Tag Archives: ABC

10 MOST UNDERRATED SITCOMS OF THE 1980’S

10. Mama’s Family

Essentially, this is a show built around Vicki Lawrence’s “Mama” character, who here plays the matriarch of bumbling family. There’s really nothing too spectacular about “Mama’s Family,” but it is good for some laughs.

9. Mr. Belvedere

The titular character was a wise-cracking Brit on the run, but was also a softie at heart. When not cleaning up after “Mr. Baseball,” Belvedere was enjoying the finer things in life and harassing some annoying kids.

8. Perfect Strangers

“Perfect Strangers” is an oft forgotten late 1980’s/early-1990’s sitcom. The show was pretty good and Pinchot was the breakout star as “fish out of water” Balki Bartokomous. He was kind hearted and goofy, but Balki could seriously wear on your nerves. Unfortunately for Pinchot, he never really escaped the role.

7. It’s Gary Shandling’s Show

People are probably much more familiar with “The Larry Sanders Show,” but “It’s Gary Shandling” was its predecessor and nearly as important. See if this premise sounds familiar, “a comedian comments on the minutia of daily life.” Yep, you’re probably thinking “Seinfeld,” but no “It’s Gary Handling’s Show.”

6. Empty Nest

“Empty Nest” was a solid late-1980’s/early-1990’s sitcom. Sure, the laughs weren’t too outstanding, but this one still had quite a bit of charm. Even though it doesn’t hold up so well, you can still see a bustling Miami. 

5. Soap

“Soap” is such a forgotten classic, as is butler Benson DuBois. DuBois was a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary, as he chewed-up screen time and stole viewers’ hearts.

4. Designing Women

While nothing about the premise of “Designing Women” catches your eye, but it’s the execution here that is outstanding. You just have so many excellent characters and the writing is truly top-notch. Well forgotten today, but this show was terrific. 

3. Police Squad!

“Police Squad!” would serve as the basis for the “Naked Gun” films a few years later. Those movies were great, but the TV show is similarly high-quality. Leslie Nielsen is the star here as well, showing his unique brand of humor. 

2. Coach

Coach had an amazing 9 season run, but is largely forgotten as many ABC sitcoms seem to be…for whatever reason. The trio of Craig T. Nelson, Jerry Van Dyke, and Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick the starfish for those under 30) was phenomenal. I’d still love to know how many students applied to Minnesota State in 1990.

  1. Night Court

Night Court is one of those series that seems to be largely forgotten. It’s a shame too, because throughout most of its run, it was really outstanding. That final season though…yuck! To top it all off, you had a miserable series finale, that included the much-loved Bull encountering aliens. Freaking aliens!!!!!

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