6 TV Shows That Should Have Stayed in the 1990s
We’re still in the thick of Hollywood’s remake era and nothing is safe. And now that the 1990s are some 20 odd years behind us, it’s become routine for Hollywood to dig in and see what it can bring back for modern audiences from the era of neon colors, big hair, and JNCO jeans. Here are six ’90s shows Hollywood is bringing back that should have lived and died in all their ’90s glory.
1. Full House
Full House dominated the family sitcom genre in the late ’80s and early ’90s, peaking as the No. 7 show on television in 1991 with 17 million households watching. But it was hard to believe there was a market somewhere for a reboot of sorts once the nostalgia factor died down. Well, not only did Full House get picked up for a new original series on Netflix entitled Fuller House this past February, it received a second season renewal a little more than a week after it premiered. Skewered by critics, The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg might have put it best when he wrote, “Nostalgia’s taint has deluded viewers of a certain generation into believing that, with its hammy child performances, overplayed catchphrases and perfunctory hugs, Full House was a good TV show, rather than a show that pandered to the absolute basest of family-friendly instincts.” Someone out there likes it, so it’s got that going for it.
2. Power Rangers
In 2017, studio Lionsgate is set to release the big-budget superhero film Power Rangers, based on the franchise of same name, and CEO Jon Feltheimer has already told analysts that they “could see doing five or six or seven.” It almost seems absurd given its roots as a campy ’90s kids show that spliced in footage from its Japanese counterpart Super Sentai, where actors dressed as monsters fought actors dressed as robots. Admittedly, the series became a pop culture phenomenon when it first arrived and has lived on in the decades since in various forms, but at a certain point the question needs to be asked: Who is this for? Because the response seems to indicate that it’s mostly those who grew up loving the show on Saturdays as kids, which can’t possibly be enough to sustain one, let alone several films in a series.
MacGyver ran for seven seasons from 1985 to 1992 and revolves around secret agent Angus MacGyver and his adventures working himself out of sticky situations using ordinary objects. The series made enough of an impact on pop culture that the verbs “MacGyver” and “MacGyvered” have become common to describe someone performing a clever fix using items at their disposal — even for those who have never heard of the show.
The show is such a product of its time and of a certain era of television that it seems hard to believe there’s a market for a remake. Additionally, Marge Simpson’s sisters’ obsession with the series through the years in The Simpsons has made the show such a comic punching bag that the idea of making it a legitimate series again seems like an impossible task. But it’s happening, and the show already has its young lead picked out for a prequel series about how MacGyver became the Macgyver we know. Because we all desperately wanted to see this origin story.
4. Tales from the Crypt
Tales from the Crypt ran from 1989 to 1996 on HBO and plenty of people have fond memories of watching the gory horror anthology and having nightmares for weeks. So when it was reported that the series would make its return to television, the headline by itself was enough to get horror fans excited. But it’s the framework of the show’s return that is enough to make horror fans tremble for the wrong reasons.
To start, the show will be shown on TNT rather than HBO — this isn’t a huge problem since many shows on cable are just as gory and frightening as anything that used to be on HBO. However, here’s the kicker: M. Night Shyamalan is in charge. Sure, his most recent film The Visit was somewhat of a return to form, but it can’t erase After Earth or The Last Airbender from our memory.
5. Cruel Intentions
OK so this is an example of a ’90s movie going to TV, but it’s simply too good to leave off the list. Even though Cruel Intentions came at the tail end of the ’90s, it’s a film that somehow feels emblematic of an era of Blockbuster video and teen drama tropes. The film also spawned a direct-to-video prequel and sequel before laying dormant for 12 years. Now, Cruel Intentions is set to return in the form of an NBC series chronicling the next generation of the original film’s characters with Sarah Michelle Gellar set to return. Oddly enough, the series’s content (based on Les Liaisons dangereuses) actually makes a lot of sense given the kind of teenage drama that’s popular in television right now, but no one old enough to remember the original Cruel Intentions film — let alone fondly — was clamoring for a reboot, that’s for sure.
6. Twin Peaks
Is it possible to be both excited and terrified about a ’90s remake? Well, Twin Peaks is where those two emotions intertwine. Until the show airs we’ll all hold our collective breath that this will be the triumphant return of both writer/director David Lynch and a TV series that became a pop culture phenomenon in the ’90s, but it’s understandable to have some concern. After all, his most recent major output was 2006’s Inland Empire (interesting, but not in the upper echelon of his work) and before that was Mulholland Drive (arguably his last really strong film) all the way back in 2001.
Finally, don’t forget his last foray into Twin Peaks territory — Twin Peaks – Fire Walk With Me — which Grantland discusses in a detailed article. Quentin Tarantino famously said at the time, “After I saw Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me at Cannes, David Lynch had disappeared so far up his own ass that I have no desire to see another David Lynch movie until I hear something different. And you know, I loved him. I loved him.” Let’s all hope the series lives up to the hype because a world with Twin Peaks is way better and way weirder.
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