The feeling of nostalgia in television is very evident in Hollywood with the numerous revivals of TV shows. Producers are willing to dust off some adored titles from the past to pump some new 21st century life into them. The uber-saccharine family sitcom from the ‘90s, Full House (sans Olsen twins, unfortunately) is coming back to us in full force while cult favorites X-Files and Twin Peaks are having another go around. Even shows like Coach are coming back. Don’t know exactly why it’s coming back, but I guess those diehard Coach fans need it. In any case, if Hollywood is taking suggestions for some shows that need a revival, here are some they should consider.
1. Family Ties, (1982-1989)
I’m confident enough to say that this is one of the best sitcoms in television history. It put Michael J. Fox on the ‘80s heartthrob map and made him a superstar. More than that, we were treated to the life of the Keatons, a very progressive family amidst Reagan-era sitcoms. True to ‘80s sitcom form, they had episodes of lighthearted family hijinks and heavier content like the episode where Alex (Fox) deals with the death of his close friend. To see the Keatons in an Obama-era America would be incredibly fun.
2. Facts of Life, (1979-1988)
They took the good, they took the bad—they took them both and gave us everything we needed to know about the facts of life, for almost 10 years. The show went through some changes over the years (let’s not forget George Clooney was on the show!), but the four core girls always stayed the same: Jo, Blair, Natalie and Tootie. I think it’s time for them to come back, open up a boarding school and teach this generation some good ol’ fashioned facts of life.
3. Roseanne, (1988-1997)
When we last left the Conner clan, they were enjoying the riches of their lottery winnings the only way the Conners could enjoy it: with superfluous heartfelt insults and joy. Then we found out that it was all a dream, and Dan was dead. Not exactly the great ending to the all-too-real working class sitcom that still rings true today. Perhaps they need to resuscitate the show and do some timeline manipulation showing us where the Conners would be if Dan didn’t die. Wouldn’t that be much more pleasing? In any case, we could definitely use some more of Roseanne’s clever verbal takedowns and snark that made us fall in love with her in the beginning.
4. Gilmore Girls, (2000-2007)
America’s favorite fast-talking, pop culture-referencing, junk food bingeing, mother-daughter duo deserves a come back. When the show ended, the eccentric characters of the quaint town of Stars Hollow were saying bon voyage to Rory as she embarked on a new journey as a reporter covering the Obama campaign. Her mother, Lorelei, stays behind solidifying the will they/won’t they relationship with Luke. It’s been a while, so a revisit to Stars Hollow would allow us to see what all the gang is up to. And for the record, I’m 100 percent Team Jess. In your face, Team Dean and Team Logan.
5. A Different World, (1987-1993)
Since there probably won’t be a Cosby Show reunion any time soon (for obvious reasons), A Different World re-boot would be just as good, if not better. The show followed Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) as she went to her parents’ college alma mater. The first season was a little—how should we put this—boring, but it soon picked up when producer Debbie Allen (who actually teased us with a possible reunion“https://twitter.com/msdebbieallen/status/526544393717547008) took the reins and steered the show into a more realistic direction, pulling from her experience at Howard University to make some of the most socially conscious television for the ‘90s, with a big dose of humor. The show also gave us the iconic Dwayne Wayne flip glasses and, of course, Whitley.
6. Beverly Hills 90210 , (1990-2000)
The California zip code gave us some of the best angsty prime time drama ever. It was like Dynasty, but for high school! It would be a sin to deprive the world of a reunion of the teens that shaped pop culture before the E! Channel age of reality television. Sure, there was that reboot a couple of years ago, but I hardly count that. I want the ENTIRE gang (yes, even Andrea and the boring parents) back together for some old fashioned Brenda vs. Kelly drama.
7. Freaks and Geeks, (1999-2000)
One season wasn’t enough to experience the lives of these misfits. Sure, the show introduced us to some of today’s most talented actors (Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Busy Philipps, Martin Starr, John Francis Daley, Samm Levine), but for 15 years we’ve been dying to revisit McKinley High School. We’ve been wanting to see what happened to Lindsay (Cardellini) after she went on that road trip, and if bad boy Daniel (Franco) became the ultimate Dungeons and Dragons player. It’s about time we bring back the freaks… and the geeks, of course.
8. Married… With Children, (1987-1997)
Married… With Children was the first Fox sitcom that introduced us to what would become America’s favorite dysfunctional family. It flipped the concept of the ordinary sitcom family giving us an unhappy shoe salesman for a patriarch, a horny housewife, a sexy space cadet daughter and a girl-crazy son with no game. This show gave the middle finger to its happy-go-lucky sitcom counterparts, and we wouldn’t mind seeing that again.
9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, (1997-2003)
Since Joss Whedon is going to take a break (or retire altogether) from his Marvel adventures, perhaps he should revisit the franchise that made him a God to many. With the exception of the first season (let’s face it, it wasn’t the best) Buffy was one of the best shows on television, taking us into a world that gave us the perfect balance of fantasy, comedy, drama, romance, and action. Most of all, Whedon showed us that he knew how to create stories that we could sink our teeth into. He sculpted characters that we actually cared about and put them through grounded, human situations in fantastical world. Sure, all of Sunnydale was sucked into the Hellmouth, but that doesn’t mean the Scooby gang couldn’t get back together for one final mini-series hurrah.
10. My So-Called Life, (1994-1995)
By far, My So-Called Life, was one of the only teenage dramas that didn’t make angsty teens seem so annoying. The series centered on the hormonal tribulations of Angela Chase (Claire Danes) and her comrades: the loose cannon Rayanne, the generous Ricky, the bubbly former BFF Sharon, and, of course, the awkwardly nerdy Brian Krakow. And who could forget everyone’s favorite adorably dim-witted alt crush of the ‘90s, Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto). The show was way ahead of its time, looking at teen life with unflinching truth. The reunion would not only give us an idea what these folks have been up to for the past 20 years (did Frozen Embryos finally hit it big?), it would present us with answers to some incredibly important questions. Like, did Rayanne and Angela finally make up? And the big one: did Angela pick Brian over Jordan?
11. Felicity, (1998-2002)
Long before Team Edward and Team Jacob, there was Team Noel and Team Ben. Which one were you on? Ultimately, Felicity ended up with Ben, but the journey to get there was a joy. The unbelievably earnest title character of Felicity (played by Keri Russell) took us through a college experience that was jammed packed with ups, downs and a haircut that shocked the world. You would never think that the dudes who directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves) could create such a sensitive show about a lovelorn gal who follows her high school crush to college. I still dream of the day when I’ll be able to hear the soft-spoken “hey”s of the Kelvin Hall crew reuniting for one last Thanksgiving meal.
12. Friday Night Lights, (2006-2011)
Each episode of Friday Night Lights dug deep into our emotions, inspiring us to become better people and bringing us to tears (just me?) with every riveting pre-game Coach Taylor speech. The second season may have been a little bumpy and Julie Taylor may have been an insufferable brat, but the show’s awesomeness and Connie Britton’s hair is enough to eclipse all of that. I think it’s about that time to have a Dillon High reunion with everyone: Riggins, Landry, Street, Smash, Tyra, Vince, Cafferty, Jess, Saracen, Lyla, and, yes, even Julie. I’m tearing up just thinking about it. Clear eyes. Full hearts. Give us a reunion. Now.