In a world where streaming services like Netflix, Crave, and Disney+ are the go-tos for TV and film, more people are revisiting or being introduced to classic content from an earlier era. Although shows like Friends or That 70s Show were around before many of us were born, a lot of people are still familiar with them because of streaming.
Reboots aren’t unique to the 2010s. There have been plenty of reboots throughout the past decade, like reboots of Marvel movies or A Star is Born. However, right now, it seems as if many of the popular shows and movies of the 1990s and early 2000s are getting reboots.
The first reboot of this kind that I’m familiar with is Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which came out in 2016. Like many Gilmore Girls fans, I watched the reboot, but was disappointed by it. It was nice to see where the characters ended up, even if it was far from ideal, but the quality and vibe of the show was different from the original.
Since then, many more reboots have emerged: iCarly, Gossip Girl, And Just Like That and Cobra Kai are a few of the examples I can name off the top of my head.
Some of these reboots have been major successes. For example, Cobra Kai has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Top Gun: Maverick is nominated for a few Oscars. Wednesday, inspired by the popular Addams Family movies, was also a smash hit on Netflix. Others are not as successful.
As I mentioned previously, the Gilmore Girls reboot wasn’t well-received. Neither was Disenchanted, a sequel to the popular Disney movie, Enchanted, from 2008.
I understand why studios are pushing reboots right now. Even if the quality isn’t great, or the ratings are bad, the show or movie will ultimately make money because of the media buzz that associates it with its well-loved predecessor and the heaps of nostalgic fans. It’s the same reason that unnecessary sequels like Disenchanted are made.
One reboot that I am personally enjoying is How I Met Your Father, a reboot of the popular 2000s show How I Met Your Mother. Anyone who has seen the original knows that the show is filled with very controversial and problematic content. For example, there was the 2014 controversy where various members of the all-white main cast dressed up as people of Asian descent, the intense fetishization of lesbianism, and the extreme sexism displayed by a character meant to be seen as likeable.
While watching the show when I was younger and much more naive, I focused more on the humorous aspects rather than the intense bigotry. I can no longer watch the show in good conscience, especially now that I am aware of subtle bigotry that I couldn’t see beforehand.
How I Met Your Father has all of the good aspects of the show, the romance, the friendship, and the humour, without all of the bigotry. The cast is much more diverse and none of the characters should be imprisoned. The second season of the series is on Disney+, with new episodes airing every Tuesday.
To conclude, comebacks are in, but consistent quality entertainment isn’t. Some of these reboots/long gap sequels are good, others are clear cash grabs. I personally hope that the upcoming Legally Blonde and Princess Diaries sequels will be the former rather than the latter.