Older shows that have left a lasting impact on society


Alivia Baker

The ability to see film over the decades through the eyes of brilliant directors and screenplay writers has shaped society in immeasurable ways, all around the world.

Claire Hadley, Writer

A show that stays popular for a long time creates a desire for people to witness the greatness that friends, family members and media speak of in conversations full of fun. It’s part of human nature to want to feel included, so when billboards, merchandise and conversations revolve around a show that has been around long enough for a huge fan base to grow, people want to get in on the action as soon as possible. Whether it’s being watched while pouring in milk in your cereal for breakfast, a binge for date night or a school night watch with the family, it proves to be enjoyable in any case. 

The shows that are truly successful are the ones that can appeal to two very different audiences: the nostalgic viewers, who grew up watching these shows, and the adolescents of today, who turn on the TV to watch the legendary action.

When spectators first push the play button to begin a new TV series, they find a character who they can love and aspire to be like. The fandoms that haven’t lost popularity for years and years have characters that someone can relate to and be encouraged by. Whether it’s because of personality or looks, a person can empathize with a fictional character and find acceptance towards themselves. Instead of actors and actresses heavily drenched in makeup with heavily sexualized clothing, the characters were dressed in something that the everyday person would wear. 

In the older shows that continue to thrive to this day, there are hidden lessons that teach people about perseverance, friendship, self-love and many more subjects that need to be included in current-day media.  

The plots are simple and heartwarming with enough drama to hit the home run. They can capture an audience with witty lines, raw acting, and a sense of innocence that allows people to escape their troubles for an episode or two. 

With that being said, here are four classic must-watch TV shows that people of all ages can watch and admire.


Dawson’s Creek

As avid Netflix viewers scroll through the “Trending Now” category, they may happen to stumble across Dawson’s Creek. This classic show continues to bring in fans old and new to enjoy years after its debut.  Dawson’s Creek is a feel-good drama series that focuses on teenage life in the small town of Capeside, Massachusetts. Filmed from 1998-2003, the show centers around a closely attached group of friends: Neurotic aspiring film director Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek), Joey Potter (Katie Holmes), the kindhearted tomboy with a rough upbringing, “Jen” Lindley, (Michelle Williams) the rebellious popular girl from New York City and Pacey Whitter, (Joshua Jackson) the underachiever who is constantly brought down by those around him. In this coming-of-age TV show, you get to see as the characters grow as people, go through love and heartbreak and deal with the effects of change.

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls (2000-2007), the critically acclaimed comedy-drama, is a must-watch for grandmothers, mothers and daughters alike. It centers around Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), a woman who once lived a life full of wealth and restricting parents until she was faced with the life-changing event of getting pregnant at 16 years old. She then fled her home to Stars Hollow, a staple town that holds the hearts of viewers, to raise ambitious Harvard-bound Rory (Alexis Bledel).

The chemistry between Graham and Bledel is unparalleled as they navigate through the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship filled with breathtaking scenes of love, anger and humor shared between the two characters. Each conversation flows with excellent dialogue that can make people laugh till their stomach hurts or cry into the night.  

The Brady Bunch

Making its debut in 1969, The Brady Bunch has proven to be an American favorite.  Grandparents and great-grandparents alike become nostalgic while watching it with their children and grandchildren, reminiscing about enjoying this simple yet entertaining show in their youth. The Brady Bunch centers around a widow and widower who marry each other with three children each, effectively combining the two families. The new family uses perseverance to face problems that the everyday person would face. The show is realistic with the humor of the large family and the characters are quite relatable. With six different children, viewers witness the different stages in the transition to adulthood that children go through and witness the change that goes along with marrying into a new family.


People live vicariously through the bond of best friends Monica (Courtney Cox), Rachael (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Ross (David Schwimmer) in this hilarious sitcom as they live their lives closely knitted together in Manhattan. “Friends” is one of the most popular series of all time and is a title that anyone would know. Friends and family members share a bond as they dive into the huge fan-based universe of the show together. Innocence is in the hearts of children as they dream of living a happy, friend-filled life like the characters who spend their evenings in the “Central Perk.”

Since coming off the air in 2004 after 10 years of successful filming, the show has only gained popularity. With 63 Emmy awards and nominations, Friends made it into the 4th place slot for the most-watched tv series finale ever. 

 The shows that are still talked about today are the ones that can provoke emotions into people of many different ages and backgrounds, and inspire viewers to become better people. They are entertaining and can be watched on any occasion. Legacies on the screen are made through inclusivity, hard work, and writing that holds a deep impactful meaning. 

What do you think?