There is no question that television has evolved over the years. Jokes that were funny in the ’80s wouldn’t even make audiences smile today. After decades of stories being brought to the small screen, many plots and scripts have been reused, rehashed, and rewrote.
Many beloved television shows from the past, such as Friends, Gilmore Girls, and One Tree Hill, are still binge-watched on a daily basis. Aside from certain outdated cultural and technological aspects, the aforementioned television shows still managed to stay relevant with their fanbase.
On the other hand, many older shows have not aged as nicely. Shows like Blossom or Knight Rider had dull storylines even in the past, making them even more mundane as time progressed. Other shows like Sister, Sister and Family Matters weren’t very original to begin with and should have been more creative in their time.
In addition, TV shows like Baywatch, MacGyver, and Full House might have been popular in the past, but haven’t aged well over time.
Here are the 15 Beloved TV Shows That Have NOT Aged Well.
15. Saved By The Bell
If you Google Mario Lopez, you might notice that being a long-time TV personality on Extra isn’t exactly what he’s known for. If you didn’t know, Lopez was on one of the top shows from the late ’80s, Saved by the Bell.
Kids from the ’90s might be familiar with the show, which told the stories of six kids and their adventures in high school. Saved By The Bell was known for its light-hearted comedy, but it did occasionally discuss more serious issues like drug use, DUIs, and women’s rights.
In the years that followed, many other well-received high school dramedies became more popular. This is pretty much every show on the CW. Yes, Saved by the Bell might have been a fun high school show, but it’s just not one of the best.
Another ’90s sitcom, Blossom follows the titular character, played by Mayim Bialik, who lives with her single father and her two brothers. The show concentrates on Blossom’s struggle living in an all-male household, as her mom is absent from her life.
While Blossom’s mom ends up being a character on the show, she never lives in the house with her family. Blossom does have one close female friend, Six, who is quite mischievous.
The show ran for five seasons and launched the career of Bialik, now known for The Big Bang Theory. Unfortunately, the show has not aged well over the years. While the story of a teenage girl in an unconventional family seems like a lasting concept, many aspects of the show fell flat. This includes the many fantasy-style daydream sequences that Blossom would have.
With a premise that focuses on attractive lifeguards, dramatic rescues, and running in slow motion, Baywatch is definitely one of a kind. The long-running series was about a group of beautiful people and their dramatic adventures as Los Angeles County Lifeguards.
The show, which launched the careers of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson, was often referred to as “Babewatch” for its scenes of women running in slow-motion.
Baywatch aired from 1989 to 2001, and had a spinoff series and even a recent film starring The Rock. Although it was an extremely popular show in its time, the show did not age well as time went on. Unlike shows that have successfully aged, Baywatch is not popular with millennials. The following years presented us with the facts that the show was very corny, extremely overdramatic, and exploited women.
12. Walker, Texas Ranger
Walker, Texas Ranger was the show that made Chuck Norris a household name. It mainly focuses on Norris as Cordell Walker and his partner, James Trivette, played by Clarence Gilyard. Their adventures included fighting bad guys and solving crimes as Texas Rangers. The show ran for nine seasons from 1993 to 2001 and even got a spinoff movie.
Although it had a large fanbase, the show hasn’t age well as time progressed. Since crime shows are some of the most popular on TV, the genre has so much more to offer nowadays in terms of writing, acting, and compelling stunt work.
In addition, the show was known for its strong moral values. Even though the characters used marital arts, they promoted it more as a defensive tactic, never making Norris the aggressor. The rangers frequently took part in community service and would never do drugs in any form. While this is respectable, it doesn’t make for very compelling TV.
11. Family Matters
The first think that most people think of when they talk about Family Matters is Steve Urkel. The lovable nerd ended up being one of the major characters, but that wasn’t always the case. In its early days, the show concentrated solely on the Winslow family and Urkel was just their pesky neighbor.
However, when the sitcom didn’t do as well focusing on just the family, Urkel was given a much more prominent role. Although the show was on air for a lengthy nine years, it didn’t age very well.
As more exciting and multidimensional characters started to appear on television, Urkel remained the same one-note character for the entire series. Unfortunately, he was not memorable enough to be irreplaceable.
10. The Brady Bunch
The Brady Bunch ran from 1969 to 1974. The iconic show is about two parents combining their respective families, creating one large family of eight. The family comedy, which starred Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis, Barry Williams, and Robert Reed, was very popular in its time. However, as time went on the show has become less and less relevant.
Although its concept was unique at the time, the main reason that The Brady Bunch hasn’t aged well is that it wasn’t really that funny. As the years went on, the jokes became less frequent and the show focused more on the children learning life lessons. The shift that late in the show’s run definitely did not work in its favor.
9. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers told the story of ordinary high school students who are given extraordinary abilities. It was the first of many Power Rangers franchises. Any ’90s kid can easily name all the Power Rangers with ease, but as time went on they became replaceable.
The main reason that the Rangers became irrelevant was the rise of superheroes in general pop culture. While comic books have been round for decades, they weren’t the big budget franchises that they have become today.
The Power Rangers have superhuman strength and are skilled hand-to-hand fighters, but what everyone really loves about them are their giant machines and cool weapons. However, as witnessed in the recent reboot Power Rangers (2017), they just aren’t as cool as they used to be.
8. Full House
Full House might be a classic, especially amongst millennials, but the series that ran from 1987 to 1995 definitely ran its course. The show follows a single father named Danny as he struggles to raise his three daughters with the help of his friend, Joey, and his brother-in-law, Jesse.
The comedy focuses on the girls and their lives in school and at home. At the same time, it follows Danny, Joey, and Jesse as they deal with the girls and their shenanigans.
There is no denying that the show ignited the careers of the Olsen twins, John Stamos, Candace Cameron, and Jodie Sweetin. While the show was canceled, it has had a resurgence of late with the 2016 spin-off, Fuller House. The new series uses the original show’s formula, but makes it more relevant by having the three daughters be the main characters.
7. Home Improvement
Home Improvement launched the career of Tim Allen, an actor that we have grown to know and love. The show consists of Allen playing Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor and his life with his family. The family sitcom ran for eight seasons, from 1991 to 1999.
The main reason why this show didn’t age well is simple. The character of Tim Taylor doesn’t understand women and this becomes the main source of the show’s jokes. It became common place for Tim to complain about his wife to his co-host and neighbor, both of whom were other men.
The only relevant women characters were his wife and his assistant, both stereotypical roles for women.The constant jokes about male culture and how men should live seem completely inappropriate in today’s climate.
6. Knight Rider
Sorry everyone, but Knight Rider was not a good show to begin with. While it was very successful, the show’s plot is dull and very odd. The show, which ran from 1982 to 1986, is about Michael Knight, played by David Hasselhoff, who fights crime with the help of his super intelligent car, KITT.
The show might have seemed unique and original at the time, but the execution was never quite right. It’s hard to find a show in which you feel sorry for the writers, but it’s clear that the only part of this show that ever mattered was how cool KITT seemed. Hasselhoff fans may disagree, but it’s good that this show ended when it did.
5. Dawson’s Creek
The teen drama Dawson’s Creek launched the careers of James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, and Michelle Williams. The show, which ran from 1998 to 2003, concentrates on the lives of four teenagers in a small town and their struggles with adolescence.
This is particularly prevalent in the relationship between Dawson Leery (Van Der Beek) and Joey Potter (Holmes). Having been friends since childhood, their lives become more confusing as they mature and see each other in a different light.
At the time, the show was a quality teen drama. However, as the years passed many other shows were simply better spent hours of television. Examples of shows that surpassed Dawson’s Creek are One Tree Hill, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Gilmore Girls, all of which have aged beautifully.
Doug was an animated comedy that ran 1991 to 1994 on Nickelodeon. It follows a young boy named Doug as he begins the sixth grade. He experiences love, friendships, and life as he progresses through middle school.
The unique aspect of the show was that he simultaneously was writing it all down in his journal, resulting in many imagination sequences. The show even touched on serious issues such as bullying and having low self-esteem.
In comparison to other Nick shows, like Rugrats and CatDog, however, Doug fell flat. These days, the show show seems like the definition of dull. While trying to make something that was different in the world of children’s entertainment, Doug just didn’t connect with audiences.
3. Married with Children
Married with Children follows the story of Al Bundy, played by Ed O’Neill, as the head of his family. Bundy lives a miserable life with his lazy wife, dysfunctional son, and not-so-bright daughter. The sitcom focuses mainly on the family but also features their interesting neighbors.
The show launched the careers of Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, and Christina Applegate, and still has its fans today. However, the reason the show has not aged well is one particular aspect of the overall plot.
The fact that the show focuses on Ted desperately trying to better his life and that of his family, but it never pays off. He might start to improve at something, but he always ends up right back where he started.
2. Sister, Sister
Sister, Sister tells the story of twin sisters who are separated at birth, find each other as teenagers, and become inseparable. While this might seem like a common trope, it was based on a real story. The stars of the show were real life twins Tia and Tamera Mowry. The show had its comedic moments, but the plot was not a new concept.
Similarly to The Parent Trap, the estranged parents of each child end up getting together and it seemed forced. It was almost like the writers checked the boxes necessary for the average twin story.
At the time, the action adventure TV series MacGyver was something fresh and creative. The show concentrates on the handsome secret agent, played by Richard Dean Anderson, who is extremely intelligent and scientifically resourceful. The show had a successful run from 1985 to 1992. However, as time went on the show became less relevant and more mundane.
The show has recently been rebooted as a hit TV show. The best part of MacGyver was his creative use of everyday objects. It was common place for the titular hero to use his trusty Swiss Army knife and some tape to make anything he would need when he was out in the field.
While cool at the time, it comes off as completely ridiculous to modern audiences.
What other beloved TV shows have not aged well? Let us know in the comments!
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