19 Old TV Shows That Have Stood The Test Of Time

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They just don’t make them like they used to.

While we all get hooked on shows, it’s worth examining the classics we can’t stop watching.


Fox

 Yeah, they might be old but we keep returning to them for a reason.

1.

Seinfield


NBC

A show famously ‘about nothing’ but if you’ve seen it, you’ll know it’s really about everything. You can feel Seinfield’s influence on just about every sitcom, so you know it’s good TV. It had an influential female character in Elaine Benes, who could unapologetically be what she wanted to be, and characters in Jerry and George, who we both loathe and love. For a show that’s over 30 years old, it really does stand the test of time.

Watch on: Netflix, All4 (UK), Apple TV (USA)

2.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch


ABC

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is still a classic and I’ll stand by that. It’s since been remade, but the original is light and fun, presenting us with an alternate family structure. You can most likely remember the characters like Harvey, but I bet your favourite is Salem – so much attitude in one little cat.   

Watch on: Prime Video (UK), Hulu (USA)

3.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air


NBC

You’re already singing that theme tune in your head because it’s ingrained there. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air introduced us to Will Smith’s natural charisma, but more importantly Carlton’s dance. Timeless.

Watch on: Now TV (UK), HBO Max (USA)

4.

The Simpsons


Fox

It’s the longest-running primetime TV show for a reason because it’s just that good. I’ve started to watch the newer seasons and they are actually really funny, proving just how good it is. The older episodes are still pure gold though. The Simpsons take the piss out of everything and everyone, so there’ll always be a place for it.  

Watch on: Disney+

5.

The Office (UK)


BBC

This is my favourite comedy show by a mile because it captures the quintessential awkwardness of the British workplace. Those little awkward moments are the funniest parts of the day. The Office is still funny now, and will always be the best version in my eyes. It has also been a massive influence on many comedies that came after it, and Ricky Gervais is amazing as David Brent. It really is timeless TV.

Watch on: BBC iPlayer (UK), Britbox, Hulu (USA)

6.

The X-Files


Fox

The chemistry between Mulder and Scully is brilliant and I can still remember how much this show scared me when I was younger. It’s since been revived and it remains as relevant as ever with its government conspiracy theories. You’ll definitely remember the creepy theme song that I’ve put below – listen to the point where it randomly transitions into some David Guetta club mix. Beautiful.

Watch on: Disney+ (UK), Hulu (USA)

7.

Star Trek


NBC

 Decades later, the stories in Star Trek remain as creative and compelling as they were at the time of their showing. The effects aren’t brilliant but that’s not really why you watch the show. It’s spawned countless spin-offs and is genuinely one of the most inventive things on TV. Star Trek was groundbreaking in many ways, being one of the first to have people of colour in positions of power and respect.  

Watch on: Netflix (UK), Paramount+ (USA)

8.

The Sopranos


HBO

Easily the best thing on TV. Ever. It’s funny and intense (often in the same scenes), while also having some of the best acting and writing you’re likely to see on the small screen. I’d say The Sopranos really kicked off a golden age of TV and it’s honestly the best –  just when you think you’re out, it’ll pull you back in.

Watch on: Now TV (UK), HBO Max (USA)

9.

Murder She Wrote


CBS

 I’ve always caught a glance of this on TV while someone else watches it, and then been drawn to finish the episode. Angela should really think of moving because the town of Cabot Cove seems to have a freakishly high murder rate. Let’s be honest, the whodunit genre is always going to be relevant. Anyway, there’s nothing like a murder to warm your heart, and that theme should be played in clubs.

Watch on: Peacock (USA)

10.

Charmed


The WB

 Despite the fallout from the change of cast, the original Charmed is still one of the best shows around. Like any older show, the effects aren’t groundbreaking, but the storytelling is brilliant and underrated. The reboot has tried to capture some of this magic, but if you ask me, it kinda missed the mark.

Watch on: Prime Video (UK), Peacock (USA)

11.

Golden Girls


NBC

Golden Girls broke the mould in so many ways, introducing us to four older single women who were more socially progressive than many that would come after them. It definitely wasn’t my choice to watch this when I was younger, but it’s actually pretty good, and worth a modern-day rewatch.

Watch on: Disney+ (UK), Hulu (USA)

12.

Friends


NBC

Friends has easily stood the test of time as it’s just a show that everyone loves. I’m sure a large portion of the population rewatch it regularly and I’m still shocked by how relevant it is today. What makes it so relatable is the problems they face are still the same ones we all go through now. Plus, Chandler was eerily right – the ‘‘internet thing’’ really is here to stay.  

Watch on: Netflix (UK), HBO Max (USA)

13.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer


The WB

It introduced a pretty strong base for so many shows that came after it and the storylines and plot twists still hold up to this day. It’s about to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, making it a prime example of a golden oldie. 

Watch on: Disney+ (UK), Prime Video (USA)

14.

The Waltons


CBS

At the very least, The Waltons has stood the test of time in my house because it’s always on TV. The “Goodnight” scenes kinda sound like the end to every Zoom conference call, but it’s wholesome feel-good TV and that’s what makes it watchable today. 

Watch on: Amazon Prime (UK), Freevee (USA)

15.

Twin Peaks


ABC

I can’t really talk about TV shows that have stood the test of time without including Twin Peaks. It’s such a well-thought-out show and always has little clues you can spot upon rewatching. It’s the sort of TV that lets you get fully caught up in a mystery, and I’m all for that.

Watch on: Now TV (UK), Fubo (USA)

16.

My Name is Earl


NBC

My Name is Earl is a more recent show, but it has an original premise and ~perfect~ casting. This show was my childhood and I think it’s criminally underrated. I’m sure we all just wish it would come back.  

Watch on: Disney+ (UK), Hulu (USA)

17.

The Wire


HBO

With its high-stakes, compelling characters, and lack of swear words, The Wire really set a standard for TV. The cast is laughably good and has huge names like Idris Elba, Dominic West, and Michael B. Jordan within their ranks. In years to come, you can be confident we’ll still be watching this masterpiece.

Watch on: Now TV (UK), HBO Max (USA)

18.

Ally McBeal


Fox

Ally McBeal was highly regarded and won so many awards, so even if you missed it the first time around, you know it’s going to be good. It may not be as popular as other ‘90s shows but it’s such an easy rewatch. Plus, Barry White makes a cameo in it. Barry White. 

Watch on: SkyGo (UK), Hulu (USA)

19.

And finally, Everybody Hates Chris


UPN

Another show we all grew up with, and one which is funny in all the right places  – we have Chris Rock to thank for that. Trust me, watching it back when you’re an adult is even better, you might find yourself relating to Julius and Rochelle more than the kids. 

Watch on: Now TV (UK), Hulu (USA)

What golden oldies will you never give up? Let us know in the comments!



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