By FRANCES GRANT

An 80s-throwback conversation late one night:

Do you remember all that great telly in the 80s, you know back before all these angsty teen dramas and silly paranormal stuff, back when there was real telly for adults?

What, you mean, all those shoulder pads and stuff? Nah, I never watched telly in the 80s, it was a load of rubbish.

Miami Vice was a great show though.

Oh yeah! Remember the Perrier scene: there was that gorgeous woman at the resort lying in the sun on a lounger and then she had the little wait-
person pour two bottles of Perrier water into a crystal bowl, then she put her little white T-shirt in the bowl and then she put it on. That was so hot.

That was so 80s. You just never see that kind of stylish wastefulness on Dawson's Creek or Ally McBeal, for example. Those kids wouldn't know what to do with an expensive imported French product if it hit them in the face.

Miami Vice had great pastels, too. That show could even make tropical turquoise and orange look pastel. What did we used to call that look?

Strong directional focus. Yeah the pastels, hey remember designer stubble? And all that architectonic style in that show — way before Madonna and Versace got there.

That show was so — death and destruction in an Armani suit. That was the Reagan era look all right.

Now any old person rattles round in Armani. Paul Holmes wears it, for God's sake.

Remember Moonlighting?

Beautiful surfaces, to die for! Ooh, and Bruce Willis was a sex symbol. That was a long time ago.

That was THE ONLY WILL-THEY-WON'T-THEY plot line which should ever have been allowed. Ross and Rachel?

Who?

I can still remember some of the dialogue. Cybill Shepherd: "Don't lose any sleep over me." Bruce Willis: "If ever I get over you baby, sleep will be the last thing on my mind."

Hey, what about Wiseguy? Tell me. Exactly what was so new and different about The Sopranos — so mobsters can be three-dimensional people? Been there, done that, pal.

And the dialogue was better: "I hate dictators!" "That's OK, we won't eat with them again." Remember when his girlfriend bought Vinnie those cufflinks and said: "If you are worried about French cuffed shirts to wear with the cufflinks, there are two dozen in the trunk."

Conspicuous consumption, loved it. Hey, what about that line: "Maybe it's time you went to Switzerland and got your blood changed again."

Whatever happened to the glamour soap? I mean Shortland Street — well, it's very plain isn't it. Minnie? Nick? In real soaps people have names like Sable Colby and Blake Carrington and there's minor European royalty in the cast.

Heather Locklear knew her place back then, playing the white trash roles.

And Alexis Carrington Colby — her shoulder pads were engineered by Nasa.

The point was, people could aspire to be filthy rich and bitchy.

Even Ilona Rodgers.

Well Gloss had its good points even if a Kiwi soap couldn't quite strike the right note of extraordinarily shameless wealth. What was the famous line?

"What are you going to do about it, Alastair. Throw your sunglasses at him?" Simon Prast was right about that show when he said it got everybody on New Zealand telly out of cardigans. That's something to be grateful for. There was mirror glass in it, too. Hey, remember LA Law? Weren't reflective office blocks sexy?

There was some great British telly in the 80s too, of course. Perhaps it wasn't quite so into the spirit of the times, though.

Yeah, there was good Brit telly. It was such good quality.

That's what the Brits do best. Quality. Do you remember any of it?

No, not really. Do you?

No, I've drunk too much champagne.