If you haven’t noticed, television is in a period of nostalgia. Some of our favourite shows from the past are coming back and introducing us to our favourite characters once again. Classics like Full House, Boy Meets World, The X-Files and Twin Peaks, and even newer hits like Heroes, 24 and Prison Break, are being rebooted for old and new audiences alike. The big and small screens are even swapping brands as Rush Hour and Minority Report are coming to television and Baywatch is being made into a movie.
What do these reboots say about where creativity is at on television? And what does this say about us as consumers?
Big producers know what consumers want and they know where the money is at. Right now TV fans are nostalgic and producers are going to ride this trend as long as they can. I imagine these reboots are lucrative since those of us who were kids and teens during the initial run are now parents who will want to introduce our kids to the shows we loved. Two generations of fans for the price of one.
Do these reboots mean producers are lacking in creativity? Kind of like when overalls or bell bottoms come back in style? Not really. It’s possible to exploit an economic opportunity while telling a good story; case in point, The X-Files.
What this whole obsession with reboots clearly reinforces is that as consumers we’re quite emotionally invested in the shows we watch. We feel connected to the characters we watch on the small screen. We relate to them as if we were their friends or a member of their family.
Kudos to the writers, the real stars of the show, who have created characters who can stand the test of time. It’s hard enough to get a pilot on the air let alone develop characters that resonate with fans over the course of decades. My only regret about television’s blast from the past is that we’ll never see a Cosby Show reboot, but that’s for good reason.