Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:58 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 660

TV shows and movies set approximately 30 years in the past


It seems like in recent years there has been a wave of period TV shows set in the 1980s -- GLOW, Stranger Things, The Americans, and Halt and Catch Fire are recent ones I can think of. I have always heard this get chalked up to the idea that it takes about 30 years for people to become nostalgic for things. Now that the 1980s are a little over 30 years in the past, people are beginning to become nostalgic for that era.

So I'm now wondering if we can think of other shows or films from other eras set about 30 years in the past at the time they were released -- shows from the 2000s set in the '70s, 1990s shows set in the '60s, 1980s shows set in the '50s, etc.

For the 2000s I can think of Life on Mars, the original British version came out in 2006, it was set in 1973.
I know someone will probably mention That '70s Show, but I don't think that counts since it started in 1998, even though it was still on the air in the 2000s.

I can't think of any 1990s shows or movies set in the 1960s. Maybe you guys can.

I can't think of any 1980s TV shows set in the '50s (Happy Days was late 1970s), but for movies most of Back to the Future took place exactly 30 years in the past in 1955.

Straying off the TV and film, I definitely remember there being a lot of nostalgia for the 1950s when I was a kid, with teachers at my elementary school throwing sock hops, and holding '50s theme days, and that sort of thing.
  #2  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:05 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 660
I missed the edit window, but we can count individual individual episodes of TV shows, too, if the majority of the plot takes place in a flashback, time travel scenario, or setting that resembles 30 years ago (I'd count the Black Mirror episode "San Junipero", for example). And since I mentioned Black Mirror, it probably goes without saying that individual episodes of anthology series count.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 10-09-2019 at 01:08 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:13 PM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,847
The Untouchables from 1959, 30 years after the the time period where Chicago gangs were at their peak.

The Roaring Twenties was talking of an era just over 30 years from its premiere in 1960.
__________________
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.

Last edited by RealityChuck; 10-09-2019 at 01:13 PM.
  #4  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:20 PM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18,431
I wonder if there's maybe just a threshold value for that sort of nostalgia instead of some kind of definite window; Happy Days, That 70s Show and Tour of Duty are all set roughly 20 years prior to their actual air dates. And Mad Men is set some 60 years ago, more or less. Same for Astronaut Wives Club and Pan Am.

Derry Girls is set in the 1990s. So is Fresh Off the Boat, if I'm not mistaken.

My guess is that about twenty years have to pass, and then people are somewhat nostalgic, with that only growing over time.
  #5  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:21 PM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 20,306
Regarding WWII, the heyday was the 60s* but we have to look to the 70s to qualify. The only big time one was Baa Baa Black Sheep and it started in 1976.

For Korea, while MASH started in 1972, it ran until 83 covering the 30 year margin in its later seasons.

For Vietnam there's Tour of Duty (19871990) and China Beach (19881991). So both somewhat early for the period the shows covered.

In terms of war TV shows it looks closer to 20 years than 30 years.

* Combat, 12 O'clock High, The Rat Patrol, etc.
  #6  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:31 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
I wonder if there's maybe just a threshold value for that sort of nostalgia instead of some kind of definite window; Happy Days, That 70s Show and Tour of Duty are all set roughly 20 years prior to their actual air dates.
And The Wonder Years was set exactly 20 years prior to its actual air date. So maybe you're onto something. Maybe roughly 20 years is the sort of minimum threshold where people start becoming nostalgic, with it growing stronger between 20 and 30 years.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 10-09-2019 at 01:32 PM.
  #7  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:50 PM
YamatoTwinkie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,285
Freaks and Geeks and the Wonder Years are roughly 20 years prior.

Starsky & Hutch(film, 2004) is about 30 years from Starsky & Hutch (TV series, 1975)

Austin Powers(1997) is initially set in 1967
  #8  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:02 PM
zimaane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: washington, dc
Posts: 995
The Goldbergs premiered in 2013 and is still on. The show takes place in "1980something", so it fits the 20 -30 year time span well.
  #9  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:05 PM
madsircool is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 7,656
It the movie
  #10  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:06 PM
YamatoTwinkie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,285
The Sandlot(1993) takes place in 1962

Stand By Me(1986) takes place in 1959

It (TV miniseries 1990) takes place in 1960

It (film, 2017) takes place in 1988
  #11  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:06 PM
TCMF-2L is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 622
The British comedy The Grimleys was set in "the mid seventies" (I'd call it early seventies for the first season and maybe 1977 by the third season) and the pilot episode was produced in 1997 with the actual production run starting being broadcast in 1999. So about a 25 year distance. It was a good show.

TCMF-2L
  #12  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:09 PM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,847
Of course, westerns mess up the curve.
__________________
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
  #13  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:13 PM
Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 82,464
Some Like It Hot is a classic example. Made in 1959. Set in 1929.
  #14  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:28 PM
Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 82,464
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I can't think of any 1990s shows or movies set in the 1960s.
Apollo 13 (1995)
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Awakenings (1990)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
A Bronx Tale (1993)
Deep in My Heart (1999)
The Doors (1991)
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Heat Wave (1990)
JFK (1991)
The Krays (1990)
Malcolm X (1992)
Mermaids (1990)
Sleepers (1996)
That Thing You Do! (1996)

Last edited by Little Nemo; 10-09-2019 at 02:31 PM.
  #15  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:28 PM
TCMF-2L is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 622
There have been numerous British shows set during WW2 including:

Dad's Army (Comedy) first broadcast 1968
Colditz (Drama) first broadcast 1972
Allo Allo! (Comedy) 1982
Allo Allo! is basically a comedic parody of Secret Army (Drama) 1977
Shine On Harvey Moon (Drama set immediately after the war) 1982
Danger UXB (Drama) 1978
Camomile Lawn (Drama set immediately before and during the war) 1992
Tenko (drama) 1981
It Ain't Half Hot Mum (Comedy) 1974
Brideshead Revisted (Drama set between 1922 and into WW2) 1982

I suspect writers (to this day) use WW2 since, like any war, it obviously gives great dramatic potential. Plus in most of the shows I've mentioned the writers (or the authors of the original books for Brideshead Revisted and Camomile Lawn) actually lived through the war.

TCMF-2L
  #16  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:33 PM
squidfood is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 451
Atomic Blonde (2017 movie set in 1989).

Edit: to me this was a double - both scratched the "late cold war Berlin" atmospheric nostalgia niche, while in structure being a throwback to 1960-70s spy thrillers that were big in the 80s (le Carre et al.)

Last edited by squidfood; 10-09-2019 at 02:36 PM.
  #17  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:42 PM
TCMF-2L is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 622
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was a book set in and published in 1974 (although influenced by actual events in the 1960s) and made into a TV show five years later in 1979. Then in 2011, thirty years after the TV series and nearly forty years after the book, was made into a film.

TCMF-2L
  #18  
Old 10-09-2019, 03:12 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 660
Hijacking my own thread a bit: Last night I started watching season 3 of GLOW, which was what made me think of this topic. No real spoilers in this post, but I'll just mention that the first episode takes place on the day of the Challenger disaster. And that made me wonder something else -- Mad Men had an episode set the day of the Kennedy assassination. GLOW had the episode I just mentioned involving Challenger. I wonder at what point in the future we will see the 9/11 terror attacks become a plot point in some period drama? I guess you could argue that the play Come From Away already has, but that's a play literally about the events immediately after the attacks, not a drama that just happens to be set in the early 2000s that weaves the events into the plot.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 10-09-2019 at 03:13 PM.
  #19  
Old 10-09-2019, 05:00 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 85,111
I don't think it's so much that it takes time for nostalgia to develop; you also have to wait for the nostalgic people to become established in careers and have disposable income.
  #20  
Old 10-09-2019, 05:19 PM
squidfood is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I don't think it's so much that it takes time for nostalgia to develop; you also have to wait for the nostalgic people to become established in careers and have disposable income.
Or have kids - as a littleun I remember Sha na na was one of the weekly TV highlights because my parents had that kind of music on all the time. And part of the attraction my kid claims towards Stranger Things is it leads to me digging out cassette tapes or D&D books or something.
  #21  
Old 10-10-2019, 10:18 AM
mcgato is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Hoboken
Posts: 1,366
Quote:
Originally Posted by zimaane View Post
The Goldbergs premiered in 2013 and is still on. The show takes place in "1980something", so it fits the 20 -30 year time span well.
I always refer to "The Goldbergs" as "That 80s Show."
  #22  
Old 10-10-2019, 11:30 AM
bibliophage is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Maine
Posts: 10,703
Hogan's Heroes was set roughly 25 years after the war. The show was on the air longer than U.S. involvement in the war lasted.

The first season of The Waltons aired roughly 40 years after the events depicted, but by the last season it was only 35 years after. One of the reunion movies A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion (1993) took place exactly 30 years after the events depicted, which included their reaction to the JFK assassination.
  #23  
Old 10-10-2019, 04:40 PM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 20,306
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgato View Post
I always refer to "The Goldbergs" as "That 80s Show."
What a horrible slur.

I refer to The Goldbergs as that 20s/30s/40s/50s radio/TV show.
  #24  
Old 10-10-2019, 04:56 PM
Banksiaman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,023
A new Australian comedy, Frayed, which has not been aired yet but is now being promoted is set in 1988. It is about an Australian emigrant to Britain who returns to Australia.
  #25  
Old 10-11-2019, 10:15 AM
Drum God's Avatar
Drum God is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Central Texas, USA
Posts: 2,222
It seems to me that genres such as this appear when the people who would be interested are old enough to have disposable income to throw at advertisers.
__________________
At the feast of ego, everyone leaves hungry.
  #26  
Old 10-11-2019, 10:21 AM
BobLibDem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Home 07 NCAA HockeyChamps
Posts: 21,692
Mindhunters on Netflix is a little on the high side of 30 years, but close enough for me. Good series.
  #27  
Old 10-11-2019, 03:17 PM
furryman's Avatar
furryman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Collinwood, Collinsport
Posts: 3,985
NM

Last edited by furryman; 10-11-2019 at 03:18 PM.
  #28  
Old 10-13-2019, 12:58 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 59,239
The movie Frequency is largely about a time-skipping ham-radio conversation between a father and son, the former in 1969 and the later in 1999.
  #29  
Old 10-13-2019, 03:12 PM
Rilchiam is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 16,142
American Dreams aired from 2002-05, and covered 1963-66.

WildaBeast, there's a movie called Remember Me
SPOILER:
that has 9/11 as a plot point. Sort of.


(I was going to mention China Beach, but someone already did.)
  #30  
Old 10-13-2019, 04:12 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banksiaman View Post
A new Australian comedy, Frayed, which has not been aired yet but is now being promoted is set in 1988. It is about an Australian emigrant to Britain who returns to Australia.
This intrigues me. What, if anything, is so special about 1988, and what would he/she bring back to Australia from the experience?
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."
  #31  
Old 10-14-2019, 06:36 AM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 59,239
We're almost as far removed from Summer of Sam (1999) as it was from 1977, when it was set.
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #32  
Old 10-14-2019, 08:37 AM
DaveRaver is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Great South Bay
Posts: 746
Young Sheldon takes place in the '80s. Fresh Off the Boat started in 1989. Maybe they could have some crossover shows with the Goldbergs. ;-)
  #33  
Old 10-14-2019, 10:34 AM
Novelty Bobble is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 9,010
Deutschland '83 was first broadcast in 2015 (great series by the way, slightly under the radar but worth watching)
__________________
I'm saving this space for the first good insult hurled my way
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:10 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017