There are many TV shows with compelling themes and interesting character developments that impressed both critics and audiences alike back in the day.
But some of the shows that once captivated audiences have not aged well, and there are many elements in them that are outdated by today's standards.
Curious to hear examples of these, Redditor lilac_cup asked:
"Which tv series has aged like milk?"
The handling of these controversial TV story lines seem so careless in retrospect.
Addressing Child Abuse
"The very first episode of Hill Street Blues has two cops breaking up a domestic disturbance caused by a woman finding her man f'king her 15yo daughter. The man is told not to be sh**ty, the woman is told to put out more and the child is told not to be so tempting. Then the cops leave, patting themselves on the back for a job well done."
The Teacher's Secret Relationship
"Pretty Little Liars. I think even at the time, the teacher dating his 16 year old student storyline was considered creepy, but in 2022 it’s honestly unbelievable that was ever portrayed in any kind of positive light. Also that her parents didn’t immediately just report him to the police."
"Not the whole series but Ally McBeal. In one episode Ally found out her bf is bi and her reason breaking up with him was she afraid that one day her bf would be attracted to their son."
These reality shows would never fly in a "woke" world.
"There was a reality show on Fox called 'Black. White.' Where they put a white family in blackface and a black family in whiteface."
"Just reading about it, it turns out the white family wasn't even a real family. They were unrelated actors."
"Extreme makeover. I remember watching this show as a kid and being like oh wow they’re fixing all these ugly people with plastic surgery and making them happy. I just think that caused a whole generation to think they could change their body with money. Show lasted like 4 seasons. Couldn’t imagine that show today."
"Secret life of an American teenager."
"My god this show was terrible. My wife’s sister was into it and we ended up watching a lot of it when we were dating. I think they tried to make the banter like Gilmore Girls, but it ended up being the characters repeating their current plots and arcs over and over. I don’t remember the characters at all, but the main character was such a horrible person, and the audience is supposed to root for her."
"The main things I remember about it were the religious girl claiming she killed her dad by having sex with her boyfriend, and apparently you go to Bologna to get bjs."
"You Are What You Eat."
"Host Gillian McKeith (or to use her full medical title, Gillian McKeith) was an absolute quack with an online medical qualification from a Mickey Mouse university. She pretended to be a scientist by being recorded standing around in a lab wearing a white coat, spouted unscientific nonsense that anyone who had done a GCSE in science could see through, and was obsessed with getting people to shit in Tupperware boxes."
"It got cancelled after the final series when you had to have her move in with you. In the last few years she popped up again as a prominent anti-vaxxer once COVID vaccines became available."
These pageant shows glorifying good looks and talent would never be greenlit today.
"Dance moms- used to be entertaining, now all I can see is the psychological effects it must’ve had on those girls."
"Americas Next Top Model has to be #1."
"From all the behind the scenes sh*t that went on in production to what the show actually shows. It’s all just horrendous."
From Ugly To Beautiful
"The Swan, was 2 women who are considered 'ugly ducklings' participating in a pageant against each other after undergoing a three-month transformative process aka having heaps of plastic surgery."
"Right?! How were they allowed to do so many procedures in such a short time while completely isolating these women from their families? Making them diet and exercise while healing from a tummy tuck, breast implants, and veneers?! The 'therapy' sessions were a joke and were just for show while these poor women with low self esteem were preyed upon for entertainment. Just out of a safety and medical prospective…wow."
Judging The Reflection
"Didn't they also not allow the contestants/patients to have mirrors the whole time so they were surprised when they saw themselves? Psychologically having massive changes like that and it being sudden is extremely bad for your brain, you can end up rejecting the reflection because it's not 'you.'"
As audiences evolve, so does the writing and development of all forms of entertainment.
But because the changes are gradual, it is jarring when looking back and noticing how offensive and isolating some of these shows can be.
Times sure have changed in the world of entertainment–mostly for the better.