by Laure Mack
Nostalgia: A wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time. We've all experienced it, and in light of the horrors that 2016 has rubbed our faces in, it's really no wonder that we all seem to be collectively longing for some comforting familiarity.
After the wildly successful campaign to fund the Veronica Mars movie in 2014, I've been on the edge of my seat eager to see what characters I get to revisit. Girl Meets World and Fuller House got picked up with many original cast members from their early 90s parent shows. And even though the after-school-special cheesy factor is in hefty supply and they are in no way up to the cinematic gravitas that shows like Game of Thrones have made commonplace, both seem to be thriving with audiences.
Why do we love these second comings so much? Is Hollywood out of good ideas? Is our ever-growing access to TV and movies making it so difficult to sift through what we want to watch that familiarity is the last big pull factor to grab our attention?
This year we got to catch up with the much-hyped Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and it was the Most Beloved Revival I've seen thus far. A four part look at how Lorelei, Rory and Emily are faring ten years later, and even though watching it wasn't exactly the same as I remembered, I relished every second of it. GG lovers around the world cozied up to Netflix with coffee and candy and pizza and burgers and fries and tater tots to watch these ladies sift through their lives. It was like revisiting a childhood home or catching up with old friends. Amy Sherman-Palladino can pat herself on the back. It was the perfect amount of catering to what we fans have been clamoring for and staying true to who the characters are.
Best Remake has to go to Ghostbusters! If you ask me, you can put Melissa McCarthy in anything and she can make it better. The entire cast really reads like a who's who of mainstream comedy of the moment. As much as I love Kristin Wiig and as much as I love love LOVE McCarthy, I was never huge on the original so my expectations weren't high going in. I laughed through almost all of it.
Stranger Things hooked so many people and it was so good that I have to give it Best TV That I Didn't Know I was Missing. Don't get me wrong, the writers know what they're doing, and those little kids are as talented as they are adorable. But the lack of cell phones in everyone's hands and seeing kids actually riding bikes around the neighborhood was some kind of comforting. Which is saying something when talking about a horror show. On a side note: I love Barb so much. #BringBackBarb. From the Stephen King influences and E.T. nuances, if you lived in the 80s, enjoyed 80s horror movies or remember The Goonies fondly, Stranger Things will hit you right where it doesn't hurt.
Ghosts of Television Past that I enjoyed re-watching this year: good for binge watching, good for lazy Sundays, good for the soul
Gilmore Girls, for obvious reasons.
Roswell — Why was I so into Michael? He was such an ass to Maria for a long while. Of course he really turned it around in the end, huh?
I Love Lucy — Always a good idea.
Friday Night Lights
In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett
Such an easy, fun read. If you've been looking for the perfect book to bring along for a beach or park day, look no further. And if you grew up watching her variety hour like me, you'll probably enjoy basking in the behind-the-scenes zaniness as much as I did. It's more akin to listening to your favorite grandmother tell stories than anything biographical. Except it's Carol freaking Burnett, the hilarious and plucky badass that paved the way for everyone from Lucille Ball to Amy Schumer to be their own versions of hilarious and amazing.
P.S. Is anyone else pumped for the Power Rangers movie coming out next year? It's morphing time!