10+ '80s TV Shows That Will Always Be Better Than Current Shows

A quick google search will give you a list of the best-reviewed TV shows. Things like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and Schitt's Creek.

But then, there are these classics: The Golden Girls, Full House, and Cheers. What do all these shows have in common? Besides being incredible, they're all from the '80s!

Here are 10+ '80s TV shows that will always be better than current shows.

*Miami Vice*

Solving crimes never seemed so cool when actors Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas took on the roles of Crockett and Tubbs.

The show shaped the aesthetic of the ‘80s with their iconic white jackets and flashy cars.

*Murder, She Wrote*

The crime drama followed a mystery novelist and amateur detective in a small town with a surprisingly high murder rate.

Through the show's 12 seasons, fans fell in love with the main character Jessica Fletcher, played by Angela Lansbury, while she solved thrilling mysteries.

*Who’s The Boss?*

[ABC via YouTube[ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVNSouJZw0c&ab_channel=ThrowBackTV)

This hilarious family-favorite sitcom starred Tony Danza as a retired baseball player who became a live-in housekeeper for a divorced rich advertising executive named Angela.

It often turned into a battle between the family, with Angela challenging stereotypes against women.

*A Different World*

[NBCvia YouTube[ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qxvL64XPBg&ab_channel=ILoveADifferentWorld)

A Different World was a spin-off of The Cosby Show that featured Lisa Bonet playing her Cosby character, Denise Huxtable.

The show was praised for covering more sensitive topics, such as sex, race, and equal rights.

*Knight Rider*

Aside from Baywatch, this was one of David Hasselhoff's best roles. He played Michael Knight, an undercover cop who joins a secret, high-tech organization after being betrayed and left for dead.

Although the show suffered from some negative reviews, the action-packed TV series was fondly remembered for its over-the-top scenes.

*The Wonder Years*

How could you not love this coming-of-age drama that was inspired by A Christmas Story? Fred Savage played a teenager that his peers and even adults could relate to.

The show won an Emmy award after just six episodes.

*Star Trek: The Next Generation*

The Next Generation revived the Star Trek franchise with Patrick Stewart at the helm of the series as Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

The sci-fi storytelling captivated its cult following audience once again, leading to the sequel series, Star Trek: Picard.

*Growing Pains*

The show starred Alan Thicke and Joana Kerns as parents in the hilariously dysfunctional Seaver family.

But we grew to love them anyway, especially the ‘80s heartthrob Kirk Cameron who played the oldest son Mike.


With an unbelievable cast of Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Kirstie Alley, and Kelsey Grammer, this bar-based comedy took over the ‘80s.

The writing was genius, earning the show 117 Emmy nominations and Kelsey Grammer his own spinoff years after.

*Cagney & Lacey*

This show was ahead of its time with the compelling story of two female cop partners solving crimes in Manhattan.

Starring Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly, these women took over the Emmys for six years straight. Daly won Outstanding Lead Actress four times while Gless won twice.


You can thank this irresistible drama for paving the way for similar shows like Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives.

The drama starred John Forsythe as an oil magnate while his family fought ruthlessly for status and wealth.

*Diff’rent Strokes*

The famous catchphrase, “What’chu talkin’ bout, Willis?” comes from this show!

It followed the adventures of adopted brothers Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Willis (Todd Bridges) and their parents Phil and Kim, played by Conrad Bain and Dana Plato.

*Hill Street Blues*

When the cop drama series premiered, it was like nothing people had ever seen before. There were handheld cameras, long storylines that spanned multiple episodes, and big casts.

No wonder the show was a huge success!

*The Dukes of Hazzard*

This was the TV series that came way before the movie starring Jessica Simpson and her infamous jean shorts.

Actors Tom Wopat and John Schneider became the image of every motorhead with their hilarious adventures and car chase scenes.

*The Facts Of Life*

This was the Diff’rent Strokes spinoff that followed students at an all-girls boarding school with Edna Garrett as the housemother.

The show felt fresh and had no fear in bringing up subjects like drug use, eating disorders, and divorce.


The series followed actor Robert Guillaume as Benson DuBois, a very intelligent butler of Governor Eugene X.

In an inspirational twist, Benson worked his way up from the head of household affairs to state budget director to even the lieutenant governor.


If you’ve ever heard the line “Who shot J.R.?”, it came from this show after J.R. Ewing, the villain of the series, was shot in the Season Three finale.

The show ran 14 seasons while following the rich Texas oil family.

*Full House*


There was just so much to love with this iconic show. From everyone’s favorite dad, Dan Tanner, to the incredibly cute scenes of Uncle Jesse and baby Michelle.

No wonder it got its own Netflix reboot!

*The Golden Girls*


Easily one of the greatest shows of all time, The Golden Girls took over the ‘80s with their charm, sarcasm, and unexpected raunchy humor.

The iconic foursome of Beatrice Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty had unbelievable chemistry playing mature single women living together.



Many will likely recognize Bob Newhart as Papa Elf from the modern-day Christmas classic Elf.

In the '80s, Bob's unique monotonous comedic styling helped to make him a household name and a proverbial powerhouse in the rating department.

*Fraggle Rock*

If you're a fan of The Muppet Show, then you're going to absolutely love Fraggle Rock.

These colorful creations of puppet master Jim Henson never rose to the same level of popularity as their predecessors, but they're every bit as fun to watch.

*Family Ties*


Family Ties was the series that first introduced the world to Michael J. Fox; better known as Marty McFly from Back to the Future.

For those looking to feed their nostalgia, you can get reacquainted with the Keaton family now via Paramount+.

*21 Jump Street*


What's great about 21 Jump Street is that it allows you to witness the true makings of a movie star.

It's clear from the very first moment that Johnny Depp walks on-screen that he was destined for greatness.


Here's a hot take for you: DuckTales has the best theme song of any cartoon from the '80s. I defy you to try and prove me wrong.

This show was my life from ages 3-7. If I can be honest — I still throw on the odd episode every now and again.

*Family Matters*

Say it with me, everyone: "Did I do that?"

In the '80s, there were only a handful of shows that portrayed the lives of Black middle-class families. Family Matters helped advance ideas of inclusion and diversity in sitcom storytelling.

That, and it's also side-splittingly funny.

*Punky Brewster*


Punky Brewster was such an incredible and iconic series that it's getting rebooted! Soleil Moon Frye returns as Punky Brewster and is set to star alongside '90s teen heartthrob, Freddie Prinze Jr.

I guess that means I'm signing up for Peacock now...



Cards on the table: Moonlighting is the best and most under-rated series from the '80s and I'd be willing to wager that many people haven't seen so much as a single episode.

Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd absolutely shine and are truly one of the greatest comedy duos of the decade.