Miracle On Ice+
As the '80s begin, change is in the air. America's 'Miracle on Ice' hockey team take Olympic gold after defeating the Soviet Union in the semi-finals. Ronald Reagan becomes president, but eager for street cred, hijacks Bruce Springsteen's song 'Born in the USA', much to Springsteen's dismay
Passion For Profit+
In the '80s, family values underwent a huge makeover as depicted in films and sitcoms. At the start of the decade some, including President Reagan, yearn to go back to traditional '50s family values as seen in the hit movie Back to the Future. But by the end of the decade, with confidence growing and the help of the cartoon family The Simpsons, American families can finally express themselves and get real.
The Culture Clash+
It's the 1980s and a generation of rebellious youngsters wages war on Reagan's conservative America, determined to express itself by breaking all the rules. In the culture clash of the century that will come to define modern America, graffiti art is born, hip hop music goes mainstream, and a nation of teen rockers refuses to be gagged by Washington's own Stepford Wives.
America Gets Wired+
In the '80s, there's a stratospheric rise of cable TV helped by networks like CNN. The 24hr news channel's coverage of John Lennon's death at the start of the decade and the rescue of baby Jessica McClure at the end, cements its place in viewers' homes. Many niche channels are spawned over the decade including MTV, QVC and many televangelism channels. The downfall of two famous televangelists, Jim and Tammy Bakker, becomes must-see TV.
I Want It All+
In the early 1980's America emerges from a recession and goes straight into an era of conspicuous consumption. Widely available credit cards spark a spending frenzy and competing brands battle to make a sale. Sex, and controversy, enter the advertisers toolkit - but one iconic brand is almost brought to its knees when it takes rebranding too far.
For American women in the 1980s, life is not easy. Bullied by their bosses or stuck at home, they find unlikely inspiration and support from stars of stage and screen. Eighties icons like Madonna, Jane Fonda and Joan Collins encourage them to speak up and break out of their traditional gender roles and by the end of the decade, the difference between men and women is no longer so clearly defined.
Greed Is Good+
The eighties, when nothing succeeds like excess. In Texas, a fictional oil millionaire's lavish lifestyle captures the world's imagination and even changes the world. On Wall Street, a new philosophy breeds a new kind of capitalist, and for yuppies 'Greed is Good'. While in Los Angeles. glam metal takes music and fashion to stratospheric new heights. But in this era of big hair, big bonuses and even bigger phones - what goes up, must come down.
It's A Small World+
This episode delves into how shrinking technology in the 80s helped bring the world together. From the Walkman, to the PC and the Rubik's Cube, our new small gadgets became global talking points, but it wasn't all fun and games. Getting our hands on games from behind the Iron Curtain was not easy and Japan's looming economic might strikes fear into Americans.
Walls Come Down+
In the '80s, the Berlin Wall symbolizes the divisions of the Cold War. But President Reagan wants a thaw and demands Gorbachev tear down the wall. On the other side, East German youth hunger for all things American from jeans to classic '80s TV but most of all freedom and some even risk death to escape. As the decade ends the push for change is unstoppable and with an unlikely assist from David Hasselhoff the Berlin Wall comes crashing down.
A New Generation+
In the '90s, a new generation is on the march; as the baby-boomers come of age and come to power they revolutionize everything from politics and pop culture to ageing. This is the generation that doesn't want to grow up. Plastic surgery takes off. Madonna reinvents the stadium tour and invents a new type of phenomenon - all-access celebrity. Bill Clinton comes to power despite a multitude of scandals.
Reality Bites Back+
As '90s technology advances, the boundaries between fantasy and reality have blurred, in a world where wars are fought like video games and video games like wars, and nobody seems to know the difference. But when Hollywood harnesses god-like powers of creation, building new worlds and spawning new beasts, reality will never be the same again.
Sex In The 90s+
The AIDS crisis forces America to talk frankly about sex. With the floodgates open, porn finds its way into the mainstream. Evangelical Christians mount a nationwide abstinence movement called True Love Waits while the President finds himself embroiled in the biggest sex scandal of the decade. The press frenzy that ensued not only fueled the public appetite for sex, it changed the way Americans viewed the presidency.
Caught On Camera+
?The '90s is the era when real life mounts a TV takeover. The birth of reality TV blurs the boundary between fact and fiction; news turns into entertainment, and everyday life plays out as high drama. From the brutal beating of Rodney King, through to the raw violence of the LA Riots and the celebrity circus of the OJ Simpson trial, every moment of every story unfolds in real time in front of the TV audience.
The Price of Fame+
A look at the decade when our fascination with celebrities, scandal and gossip becomes a dangerous obsession. An explosion of new channels, magazines and websites creates an unprecedented hunger for content, with no story considered off-limits. As the press delve into the private lives of public figures, and paparazzi follow celebrities' every move, it's only a matter of time until tragedy strikes.
The Internet Revolution+
In the '90s, the birth of the internet heralds the dawn of a new age. But even tech gurus like Bill Gates, almost miss just how revolutionary it will be. The world becomes more connected than ever before but as the web's tentacles expand, celebrities Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's stolen sex tape will have an unexpected affect on how we use the internet. As Hollywood goes to town on internet horror movies, the warning signs of the net's dark side are missed and the rush to invest will make big winners and even bigger losers in the infamous dot.com bubble.
In the 90's, a new kind of America emerges as pioneering voices speak their truth on the airwaves but not without controversy. A show about nothing - Seinfeld -dominates the ratings but is accused of being too Jewish. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is crowned tv royalty but some feel it doesn't represent the reality of black America. As Gangsta rap goes mainstream, artist like Tupac Shakur becomes a legend then a martyr. Gay rights become a battleground and Ellen DeGeneres leads the charge, but for some things are going too far too fast.
The Tabloid Decade+
The '90s is the decade America becomes a nation hungry for scandal. Shock jocks like Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern rule the airwaves and even enter the political arena. While on TV, the Jerry Springer show lets ordinary people make their most outrageous private stories public. The tabloid decade will create a new kind of star in Anna Nicole Smith, but ultimately it will also help destroy her.
Enemies Within And Without+
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US was without a real enemy. Anti-government, UFO-inspired conspiracies fueled by the internet filled the vacuum taking mistrust to new heights. The FBI siege of Waco plays out against this backdrop, inspiring the biggest act of terror on US soil: the Oklahoma bombing. While America is licking its wounds a terror threat from abroad, Al Qaeda is gaining ground under the radar.
In the '90s, Generation X finally comes of age but they face an identity crisis. For some the decade is all about coffee and Friends. Where good friends are the new family and New York City is a place without real crime, or conflict - something that would have been impossible to imagine earlier in the decade or in the decade that follows. This movement is powered by coffee, as Starbucks doesn't just change our taste but where we hang out, creating a 'third space'; somewhere that is neither the traditional workplace nor the traditional home - opening five stores a week for the next decade. But for others, on the other side of America, a new movement...