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TV Throwbacks: Sitcom Edition

June 28, 2016

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    As a child of the nineties raised by Baby Boomers (yes, you read that right), many nights of my childhood and adolescence consisted of being forced to watch old TV reruns of shows that existed decades before I did. Although at the time I thought it was torture, this routine of watching old-school television has given me an appreciation of all things oldies. As a millennial endlessly bombarded with new episodes of the Kardashians and whatever reality show is on TLC, I think my generation could learn a lot from watching a few episodes of some throwback sitcoms.

1.       A Different World

    This sitcom follows the life of young black undergrads as they explore the ups and downs of newfound adulthood at a historically black college in the late 80s and early 90s. The first season functions as the foundation of a successful spinoff as free-spirited daughter Denise from The Cosby Show leaves the nest of the cushy living room set of the Huxtable home for the bustling campus of Hillman College. By season two, main character Denise is nowhere to be found and traces of the Cosby show character are all but erased, letting the endearing supporting characters take center stage. Although this show is a comedy, it also covers serious topics like racism, domestic violence and social status.

    Watch if: You love Greek or have a deep love for flip-up sunglasses.

2.       Mad About You

    Jump into the final frontier with young newlyweds Jamie and Paul Buchman as they navigate life in the Big Apple in the early 90s. This sitcom, at its heart, is a romantic comedy without the cheesy flash and frills. Jamie and Paul are a modern couple whose everyday life is a hilarious series of miscommunication and awkward situations.

Watch if: You love love but hate sappy romance.

3.       Living Single

    This feel-good show centers on a group of young black professionals who live in the same Brooklyn brownstone in the early 90s. Living Single focuses on the deep friendship between the characters and the ups and downs of family, relationships and dating in New York in the 90s. The characters laugh, love, fight and rely on one another for strength to get through the hard times while simultaneously creating trouble for themselves. Each character is comical and unique and uses their characteristics to truly bring the series to life.

    Watch if: You like Sex and the City and Friends.

4.       All in the Family

    Archie Bunker plays the original grumpy neighborhood bigot in this throwback comedy as he tries to hold fast to his traditional views in the face of the cultural revolution of the 1970s. Bunker struggles to maintain his place in not only society but his own home after it has been occupied by his hippie daughter Gloria and her husband Michael. In each episode, Archie Bunker is shown as a single-man army against the changing tide of American society as he is forced to reckon with his views on women’s rights, the anti-war movement and racism.


    Watch if: You want to reminisce having conversations with your favorite drunk uncle (drunkle, if you will) over Christmas dinner.


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