"Reviving the 70s: Unveiling the Top 8 Must-Watch TV Shows"
The decade of the 70s gave us an abundance of novelties. Notably, the original Star Wars film graced the screen for the first time, and the world fell in love with the indolent yet endearing cat, Garfield. Thanks to Sony, we were able to enjoy music on the go, carrying our portable Walkmans with us everywhere we went. And who could forget the iconic feathered hairstyle of Farrah Fawcett from the TV show Charlie’s Angels? Meanwhile, two computer enthusiasts embarked on their own venture, which has grown into the powerful tech giant we know today as Microsoft. As for TV programs, there were some noteworthy ones that either raised eyebrows or warmed our hearts. Here’s a trip down memory lane, highlighting the best 70s TV shows that kept us glued to our TVs.
This comedy-drama series chronicling the Korean War, called Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, or M*A*S*H for short, originated from the feature film of the same name. The show’s impressive camerawork and photography creates a realistic atmosphere, making you feel like you’re right there in the battlefield. The sharp and quick-witted exchanges between the surgeons and nurses, accompanied by the clinging of surgical instruments, give viewers a sense of the unity and devotion to their cause. The show features a handful of key characters including the sharp-tongued and skillful chief surgeon Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce (played by Alan Alda), the strong and sexy head nurse and temporary adjutant Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan Penopscott (Loretta Swit), the quirky and humorous chaplain Father John Patrick Francis Mulcahy (William Christopher), and the amusing corpsman Maxwell Q. Klinger (Jamie Farr), who is known for his dressing up in women’s attire that often leads to hilarity.
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live, popularly known as SNL, has been a fundamental source of laughter and satire for generations. The show uses comedy sketches to caricature and satirize American culture and politics, and it has produced countless memorable moments. The show features a large ensemble cast, launching many of its members into stardom. In the 70s, SNL’s cast included the likes of Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, John Belushi, Gilda Redner, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray. This is a must-watch for those who enjoy slapstick, mixed with cleverly articulated wit. Need proof? Just watch this classic skit from Season 4, aired in 1979, titled Superhero Party!
All In The Family
This sitcom blurred the line between television’s family-friendly demeanor and gritty real-life issues, shaking the airwaves and raising eyebrows. Though not the typical PG material, the show remained on top of CBS’s ratings for five seasons straight due to its raw treatment of pressing issues like racism, abortion, and religion, among others. It cleverly portrayed these taboo subjects in a comic format, without any compromise of the message it needed to convey. All In The Family was a trailblazer: it examined serious issues while finding levity in them, ultimately carving a space in American TV history.
The series we are discussing are some of the most iconic television shows of the 1970s, cherished by multiple generations of viewers. One such show is Happy Days, which transports us back to the 1950s and revolves around the Cunningham family and their loveable friends. At the helm is Richie (Ron Howard), who is the all-American boy next door, and his best friend Potsie (Anson Williams). Henry Winkler played the iconic role of the motorcycle-riding bad boy with a heart of gold, Fonzie. And let's not forget about the lovable goofball Ralph Malph (Don Most).
Another popular show from the era is Laverne & Shirley, which centers around two best friends, Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Shirley (Cindy Williams), who work at a Milwaukee brewery. Laverne is the feisty and street-savvy one, while Shirley is the sweet and innocent half of the duo. They both have an infectious charm that made the show an instant hit.
Then there's Mork & Mindy, which introduced us to Mork (Robin Williams), a zany alien from the planet Ork, who is sent to Earth to study human behavior. Mork is taken in by kind-hearted Mindy (Pam Dawber), who helps him fit in on Earth. Robin Williams' comedic talent and quick wit made the show a beloved classic.
All of these shows have left a lasting impact on pop culture and continue to be enjoyed by fans all over the world.
The Popular TV Shows of the 1970s
Among the most beloved television shows during the 70s were the spin-offs of Happy Days - Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy. This served as proof of the immense popularity of the Happy Days franchise back then.
The Happy Days series centers around the life of a Milwaukee teenager, Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard). His family and friends include his father, Howard (Tom Bosley), who owns a hardware store; his mother, Marion (Marion Ross), who is a housewife and takes care of the whole family; his sister Joanie (Erin Moran); and his friends Potsie Weber (Anson Williams), Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler), and Ralph Malph (Don Most). Meanwhile, Mork & Mindy showed the adventures of alien Mork (Robin Williams) and his later wife, human Mindy (Pam Dawber). Lastly, Laverne & Shirley features the lives of roommates Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams) and Laverne DeFazio (Penny Marshall) who work at Shotz Brewery. Incidentally, they were Fonzie’s friends on Happy Days.
The Timeless Hawaii Five-O
Even if you're more acquainted with the current version, the original series of Hawaii Five-O in the 70s is just as impressive. In 1973, the show was even nominated for an Emmy award for best drama.
Hawaii Five-O revolves around the imaginary police force of the Hawaiian Islands. The team is led by former Navy man Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord), who works with other local officers like Danny Williams (James MacArthur), Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong), and Kono Kalakaua (Gilbert Lani Kauhi aka Zulu), among others.
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