5 Forgotten ’80s Sitcoms

5 Forgotten ’80s Sitcoms | Society Of Rock Videos

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The 1980s are often celebrated as a golden age for television, especially for the sitcoms that became staples of American entertainment. While some shows from this era, like “The Golden Girls” and “Seinfeld,” have stood the test of time, many others have been lost to history. Let’s delve deeper into five 1980s sitcoms that showed promise but didn’t quite make their mark in the long run.

Baby Boom (1988)

The transition from a successful film to a television series is often fraught with challenges, a reality that “Baby Boom” exemplifies. The original film, which starred Diane Keaton, told the story of a high-flying businesswoman whose life takes an unexpected turn when she inherits a baby girl. The film’s heartwarming narrative and Keaton’s performance won over audiences, but the television adaptation struggled to capture the same essence. The series spanned only 13 episodes, attempting to continue the story of a city woman navigating life in the countryside while starting a baby food business. The absence of Keaton and the charm she brought to the film was keenly felt, leaving the series unable to connect with its intended audience and ultimately fading from memory.

The Brady Brides (1981)

Building on the legacy of “The Brady Bunch,” one of television’s most beloved families, “The Brady Brides” sought to capture a new chapter in the lives of Marcia and Jan Brady. The concept centered around the two sisters, now married, as they navigated the complexities of married life under one roof with their husbands. Despite bringing back familiar faces from the original cast, the show struggled to blend the wholesome charm of “The Brady Bunch” with a more modern take on married life, reminiscent of “The Odd Couple.” This spin-off aired for a mere 10 episodes before disappearing, a testament to the fact that not all extensions of a successful franchise manage to find their footing.

Flo (1980)

“Flo” emerged as a spin-off from the highly successful sitcom “Alice,” featuring Polly Holliday reprising her role as the sassy and lovable Flo. Moving away from Mel’s Diner in Phoenix to her hometown in Texas, Flo finds herself embroiled in a new set of challenges, facing off against characters like a greedy banker and a chauvinistic bartender. Initially, the show enjoyed a strong debut, riding on the coattails of “Alice’s” popularity. However, inconsistent scheduling and perhaps a lack of the original’s situational charm led to its premature cancellation after just 29 episodes. “Flo’s” attempt to stand on its own merits as a sitcom leaves it remembered as a curious spin-off rather than a standalone success.

Gloria (1982)

“Gloria” sought to extend the narrative universe of “All in the Family,” one of television’s most groundbreaking sitcoms. Sally Struthers returned to her role as Gloria, now estranged from her husband, Mike, and navigating life with her son, Joey. Without the original show’s core cast and the sharp social commentary delivered by Archie Bunker, “Gloria” struggled to recreate the appeal that made “All in the Family” a critical and commercial hit. Despite Struthers’ best efforts, the show only aired 21 episodes. The absence of the dynamic that defined the original series underscored the challenges of capturing lightning in a bottle twice.

Herbie, the Love Bug (1982)

Before the era of high-tech, sentient vehicles like KITT from “Knight Rider,” there was Herbie, the plucky Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own. While the Herbie film series charmed moviegoers, the attempt to bring this beloved car to the small screen fell flat. Dean Jones reprised his role as Jim Douglas, now retired from racing and running a driving school, but the magic of the films couldn’t be replicated over the series’ short five-episode run. “Herbie, the Love Bug” serves as a reminder of the difficulties inherent in transitioning cinematic successes to television formats, ending its journey as a well-intentioned yet ultimately forgotten endeavor in the vast landscape of 1980s television.

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