Movies/TV Shows/etc moments that seem really dated now...

The cell phone thread got me to thinking about a comment my mom once made about “Seinfeld”- where Jerry is kvetching about a baseball player not having the time to call him- something that wouldn’t really happen in this day and age, what with cell phones.

And watching older shows like “Leave it to Beaver” where Wally dates a girl who’s a drop out, who <gasp> drinks beer appear really quaint today. As does the fact that dear Wally passes up the opportunity to neck with said girl…
Plus, the fact that in one other episode of the show, June advises Wally to order for his date. Oh yes, and the bitching about paying 80 cents for a bowl of soup. All VERY quaint today. (Or in some cases, downright sexist…)

What moments like this have occurred to you?

I think the whole movie “Saturday Night Fever” is really dated (albeit a good movie). The premise would never happen today (young man obsessed with disco dancing) . I don’t think it would even happen if you switched disco to another type of music. If it does, it’s not commonplace.

Any of the random musical numbers that used to appear in otherwise non-musical films. Found in films ranging from Stagecoach to The Pink Panther.

Anything involving Evil Godless Commie Soviets as the villains.

Anything with a white actor in black/red/yellowface.

The gratuitous rollerskating scene in The Hunger, complete with those clunky old-fashioned pre-rollerblade skates. As my friend said, “Were we supposed to think this was cool in the '80s?”

St. Elsewhere. The character stories are still engrossing, but the difference between what was considered to be cutting edge medical drama and what we have today is just a little discordant. I caught it on Bravo one afternoon and the doctors were conferencing over one patient… all i could think was “give him and MRI and find out.” Then I realized they didn’t have MRIs.

How exactly, is ordering for your date sexist?

Ratnor did it in Fast Times. It’s not like you are choosing what your date is going to eat. Sheeesh:rolleyes:.

I’m surprised how poorly All in the Family has aged. I just can’t watch i nymore.

A lot of 1960s stuff has aged badly, too, but the thing is – I was aware of it at the time. The late 60’s seemed so proud of itself – breaking free of old taboos, starting a new philosophy. Things did change (they alwas do), but not in the earth-shaking way they thought. “Consciousness III” and all that. “Future shock”. I’m reading som Spider Robinson stuff right now, and it is painfully stuck in the early 1970s.

It’s kind of odd to go back and re-read Neil Simon’s old plays. In Come Blow Your Horn it is treated as shocking when the older brother’s girlfriend suggests going to bed together. (She uses it as an ultimatum, and she had to get herself drunk to suggest it). Everyone skates ervously around the issue, and no one goes to bed with anyone.
Times has changed.

Early episodes of recent hit shows; first season episodes of “Friends”, “Seinfeld” and others showcasing early 90s hairstyles and clothes (a little too close to the 80s for my tastes). Early “Friends” are particularly hard to watch, not because they’re dated, but because they’re so damned awful.

The truly great shows never feel dated. I don’t feel like I’m watching a 60s show when I watch “The Andy Griffith Show,” or “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. Likewise with their respective decades for Barney Miller, Cheers and the latter-half Seinfeld.

In my quest to see all the Best Picture Oscar winners, I saw Ordinary People a while back. Apparently, it was rather revolutionary back in 1980 for (guess who?) ordinary people to see a psychiatrist. I mean, sure, psychiatrists weren’t novel at that time or anything, but until then it seems that the entertainment media only showed psychiatrists dealing with people with obvious mental problems. The idea of regular folks going to a psychiatrist just to talk stuff out was, evidently, kinda new and strange.

There was one movie from the 50s–I think it was GENTLEMEN’S AGREEMENT–where one character was trying to entice Gregory Peck to come to a party he was throwing. “There’ll be some people there. And some girls.” That line got some hoots in my 1982 film class…

Also, the scene in MARNIE where Sean Connery forces sex on his new bride Tippi Hedren doubtless was filmed with very different intentions back then than what a modern viewer might read into it. Come to think of it, an awful lot of Sean Connery scenes where he manhandles the ladies as 007 have kind of an icky edge today.

Sinatra and Lawford smacking masseuse asses in OCEAN’S ELEVEN can draw hoots today.

As for ORDINARY PEOPLE, I think the Bob Newhart show broke a lot of ground for normal people in therapy in popular entertainmnet. The revolutionary thing about ORDINARY PEOPLE was that Mary Tyler Moore’s character could be such a heavy, or that the matriarch of a “nice” family could mess her kid’s mind up so badly. Laura Petrie and Mary Richards were still a recent memory for most people back then; it would be like watching Jennifer Aniston strangle a puppy or something today.

Tron. There are little people in my computer, riding motorcycles, throwing frisbees and wearing neon party hats? Come to think of it, this may well explain why the boards are so slow. Get back to work, ya little fucks!

MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN one year after the series ended.

At the time, my parents & I watched every episode & usually found it to be hilarious (and we’re conservative Christians btw- we LOVED Loretta Hagers/Mary Kay Place), but after MHMH ran its course we
could never watch it in repeats again as it was so dated.

THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES on the other hand! CLASSIC COMEDY FOR ALL GENERATIONS! Hell, when real-life Enterprises are traveling the galaxies, TBH will still be funny.

Well, I thought about that, but the few times I saw the old Bob Newhart Show, it seemed to me that his patients were, well, wingnuts. Wingnuts who didn’t need to be committed, of course, but still, compulsive liars, kleptomaniacs, whatever. People with obvious problems, like I said earlier.

Rollerblade® appreciates your assistance in protecting the Rollerblade brand name by following the guidelines listed below, should you have occasion to write about or mention Rollerblade brand products or the sport of in-line skating.


WRONG: rollerblade, rollerblades
RIGHT: Rollerblade® brand in-line skates
Coolblade® skates
RS™ model

I don’t know if St. Eligius Hospital had MRIs, but MRIs were first demonstrated in 1980, and St. Elsewhere was on 1982-1988.

Somewhere around the mid-90s, it became unlawful to smoke in government buildings. If you ever see a cop show where the detectives smoke in the squad room (early “Homicide:LOTS”), it looks bizarre today. Speaking of TV cops, the '50s version of “Dragnet” pre-dated the 1966 Miranda ruling. Joe Friday didn’t start reading suspects their rights until the revived “Dragnet” in 1967.

You’d think that “2001: A Space Odyssey” would seem dated, since it’s now set in the past. Luckily, it seems so far removed from real-life that you’re not conscious of the alleged year. “2010” on the other hand seems strange because of the tension between Russian and American astronauts. Little did they know we’d be sending joint crews to a space station.

The pretty-in-pastel Crockett and Tubbs in Miami Vice.

I don’t know if I want them to catch a thief or redecorate my apartment.

two snaps

NYPD Blue they are NOT.

The cell phone thread reminded me of another. “The Sure Thing.” 1985. Anthony Edwards is lounging by the pool, calling John Cusack on the phone. “I’m talking to you cordless!” he boasts. A phone without a cord! I’m hitching a ride cross-country for that!

Well, sure, WSLer, but it shouldn’t be EXPECTED that he’ll order for his date. He isn’t a cad if his date finds herself having to converse with the waitstaff.

As for cigarettes- “The Exorcist” is dated iin that same way. A doctor lights up, and for a moment I knew something was wrong but couldn’t put my finger on what…but then I realized. And according to my dad, some of the procedures they do in that movie are things that are needlessly painful now. And there’s smoking in “Eye of the Beholder”- a Twilight Zone episodes, circa the 1950’s.

My vote would go to pretty much any TV show from the 60s and how they depict women as, well, pretty much men’s property. All I can say is that as a married adult male, I couldn’t stand living like that (well, except for the cooking and cleaning part, maybe).

An easy example can be found right in the theme song to Green Acres

Him : “You are my wife.”
Her : “Goodbye city life!”
Both : “Green Acres we are there!”

There was also quite a bit more sexism in the Flintstones that one would have expected from a cartoon. I can’t remember a specific example, but there were many.

Speaking of the Flintstones and datedness, there’s a rather amusing video making the rounds on the Internet right now. You may be able to find it with a certain file sharing program. It’s a really old, black and white animated commercial for Winston cigarettes featuring Fred and Barney.

Choice lines from the commercial :

Fred : “That’s right, Barney. Winston is the one filtered cigarette that delivers flavor 20 times a pack.”

Barney : “Filter blend makes the big taste difference and only Winston has it, up front where it counts. Here, ahead of the pure white filter. Winston packs rich tobaccos specially selected and specially processed for good flavor and filter smoking.”

Also dated are old, racist cartoons that never get shown on TV anymore. Here, again, the Internet is the only way to see what people were really watching back then. I have a WWII-era cartoon called “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips.” Terrible, but still interesting to watch just for the jaw-dropping affect it tends to have on me.

I also got a chuckle from an old Twilight Zone episode that featured an aspiring writer trying to get noticed in Hollywood. Someone told him something along the lines of “Hollywood is only looking for good, talented writers with original ideas.” That practically made me spit my coke all over my desk.

There’s a lot of television references, but I’ll cite a movie.

2010: The Year we Make Contact (1984). Okay, you’ve got the big bad Soviets… um…