As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on and I wait for my final vaccine dose, I have taken to scraping the bottom of the barrel for entertainment.

Most recently I discovered a show on MTV called “I want my 80s” which features, not surprisingly, lots of videos from the ’80s. The title of the show, for those too young to remember, is a reference to the early commercials that had the tagline, “I want my MTV!”

I watched one episode and liked about one-third of the videos. This is pretty much the percentage I remember liking from the actual 1980s. So, I did the obvious and started taping the show so I can fast forward through the videos I don’t like.

A lot of it is crap.

But the unexpected appearance of a long-lost video from my favorite decade can have a magical effect and puts a spring in my step for days. The unpredictability is key, just like it was back then.

So now all of my spare time is spent watching and fast-forwarding through 1980s videos, trying to access a little of that energy — and in true ’80s fashion, I like to binge-watch.

When it comes to old videos, “too much is never enough,” to quote another early MTV commercial.

What is interesting is that some of the biggest stars of that day still mesmerize even now. I was still impressed by the magnetism of the ’80s teen idols Adam Ant, Billy Idol and Simon Le Bon. Not to mention Prince, who was more than a teen idol. These guys played the camera with all the skill of Rudolph Valentino in silent films. The roughness of the final product takes nothing away from their charisma.

Also ’80s chicks Jody Watley, Paula Abdul and Prince protege Vanity all rivalled Theda Bara in holding the camera’s gaze. Their lyrics weren’t half-bad either.

It makes me proud of my generation in a weird way. Our taste holds up.

It also reminded me of the time friends and I checked out the old Elvis Presley movie “King Creole” on video and were stunned speechless by the young Elvis. Or Marilyn in “Some Like it Hot,” one of my favorite movies of all time.

Some people are legends for a reason.

Other takeaways from the ’80s videos: Prince’s songs from “Purple Rain” sound even better now that they did then. As does David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” Although most of Bowie’s works are on regular rotation in my house and car anyway.

Also, Billy Idol’s classic video for “White Wedding” does a pretty artistic job of showing why not everyone is cut out for marriage.

The videos that have held up the best are those by Depeche Mode and Love and Rockets. These were artsy and strange, totally ahead of their time, and they still look cool. Most 1980s videos, by contrast, seem wincingly unprofessional and random by today’s standards.

In another important discovery, Bruce Springsteen prefigured the age of Trump in his video for “Born in the USA” — whether he intended to or not. Watch the video on YouTube if you don’t believe me. It is all about a certain American heartland identity, right down to the next-to-the-last frame — which features Bruce’s famous tushie with a red working man’s cap in his back pocket. MAGA, anyone? This shot was also the album cover. Need I say more?

In any case, the ’80s videos have provided a much-needed circuit breaker during (hopefully) my last days of social isolation.

A lot of people like to say we have nostalgia for past decades because they represent a simpler time. I don’t agree. I don’t remember the ’80s as simple, or harmless. AIDS was a horrible scourge, ignored by many — including the government for too long — as people died slow, painful deaths. Some of these people were my friends. There was nothing sweet or innocent about it.

But I do remember the ’80s as a stylish time. Dressing up was half the point of anything, and I still see nothing wrong with that. And with some fashion prognosticators predicting a return to Great Gatsby-dandyism when the world opens again, I am more than ready to take it back there.

I also await the resurgence of the famous ’80s slogan: “Are we having fun yet?” Hopefully once the world reopens, we will be. Or at least we can dress like we are.

Jessica Weston is an award-winning columnist and writes about the city for the Ridgecrest Daily Independent in California. She can be reached at jweston@ridgecrestca.com.