From the dawn of time we have heard expressions such as “Ugh! As if” (Clueless), “Keep the change, ya filthy animal” (Home Alone), “To infinity and beyond!” (Toy Story), and “I wish I could, but I don’t want to.” (Friends). These iconic lines are engraved into our memories, perhaps because we have been bored at home (more than usual) and have been reviving more and more of these older classics. Or, did we ever really forget them?
Although many of these movies and shows from way back are not as popular as they were before Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and Disney + still keep a few of them around. That is because they are so great that they never actually get old. The feeling of nostalgia, even if you never lived through the 90’s, is still there. The key to success of the revival of these shows & movies is the happy medium between nostalgia and relevance in today’s world. I mean think about it, the movie “Matilda” was quite progressive for it’s time. It was a feminist, empowering movie that brought up issues of domestic abuse, and focused on the importance of education, and on top of that it was a good movie.
Most importantly, what made 90’s movies and shows so entertaining was that there was no “cancel culture” or “war on fun.” Humor is now molded so specifically so that no one gets offended. Now don’t get me wrong, many movies have crossed the line in being offensive. But there is a difference between offensive and humorous. A humorous movie is easy to laugh at, and isn’t bluntly attacking someone. But now you have to watch any joke, and look carefully for “hidden meanings” in a movie to see if it is “being offensive.” Take “Pretty Woman” for an example, it was a cute love of a “modern cinderella” that is now viewed as a sign of toxic masculinity over a woman who was previously a prostitute. If that is’t reason enough, a comedic movie ”Mrs. Doubtfire” is now being viewed as a misogynistic father who tricks his wife into hiring him as a nanny so he’ll be able to see his children. What this movie actually is about is a father who loves his children so much that he would be willing to do anything to see them. These great movies aren’t supposed to be overanalyzed, especially if they are comedies. Movies are supposed to be enjoyable, and if you don’t like a movie, sometimes you just need to switch the channel.
Now, as more remakes are being made of these shows and movies, they take away any humor, and try to make everyone happy. But every cloud has a silver lining. Saved by the Bell, a 90’s show available on Netflix, has a new version including a few new changes to make it “fit” better this year. This remake not only remains humorous, but also includes new characters that broaden the show, such as a character to represent the LGBTQ+ community. Though many remakes have been successful, some are not. Changing a tv drama series into a predictable action-comedy movie was not a good idea on Paramount’s side. Not only was Baywatch not funny, it was extremely cringey. It received so much backlash for its sexist approach on women, it was said to be “endless scenes of intense staring” along with a dumb blonde drowning. So as we watch the new, the old, and the remade we should remember not to take everything in a movie or show so seriously. Especially a 2017 reboot of a 90’s Baywatch show.