OK people, it's time to face the truth. The 1980s was a decade that was totally and completely awesome – and yet, so awesomely bad at the same time.
I should know.
Being born in 1983, I was blessed and cursed with the knowledge behind the label “an 80s child.” That meant growing up and starting my life with exposure to the best and worst cartoons, movies, video games, styles and more.
Today we are going to take a moment to host our 1980s award show.
From TV shows like ALF, starring Gordon Shumway from the Planet Melmac, to movies like Ghostbusters, there was a lot to love about the 1980s. Leg warmers, endless television shows about video game characters and hairstyles (did anyone else just feel the room get cold?) also gave us a lot to wish we had forgotten about the decade as well.
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Here’s a look back at what needs to be resurrected and what we will be shipping off in a rocket into space and hoping by the good grace of fortune that it burns up while crashing into the sun.
So let’s get this started:
Best Cartoon: Transformers
Awesome cars and trucks that turn into total fighting machines and rage battle on planet Earth? It was a recipe for success and is our “best of the best” for the 1980s cartoons. Optimus Prime was the ma…umm, “machine” and I totally always for the Autobots, but the Decepticon scientist Starscream, a fighter jet, was my favorite character by far.
This was a show that not only had fans of all ages, but both genders. By the way, the 3D movie that came from the cartoon is pretty darn cool too.
Worst Cartoon: The Real Ghostbusters
When I was going through candidates for this category, there were many viable options. But there was one episode of this sad excuse for a cartoon that came to mind and reminded me that this show should never have been produced.
Slimer, a ghost turned friend of the ghost busters, was using an ectoplasmic proton pack to shoot another ghost in the middle of the rainforest. Really? That’s hypocritical, unrealistic and completely boring. The movie was awesome - this show was not.
Best Song: Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
“Hold on to that feeling!” I know I still am.
This was the top choice made by AOL and I highly second their recommendation. It has been in countless movies, shows and remains a popular and well-remembered hit from the time period. I’d say more about it, but I can’t because I keep getting distracted by the music video included in the link above.
Worst Song: Sussudio by Phil Collins
This song was bland, had a repetitive beat that was hardly anything original and the story just plain stunk. I mean, I know there will be some who disagree here but I had the full support of The Granbys Patch Editor Ted Glanzer, who marked this as the worst thing that ever came from the 1980s.
Best Hairstyle: Flat Top
This was a hard one for me to write and although I had several friends who reminded me that Kid ‘N Play, well Kid anyway, wore the hairdo with a large level of class and style, I was still very hesitant to turn and give this the title of best hairstyle.
Then I began looking around and realized there really weren’t any good hairdos to select. So reluctantly, I am giving this the title of best – the best of the worst, that is.
Worst Hairstyle: Horse Mane Mullets, Especially on Men
Seriously, all mullets are bad. But do you need any more proof that this hairstyle should be forgotten than the picture that lies above?
Best Fashion: Miniskirts
Men, you can thank the 80s for this one. Sure there have some bad styles that came with the miniskirts over the years, but you can't always get what you want.
The miniskirt was a style that girls and guys alike have never let go of and it has become a popular part of summer fashion year-to-year since. I'm fairly certain that eventually the world would have caught on with this one, but its a fad that the 1980s can claim as it's own.
Worst Fashion: Zebra-Striped Parachute Pants (and Matching Team Hat)
Why would anyone find this style appropriate in any manner at any time? I've seen "comfy" pajama pants that are more styling and appropriate to wear in public than those things.
Yet it got even worse. Emerging hip-hop artists and certain pop stars used a matching team baseball cap to round out the attire. I'm still cringing from looking at these ugly photgraphs.
Best Video Game: Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt
It was part of a gaming revolution and helped create an empire for Nintendo. More impressive than the Italian plumbers chasing a princess who was always in a different (bleeping) castle though was the Duck Hunt portion of the game.
To this day, I am still impressed with the way those guns work. I still have mine, tucked in the closet at the moment as my Nintendo no longer will play any games, and will one day find the system I need to play it again. It has to be done.
Just one gripe with the game: why did that STUPID dog have to always laugh at my failure? I was just a kid, for crying out loud! No wonder my self-esteem was a wreck, given even video games hated me. I'm fairly certain we all wish they would have let us just shoot the darn thing.
Worst Video Game: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
This was earlier and I stand by this selection. They sit in a pile in Mexico these days and I suggested the country make some money off offering to as part of a stellar vacation. I stand by that too.
To quote Michael T. McGreevy on this one, "Nuf Ced."
Best Movie: Empire Strikes Back
George Lucas built an empire of his own off of the Star Wars series and to try and suggest any other movie would be unfair. There's a slight technicality here though too - the movie that was released in the 1980s was completely the brainchild of, and shot in, the 1970s.
Best Non-Star Wars Movie: Back to the Future
Michael J. Fox was brilliant, the movie was packed with action and funny one-liners or interactions and it led to a series of movies in itself. The latter movies are debatable, but this one was just awesome.
Best Movie…That Was Just Plain Awful: Top Gun
The plot line was virtually non-existent and hardly thought out, the acting was wretched at best and the production quality was brutally childish. Yet somehow I can’t forget this movie and found it somewhat entertaining anyway. Go figure, right?
Worst Movie: Howard the Duck
It’s a movie about a duck that drinks, smokes, wears a hat and looks just like Donald Duck. He lives on a planet called Duckworld with other anamorphic ducks and suddenly as he is reading an adult magazine, he is thrust to…Cleveland, Ohio. There he has interspecies relations with Lea Thompson.
Who green-lit this movie? And why?
Best Phrase: “Where’s the beef?”
Coined by the Wendy's fast-food franchise, this commercial series not only helped draw attention to the burger joint, but unlocked a phrase that would become a pop culture phenominon.
That's what we here at Patch call a "win."
Worst Phrase: “Gag me with a spoon.”
What does this even mean? If anyone can tell me that, I could consider another phrase as the worst of the 1980s. Until then, this takes the cake.
Worst Thing the 80s Gave Us: The 1990s
The early 1990s were a time that took the worst of the wrost from the 1980s and made an even bigger debacle by bringing it all together. So glad that the past is in the past on that one.
If you don't agree with our selections, then take action here and tell us the best and the worst. If you do agree, why not take a moment to tell us why?
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
It's only Wednesday, but it feels like the weekend should have been here two days ago. You have a full plate ahead, lots of work left to do, classes at or college to sit through or are just plain in need of a break. We have you covered.
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