10 Best 80s-Inspired Shows Nailing Retro Vibe Like Stranger Things
While we're all bracing ourselves for the excruciatingly long wait for "Stranger Things" season 5, here are some of the shows that, too, made an attempt at replicating that 80s vibe – and, surprisingly, nailed it.
Bring out the leg warmers and flashy leotards; we're diving into the world of women's professional wrestling! Set in the glam era of the 1980s Los Angeles, the show revolves around struggling actress Ruth Wilder who gets a shot at stardom with GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling). Body slams? Check. Hair that defies gravity? Double-check. Drama inside and outside the ring? Triple-check. Ruth's journey from a downtrodden actress to a wrestling superstar is truly a sight to behold.
2. "The Americans"
A seemingly typical American family living in Washington, D.C., during the Cold War. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. Elizabeth and Philip Jennings aren't your regular suburban parents; they're KGB spies deep undercover. And let's be honest, seeing them juggle school parent-teacher conferences one minute and intense espionage the next? Entertaining is an understatement! Wigs, secretive phone calls, double identities—it's like diving into a bowl of Cold War cereal.
3. "Red Oaks"
Grab your tennis racket, and let's head to the country club. David, a college student, is just trying to enjoy his summer break by working as a tennis instructor. Sounds breezy? Mix in eccentric club members, a demanding boss, and the complexities of young love, and you've got the perfect cocktail of 80s nostalgia. It's like a John Hughes movie served as a TV series.
4. "Halt and Catch Fire"
Computers, nerds, and... Texas? Meet Joe MacMillan, a former IBM sales executive who dreams of building an IBM PC clone. Teaming up with engineer Gordon Clark and prodigy Cameron Howe, they venture into the aggressive tech world. Think the early days of Silicon Valley minus the bean bags and free food. Their mission? Outdo IBM. As Joe would say, "Computers aren't the thing. They're the thing that gets us to the thing."
Los Angeles, 1983. The city's about to be hit with something more significant than earthquakes or Hollywood premieres: crack cocaine. Franklin Saint, an ambitious street entrepreneur, sees this as his ticket to the top. But between the CIA's covert operations and the wrestle between power and morality, it's not a smooth climb. Drug trade's messy, and when it's mixed with politics? It's explosive. Think Miami Vice, but with fewer neon shirts and more moral quandaries.
6. "Deutschland 83"
Martin Rauch, a 24-year-old East German, is suddenly plucked from his life and thrown into West Germany as a spy. Why? To gather NATO military secrets. The catch? This isn't a leisurely trip across the border; the Cold War's stakes are sky-high. Martin has to master the world of espionage while battling homesickness. Ever tried sneaking into a military base while missing mom's cooking? That's Martin's world for you.
7. "Everything Sucks!"
High school in the 90s—close enough to our 80s theme, right? The AV and drama club kids are trying to get through high school life in Boring, Oregon. Yes, that's the town's name. Luke, Kate, and their gang navigate first loves, awkward teenage moments, and... making a sci-fi movie? It's got all the high school drama minus the social media. Simpler times indeed.
8. "Fargo" (Season 2)
Though the Fargo series spans multiple decades, season 2 nails the 1979 Midwest vibe. There's a crime syndicate war, a couple (Ed and Peggy) who find themselves in a hit-and-run situation, and a local sheriff trying to connect the dots. Murder, mobsters, and Minnesota nice—it's a chilly mix of dark comedy and drama. Ever heard of the Kansas City Mafia? After this, you won't forget them.
Dive deep into the origins of criminal psychology and criminal profiling at the FBI. No, this isn't a college lecture. Follow agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench, alongside psychologist Wendy Carr, as they interview imprisoned serial killers. It's the late 70s, and the term 'serial killer' isn't common yet. The goal? Understand the twisted minds of killers to solve ongoing cases. And while the bell bottoms are cool, some of these interviews? Downright chilling.
10. "The Get Down"
The South Bronx in the late 70s: Disco's on its way out, and hip-hop is about to take the stage. Zeke, a poetic teen, falls for aspiring singer Mylene, who dreams of disco stardom. The series beautifully captures the birth of hip-hop, with record scratching, beatboxing, and a whole lot of soul. The South Bronx may be burning, but the rhythm and rhymes? They're on fire.