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23 Amazing TV shows from the ’80s only true Gen-Xers remember

8. The Littles (1983-85)


The only people who loved The Littles were people who read the far superior series of books on which it was based, and even we weren’t totally nuts about the show. The Littles themselves were tiny rodent-like humans who lived in the walls of a family’s house. You’d think it would have made a great animated series, but somehow reading about little people who have tails made total sense. Seeing it portrayed on TV was a little creepy.

9. Joanie Loves Chachi (1982-83)


Oh, to be young and in love and to be Erin Moran singing passionately into Scott Baio’s puppy dog eyes! A far too short-lived spinoff of Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi chronicled the twosome’s life in the big city trying to make a go of it as rock stars. The theme song alone can move me to tears.

10. My Sister Sam (1986-88)


I always thought of My Sister Sam as a sequel of sorts to Mork & Mindy, even though the only thing the shows had in common were roommates and Pam Dawber. Sam (Dawber) is a photographer whose long-lost 16-year-old sister (played by Rebecca Schaeffer) comes to live with her in San Francisco. I loved the show and was heartbroken along with the rest of the country when Schaeffer was killed by a stalker a year after it went off the air.

11. Madame’s Place (1982-83)


Oh, how thrilled I was by Wayland Flowers and his salty aging actress puppet Madame! I knew I wasn’t getting 95 percent of Madame’s dirty jokes, but I didn’t care! A puppet in prime time! Who hosted her own talk show! I loved teeny-tiny Corey Feldman as Madame’s neighbor, and had absolutely no clue that Wayland and Madame had been massive gay icons since the ’60s. “A crazy old lady puppet!” was all I cared about at the tender age of 8.

More: 19 Gifts all Gen-Xers wanted desperately in the ‘80s

12. It’s a Living (1980-82)


Before her star turn as a ghost in Jennifer Slept Here, Ann Jillian was already committing to that platinum curled-under shag as part of the hilarious crew of waitresses at the fancy Above the Top restaurant on the top floor of the Bonaventure Hotel. The ladies endured the joking of a sleazy pianist and were presided over by another hair marvel, Marian Mercer as Nancy Beebe, Above the Top’s hostess, who was so glamorous you could hardly stand it.

13. She’s the Sheriff (1987-89)


Suzanne Somers in her first post-Three’s Company role as a sheriff of a Nevada town? Why not, you ask? Well, the show was voted one of TV Guide‘s 50 Worst Shows, but I think we can all agree that’s a little harsh. Sure, it was improbable that a widowed mom would be given her husband’s sheriff job, but as a tween, I found the prospect of sweet Chrissy Snow as a law enforcement agent genius.

14. The Edison Twins (1982-86)


It wasn’t Double Trouble, but it was a show about twins (not real twins, alas) who solved mysteries using science. The show was Canadian and a tiny bit too educational for me, but I thought the male twin looked a lot like Christopher Atkins and so, due to some incomprehensible kid logic, I kept watching.

Next: Even more essential ’80s TV

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