How did people keep up with drama TV series in the 80s of there were no TV recorders or tapes?

Update:

Did they have to be at home to watch it? 

21 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    2 weeks ago

    You'd schedule other things around it. I remember before my Mom finally got a VCR, 

    I'd have to rush home from doing something else to watch Wonder Years as it aired.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    There were recorders already during that time - VHS and Betamax. Most people would still watch them during the broadcast time though. It was a family affair where everyone would be glued to the TV,  something sorely lacking nowadays - family, doing something together.

  • Robin
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    there were VCR back in the 1980s my mom used to set the timer for her soap operas when they started and when they finished every day or a tv show she wanted to watch when she got home

  • 3 weeks ago

    There were 4 options:

    1. Set a VCR to record the show on tape and watch it later

    2. Schedule your life around the show and make sure you're always home to see it at the time that it's on the air.

    3. Miss the show and live your own life without knowing what happened in a made-up show.

    4. Miss the show and then talk to a friend who can tell you what happened.

    I remember as a young kid my mom was hooked on some mid-day soap opera and we'd schedule around it. We would take my older sister to school and go straight to the store to finish our shopping and get home in time for the show or we'd schedule play-dates with friends in the afternoon after the show was over.

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  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    There were VCRs in the 80s, although the early ones had to be started at the time you wanted to begin taping, so you had to be home to catch a tv program. 

    People who missed episodes of tv shows would have to wait to catch them in reruns.  This is one reason why most tv shows up through the 80s, with the exception of soap operas, didn't have strong ongoing plotlines.  If you go back to the 70s and 80s you won't find a lot of shows like Game of Thrones, or Westworld, or Big Little Lies.  I'm not talking about content, but about structure.  Those shows are basically one continuing story broken up into 12 episodes a season.  If you miss an episode you'll often miss out on important story.  Other than soap operas, there were few shows like that in the 70s and 80s.  Sitcoms obviously didn't have strong ongoing plotlines (just like most don't now).  But even dramas were usually episodic, or largely so.  Dramas back then tended to be more like NCIS or Law and Order where there'd be a largely self contained storyline each week.  There might be ongoing subplots or themes, like such and such a character has a drug addiction, or trouble in their marriage or something, but these were different than a show like GOT where there's a strong plotline going throughout the season. This format allowed people to miss an episode and not get totally lost.  If you missed an episode of a hit show like Murder She Wrote, you weren't going to find yourself unable to understand what was going on when you tuned back in next week. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    VCRs were around awhile before I bought mine in 83 but for many it was be home or miss it

  • There were VCR's in the 80's but before that you had to be home to watch it, which is why (IMO) vintage TV is far superior and has more of a rewatch value.  It was made to appeal to a mass audience and with characters and storylines that you cared about and made you want to come back next week.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    VCRs did exist.  But keep in mind that there were only three networks - ABC, CBS and NBC.  Plus PBS, of course.  So there wasn't nearly as much to watch and keep up with.  People were home during prime time and just watched live.  If you missed an episode, you waited for summer reruns to catch it when it aired again.

  • Jesere
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    We had recorders in the 80's 

  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    The shows were designed mostly for stay-at-home moms

    https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/04/08/after-d...

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