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Jun 14 2017
by Skylar Kaplan

20 Old TV Shows That Everybody Should Watch

By Skylar Kaplan - Jun 14 2017

I am personally a fan of all of the old television shows, mainly because my dad had introduced them to me from a young age. What we often fail to remember in the modern age of television shows is that many of our favorite shows now are based off of ones in the past. Television shows are a great way to bond with new peers freshman year. Also, these shows offer insight into our daily lives. Many of the shows on this list are easily available on subscription sites and others are available on DVD. Some of the shows on the list may sound familiar, while others may not have been talked about for decades.

1. The Addams Family

Most likely this one starts to ring a bell due to its catchy theme song with the memorable opening verse, "They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're all together ooky ... The Addams Family!" This sitcom portrayed a monster family that was created by The New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams, that serves as an inversion of the ideal twentieth-century American family — wealthy aristocrats who are seemingly unaware that other people find them bizarre or frightening. The show offers a great message that outsiders could be gracious for and educated in even if their exterior appearance seemed to represent otherwise.

2. The Brady Bunch

One of my all time favorites and one that I own the entire collection of on DVD, the Brady Bunch is a sitcom that aired from 1969 to 1974 on ABC. This show also has a catchy theme song, with the iconic multiple frame image that is still used today. The show opens with the blending of two families — one with a mother who has three daughters, the other a father with three sons and a maid. Together they form the Brady Bunch that features all of the daily problems, drama and lessons for everyone to identify with and enjoy.

3. Cheers

This sitcom is set in the Cheers bar in Boston, Massachusetts where a group of locals meet to drink and socialize. The show's famous tagline, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name," may sound familiar. There is a fair share of relationships and career crises on the show for any college student to connect with. For anybody that loves the show Friends, this is the next show that should be on your list!

4. ER

This medical drama is the perfect option for any Grey's Anatomy fans. My dad refers to this show as "The Grey's Anatomy before Grey's Anatomy." With multiple Emmy Awards and recognitions, the show is one for anyone interested in the lives of doctors, both on-call and personally. This show is a great one to watch with friends because you can laugh and cry and pick favorite relationships throughout the show.

5. Family Ties

This sitcom is very relevant, especially at this time in our lives. If you ever find your parents a little embarrassing or with opposing points of view, then this television show is relatable. The comedy of the show arises from the conflict between the liberal parents, former hippies from the time of the 1960s and 1970s, and the conservative children of the 1980s. The show represents how throughout all of the conflict between us children and our parents, we still love one another.

6. The Flintstones

This is for all of the cartoon lovers out there. The Flintstones is an animated sitcom that takes place in a romanticized Stone Age setting. The town of Bedrock features similarities to mid-20th century life with restaurants and split homes. However, it features all of the technology of the Stone Age. It is a great juxtaposition between the conflicts of the "modern" time in a prehistoric setting. This show is considered most to be the second greatest cartoon of all time (behind the Simpsons).

7. Frasier

This show is a sitcom spin-off of Cheers. With many recurring themes and guest appearances from the regulars of Cheers, I highly recommend this comedy as a follow-up to watching Cheers.

8. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

This sitcom features the still well-known Will Smith as a fictionalized version of himself, a street-smart teenager sent to live with his aunt and uncle in their Bel Air mansion where his lifestyle conflicts with that of his relatives. The comedy of the conflict is not one to miss. It also is representative of how all of our previous lifestyles are clashing and influencing our lives on campus, hopefully for the better.

9. Friends

One of my favorites, this sitcom revolves around a group of friends that live in Manhattan and go through humorous adventures of relationships, work and personal life. They feature characters that we can all identify with and a great story to look to as we form our own relationships like these on campus. Also, watching this show can be a great way to connect with others who have watched it through a great game of Friends trivia.

10. Full House

This sitcom is constantly playing re-runs on cable television and even has its own sequel, Fuller House. It is about the lives of a widowed father, his three daughters and his two best friends. This iconic show features famous phrases that are often seen in memes, such as, "You got it dude," and, "How rude." This show offers episodes that will warm the heart and that will offer some great messages that we should begin to implement into our daily lives.

11. Gilmore Girls

Another sitcom with a revival, which means it had to be great the first time, Gilmore Girls follows the life of a mom and her daughter who happen to be close in age. The daughter, Rory, is especially a character that many of us can relate to.

12. Happy Days

This is a sitcom featuring the main character, Richie, who wanted to grow up too fast and to bite off more than he could chew, a relatable theme for many college students. It represents an idealized life in the mid-1950s and mid-1960s.

13. I Love Lucy

This is an iconic American television sitcom starring the famous Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. This black-and-white series has been regarded as one of the most influential sitcoms in history. Many of the episodes have been inspiration to some of the more modern television show episodes. If you remember and enjoyed the Drake and Josh episode of the boys working in the sushi factory, then you should see where the comedic act was first created with Lucy working in the chocolate factory.

14. The Jetsons

Another animated sitcom, The Jetsons is the perfect counter-part to the Flinstones. The show is set in a futuristic utopia with elaborate robots, holograms and inventions. The show offers great comic relief and even potential insights and inspiration towards our future.

15. The Love Boat

This television series is a romantic sitcom set on a cruise ship. The show revolves around the ship’s captain, some crew members and several passengers. The show also features guest actors for each episode. Uniquely, this show features several storylines within an individual episode.

16. Party of Five

This television teen drama is one with a great cast and a great storyline to enjoy with friends. It is about the lives of five siblings following the loss of their parents in a car accident. They go through life with the average obstacles and triumphs along with the effects of the loss of their parents. This show careers heavy material, which makes it all that much more intense to watch. It teaches us the common everyday lesson — that we all go through difficulties in our lives but that there is always still some good that will help us through it all.

17. Saved by the Bell

Potentially one of the easiest yet one of the most addictive shows on the list, Saved by the Bell follows the story of a group of high school students. It shows us how all of these friends get to know and accept one another, creating unexpected bonds and support. I recommend watching this show as soon as you have the time and to enjoy it with your friends. Afterwards, be sure to enjoy the Jimmy Fallon Saved By The Bell cast reunion skit.

18. Seinfeld

Often joked to be the “show about nothing,” Seinfeld is a sitcom of the archetypal friends-hanging-out series. The stories just follow the characters' daily lives with trivial and common situations that most everyone can relate to, even to this day.

19. That 70’s Show

This sitcom takes place in the 1970s and centers around a group of teenage friends and their lives. This show features many actors, such as Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, that we still see in movies and other television shows today. The show features many running gags, which are always enjoyable to bring up with other people who have watched the shows. It was Fox’s second-longest-running live-action sitcom and it was a staple for a reason.

20. The Wonder Years

Lastly, this comedy-drama is all about a boy trying to gain his rite of passage to adulthood. I have both shed tears of sadness and happiness, sometimes simultaneously, when watching this show. It is told through the main character's reflections as an adult in his mid-30’s, which makes it more enjoyable and puts our own lives into a perspective of how we will view our lives now when we are older. A thought-provoking and entertaining show, The Wonder Years will always remain as a classic.

Televisions shows are a great way to connect with one another, especially during big transitions in our lives. This list has ones that everyone should enjoy and relate to. There are life lessons to be absorbed and there are jokes to pass on for centuries. From drama to sitcom, there is something for everyone on any occasion, especially for study breaks.

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Skylar Kaplan - Ohio State University

Skylar Kaplan is a freshman at The Ohio State University majoring in Fine Arts with a focus in Art and Technology. At her High School she was in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and was Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook.

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