TV Shows Set in the 1980s

The 1980s are far enough in the past that already TV shows set during that iconic decade are or have aired. Most of them are nostalgia pieces, depicting the trials and tribulations of young people. One, however, is a taut tale of Cold War intrigue.

Freaks and Geeks depicts the lives of students at a fictional high school in a suburb of Detroit during the 1980-1981 school year. It concerns two cliques of students whose names are self explanatory. The show explored universal themes of growing up, including sex and drugs. Though the series, that ran from 1999 through 2000 has a cult following, it only aired 12 episodes out of 18 filmed.

Everyone Hates Chris is supposed to depict the misadventures of comedian Chris Rock as a teenager in the 1980s, though it fact Rock was a teenager starting in 1978. The show, which ran between 2005 and 2009, depicts how the fictional Chris strives to be a cool teenager while sometimes acting as a surrogate parent to his younger siblings while both of his parents work. The episodes were narrated by the actual Chris Rock.

That 80s Show sought to take off from the popularity of That 70s Show. It depicted a group of friends living in San Diego in the 1980s and focused on a struggling musician named Corey. References to period music, the fitness craze, and President Reagan were sprinkled through the episodes. The show never took off, airing only a handful of episodes in 2002 before being cancelled.

The Americans is a drama set in the 1980s, currently airing on the FX network. The show depicts a pair of deep cover Soviet agents who, for all appearances, are a typical American couple with two kids who are unware of their parents’ origin. There is also an FBI agent character who happens to be the neighbor of the spies and a counter intelligence operative. The first season had a lot of references to historical developments of the era, including the attempted assasination of President Reagan and the SDI program

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