Unsurpassed Classic Television Shows Have No Need for Revival


Everything old is new again.

At least that appears to be the ongoing trend for television shows as of late. Roseanne, the groundbreaking hit sitcom that ran nine seasons in the late 1980's into the 90's, appears to be the latest "retro" show to hop aboard the nostalgia train. It was recently announced a revival is already in the works, in which Sara Gilbert, John Goodman, and star/creator Roseanne are all on board for.

Setting aside the fact Goodman's character and family patriarch, Dan, is deceased plus quite possibly a myriad of scheduling problems with Johnny Galecki (David) and Laurie Metcalf (Jackie)--not to mention the always busy Goodman--a much deeper problem of rebooting and continuing television shows is growing among the industry.

In what a few years ago--and still is--was a booming trend in the movie industry, television shows have now proven they are not immune to this tactic.

The clamoring of fans for reunion shows have now turned into full blown, season-long revivals. Revivals in most cases that aren't even needed.

Reunion and anniversary shows gave a chance for fans to watch the stars of their favorite television shows of yesteryear reunite; to talk about their favorite scenes and watch them reminisce of a time long ago.

These days it seems not a week goes by without either A.) A star of a former show being asked about a reboot/reunion or B.) A reboot of show actually happening.

I get it. I really do. Perhaps the relaunching of these shows gives the opportunity for fans to recapture a lost youth or maybe a simpler time in their lives. Nostalgia is running rampant in society these days--not necessarily always a bad thing (I have it myself)--and the industry is looking to capitalize on it.

And for television shows that may have abruptly been cancelled, without a true finish, I get that as well. Both Arrested Development and Gilmore Girls have recently been receivers of this treatment.

Closure in a series is not always going to happen, but given the opportunity, I can see why shows as the above mentioned may feel the need to continue to tell the story years later if the opportunity arises.

Roseanne, on the other hand, ran for nine seasons and 222 episodes. And despite a disjointed ninth season, it ended with pretty concrete finality. (Spoilers, obviously).

Roseanne herself even provided an update on a blog post in 2009 on where all the characters of her show would be. Wasn't that enough? If there's a story you'd like to tell, why not do it in a way like this and leave it at that?

Many of these revivals/reboots or whatever you'd like to call them have been successful. For some, like Girl Meets World and Fuller House, the creators have taken the show they created and focused it on the next generation. (Though it can be argued both simply took story lines from their original shows, applied them to new characters, and updated ideas to fit modern day problems. Really upping the nostalgia ante in these cases.)

Of course, most of these shows I've loved over the years. Roseanne, Boy Meets World, and Arrested Development were all favorites of mine. And, in all honesty, I watched most of the episodes of Girl Meets World because of the aforementioned reason of nostalgia (and Cory and Topanga were the fictional love at one point in my life I aspired to be part of).

There's something to be said, though, of having an imagination. Fans can take the time to imagine what the characters of Roseanne are up to today. Or they can create their own story to discover what Ross and Rachel are up to in 2017. It's like any book, in which the snapshot of the story you're part of ends. Sometimes, creating what happens next in your mind after the story ends can be a valuable part of working out brain muscles.

We are in a golden age of television, where thought-provoking, imaginative, heartfelt, dramatic, and funny shows are being pumped out weekly. Ground breaking ideas are premiering all the time. Can the entertainment industry survive with a sliver of time and money being devoted to this programming? Yes, more than likely. Is it necessarily needed? No, not when re-runs are available in a variety of places, whether it's a streaming service, DVD, or even dusting off the old VCR. There are episodes of Roseanne, no matter how many times I've seen them, that still make me laugh.

Take some time out and relive that glory. Or show a few episodes to your children to let them see what the olden days were like. 

Will I be there and view these new episodes if they see the light day? Yes, probably. Curiosity will no doubt get the best of me. I will do so knowing that it wasn't needed except for the sole purpose of being nostalgic for nostalgia's sake.

Come to think of it, the trend started long before any of us can remember. Let's all thank A Very Brady Christmas for starting this entire thing. It, too, was a reunion that spawned a short-lived television revival. 

Bobby Brady's racing career was never the same. Let's hope D.J. Tanner doesn't suffer the same fate.


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