absorbed lives and say, "Don't you know what's coming?!"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe it's because it's a view of New York right before 9/11. I want to shake them out of their self-absorbed lives and say, "Don't you know what's coming?!"

 

Never thought of it that way, but that could be my problem as well.  I know I want to shake them out of their self-absorbed lives any time I watch more than a minute of it.

Share this post


Link to post

I use to love The Cosby Show and still have a fondness for some episodes, but I can't watch it anymore because it's just so overly preachy and the family is oh-so-perfect and how they know everybody whose anybody.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Most dramas made in the eighties and early nineties I can't deal with any more because the clothes, jewelry, and hair styles make me crazy in retrospect.  I adored Miami Vice but my god, the shoulder pads, the chunky gold jewelry, the big hair, the red red lipstick!  No socks with a suit!  Argh.  They were all about catching drug dealers but it was the fashion that was the true crime. 

 

This is why we refer to the 80s as "The Decade that Fashion Forgot."

  • Like 1
  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post

This is why we refer to the 80s as "The Decade that Fashion Forgot."

Hee. In the 80's we said that about the 70's.

In the 80's, I remember thinking I'm so glad to be living in these times when we don't look stupid with our clothes and hair styles. Those words make me laugh now.

  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post

Hee. In the 80's we said that about the 70's.

In the 80's, I remember thinking I'm so glad to be living in these times when we don't look stupid with our clothes and hair styles. Those words make me laugh now.

Actually, as someone who grew up in the 70s (Class of 1979 here), I'd have to agree with you for the most part about 70s fashions, especially the hair.  The leisure suit in particular is something that I'm glad never really came back, even though men in particular have kept the suit and open-necked dress shirt concept going for at least a good ten years now.  Few men really could pull off the classic leisure suit, in my opinion.

 

But I'd still say that the 80s wins the award for worst fashion trends of all time.  Only the sloppy, unkempt look of the past 20 years matches it in terms of hideousness.  I mean, I grew up being taught that combing my hair, tucking in my shirts, shaving, and not having my underwear show through my clothes (I detest seeing undershirts showing through a shirt -- to me, that's as unsightly as a bra strap that's showing) were all good things!

Edited by legaleagle53
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Actually I think that shows with a lot of current events references age really fast.   For example if I watch Barney Miller, which I think holds up really well, and I suddenly hear a rare reference to Jimmy Carter or New York mayor Ed Koch, I react because I forget how old the show is.  But a show with constant references like that would age to me.

 

(Bob Newhart mentioned in an interview that he asked his writers not to include Gerald Ford references in his first show since he expected his show to be in syndication some day!)

 

One early 60s show I've been watching on METV and loving is Dobie Gillis.  It just does a great job of satirizing its own white-bread, materialistic era.  Dobie can't seem to get beyond borrowing the car, borrowing Dad's money, chasing the prettiest girl in school as in "beautiful, angelic, greedy Thalia Meninger" (Tuesday Weld). I'm looking forward to seeing spoiled rich boy Warren Beatty.

Edited by roseha
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

As much as they a defining part of my generation's childhood, the Steven Spielberg animated shows. Wall-to-wall dated pop culture references, some of which were already dated even as they were airing.

 

No kidding. I saw an Animaniacs episode a couple of years ago on The Hub and saw Saddam Hussein. It took a couple of minutes before I thought, "We invaded again and hung the guy." I saw the topic title and realized watching Freakazoid wouldn't be the same. :(

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I did a rewatch of Star Trek: TNG and Voyager last year. I was one of the few people who seemed to like Voyager when it was on. I even made the point of watching it live in the last season, but it really has not held up over the years. YMMV obviously but for me, something has to be a classic if I enjoy it or find it provocative or interesting years later. With the exception of a few episodes, I realized how boring it was on the whole and how I really only like 1-2 characters. I think seeing it on the whole made me appreciate it less and see more of its flaws.

 

I watched TNG much more than any other Trek and it still holds up for me with the exception of the awful S1 and some of S2 of course, but on the whole, it's held up really well. I always liked the cast and the writing so it still works for me to this day.

 

I also started re-watching TNG last winter and I was surprised how well it held up. I was really sick one weekend and wanted something to watch, while I laid on the couch coughing up my lungs, that didn't require me to have to follow along too much and figure who was who and whatnot. I was a little worried though, since TNG has always been my favorite and I didn't want to see it diminish in my eyes. It did not disappoint.

 

I re-watched Voyager a year or so ago--I never actually saw the last two seasons before, so I guess it wasn't exactly a re-watch--and it was a bit of a chore to get to the end. It really seemed to meander around a lot and the characters I found interesting were rarely explored as much as I remembered.

 

Considering a DS9 re-watch--maybe this fall just to see if it holds up also.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I'd say TNG/Voyager/DS9 held up but I actually watched them for the first time a few years ago (TNG I just finished didn't watch them in order). All three shows are great and I enjoyed watching them and watch reruns now. Though DS9 is my favorite because of it's dark tone, serialized story telling and overall best written characters.  I've tried to watch the original series which of course shows it's age lol but it's still Star trek. And a few episodes I enjoyed like "The City on the Edge of Forever".

 

I agree with what other's have said about freinds. I loved this show when it was on. And saw it was playing reruns and realized how "90's" it was. The outfits as well as the siturations they are in.

Edited by blueray

Share this post


Link to post

Growing up 'All In the Family' was absolutely appointment TV in my house.  These days on the rare occasion where I come across a rerun my initial reaction is to get excited about watching it but I've found the jokes fall really, really flat in current times.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I used to love The Cosby Show. It was absolute appointment TV in college. Now I just groan. Laugh tracks. Those sweaters. yuck.

 

I'm half 70s, half 80s... and at the time I loved the 80s more but now it's just so groanable. Maybe in another 10 years it won't be. I've been binge-watching "Mad About You" with my mom and the show definitely holds up-- it's hilarious-- but OMG that 90s fashion. The big t-shirts. Mom jeans. Weird haircuts. Black tights.

 

Not so pretty.

 

I loved Happy Days growing up. That show does not hold up.

 

Re the women in pearls and heels-- my mom just laughs, because nobody ever dressed that way. It was just for TV. The Dick Van Dyke show at least showed a woman in flats and capris at home!

When I grew up in the 70s/80s most moms were stay at home moms and got allowances and then it changed. So that does not bother me.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I think Happy Days, at least the seasons with Ron Howard, holds up fine because it is a 70's show, but was not set in the 70's.  

 

It is though, quite different from real 50's shows which I love.  The times of Leave It to Beaver, Donna Reed, etc were all so nice and happy.  I think that is why  I like old shows better.  By the time the early 70's came, it had all changed.

 

In fact, there are some shows that started out so nice, with lovely clothing and all, and ended up trying to be "funky" with their storylines and clothing.  The early seasons held up well, but the later ones do not.  I am talking about shows like I Dream of Jeanie and Bewitched.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size