The 1980s was a period of time that many people today remember as the "MTV Generation". It was a time during which a much younger audience became more socially concious, and where one's youth was seen as an appealing form of self expression and identification. The suburban ideals of the United States that the "baby-boomers" were raised on, were beginning to be challenged by this younger generation - their children. Rising in popularity were more urban forms of art an expression like Hip-Hop, breakdancing, and graffiti. It considered "hip" to accept this kind of style, and MTV was the first media outlet to cater to this more diverse, younger audience. The first music video ever played on the MTV network was "Video Killed the Raido Star", acting as the perfect precursor to the new era of music television that would influence American culture for the rest of the decade.
The first couple years of the 1980s saw the United States endure through a deep recession, the worst it had seen in nearly half a century. Agricultural exports had declined, crop prices had fallen, and interest rates rose, hurting farmers the most. Additionally, business bankruptcies had risen 50%. While this sudden economic slowdown was tough on everyone, Hollywood had fortunately stayed alive thanks to the profits from its hugely successful blockbusters in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Eventually, by 1983, the recession saw inflation ease up, the economy rebound, and the United States began a sustained period of economic growth. These financially difficult years had ultimately freed the economy from the destructive cycle in which it had caught itself.
The poor economic state of the Untied States in the late 1970s that caused to the recession of the early 1980s led to a dramatic change in the political realm of the country. Americans demanded a change in the nation's federal policies, and took action by turning out President Carter in 1980 and electing former Hollywood star and California governor, Ronald Reagan. President Reagan (1981-1989) based much of his platform on the "American Dream" meantlity of the 1940s & 1950s - the time of the height of his acting career. This American Dream resurgence was not only seen in the political world, but also the cinematic world. In many film of the 1980s, we can see references to a more idyllic, suburban America.