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80s Vs. 90s: Which Decade Was The Best In Entertainment?

September 26th, 2009 10:03am EDT | Maccorley Mathieu By: Maccorley Mathieu
MadonnaEighties and Nineties nostalgia are running rampant in pop culture right now. Television networks and film companies are resurrecting TV shows and movies like 90210, Melrose Place, Halloween, and Transformers. This obsession with the 80s and 90s have lead to TV specials and debates about which decade is better. Both provided us with fascinating films to watch, memorable music to listen to, and new forms of entertainment that we still use today. But when it comes to entertainment, which decade was better?

TELEVISION


In the 80s, there were only three major broadcast networks - ABC, NBC, and CBS. Fox was introduced later in the decade. Eighties television was populated by family sitcoms and prime-time dramas. Hit sitcoms included The Cosby Show, Cheers, and Family Ties. Crime dramas like Miami Vice and Tom Selleck's moustache on Magnum PI kept audiences tuned in every week. Prime-time soap operas like Dallas and Dynasty gave women another reason to gossip on the telephone. Saturday morning featured great cartoons like He-Man, Voltron, and Transformers, which many parents deemed too violent.

In the 90s, we saw the expansion of cable TV, which began stealing viewers from broadcast television. Premium channels on cable like HBO, Showtime and Cinemax allowed viewers to watch their favorite movies uncensored and unedited. Pay-Per-View allowed viewers to watch WrestleMania and boxing moments like when Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield's ear. Seinfeld was by far the biggest sitcom on television, crushing other sitcoms starring comedians. New broadcast networks like UPN and WB were introduced. The WB gave us Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Thank you WB! While UPN gave us shows like Homeboys in Outer Space. Saturday morning cartoons were almost non-existent near the end of this decade as many networks canceled their Saturday morning cartoon line-ups. The 90s had more shows on more channels, but the eighties had more memorable TV shows on less channels.

Edge: The 80s

Seinfeld

Image © Sony Pictures Home Entertainment



FILM


The 80s will always be remembered for John Hughes' films like The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. This decade will also be remembered for the release of many cheesy horror films. The top films of this decade were sci-fi and fantasy films like Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Back to the Future. There was a lot of nudity in 80s films, which led to the introduction of the PG-13 rating.

In the 90s, we saw the release of a number of romantic films like Titanic, which went on to become the highest grossing film of all-time. There were a number of send-up and parody movies like The Brady Bunch Movie and Scary Movie. Also, the 90s marked the return of teenage movies with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. in almost all of them. The 80s were filled with cult classics, but a lot of films during that time were horrible and cheesy. Most of the films in the 90s had CGI special effects and were blockbuster hits. Some of the great films released in the 90s were Pulp Fiction, The Silence Of The Lambs, and Goodfellas.

Edge: The 90s

The Breakfast Club

Image © Universal Studios Home Video



MUSIC


Eighties music was defined by big hair bands, heavy metal, and new wave music. There were a lot of great music figures that came out of this decade like Madonna, Metallica, and Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson released "Thriller" in 1982, which became the best-selling album of all time. MTV became the world's first music channel and popularized the music video.

The 90s saw the emergence of hip hop music with artists like Tupac Shakur, Notorious BIG, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, and Nas. Grunge and alternative music gave us bands like Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers. But the 90s focused more on pop music with artists like the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, and the Backstreet Boys. Besides the fact that most songs during the 80s used synthesizers, the 80s gave us some of the best artists ever. The music sounded great and was included as soundtracks for many films. The 90s provided us with some great music too, but there was too much teen pop being played on the radio.

Tupac


Edge: The 80s

SPORTS


The 80s were a great decade in sports. Professional boxing was very popular because Mike Tyson was knocking out everyone in his path. The NBA was dominated by the Celtics and Lakers who went to the finals almost every year. NBA players wore socks up to their knees and short shorts that looked like Daisy Dukes. Wayne Gretzky was the main figure in the NHL. And in the NFL, football teams played rugged defense and Smashmouth football. Teams like the '85 Chicago Bears and '86 New York Giants made teams pee in their pants.

Sports in the 90s will be remembered for dynasties. The Bulls dynasty was led by Michael Jordan, the most dominant player in the NBA. The Dallas Cowboys resurfaced as "Americas team" with their dynasty. The Yankees won three out of four World Series championships in baseball during that decade. ESPN was popular than ever during this time. And female sports like figure skating, gymnastics, and the WNBA were emerging. The 90s had Michael Jordan, the Bulls, Yankees and Cowboys dynasties. There's no decade that can compete with that.

Michael Jordan

Image © Ron Gould / PR Photos



Edge: The 90s.

FASHION & TECHNOLOGY


The 80s had fashion trends like big crazy hair, ripped jeans, and leather jackets. The VCR made it possible for people to watch their favorite movies over and over again. NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) was the main video game system. IBM and Apple both launched PC computers. Apple gave us the 3.5" floppy disk and the mouse. Cars became faster and aerodynamic. Parents rushed to Toys "R" Us to buy their children toys based on Saturday morning cartoons.

The 90s had many technological advancements. After the dominance of Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis early in that decade, Sony PlayStation became the dominant video game console near the end of the decade. The internet became very popular because of the World Wide Web. People could now get their porn and music from the internet. The DVD format was developed. Apple introduced the iMac computer. And fashion trends included tattoos, body piercings, flat tops, bald heads, and the Jennifer Anniston hairdo. There's no debate here. The 90s had better fashion and technology!

Edge: The 90s

The 90s surpass the 80s in film, sports, fashion and technology. Winner: The 90s

What decade do you think was better? Let us know in the comments!

Maccorley Mathieu
Story by Maccorley Mathieu

Starpulse contributing writer


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