Airdate: The Eighties

8 part series looks back at a decade with everything from MTV & Prince to Reagan and Wall Street.

In February, SBS gets a little retro with 80s-themed programming.

8 part documentary series The Eighties will debut, made by the producers of the Emmy nominated The Sixties and The Seventies.

It looks at how a decade including the Cold War, AIDS crisis, Ronald Reagan and Steve Jobs impacted on America.

SBS also screens Germany’s acclaimed Cold War drama Deutschland ’83 from Thursday February 9.

The world held its breath as the Cold War between two nuclear superpowers came to a near miraculous and peaceful end. But the world also learned of a mysterious virus that defied a cure and triggered a global pandemic. Wall Street brokers became the new rock stars as the stock market soared and the sluggish ‘70s turned into the ‘go-go’ ‘80s. But the economic boom led to material excess and corruption, prompting some to view the 1980s as a second gilded age. The personal computer was born and a technological revolution began.

The music world discovered hip-hop, MTV, Prince and U2, but lost John Lennon. Shows likes Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, and Cheers brought new sophistication to televised storytelling, but everyone still wondered, “Who shot J.R.?” And throughout the decade, Ronald Reagan left his mark as few public figures do, enjoying unprecedented popularity and electoral success, but also enduring a White House scandal that nearly derailed his presidency.

Wednesday, 8 February at 8.30pm on SBS.

6 Responses

  1. I just hope that SBS broadcast ‘The Eighties” in original episode order. Their broadcast of “The Seventies” had the episodes all over the shop. Kind of hard to watch later events being screened before earlier events. I ended up just giving it a miss and buying the DVD from Amazon.

  2. Although ‘The Eighties’ itself should be interesting as a lengthy and detailed attempt to explore the decade – I am looking forward to Deutschland ’83 myself – have heard good things about this.

  3. At the time it seemed the whole decade had gone pear-shaped when AIDS came along and the media hysteria took over but it was a measure of how comprehensively the battle for gay rights had succeeded that any backlash against gays was short-lived and was only a temporary aberration.

    Living through that period it seemed terrible but I took many photos during the 1980s and I look at them now and realise that it was a golden age. But I guess that’s the power of nostalgia for you…

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