A Blast From the Past
November 19, 2018
The 80’s and 90’s are coming back stronger than ever. Whether it be through old fashion styles or revitalizing elements from 80’s shows and movies, people find ways to integrate old pop culture into modern life. Netflix’s recent shows like The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018-) and Stranger Things (2016-) both exhibit this cultural nostalgia. Several shows and movies recently released reflect 80’s and 90’s culture, purely because young viewers desire that kind of content. Even in this fast-paced, technology-driven world, younger generations continue to find more ways to slow things down and take a look back at the past.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina follows the original characters from the 1960’s comic book series and show Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996-2003), with a modern twist. The graphics and effects show to be much more advanced in the modern series, and the plot is more advanced than the original premier, but the influence from the original show is still evident. Another well-known series that showcases old cultural influences is the CW’s Riverdale. Several stars from the 90’s, like Twin Peaks’ (1990) Madchen Amick and 90210’s (1990) Luke Perry, appear on Riverdale as parents of the main characters. The series is based on Archie Comics, made in 1939, which also showed a great popularity in the 70’s and 80’s. The resurgence of the shows signifies a growing interest of past culture into modern TV shows.
“I like [the shows], I feel like they add something different to normal TV shows,” junior Lauren Blackwell said. “Normal shows on TV are getting repetitive, but when they go back in time it makes television more spicy.”
These “vintage” tv shows also make today’s youth more culturally aware. In a world where most issues are broadcasted on social media, younger generations rarely learn about the recent past. New movies and shows that display the influence of past decades assist in teaching elements of the past and showing how much has changed in comparison to modern society. For instance, Stranger Things (2016) unlocks a new world not only involving a different dimension, but also giving viewers insight on how people lived in Indiana, 1983. The show provides younger viewers with knowledge on how people used to dress and how people went about their daily lives.
“The shows are definitely making kids more cultured, and they’re getting to learn more about the past,” Blackwell said. “They go more in depth about what was happening and what the times were like back then. We get to see the elements of older life.”
New movies display inspiration taken from John Hughes. Hughes, an American filmmaker during the 80’s and 90’s, developed classic movies like Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), Pretty in Pink (1986) and many more. All of his movies follow a classic romantic comedy plot where two high schoolers meet in a spectacular way and fall in love. In the Netflix original To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018), the main characters follow this classic love story, with the addition of cell phones and social media. The recent resurgence of the classic rom-com sparked intrigue in millions of young viewers.
“I think that’s why [To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before] became so much more popular, because it was so different and 80’s inspired. It really stood out from other movies and focused more on an innocent love story,” Blackwell said.
Recently, kids have been digging through their parents’ closets and thrift shops to find the perfect 80’s windbreaker or sweater. The growing trend of 80’s style and pop culture can be perfectly seen in current millennial trends. Kids pile scrunchies on their wrists, and current fashion communities include oversized neon sweaters in their collections. As the side ponytail re-enters the fashion world, Generation Z conforms to 80’s style left over thirty years ago.
“What I am actually wearing is actually from the 80’s, and it’s definitely coming back through style,” Blackwell, wearing a vibrant vintage Nike quarter zip, said.
Trends from the 80’s and 90’s rapidly make their way back into everyday life, and millennials seem to be on board with it. Not only is this seen in the film world, but in parts of everyday life. Even by simply using a scrunchie to tie up hair, old culture continues to dominate newer generations.