33 TV Shows That Take Us Back in Time

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The great thing about TV is that it offers a few hours of respite from real life. We live and breathe the characters and their stories from our favorite shows. Sometimes the feelings are so real, it's like we're a part of what's going on even if it's set in a time period we're not familiar with.

There are shows that bring on the nostalgia and others that bring the past back to life! You can learn about life during the Salem Witch Trials or learn what it was like during the early hip-hop era.

From classic tales of romance set in the far past to the struggles of teenage life in the 80s, here's a list of TV shows that will take you back in time!


1. Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks
Set in the early 80s this teen dramedy told the story about the unpopular kids of high school: the freaks and geeks. Created by Paul Feig and executive produced by Judd Apatow, it starred James Franco, Linda Cardellini, and Seth Rogan. Although it only aired for one season on NBC, it has gone on to develop a large cult following. Available on Netflix.

2. Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey
The wealthy Crawley family and their life is the focus of this soapy drama set in the early 1900s. Available on Amazon Prime.

3. Pan Am

Pan Am
The airline doesn’t exist anymore and neither does the show, cancelled by ABC after only one season. Margot Robbie and Christina Ricci starred in this 60s-era drama that focused around a Pan American World Airlines crew and all their adventures. Available on Amazon Video.

4. The Wonder Years

The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years was inspired by the movie A Christmas Story and followed Kevin Arnold as he grew up in middle-class America in the 60s. It was considered revolutionary for its single camera setup, use of a narrator, and no laugh track. Available on Netflix.

5. The Americans

The Americans
Set in the 1980s during the Cold War, The Americans tells the story of Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings, two KGB agents who are posing as Americans and living in Washington, D.C. The show currently airs on FX. Past seasons are available on Amazon Prime.

6. The Tudors

The Tudors
Henry VIII’s life and romances are what this period drama set in 16th century England is all about. Available on Netflix.

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The Americans, The Tudors, Boardwalk Empire, Dead of Summer, Outlander, Turn: Washington's Spies, Vinyl, Masters of Sex, Hell on Wheels, Salem, Halt and Catch Fire, Reign, Manhattan, Downton Abbey, Vikings, Penny Dreadful, The Musketeers
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Multi-Show Slideshows, The Americans Slideshows, The Tudors Slideshows, Boardwalk Empire Slideshows, Dead of Summer Slideshows, Outlander Slideshows, Turn: Washington's Spies Slideshows, Vinyl Slideshows, Masters of Sex Slideshows, Hell on Wheels Slideshows, Salem Slideshows, Halt and Catch Fire Slideshows, Reign Slideshows, Manhattan Slideshows, Downton Abbey Slideshows, Vikings Slideshows, Penny Dreadful Slideshows, The Musketeers Slideshows
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