HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
We'll Give You Three Characters, You Give Us the '80s TV Show
by Torrance Grey
CBS

The 1980s were when television began to reflect America as it really was -- racially diverse, politically divided, emotionally complex. In about 30 years, America went from TV shows that had to show married couples sleeping in separate twin beds to 1984's "Something About Amelia," a TV movie which depicted sex abuse in a suburban family. OK, most '80s TV wasn't *that* grim, but in shows from "St. Elsewhere" to "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law," viewers began to see corrupt cops, flawed doctors and imperfect parents. And they saw characters getting divorced, having affairs and struggling to pay the bills. Yet these issues weren't rare problems that preceded a character being written off the show; they were part of larger story arcs that included love, forgiveness and redemption. 

And, often, laughs. Shows like "Cheers" reliably provided a chance to kick back with "friends" at the end of a long day. Or, if you just needed campy fun, you were in luck. The 1980s were the heyday of the nighttime soap: "Dallas" was the champion, quickly spawning imitators like "Dynasty," "Falcon Crest" and "Knots Landing."

Return with us now to the second Golden Age of television, the 1980s. We'll give you the characters; you tell us the show. Good luck!


Read More
Scroll to Begin Quiz

ABOUT HOWSTUFFWORKS

How much do you know about how car engines work? And how much do you know about how the English language works? And what about how guns work? How much do you know? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks is about more than providing great answers about how the world works. We are also here to bring joy to your day with fun quizzes, compelling photography and fascinating listicles. Some of our content is about how stuff works. Some is about how much you know about how stuff works. And some is just for fun! Because, well, did you know that having fun is an important part of how your brain works? Well, it is! So keep reading!