20 Nostalgic TV Shows Gen Xers Agreed Would Never Make It Today

Have you ever sat down to watch a TV show and realized it aged poorly? You’ve got company. Recently, an online Gen X forum member asked, “What TV shows have you tried to watch out of nostalgia, and it just doesn’t work anymore.” Here are their top-voted responses. Do you agree?

1. The Love Boat (1977-1987)

The Love Boat 1977
Image Credit: ABC.

Do you remember watching The Love Boat? One Gen Xer admits, “This was IT! My family would gather around the TV to see what crazy shenanigans we’d get this week. I tried rewatching a few weeks ago, and — crickets.”

2. ALF (1986-1990)

Alf TV series
Image Credit: NBCUniversal Inc.

There was once a time when the TV series, ALF, was the “epitome of coolness.” Nonetheless, many users agree with one who says, “I tried rewatching it a month or so ago, and — crickets.”

3. Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000)

Beverly Hills 90210 90s TV Shows
Image Credit: Paramount.

Beverly Hills, 90210 was one of my favorite shows. I remember faithfully tuning in every week. However, it is terrible acting, and revisiting it had cringe factors. One best explains it when they say, “You sort of identify with the characters when you’re at their age, so obviously trying to identify with a 19-year-old when you’re 50 just won’t work.”

4. 21 Jump Street (1987-1991)

21 Jump Street TV series
Image Credit: Fox.

Another Gen Xer confesses, “I revisited 21 Jump Street on Roku because I was remembering my first crush, Johnny Depp. I was disappointed when I discovered the first episode was a two-parter because I was already over it after the first one. That was a must-see for me as a junior-high kid in love.”

5. Happy Days (1974-1984)

Happy Days The Fonz
Image Credit: ABC.

“Early Happy Days is weird,” reports one. “It’s all 1950s. All the actors shout their lines. It just feels really old and dated. It’s a genuinely bizarre show—a mix of 1970’s schmaltz with retro 50’s nostalgia.”

6. Airwolf (1984-1986)

Airwolf 1984
Image Credit: CBS.

Numerous people agree with one who nominates Airwolf. “It was so cheeseball that I turned it off after 15 seconds.” A second person adds, “We rewatched some, and I agree. The most interesting thing I noticed now is it was obvious Jan Michael Vincent was using cue cards during Season Three.”

7. Quantum Leap (1989-1993)

Quantum Leap Brooke Shields
Image Credit: NBC.

Someone suggests that the original Quantum Leap is a show they tried to rewatch, but it didn’t hold up. “Every episode is just, ‘Tee hee, Al had to interrupt his womanizing to save Sam AGAIN.’ Also, the episodes where Sam leaped into people who were not white males were, um, handled differently than I would have hoped.” I’ve never seen this show, but that doesn’t sound good.

8. The Dukes of Hazzard (TV Series 1979–1985)

The Dukes of Hazzard
Image Credit: CBS.

The Dukes of Hazzard is in the thread multiple times. Someone admits, “It’s aged poorly — not just the Confederate flag, but the humor and situations in the show. Boss Hogg is a cartoon character. Roscoe acts like he has brain damage. Bo and Luke are cousins, and isn’t Daisy too? All cousins?

And Uncle Jesse is nobody’s parent. They drive recklessly everywhere in a race car, and the residents of Hazzard don’t seem to mind. Every week another criminal comes to town, and Bo and Luke are the only ones in town who get involved. I could go on and on. The Dukes of Hazzard is fun eye candy but is superficial and outdated.”

9. Ally McBeal (1997-2002)

Ally McBeal 90s TV series
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

To this day, no TV show has made me cry like Ally McBeal‘s “Angels and Blimps,” Season 2, Episode 13. It was one of my favorite shows, and I rewatched it a couple of times in my life. Nevertheless, so much of it is outdated that there is cringe throughout. You have to admit, at the time, it was hilarious, with eccentric stories and fantastic singing. 

10. The Cosby Show (1984-1992)

The Cosby Show
Image Credit: NBC.

Bill Cosby destroyed his legacy with many of these forum members for his despicable crimes. So watching The Cosby Show is an impossibility now. A former fan writes that his wife had the series on DVD, but neither of them can stomach the thought now.

11. Land of the Lost (1974-1977)

Land of the Lost 1974
Image Credit: Sid & Marty Krofft Productions.

Land of the Lost is described as a 70s time warp. However, one notes that they keep replaying the same filmed scenes in every episode repeatedly. “It’s so crazy. I didn’t notice this as a child. It was my favorite show back then, so I was excited to see it again. What a disappointment!”

12. Little House on The Prairie (1974-1983)

Little House on the Prairie
Image Credit: NBC.

Several users agree with one who writes, “Little House on The Prairie—the same soppy background music tracks, on a constant loop, over and over. Every time something upsetting happens to a character, that music swells up, and they run off into the distance. These people constantly run away. The camera sits there and watches them go for the entire sprint, and that music just drones on and on.”

13. In Living Color (1990-1994)

In Living Color
Image Credit: Fox Television.

In Living Color was hilarious in its time, and I tuned in every week. I moved my coffee table out of the way so that I could try to keep up with the fly girls. FYI: Kicking a solid wood coffee table — barefoot, with your toes, is not a pleasant experience. But I digress; many forum members say they tried to rewatch it, but it doesn’t hit the same. “Homie, don’t play that,” no more. 

14. Fantasy Island (1977-1984)

Fantasy Island 1977
Image Credit: ABC.

“Once, I tried to watch Fantasy Island, and it did not go well,” replies one. “Aside from the embarrassingly thin plot, the sets appeared to be made of paper maché, and there was a boom mic in about half the scenes.”

15. Growing Pains (1985-1992)

Growing Pains
Image Credit: ABC.

Growing Pains. “The parents are fine, and Kirk Cameron and Jeremy Miller are cute, but I find Tracey Gold annoying, and why they had to have a fourth kid when Joanna Kerns wasn’t even pregnant in real life is beyond me. Ashley Johnson (kid #4) was awful — worse than Tracey Gold!”

16. Magnum, P.I. (1980-1988)

Magnum, P.I.
Image Credit: CBS.

Another forum member says, “Magnum P.I. I watched it with my Gen Z kids, and they got real uncomfortable with his behavior. So many racial, ethnic, and sexist stereotypes. Hard to explain to them why we thought he was the hero.”

17. Night Court (1984-1992)

Night Court TV series
Image Credit: NBC.

Night Court. One explains, “So many sexual harassment jokes. I watched as a kid and didn’t realize how messed up that show was.” I don’t remember the storylines, but I loved that show growing up. 

18. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979–1981)

Buck Rogers
Image Credit: NBC.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century appears numerous times in the discussion. Someone writes, “It’s definitely bad, but the second season is terrible. I also read a while back that Gil Gerard became really bitter after the show ended.”

19. Saved By The Bell (1989-1992)

Saved by the Bell 1989
Image Credit: NBC Productions.

Saved By The Bell was another show my sister and I happily consumed. However, I agree with the majority that it has aged horribly. A podcast called Zack Morris Is Trash breaks down what a jerk he is, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris) even helps the host break it down. 

20. Welcome Back, Kotter (1975-1979)

Welcome Back Kotter DVD
Image Credit: ABC.

“Ugh, Welcome Back, Kotter is awful now,” suggests one. “I loved it when I was about eight years old. We even had the board game.” Another adds, “I see it now, and everyone looks like they didn’t shower regularly.”

26 Comedy Films That Cancel Culture Forbids You From Laughing at Today

The Jerk 1979
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Has cancel culture come for your favorite films? There are several classic comedies that were once considered hilarious that are deemed offensive today. Here are twenty-six of them.

25 Nostalgic Movies Everyone Needs to See at Least Once in Their Lifetime

Stand by Me 1986 train tracks
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Take a trip down memory lane with this hand-picked list of classic films that have forever changed the face of cinema. These movies represent the spirit of different times and genres, from inspiring stories of friendship and adventure to terrifying suspense and beautiful romance.

12 Plot Points That Popular Movies Didn’t Bother Resolving for Audiences

The Karate Kid 1984 Daniel and Ali
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Do any of your favorite films have plot holes that were never resolved? You’re not alone. An entertainment community poster asked for examples of said plot holes. Here is what the forum volunteered. Did you notice?

Top 25 Longest Movies of All Time — Worthy of Every Minute

Image Credit: MGM.

Some stories in the world of film need more time to reveal their beauty. This collection recognizes the longest films that have captured our attention, hearts, and imagination. They range from epic sagas to deep dramas. Enter a universe where time is infinite as we watch movies that show that every second is a journey worth going on.

15 Famous Songs That Music Fans Voted as the Saddest — Do You Agree?

Fleetwood Mac
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

What is the saddest song you’ve ever heard? I’ll go first. Powfu’s song “Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head)” will hit you right in the feelings. After someone polled a music forum for other examples of the saddest songs of all time, here are THEIR top-voted songs. Do you agree?

Source: Reddit.


Website | + posts

Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.