I was bored and pulled up an old movie I taped from network TV in
1988. Some observations from watching an 18 year old tape:
1) Movie: It was a made for TV comedy about the prom "Dance till
Dawn". Light stuff. Not much different than what they'd do today for
that genre, although I think networks don't bother with that style
anymore; they want more "soap" and drama, and far more glamourous kids.
Hair and clothes styles obviously different, more 1980s, but not
drastically different. Popular stars of the day were in it, some have
done well since then like Alyssa Milano and Kelsey Gramar (sp?).
Others had had hard times, such as Tracey Gold.
2) Commercials: car commercials looked basically the same. Texaco
gasoline had several ads, I don't think oil companies run ads today.
In my area, Shell has taken over Texaco stations.
One major department store advertised their name and reputation for
trust, which was true for them. That store was bought out and soon
will change its name to the parent company. So much for reputation.
Teasers for local news were quite striking. One local newsman had
dark hair back then and now is fully gray (it is 18 years after all).
Another local fellow, very popular, passed away at a young age from
There was clearly less commercials than on TV now. I can't even watch
live TV these days because there are SO many commercials, I have to
tape it so I can speed through them. I think networks have added 4-5
minutes of commercials per hour, and cable and syndicated shows even
more, perhaps only 35 minutes of show per hour.
Some TV shows advertised became classics, like Night Court, others I
never heard of "Tattinger's"?
3) Technical: the tape was made on my first VCR purchased around 1985.
It had a soft appearance but was ok. I couldn't freeze frame without
ad lines, and adjusting the slow tracking didn't help. (My #3 VCR
can't freeze frame on tapes made on my #2 VCR either, for some reason
I don't understand. All are Panasonic, #2 and #3 are 4 head. #1
started crimping tapes badly and was retired some years ago. #3 came
with the DVD player and is brand new.)