1. The cool opening sequence, in which Debbie Allen brings the wannabe stars back to earth. I can still quote it verbatim:
You got big dreams? You want fame?
Well, let me tell you, fame costs.
And here's where you start paying. . .in sweat!
2. The complete heterosexualizing of the cast. In the 1980 movie, one of the aspiring dancers, singers, and actors was gay (ok, one of the depressed Hollywood gays, who moaned "Never being happy isn't the same thing as being sad). But in the tv series (as in the 2009 remake starring Paul Iocono), we don't get even that. Gay people do not exist.
3. The hunks. The male cast members were, every one of them, muscular and gorgeous, and frequently without shirts.
Gene Anthony Ray as sullen dancer Leroy (top photo).
Billy Hufsey as soulful singer Chris, who posed in the gay-coded After Dark.
But my favorite was probably Carlo Imperato, because his muscles were so unexpected. His Danny Amatullo was a wisecracking comedian, for heaven sake. Who'd expect Jerry Seinfeld or Jay Leno to be built? But he was:
Here's another, to give you the general idea.