TV & Movie Classics


Jianna Wiedenmeyer, Staff writer

           Have you ever tried to find a new TV show or movie to watch but then all these classics come up? Do you often just skip over them because they look “old”? Well if you do, you’re not alone. Many people do this; but it is time to learn about some of the best TV shows and movies from the 1950’s all the way to this past year. There are many classic shows and movies that are intriguing to watch, yet many teens are unaware of them. Watching black and white film may not be your cup of tea and that is alright, but hopefully this article will provide some titles that entice you and catch your attention.


           Entertainment has changed immensely over the last century. The integration of color and animation changed the way many watch TV. The more “old fashioned” entertainment was full of classic romance, dancing, singing, and the enjoyable simplicity of modern day life. Nowadays, many of the shows today have introduced more violence, suggestive elements, gore, profanity, and sexual content, that shows in the mid-twentieth century didn’t contain. But another aspect of modern television is that many can find themselves in the characters or relating to situations; shows have become more inclusive which many find enjoyable. Surely you have been in a conversation with your family where they reminisce about the shows and movies they used to watch while they were younger. The classics are oftentimes just swept under the rug and not appreciated, but they should be appreciated because in their time, those were the hits of the day! Now let’s get to the point and maybe find a new show to watch this new year!


1950s – Television shows and movies were fairly new to society, since the first TV show came out in the 1930s. These shows and movies were strictly in black and white because color had not been applicable at this time

  • One of the most popular television series was called I Love Lucy, which ran 1951-57 for a span of six seasons. This was a very successful show that many enjoyed. 
  • A classic thriller, produced by Alfred Hitchcock, was Vertigo, a sensational movie that actually ran in color. This movie starred one of the most recognized actors at the time, James (Jimmy) Stewart. He was a very popular actor and was in many motion pictures. 

1960s – Still fairly new at the production of entertainment, the 60s offered up some of the most well known shows of the millennia

  • Some of these are the comical and lovable characters of  Gilligan’s Island, the hometown nostalgia of Mayberry (also known as The Andy Griffith Show), and the creative detective skills of detective Columbo
  • One of the most recognized actors of all time, John Wayne, starred in the movie El Dorado was released in 1967. That movie also starred James Caan who stars in movies to this day. This movie is your typical old western setting, with cowboys, saloons, heists, shoot outs, and bar fights. These all come together to make for a great movie. 

1970s – Now in this decade, one of the most loved shows of all time was run and enjoyed by the world

  • This show was Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; which ran for a whopping 31 seasons in total. This show was so popular and loved that since the end of the show in 2001, there have been many movies and shows (like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) made that emulate the spirit of the original. 
  • As well as one of the most popular shows of all time, this decade also brought one of the most beloved movie series, Rocky. This series first started in 1978 when the first movie was released, there have been many movies in the series still in the making to this very day. 

1980s – Now the shows that came out only 40 years ago, you may have heard of or seen when scrolling through channels on the TV

  • MacGyver being one of the top shows in its prime was a fun and creative show that included crime as well as inspired and challenged watchers to think creatively. You may have heard the phrase “Wow! A real MacGyver” when making or creating something; well the origins of that come from the main character in the show who was always using common items to make a handy tool. 
  • As well as such a great work on the television broadcasting side, the movie industries had a big boom as well with the creation of the movie Back to the Future. This movie is still very popular even today, a true classic and a very fun movie series to binge watch anytime.

1990s – Now this decade was roaring with hit shows that many still enjoy watching to this day

  •  Some of these are Friends, Family Matters, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Boy Meets World. These shows were probably some that your parents used to watch. There is not one show better than the other from the list above because they are all so timeless and enjoyable to people of all ages. 
  • Now as well as successful hit shows, this decade also introduced the movie Saving Private Ryan to the public, this war movie was sure made to pull at the watcher’s heart strings. Many can relate to this movie and it is a great one to watch for a good cry. 

2000s – This time period was probably filled with lots of childhood shows that you remember, since you were all kids 

  • The animated series Caillou or the hit series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody which I am sure many of you have either heard of or seen. As well as some well known detective shows like Psych, which is a show filled with comedy as well as true crime, but on the more realistic and serious side of detective shows, House and Monk were also broadcast. These shows all ran for several seasons and attracted many viewers. 
  • Never fear, Spiderman is here! Yes, the first Spiderman movie, featuring Tobey Maguire, came crawling into the lives of many superhero fans. There have been many movies published that go along the Spiderman era, and I am sure there will be many more to come.

2010s – A lot of the shows that came out in this decade are still being produced to this day

  •  Hits like Once Upon a Time which is a very well known show that is a run off of Disney stories and characters, just in a much more modern setting. This show has obtained many viewers and has captured the eye of many people.
  •  Now along with all these popular movies and shows one of the most heart tugging and enjoyable movie of the century so far was Avengers: Endgame. There are many different opinions on this movie and it also hit a box office record for the most money made with a $2.8 billion gross worldwide. Many watched this movie and then found themselves going back to the theater to watch it again and again. As well as the movie Frozen and its sequel Frozen II, which actually brought in more money than the original one. This movie series has made its way to the hearts of many viewers and has some lovable characters. 


          To sum all this up there are some timeless movies and shows that you may or may not have heard of before. These were all some of the top productions of their times. So maybe if you find yourself with some free time, watch one of these classics. You may just find one of your new favorite shows or rewatch an all time favorite movie. All in all, the production of shows and movies is booming now more than ever and there, so keep your eyes on the lookout for some great shows that may one day be considered classics to you.