Nostalgia and Revivals

Nostalgia is definitely one of the strangest byproducts of how memory and perspective color past things. This is particularly applicable to things people loved in their younger days. It only makes sense then that the joys of youth be revived into modern, more adult-friendly treasures, right? Right? Because there has to be some way of justifying a comedy remake of Thomas the Tank Engine.

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Seriously, though. The number of things rising from the times of preschool and later after-school television viewing is getting to be a bit much. The Muppets coming back to television as a 30 Rock-stylized comedy variety show was a bit of a stretch, though it has proven its capacity to be endearing in a trying-too-hard sort of way. There’s something about the dynamic of the characters, however, especially with Kermit and Miss Piggy’s tendencies to bicker, that makes The Muppets work.

There was never a point in recorded history that any sane person has thought, without the influence of controlled substances, that Thomas the Tank Engine has tremendous comedy potential for adults.

There was never a point in recorded history that any sane person has thought, without the influence of controlled substances, that Thomas the Tank Engine has tremendous comedy potential for adults. And yet here the world is, looking at a Dan Harmon-spawned creation that tackles issues, according to AV Club, such as navigating “broken relationships, workplace struggles, and existential crises”. This will no doubt include the vocal talents of Joel McHale as some loveable, albeit morally dubious scamp of a character, and it will probably go on at least one season longer than it ever should have.

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There’s also a Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie that is coming out soon, in which Elizabeth Banks has taken on the role of Rita Repulsa. There’s something iconic about the Power Rangers. It’s a show that has endured through numerous iterations, changing up their zords and costumes whenever necessary to help incorporate source material from its Sentai origins. There were plenty of movies, and just as much merchandise. Yes, it could be argued that new generations deserve a chance to enjoy The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in the same way generations before did, but if preview pictures of the reboot are any indication it’s probably best to leave this in the past.

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The list goes on and on. At what point do the rose-tinted glasses many of us reserve for looking back at the media we loved need to be set aside? Not everything ages well, and certainly not everything deserves to be resurrected.

 

By Phil Gorski

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