The best streaming services for 80s TV shows

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We recently put a guide together into where you can find the best TV shows from the 1970s, which got us all fired up about classic TV and the cult shows from other decades.

So, in true StreamLocator style, we’re jumping back into our time machine and heading to the 1980s. A lot changed from the 1970s to the 1980s. There was a lot more colour, that’s for sure, and the feel of what we watched took a shift too. Shows were less socially conscious and more providing of pure entertainment. Some of what we would consider the greatest 80s TV entertainment was pretty dire, yet today, that seems to be its charm.

The 80s seemed to be a growing-up phase in television content; it delivered smarter sitcoms, such as Cheers and Seinfeld,and more mature drama with shows like Hill Street BluesThirtysomething, and Wiseguy. Merge such show-types, and the 80s gave us a new hybrid option: the dramedy.

‘Drama comedies’ flowed into our homes via shows such as The Wonder Years, Doogie Howser, M.D., and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. Well played the 1980s. When it came to this new breed of hybrid TV, you knocked it right out of the park.

Streaming TV from the 70s through to the 80s

There was, of course, plenty of overlap from those shows that kicked off in the seventies and ran through the eighties—and out of the other end! Our 1970s guide featured the mammoth rollercoaster of cliff-hangers that was Dallas. Although it first aired in the 70s (1978), it ran right through the 80s and finally hung up its (cowboy) boots in 1991. You can find Dallas on IMDb TV.

Similarly, Diff’rent Strokes kicked off in 1978 but was mostly an 80s show, running until 1986. If you want to remind yourself of Arnold and Willis’s adventures, you can watch it on Amazon Prime, Starz or Hulu.

What are the top 80s shows, and on which streaming services can I find them?

Much like the historical viewing of the 70s, Amazon Prime seems to have a fairly inclusive range featuring so many titles.

Depending on which poll or list you look at, there certainly seems to be an uptake of British drama to rank well in the 80s. Given how much US viewers love everything Brit, there are plenty of services with many in their catalogues, but if you can only track them down on the BBC, then we can help with access to the iPlayer wherever necessary.

StreamLocator’s suggestions for 80s TV shows streamers

What the experts at Reelgood have to say about 1980s TV

We love Reelgood because we know its data streams from some of the biggest Internet and industry sources. Looking at their roundup for 1980s TV shows over all services, by their own rankings, it’s a mixture of US and Brit-based features.

However, it’s Seinfeld that takes the number one spot, a show that pretty much sums up the 1980s on its own. Mind you—we’re not sure if we class Seinfeld as an 80s show. It launched in 1989, getting in by the skin of its teeth, but even if you never watch another 80s sitcom in your life, you’d be remiss not to add it to your watch list. Reelgood rankers score it a whopping 90/100. Very few shows ever get anywhere near to such a super-score rating.

Following Seinfeld, from the other side of the pond, is Red Dwarf. Talk about cult British TV. Red Dwarf is available over a selection of streaming services, so there are no excuses for not taking it for a test drive if you’ve never watched it before. This is the geeks’ ultimate classic sci-fi sitcom, and is centred around the last remaining human, three million years into deep space with only a handful of spaceship-mates to keep him company.

Third is 21 Jump Street. Another big hitter available on Prime, 21 Jump Street mixed cop drama with youth culture (plus shoulder pads and hi-rise quiffs). You’ll find Jump Street not on Google maps (although there are plenty!) but on CrackleFubo TVPeacockTubi as well as Amazon Prime.

After that, the list gives way to Inspector Morse, Unsolved Mysteries, Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK), Thomas & Friends, and Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Nice to see a classic kids show sneak into their top ten.

80s TV shows on Amazon Prime Video

Prime delivers wherever you are, but in the States, we reckon these are a pretty good place to start: Highway to Heaven, A Different World, Roseanne, The Cosby Show, Press Your Luck, The New Adventures of Gumby, Family Feud, Who’s the Boss? and Alf.

That said, numerous networks, services, and channels have pulled The Cosby Show after the show’s main star, Bill Cosby, after a sexual assault conviction in 2018.

80s TV shows on Hulu

Hulu does retro TV so well, and the following list is merely a tiny smattering of what you can find from one of our favourite streamers.

Here are ten absolute 80s TV smashers on Hulu: Full House, Saved by the Bell, Perfect Strangers, Married with Children, The Wonder Years, Family Matters, The Golden Girls, Cheers, Designing Women, and rounding them all up is Doogie Howser, M.D.

Get into the spirit of the 80s by collecting them all (but not literally)

The 80s saw growth in not only collectable toys but also sticker albums. To jump on this era of collection bandwagon, we’re all in for ticking off the best 80s TV shows in a selection of serious binge sessions.

If you’re unsure where to start, try these pages and see how many you can tick off each one via our cracked streaming services.

Long gone are the days of recording your favourite 80s shows on your VHS recorder

There will be plenty of our subscribers scratching their heads right about now, questioning, “What the hell is a VHS recorder?” Well, we guess you had to be there.

Lucky for you, those days are long gone. It’s never been easier to catch the shows you want, even if they’re from as far back as the 80s and only available on the other side of the planet. With StreamLocator acting as your global link to over 50 of the world’s best streaming services, we can provide the TV time machine you’ve been dreaming of.

StreamLocator provides you with a virtual location for each of the services’ geo-location trackers, so you appear to be precisely where they need you to be to access their shows.

Find out how you can access all of our services now.