On the whole, I'm allergic to reboots. Nostalgia can feel a little lazy and cowardly, like entertainment executives don't have the requisite
cojones to take a risk on a new premise anymore. So why this list of '90s TV shows that need to make a comeback? Well, a whole host of reasons. Some of the shows below would take on new nuances and significance if set in the present day. Other shows were canceled too soon, but gained a cult following in the years that followed; it feels way too hurtful that we never got to see these works in full bloom.
And other shows were just so damn good that they override my gag reflex when it comes to comeback television. I miss them — I guess you do, too — and the fact that there's a finite number of episodes of these shows gives me a sense of mourning, like maybe the world isn't as sunny-side up as it seems.
So if, like me, you're simultaneously sick of remakes and hungering for the
right remakes, read on. With a little bit of retweeting and writing impassioned emails to important television executives, who knows? Maybe one of the shows on the list actually will come back. 1 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'
As The Guardian noted "
Joss Whedon’s original concept was to take the girl in the horror movies who falls over, twists her ankle — the victim — and make her the hero. It’s clearly a feminist parable." In the era of (cis and trans) women's rights being rolled back under Trump, the show's focus on feminism would make it a welcome addition to the programming. 2 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch'
Wouldn't this show feel all the more resonant and quietly revolutionary now? I'm not (just) obsessed because of the magic-heavy content, but because of the series' focus on alternative family structures. Sabrina was a cool teen cohabiting with her unmarried aunts, who lived together, and that was no big deal.
3 'The Secret World Of Alex Mack'
Long before Marvel cinema made mutant superheroes mainstream, there was Alex Mack. When the formerly ordinary teenage girl almost gets hit by a truck and gets soaked in the chemical GC-161, she develops special powers, like telekinesis, electricity shooting from her fingers, and the power to dissolve into a puddle of water. This series was charming, but the special effects back then were laughably bad. I can't be alone in wanting to see a remake where the technology available to TV execs is far, far better than in the '90s.
Moesha was that rarest and weirdest of things, a role model who didn't come off like a huge dork. She spoke her mind and set boundaries better as a teenage girl than I can as an adult. I mean, she even shut down Usher when he came on too strong (see the above). I'd love to see a post-Black Lives Matter Moesha offering comment on the injustices of modern day America.
5 'My So-Called Life'
Who doesn't love this show? Its incredibly slow, detailed pacing makes it feel like a breath of fresh air in contrast to today's plot heavy shows. It wasn't afraid to languish a huge amount of attention and close focus on a subject that lots of shows find too trivial to deal with: the inner lives of teens. This show felt like nothing on television, and nothing that has followed it has ever felt as radical as this did in its approach to storyboarding.
6 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'
I have one key argument for a remake of this. Say it with me:
Jaden Smith. Can you imagine? A 2017 Fresh Prince of Bel Air with 2017 concerns and a truly 2017 leading actor. Will (or Jaden, if they took the show's tradition of naming its lead character after its lead actor) would boast gender neutral fashion but remain as cheeky and flirty as he ever was. 7 'City Guys'
Because why have so few shows on TV that have come out since
City Guys shared its focus on former enemies-turned-best-friends? Given the whole mess of hormones at high school, it's no wonder that hate turns to friend love. Also, this was really funny. More of this, please. 8 'Teen Angel'
Definitely in the "canceled too soon" section. It ran for just a year on ABC and focused on Marty, who tragically died following eating an old hamburger on a dare (!) and who then came back to earth as an angel to help out his old high school friend. Loved the premise, miss this show still.
9 'The Ren & Stimpy Show'
Has any show reached the dizzy heights of grossout comedy like this cartoon did? I think not. This was art. This was radical. Your parents hated you watching it, which automatically made you feel really cool doing so.
10 'Dexter's Laboratory'
In an era in which there's a push to recruit
more women in STEM, why not remake Dexter's Laboratory, only with a gender switch for the two leads? Make it about a genius girl-scientist and her incredibly annoying, hyperactive brother. 11 'Clueless'
Because the TV show was satirical and smart, and the
fashion industry still has a serious case of nostalgia for Clueless that shows no signs of abating. 12 'Freaks And Geeks'
The cult show began airing in 1999 and then was canceled in 2000, which, given the insane amount of talent both in front of (James Franco, Busy Philipps, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini) and behind (Judd Apatow) the camera, made no sense at all.
13 'Wild And Crazy Kids'
'Cause in this dark era, all I want to do is sit in front of the TV and watch hordes of kids taking part in wacky physical challenges. Just like it's really soothing to watch your roommate wash the dishes and not participate, somehow the same logic applies to watching masses of overly enthusiastic children playing three-legged soccer or donkey basketball.
The '90s was such an overwhelmingly great era for television. So, sure, like me, you hate reboots and you hate remakes. But the above would be the 13 golden exceptions to that rule.