Television programs you enjoyed during broadcast, but now can't watch

For me, it’s Battlestar Galatica. Yes, I was one of those nerds really into this show for the majority of its first three seasons. I purchased every season on DVD, certain I’d want to repeat watching it in the future.

But, the problem is all of that sanctimonious religious crapola. I had long held out hope that science and reason would win the day in the end, that Baltar would get what was coming to him, and that hope for the human race would be based on something tangible and innate to humanity. [SPOILER ALERT] But, no … oh very much “but, no.”

Now I can’t watch it at all, because of the sanctimonious religious crapola that is in almost every episode, which I find reprehensible, all the more so since, in the context of the show, it turns out to be right! :mad::dubious::rolleyes:

The final, hateful message of Battlestar Galatica: humanity is utterly doomed for all eternity and only “god” (or Gaius Baltar, whichever, for Og’s sake) can save us. To HADES with that stupid rubbish.

I know I probably expected too much. But I really did think the conflict between science and religiosity early the show would be ultimately resolved in favor of science.

Married with Children.
Seemed a lot funnier back then.

Of course, I was younger then too.

Loads of shows from when I was a kid: Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, The Mighty Hercules, Rocket Robin Hood, etc.

Yes, if these were still shown (and some are on TV Land or whatever) sitcoms from the past. Brady Bunch, What’s Happening, I Love Lucy, Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, Dick Van Dyke, the Munsters, Gunsmoke, Cosby Show. I simply have no interest in revisiting the B and C list. Not even out of curiosity. Heck, I thought they were dumb when I was young, no reason to change my mind now.

Add Little House on the Prairie to that list for me. And All in the Family.

Lost - totally riveting the first 3 or 4 seasons, then the remainder went totally off the rails into a convoluted mess. Those early episodes would still be good, except now I know that I’ll never get any real answers to anything.

I loved that show when it was current, but it was already in its 3rd or 4th season when I started watching it, I think. I spotted it on Netflix (streaming) and decided to watch the first couple seasons that I missed, and I just couldn’t get into it. I think part of the problem for me was that, by the time I started watching the show originally, Kelly and Bud had already become a major, integral part of the stories. So I was surprised to find them so peripheral in the early seasons (though given their ages at the beginning I can understand it, given the rules about actors who are minors), and so much emphasis on Al’s and Peg’s relationship with Marcy and her first husband whose name I can’t recall.

I enjoyed the original 90210, but I can’t imagine re-watching it now.

The West Wing. During the Bush years it was a nice escapist fantasy of what it would be like to have a proper president, liberal and smart with smart people around him. Now we have a president like that and things still suck, the program seems like hollow mockery.

The vast majority of old cartoons are total garbage.

People of my generation all have fond memories of legendary old 80s shows like He-Man, GI Joe, Transformers, Thundercats, Silverhawks, Inspector Gadget, Dungeons and Dragons, Voltron, etc., and more obscure titles like Ghostbusters (not “The REAL Ghostbusters”), M.A.S.K., Pac-Man, Rubik - The Amazing Cube, etc.

They’re pretty much all unwatchable now. Maybe Dungeons & Dragons still stands up, but I only think that because I haven’t seen it since it was actually airing new. He-Man is particularly egregious (as a kid, did I really not notice that every episode was exactly the same?).

Of the old cartoons I liked to watch back in the day, only Robotech and Ducktales still hold up today.

I was surprised that MAS*H didn’t hold up well. Tried watching it just last night and found it really lacking. I’m searching for the right word. Just very uninteresting, I guess.

Why is this happening to so many shows?

Is it because TV, storytelling, and acting are evolving and getting better with time?

Is it because the shows today are more fast-paced, and the old shows are too slow for us?

I tried re-watching Little House on the Prairie, Fame, Remington Steele, etc, and couldn’t watch more than a couple episodes. Not only the stories, but the acting seemed bad too.

I’d venture that most of these old shows just weren’t very good to begin with.

Think about it: from the beginning of broadcast television through well into the 80s, there were essentially only 3 channels, plus PBS (sure, there were also a few scattered UHF channels, but those were just airing reruns of old network shows and the 700 Club). When you’ve only got 3 choices at any given time, you’ll watch almost anything.

it very true that with broadcast tv you had to settle for a few channels of what was often crap.

now many people can pick from 50 to hundreds of channels for their crap.

I loved it when it was first on, and still love it. I’m recording daily repeats of MWC, and watch them routinely. Could help that I’m now… you know. MWC.

Steve was Marcy’s first husband. And they COMPLETELY revamped the show by the 4th season, though it was gradual. Originally, they were just a couple with real world problems that you rarely saw on TV - kids were a pain in the ass, wife spent too much money, husband had crappy job. But you’d still see Peg feeding the kids, and Kelly could read, Bud had limited success with girls, Al would occasionally have sex with Peg. But by the 4th season, they were in full Psycho-Dad/Nudie Bar/Wanker County/NO MA’AM mode.

I still like early episodes of Dukes of Hazzard and most of Married With Children (until Peg left), they hold up pretty well.

Alf was one show that I really missed, but when I watched reruns probably 20 years later it was awful.

Certainly the storytelling in today’s TV is far more complex than in episodes from 30-40 years ago. MAS*H at most would have two separate plotlines in an episode, and often these were either closely linked (e.g. different character groups dealing with the same basic crisis) or one would be largely subordinate to the other (I’m thinking here of the episode where Hawkeye is temporarily blinded; the subplot with Burns winning money on AFR baseball games reruns is just a way for Hawkeye to use his condition to his advantage). By contrast, comedies today routinely work in 3-4 different stories which may (at best) share a common theme and which often use a different mix of characters each week–i.e. it isn’t always Hawkeye/Trapper/BJ vs. Frank/Hot Lips/Charles. Moreover, modern TV episodes play with chronological order routinely, often without necessarily cluing in the viewer; by contrast, '70’s TV wouldn’t dare even attempting a flashback without the wavy screen and harp music.

I also think TV held onto a lot of the tropes of theatre/vaudeville well into the 70’s. In particular, plots and actors had a tendency to make every action/motive/statement very clear and fairly unambiguous–like the show was still being put on so that even the folks in the cheap seats could see and hear what was going on (BTW, I think this is what made a show like Mission: Impossible so groundbreaking, in that if found taut drama in smaller, close-up details and by keeping the audience in the dark on multiple plot points).

Those vaudeville roots also produced a fairly thin characterization, mainly defined as fairly broad, unchangeable types often summed up by a catchphrase or running gag (you had to do that in a vaudeville show that rotated different actors thru the same set of stock characters/situations). That model was no doubt encouraged because of the needs of the TV business, particularly reruns and (later) syndication; since you couldn’t guarantee the viewer would see episodes in order, it could get a little confusing if characters actually grew and changed over the course of a series. The rise of series on DVD and DVR, the endless TV commentariat on the Internet, and the now-common idea that a viewer can “burn thru” a whole season in one or two sittings–has encouraged writers to produce more complex main characters and develop guest roles that span several episodes, which allows the viewer to become more invested in the fates of the characters.

Now this doesn’t mean all "classic’ TV is bad, or that it all suffered equally under these conditions. But it does explain why a show like Gunsmoke–18 seasons, pretty popular in its day–that leaned on these tropes can seem dated and lackluster today.

I love Married With Children! They’ve had hilarious guest stars, Tim Conway as Peg’s father, and Sam Kiniston in a Christmas Carol episode. Christina Applegate was the most beautiful girl on TV, and her clothes were astonishing. Some episodes will stay in my head forever - Bud whackin’ off in the library, and Al taking the ‘scouts’ camping. The first season or two was awful, though. Sorry for derailing, but I have to defend MWC.

Did I say I Love Lucy? The earlier ones were all right in a retro way, but her shows were revamped and reformed, went on far too long, and lost their wacky charm. And Ricky Ricardo.

Wasn’t she, though? And a damn good actress to boot.

Wait…there was an actress behind those tits?

When Profit first aired in 1996, it seemed like the cleverest, raciest television ever. Now it just seems like dull 90s crap.