Source: The New Democrat
Looking back at the time I grew up in and the generation I’m a member of, I feel really good about and perhaps even lucky. The 1980s wasn’t the perfect decade to grow up in, but that decade doesn’t exist, but it was a great decade to grow up. I was only 14 by the time 1989 ended, but I remember the whole decade including Ronald Reagan being elected President in 1980.
And it was a great time for entertainment and television. If you look at the shows from that decade, you had Dallas which came out in 1978, but ran into the early 1990s. The Dukes of Hazzard which came out in 1979 and ran into 1985. Newhart which came out in 1982 and ran into 1990. The Cosby Show, ( named after guess who ) Different Strokes, Family Ties, Cheers, The Fall Guy with Lee Majors that comes out in 1981, Magnum PI, with Tom Selleck, great decade for prime time soap operas like Dallas, but Dynasty, Falcon Crest, and Knots Landing.
It was a great decade for TV and the 1980s was probably the last decade in America where families actually got together and not just ate dinner together, but watched TV together. Cable TV wasn’t a major player yet and the networks which back then was really only CBS, ABC, and NBC, were still dominant when it came to entertainment in America.
But then comes one show that was made for one particular generation about growing up in the 1980s and what that generation went through as kids and young adults. At a time when NBC needed a hit show and was actually in third place out of the three networks. The Facts of Life comes out at a time when NBC needed a hit and when Generation X deserved a show that was about them and what they go through growing up in America as this generation.
The Facts of Life is not the only sitcom about Generation X and for Generation X. Saved by The Bell from the early 1990s and Beverly Hills 90210 for the entire 1990s, Living Single, and I’m sure other shows that follow were also about Generation X, but Facts of Life was the first show about this generation and also the first hit show about this generation. And it The Facts of Life was exactly as the title of the show suggests which was being about The Facts of Life and what life was like and everyone goes through in life and what life was like growing up during this era and time period.
That life wasn’t always great or awful, but it was always real and there were always challenges and struggles that people especially kids and teenagers go through in life. And that life growing up was a learning curve and a time for people to try to learn and figure out what life was like. That we make good decisions, but we also make a lot of mistakes and with all of those mistakes are opportunities to learn and improve. About each other, but about people around us as well. People that we are close to and have good relationships with, but also about people we don’t know as well, or people we know well, but don’t like and perhaps even learn about people we don’t like and find things in common with those people as well.
What The Facts of Life did through both comedy and drama as well and in some cases dramatic comedy by using humor to address difficult situations and show people what life was like and what it was like growing up as teenagers. But at the heart of the show it was a sitcom. Great funny writers, with a very funny cast that all had great comedic timing that was on to entertain people by making then laugh and even when they would go through tough situations like dieting, or even suicide, they would do it with humor and always look for the light side of life, because even in our worst situations in life except for perhaps the death of our relatives and friends, there tends to be a point where we can look back at it and laugh about. Which happens when people learning about The Facts of Life ( pun intended ) and what real life was like.