Television Throwback

Old, Underrated TV Shows You Should Watch Today


Graphic by Deana Trautz

5 old shows you need to watch

Kaley Johnson, Reporter

Television has been around since the 1920s. For decades now, it has provided us with news, documentaries and it even introduced us to the Kardashians. We love the recents like “The Office” and “Stranger Things,” but what about the oldies- the shows our parents watched and loved, that our generation really did not experience? Many kids our age cannot name even a single show that started before 2010, aside from “Friends.” Here are some of the best shows that started before 2005 that this generation has been sleeping on.

“Cheers” (1982-1993)

Arguably one of the best sitcoms ever made, “Cheers” follows Sam Malone, a former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and the current owner of the bar Cheers, as he bickers with the regulars, his staff and especially Diane Chambers, a college graduate waitress at the bar. With very little of the show taking place in any other setting than this Boston bar, the show made anyone who watched it able to relate to the situations and characters. With the cast often changing and their successful spin-off series, “Frasier,” it was still able to continue for a solid eleven seasons of hilarious situations and entertainment for anyone to enjoy.

“Cheers” is currently available to watch on Netflix and Hulu.

“Seinfeld” (1989-1998)

“The show about nothing,” it was called. This show was able to make even the most mundane of situations into a hysterical adventure. “Seinfeld” is set in New York City and follows the struggling comedian Jerry Seinfeld along with his friends Elaine, Kramer and George. This was the kind of show that you would put on when you were doing something else and never actually invested in the story. Under today’s terms, however, it is completely bingeable. From waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant to looking for their car in a mall parking garage, these guys knew how to make anything into an entertaining 30 minutes. Whether it be the over dramatics of Elaine, the stupidity of Kramer or the sarcastic quips of George, each of these characters brought their own characteristics and charms to a show that will never really be topped.

“Seinfeld” is currently available to watch on Hulu.

“3rd Rock From The Sun” (1996-2001)

Possibly the strangest sitcom ever made, “3rd Rock From The Sun” is about four aliens who are on an expedition to Earth, a planet they clearly deem as insignificant. The show follows their highly amusing struggles and discoveries as they pose as humans and attempt to blend in as a normal family. This is a show for the extremely open-minded, and it brought us into the idea of aliens living among humans in a fun and lighthearted way, that made fans ready to accept the idea without a second thought. From discovering the common sneeze to understanding human emotion, these extraterrestrials brought viewers six years of fun and laughs in a way that never seemed possible before.

“3rd Rock From The Sun” is currently available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” (1996-2003)

A classic that still has quite the following from its longtime fans, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” paved the way for our modern obsession with vampires and the supernatural. Set in the small town of Sunnydale, California, Buffy Summers, a teenage girl born with strength and speed like no other, is called upon to protect her town and friends from monsters, demons and most importantly, vampires. Like any show with this theme, it has its tacky moments, but the bond that Buffy shares with her evil-fighting team, The Scooby Gang, is like no other. This show also paved the way for modern feminism and featured one the first lesbian couples on network television. Being light years ahead of its time, this is a show that is a must-see for today’s teens.

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” is currently available to watch on Hulu.

“One Tree Hill” (2003-2012)

Oh, how we love a high school drama. Taking place in the quaint town of Tree Hill, North Carolina, “One Tree Hill” follows the story of estranged half-brothers Lucas Scott and Nathan Scott as they compete to be the best one on their high school basketball team. Growing up differently, with their dad choosing to raise and coach Nathan and Lucas being raised by a single mother, we see what it is like for them when their worlds finally collide through the team and their friends. Depicting a number of unusual and unconventional families and romances, along with its interesting and overdramatic plots, this show was also quite ahead of its time and never failed to make fans eager to see what happens next.

“One Tree Hill” is currently available to watch on Hulu.

There is nothing wrong with going back to some classics, so turn off the reruns and try some of these instead. You can finally be able to understand references made about these shows, and even be able to bond with your parents about some of the series they fell in love with decades ago.