Has there been any new shows that have caught your eye this year? Now – is it an original? Not a spinoff, not a revival – an original. A few months ago, a whole generation of Full House watchers dove right into the “new show” – Fuller House – ready to indulge in some nostalgia, while hoping for some new, corny laughs. As a Full House lover myself, I am all for the nostalgia. Now, John Stamos not aging is a whole other conversation, but if you’re looking for anything else vital to a TV show, like decent acting, look elsewhere. The cast may have aged well, but the show definitely did not.
It is honestly a wonder to many, why the show lived up so poorly to such high expectations; the entire cast returned (aside from the Olsen twins) as well as a few writers and producers. With the same ingredients, you would expect the same taste. However, I believe that we, the viewers, are more at blame than the sad execution of Fuller House. As more and more revivals are coming into production, we should really be asking if nostalgia is stumping the development of good television. Fuller House is not even the first of this modern group of TV remakes. Arrested Development was also picked up and revived by Netflix, Gilmore Girls is currently being produced for the streaming site, and other shows such as The X-Files and Twin Peaks are set to return for revivals within the next year. Do these shows really leave that much unfinished business? Or is our need for nostalgia arresting the development of contemporary film and television?
Nostalgia is a yearning and a reverence for the past – it doesn’t have any real relationship with change. With the high expectations we hold for our favorite classics’ comebacks, it makes sense to find ourselves in disappointment. But I think it’s less about the shows and more about the memories we share with them. We yearn for the time when Full House aired on Friday nights and the whole family would get together and “awwww” at the sappy, yet honorable happy endings. The time when you couldn’t DVR X-Files; you had to watch it when it aired or you’d go without David Duchovny for another week. And as much as TV and film tries to transcend time, it can’t control the effects of it. As the media fights to capitalize on that nostalgia, the romanticization of TV’s past creates a present that many viewers will not be wistful for 20 years from now.
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