Monday, 20 February 2012


This week during half-term, I went to the cinema with the family. My daughter's choice of treat was to go to see  the Muppets at the cinema. She had never seen the original Muppet Show. I, on the other hand was taken straight back to my childhood Saturday evenings.
I thought about other things we used to watch as a family. We had seen some of them on DVD in HMV the previous day. The A Team, Knight Rider, Airwolf (Airwolf!!!) It made me wonder why we there seems to be such a trend for 80s TV, music and even fashion. (Thankfully no shoulder pads, but there was quite a lot of neon in Claire's Accessories)
Those of us who were children and teenagers in the 80s now have families of our own - but was the TV really that great? The music certainly wasn't.
So what is going on? Are we so scared of the future that we retreat to the past? If the past is the 1980s, which, as I recall, included a war with Argentina, miners' strikes and millions of unemployed, perhaps we are retreating there because it's familiar. With the news from the Falkland Islands this week, perhaps it's a little too familiar.


  1. Sheena, Is this a good time to declare I've started a collection of vintage space lego? I don't think the music was all bad... I too have a number of 80s tv shows on DVD, I've shown them to the church youth group and they just don't get it. I'm not sure if we are retreating to what is familiar or trying to hold onto our youthfulness but I'm loving the 80s vibe to life right now. Perhaps there is a broader issue at hand, that there is no longer a style or focus to our culture like there used to be?

  2. I am quite fond of lego myself, James! And I still like much of the music I enjoyed in the (late) 80s.
    But seriously, you could be on to something. Our current culture is extremely diverse, changes so quickly and begs to be expressed in less than 140 characters. There are so many TV channels that it's not as if we (often) all sit down to watch the same thing at the same time - but we quite like it when we do - hence X Factor, Strictly etc. In the 80s there were a mere four channels - so many more people will have the same memories of watching those shows, or Top of The Pops, or listening to the charts on a Sunday evening. There's a shared experience there that we currently lack. (With the Strictly/ X factor example being the most obvious exceptions)

    Interesting that your youth group don't get some of the 80s TV. My son asked me what the A Team was about, "Was it 4 guys in a van that travel around, jump out and blow things up?" When I said that was pretty much it, he said "Sounds boring!" In fact it probably bears some resemblance to an episode of this season's Top Gear!