Television today is littered with nostalgia. Shows like Fuller House only get audiences because we watched the original “back in the day” and long for simpler times when we were young. TV reboots of old franchises, word for word remakes of originals, and series that feed on nostalgia itself (Stranger Things) are incredibly popular.
Of course, let’s not forget the constant reruns of shows like Friends, Seinfeld, The Nanny and The Golden Girls. If you’re in a country where you’re not privileged to be bombarded with these gems, you need a VPN that works with Netflix.
But what about the world of tomorrow? Kids today are growing up in the era of “peak TV” (aka a LOT of TV shows to choose from). However, peak TV doesn’t necessarily make for good nostalgia. Breaking Bad and Mad Men transformed the TV landscape, but they’re not the sort of shows you can run on repeat or bring back for an ill-advised reboot.
Are there any shows that kids of the ’10’s will want to rewatch? Here are four that might make the list of Nostalgia TV in the 2020’s.
1. Modern Family… Maybe
Modern Family seems like an obvious choice. It’s been running for almost nine years already, and will probably remain on the air for years. With unforgettable characters like Phil Dunphy, Manny Delgado, Hayley and Luke Dunphy, reruns of earlier seasons are already on heavy rotation.
However, we’re not sure a reboot or follow-up is in Modern Family‘s future. After all, it started off as modern, but in the years that the show has aired, the world has changed. Gay relationships, interracial relationships and intergenerational marriages are hardly noteworthy anymore.
2. Adventure Time
Some TV shows geared for children get a more loyal following of teenagers and adults. Today’s Adventure Time fan base is already an indication that kids growing up watching the show today will still get the feels for it tomorrow.
The hand-drawn animations might become a relic (they already are, sort of), and nostalgic fans will be looking into the past to relive their surreal adventures.
3. Degrassi: Next Class
The Degrassi franchise has managed to stay relevant throughout the years. The latest iteration, Next Class, has dealt with issues including homosexuality, gender queer, racism and Islamophobia. With a memorable cast of excellent young actors, this show never fails to deliver an entertaining and meaningful message. Expect Degrassi: Class After Next to be dealing with issues that this generation cannot yet imagine. And expect today’s kids to still be watching.
4. Stranger Things
Strangers Things returns to Netflix with season two on October 27, 2017. The surprise hit has already become a big part of pop culture, and while a third, fourth, fifth, or even sixth season hasn’t been announced, creators Matt and Ross Duffer have carte blanche to put the people of Hawkins, Indiana through as much distress as they want. Grownups love the series because it takes them back to their own childhood, and kids love the series because it’s just darn entertaining.
In the second season, it’s 1984 and the citizens of Hawkins are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.
Confirmed for season two are Paul Reiser, Brett Gelman, Linnea Berthelsen, Dacre Montgomery, Will Chase, Rob Morgan, and Sadie Sink. They join the returning Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, and Charlie Heaton.
The way the TV and movie industry is going, today’s nostalgia might just be tomorrow’s nostalgia. Yes, we’re in the age of peak TV, but that doesn’t stop execs from going back to their old cash cows. Reboots, remakes, and reruns like It and Ghostbusters will no doubt be rebooted, remade, and rerun in the future, as well.
It’s a fascinating cycle that means our grandchildren might just be watching the same shows our parents once loved. Nostalgia can make up for bad writing, directing, acting, and producing, as we’ve seen with the audience numbers for Fuller House. So while TV might change, the irrational pull of nostalgia remains strong.