I was recently thinking about some sitcoms from the 1980s which I grew up with. To this day their theme songs really stir something in me. For example, Who’s the Boss:
Another one that really gets me is The Facts of Life:
Oh, and, of course, Charles in Charge:
There were a ton of similar shows, though none of them really hit me in the same way. Different Strokes, Family Ties, Major Dad, etc. etc. etc.
The thing is, in retrospect, while these shows evoke a lot of nostalgia, they probably shouldn’t, because they often were not good. I don’t mean that they weren’t well written and well acted; they were that. I mean that the family aspect to them wasn’t real. A family is, fundamentally, about teaching the younger members how to be human, and how to do it well. These shows only did that occasionally, and then quite often reluctantly. Their heart was really in subverting the idea of the family; they really wanted to get across the message that there is no such thing as a good way to be human, just do whatever you want and follow your heart, by which they meant that you should be a slave to your irrational impulses. Curiously, the major exception, so far as I remember, was The Cosby Show.)
Of course, they didn’t always do this, and I think that’s where a lot of the nostalgic feeling comes from. Still, it’s a curious thing that I feel a lot of nostalgia for these shows and do not want to show them to my children.
But, what the heck, here’s the greatest of the TV intro songs, aptly enough from The Greatest American Hero:
(If you aren’t familiar with the show, the premise was that aliens came and gave a school teacher a high-tech superhero suit that gives the wearers all sorts of superpowers to fight for justice. Unfortunately, he lost the manual and doesn’t know how to operate the suit, hence all of his clumsy takeoffs, landings, etc.)