Why The 80s Were The Best – PLUS #KellyVsKelly Debate [POLL]

WOW..  2017 is almost over.  Crazy.

While we have not been keeping up with our editorial calendar and podcasts have scaled back across the board, we’re still going strong with HorsePLAY! LIVE.  Our friends over at GamingDeath and The B-Team are still rocking it too.  It’s been a relatively quiet year for video games, in spite of the Nintendo Switch and XBox One X launches (and the ridiculous closings of studies like Runic and Visceral).  The common thread is that everyone is busy adulting: dealing with major life events, engaging in the never-ending rat race, digging out of debt, and trying to maintain sanity throughout it all.

With all the brilliant people we’ve lost, warnings about the end of days, social just warriors going out of control (the unfortunate incident with August Ames goes to show that human beings can be cruel, self-righteous pieces of shit), and overall tension/despair in the air, it makes you just want to go back to better days.  If, like me, you were born into Generation X or you’re a Baby Boomer, chances are you have great memories in a decade that I think will always be special: the 1980s.  Say what you about Reganomics and inflation, the 80s were the brightest period in my lifetime hands-down.

Deviant Art 80s Collage - Attack On Geek

To be clear, I love my life today.  My kids may be a pain in the ass, work has pretty much killed any semblance of social life I could possibly desire, and sleep feels like a distant memory..  But I ain’t complaining.  You take the good with the bad, right?  The older you get, the more opportunities open up but there are certain things you just have to leave behind.  The change that comes with time is inevitable so might as well welcome it with open arms.

 

Still, this holiday season has had me going back to simpler times.  There was just something special about the 80s.  It’s a special magic that you can’t quite quantify.  BuzzFeed and articles like RedBookMag’s “21 Best Things from the 80s” check off all the boxes but they don’t quite capture that je ne sais quoi.

For me, there are a countless things that make the 80s so special.  First and foremost, there was a certain type of energy in the air.  It was the complete opposite from the 70s, where everything had a certain drabness to it and things felt muted, if not suppressed.  Everything in the 80s was bold: big hair, neon colors, rocking music, wild sets/backdrops, memorable movies..  The list goes on but there was no mistaking that period in modern times.  There was no half steppin in the eighties!

Big Daddy Kane - Ain't No Half Steppin'

It’s no wonder that we go going back to those times in today’s creative works.  Stranger Things and Blood Dragon come to mind.  I’m a sucker for it each and every time, and I know tons more folks who feel the same way.  Every time that 80s vibe is nailed, I eagerly dive in and escape back to those awesome days.

Maybe part of it is that we weren’t completely enslaved by technology.  People still had pen pals, wrote letters, and looked forward to getting their mail.  Phones were used for talking to people and we used to memorize phone numbers, even.  Information was valued more in general, really.  You couldn’t simply ask ChaCha, Google it, or post a question on Quora.  Gathering amongst friends and colleagues, or going to the library..  You had to go on adventures to acquire knowledge.

These quests for information also became adventures in self-discovery.  During the 80s, it felt like there was a greater sense of individuality whereas, today, everything feels a bit more binary.  We’re playing it safe because we’re afraid of being tacky or doing cringeworthy things, perhaps?

80s Fashion - Cringeworthy or awesome?

Let me stop.  I’m sure I sound like an old man talking about the “good ol days” but indulge me in my nostalgia trip.  As cheesy, tacky, and campy as you can argue certain things were in the 80s, big and bold was beautiful.  We were encouraged to be wild and daring.

Some of my favorite things in the 80s: Mega Man, Battletoads, Ghouls N’ Goblins, Castlevania, Adventure Island, Wizards & Warriors, Dungeons & Dragons, He-Man, G-Force, Thundercats, GI Joe, Alf, Knight Rider, Tears For Fears, Video Power, and Married With Children.  Speaking of Married With Children, Peggy Bundy’s big hair always did it for me.  Rawr.  The 80s did everything better: sci-fi, fantasy, video games, music…  Okay, now I really am that old man stuck in the past.  Maybe the 80s did set the bar too high because everyone was angsty in the 80s, after all…  And then we got the emo kids sooooo…

Captain N The Game Master - Nintendo cartoon from the 80s!

Of course, if you look at things objectively, you can say everything is better now.  Experts say this is the golden age of TV, where everything is good, making it hard for new shows to compete.  The Internet has come a long way from the days of command prompts, blue screens, bing-bong’s, and bulletin boards.  Unemployment is on a decade low and more people are able to work from home or start their own businesses successfully.  Maybe we are just spoiled or maybe the 80s represent the decade that defines current generations.

HONORABLE MENTION:  I love my food so we got to at least mention this article on 1980s cereals – quite a few of them were actually good..  and video game based, no less.  YAY!

Whatever way you chop it up, the eighties ROCKED!

One thing I can’t deny is that the outrageous styles and beautiful women of the 80s still do it for me today.  Leg warmers, slap bracelets, baggy clothes, big hair with bangs..  Yes, please!

We can’t forget that the 80s brought us Max Headroom and an MTV that actually played music.  We had the pleasures of VHS tapes, The Walkman, Ghostbusters, Back To The Future, Gremlins, The Goonies, Little Shop of Horrors, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, mixtapes..  The golden age of wrestling!  Geebus, it’s no wonder there are endless lists devoted to the 80s (and I’m fighting really hard not to write one myself because I hate lists and slideshow posts – so LAZY!).

The 80s represent a crucial turning point for just about everything.  Just with technology alone, it was fun to see what creatives envisioned virtual reality and online computing would evolve to.  Some of the early portable computers were quite nifty, too.

Radio Shack - Handheld Computer - ONLY $169.99!

Oh yeah, the 80s brought us the NES..  And Nintendo still had supply issues back then!

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) - Nintendo had supply issues even back then!

In contrast, 2017 brought us lots of famous deaths, the end of net neutrality, people stealing from Toys For Tots, and the 40th anniversary of Star Wars.  There’s been a few amazing video games but it’s doubtful any of it will be remembered years from now.  There’s also the sense that the bottom is going to fall out on a lot of things, the video game industry included..  And Disney buying Fox gives me mixed feelings.  There just seems to be a dark cloud hanging over the current days, while the 80s made even the darkest of days seem like a Reading Rainbow or Care Bear stare.

Care Bare Stare!!

All this to build up to our biggest poll since “Cake Vs. Pie” – who is the hotter Kelly, Kelly Kapowski or Kelly Bundy?  Yes, I know Kelly Kapowski is more associated with the 90s but that same bold 80s style carried on through the show plus Saved By The Bell had some episodes in the eighties so it counts.  Anywho, this was a tough choice for me.  Kelly Kapowski was the perfect girlfriend: smart, understanding, beautiful, and fun.  What more could you want?  Kelly Bundy, well, she was fun and hot.  Even revisiting the shows today, I can’t help but fantasize just a little (sorry hunny, just being honest LOL).

If you’ve never seen em before, here are two photos to get your ideas going:

Kelly Bundy - Married With Children - Hi Def Big Hair & Leather

Kelly Bundy – Married With Children

Kelly Kapowski - Saved By The Bell - Baggy Jeans Are Sexy?

Kelly Kapowski – Saved By The Bell

Now, before the SJWs get all bent out of shape about objectification of women and blah blah blah, this is just a fun little poll not meant to hurt any feelings or start some controversial discussion so please save it for another venue…

Kelly Bundy and Kelly Kapowski are very different characters.  Kelly Bundy had this whole rockstar, biker thing going on.  Her character was the poster child for “dumb blond” and they certainly did not waste any opportunity making blond jokes.  Ms. Bundy knew she was hot and she took advantage of it, having a new boyfriend show her a good time on virtually every episode of Married With Children.  Yet, in spite of this, there was an innocence and tenderness to her that they revealed every now and then…  When she isn’t outright flaunting her goods.

Kelly Bundy - Married With Children - Perky Nipples

Kelly Bundy gave her brother a hard time but she loved him and was loyal to her family.  She was a broken person in a dysfunctional family but I believe her character and family made her more relatable.  Her flaws made her more approachable, believable, and endearing, really.  She was also a badass, in her own simple way.

On the other handy, Kelly Kapowski was the perfect girl next door and a complete goodie twoshoes by most standards.  There was a lot of ‘tude brewing in the 80s but she was a rare breath of fresh air.  I always felt like she would be a great friend or snuggle buddy.  Just look at this sweet face:

Kelly Kapowski - Sweet Surprise Face Smile

It may be silly to think of characters in such a deep manner but that’s the beauty of fiction: you can escape into another world and, if you allow yourself to, you can get lost completely in the experience.  Even when Kelly Kapowski was sexualized, her innocence continued to shine through.  That bright face and beautiful smile is enough to warm the coldest of hearts.

I’m sure many folks watched Saved By The Bell and got a bit jealous of Zach Morris.  Of course the suave pretty boy gets the hot girl, right?  But he had to work at it and Ms. Kapowski forced him to evolve.  I won’t tout the show as ultra realistic, but they sure had enough emotional roller coasters to remind you: even the “perfect people” have issues to deal with.  Zach Morris may have been the ring leader and main character of the show, but Kelly was the one that kept everything going.

For that reason and more, I have to go with Kelly Kapowski but it’s close because, sometimes, you just want that bad girl that forces you out of your comfort zone and takes you on wild adventures.  I guess that’s an age-old concept: do you want the fun “bad ass” type or a home keeper?  Are they mutually exclusive?  I bet you Kelly Kapowski had her secrets, too!

So, who you got?  #KellyVsKelly

Kelly Kapowski or Kelly Bundy - who do you choose?

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Feel free to comment with why you picked whom.  Wife, date, one night stand, friend with benefit, childhood fantasy, etc?  Do tell!

Yogizilla

Hello, my name is Yomar but friends call me Yogi!I am the founder of GANG.My goal is to help the little geeks create a voice for themselves and grow their audience without the usual exclusivity and snobbery found in the world, both offline and online.My background is in IT, marketing, writing, and game design.I'm excited to put my diverse skill sets to some good use and help others!

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About Yogizilla

Hello, my name is Yomar but friends call me Yogi! I am the founder of GANG. My goal is to help the little geeks create a voice for themselves and grow their audience without the usual exclusivity and snobbery found in the world, both offline and online. My background is in IT, marketing, writing, and game design. I'm excited to put my diverse skill sets to some good use and help others!

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