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Don’t You Forget About Me: Entertainment Still Loves the 80s

The eighties may have ended well over a quarter of a century ago, but the legacy left by the decade’s popular culture continues to influence current trends in music and film. From synthy pop indie beats to Netflix dramas, we’ve been obsessed with the eighties since the early noughties and it is showing no sign of going away any time soon. 

But why are we still so obsessed with a single decade, and why do we continue to produce music and TV that evokes the era? The easy answer is because some of the greatest music of all time was made in the 80s, it was high time for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Queen, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, it makes it hard to list all of the great musicians who came out of the era. Modern pop took to the mainstream and hip-hop became a part of popular culture, and as our daily routines shifted, so too did the television that dominated our lives: Canadian sitcoms such as Hangin’ In, which starred a young Keanu Reaves and Good Will Hunting actor, David Eisner, and who can forget the legendary American exports such as Cheers and The Golden Girls?

Comebacks from 80s music artists seem to be taking place at every available theatre and covering every genre of music. In 2017, 80s pop group Spandau Ballet has announced that they will tour and make new music, but without frontman Tony Hadley. Luckily for hardcore 80s nostalgists, LeoVegas casino has released a “Gold” slot with original Spandau Ballet tracks. If you’re still yet to make it off your Atari and on to your computer, the Casino Games Canada webpage has more information.

Could it be that our nostalgia isn’t just rooted in entertainment? We long for a time when the only phone that would ring would be the home phone, and evening arrangements were made around the roster of sitcoms on the TV. The 80s were the last of the years when you could make arrangements and people couldn’t call you at the eleventh hour to rearrange because ‘something came up’. You could only watch the shows you loved at the time that they were scheduled and if you wanted to watch a film you didn’t own, you would have to head to the video store.

Even just the mention of the video store breeds a certain nostalgia within those who were lucky enough to remember the 80s. Luckily, it is easy enough to head back to those days, and ironically all you have to do is subscribe to a streaming service. The 80s really are all around: In 2018 we have been treated to reboots of Roseanne and Dynasty, and cult classic teen movie Heathers has been turned into an award-winning musical. We miss the 80s so much that new shows have been set in the era, Netflix originals such as Glow, which explores the making of the first female wrestling show and sci-fi hit Stranger Things have been huge hits with those who never even experienced a home phone. 

They may have ended nearly 30 years ago, but the 80s are still living strong within popular culture. Whether it is nostalgia for the time, or a wish to have known what it might have been like to live in a world where technology was just beginning to advance, the 80s seem to hold a special place in everyone’s heart.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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