So no one told you life was gonna be this way Your job’s a joke, you’re broke Your love life’s D.O.A It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month Or even your year, but
I’ll be there for you (When the rain starts to pour) I’ll be there for you (Like I’ve been there before) I’ll be there for you (‘Cause you’re there for me too)
The opening lines and chorus from I’ll be There For You by The Rembrandts, from the American duo’s third studio album LP (1995). The song is far better known for being the theme tune to sitcom phenomenon Friends, a show I’ve been rewatching from the start. You can find two of the many jokes here and here.
Manny: Help me! Tell me what to say! Cameron: (into phone) Ok. How about this? You are the prettiest, smartest, funniest girl in the sixth grade. I know you’re only 11 but I can’t stop thinking about you. I’ve loved talking to you online. I think we should become boyfriend and girlfriend. Cameron: (to customers) Oh no, it’ not what you’re thinking. I’m talking to a litte boy. Oh…
Rico Rodriguez and Eric Stonestreet in the multi award-winning ensemble cast comedy Modern Family (2009 – ). You can find other examples of the show’s humour hereand here.
With the release of Ready Player One, said to feature numerous 80s references, it’s clear the 80s phenomenan shows no sign of abating. So I thought I’d include the opening titles of eight recent shows set during the 80s that highlight just how distinctive the decade. From the comedic like Everybody Hates Chris and The Goldbergs to ones with more serious themes like Stranger Thingsand The Americans.
How many of the shows have you seen? Why do you think it’s so continued to be so popular?
Nobody normal ever accomplished anything meaningful in this world.
Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) in the Netflix smash Stranger Things (2016 – ). Set in 1983 and fuelled with 80s nostaliga, it tells of a geeky set of boys in a small town who encounter mysterious forces when looking for their friend, who suddenly goes missing.
They were such a unique pair to be writing this show. Their view was from the inside out, not from the outside in. They knew the stories and the characters first-hand. I think The Wire really tore the cover off an American city and showed that, for so many people, the American dream was dead.
As said by actor John Doman, who played deputy commissioner William Rawls in the seminal drama The Wire (2002 – 2008). Set in Baltimore, each of the five series focused on a different part of the city, with the gritty show unafraid to show the complex struggles faced by the wide array of characters. You can find two examples of the show’s razor sharp dialogue here and here. You can buy the image shown above here, and read the full The Guardian article where I took the quote from, here.
Evidence doesn’t win the day. Jurors go with the narrative that makes sense. We’re here to tell the story. Our job is to tell that story better than the other side tells theirs.
Johnnie Cochran (Courtney T. Vance) in the multi-award winning The People v OJ Simpson (2016). The 10 part miniseries covers the hugely controversial and highly divisive trial of high profile former American Football player O J Simpson, accused of a double murder.
Dan Humphrey: I really thought the days of everyone turning their backs on me were over. Chuck Bass: Well at least this time it’s because they hate you and not because they don’t know you exist.
Penn Badgely and Ed Westwick in Gossip Girl (2007 – 2012), an entertaining teen drama that focuses on the lives of a group of rich teenagers on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. You can find out more about Chuck’s womanising here, and a quote that defines his twisted relationship with Blair Waldorf here.
All my new friends think I’m some goody two shoes and all my old friends think i’m throwing my life away. What the hell am I supposed to do?
Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) in the short-lived but highly acclaimed high school comedy drama series Freaks and Geeks (1999 – 2000). Relating to the show’s main character, the quote sums up the stuggles she faces trying to fit in, a regular theme. You can find out more detail about the episode the line is taken from, and more context of the show overall, here.