FACEOFF: Are TV Show Revivals Worth It?

Ava Garcia and Paul Yan

Yes (A.G.)

This past year, more and more people have started staying in, wearing pajamas and binging all their favorite T.V. shows. T.V. revivals have been on the rise ever since fans began to beg for their old favorite characters to make a comeback. 

“Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” is revival fans deem worth the wait. “Gilmore Girls” ended in 2007 and the reboot came out in 2016, bringing back beloved characters from past seasons. 

“Girl Meets World” is another example of a worthy revival. “Boy Meets World” was a fan favorite in the 90s and “Girl Meets World” allowed fans to see the kids of the two main characters, Topanga and Cory, take on the city of Philadelphia. 

In 2018, American Idol, the popular singing competition, announced their return to T.V.. Although American Idol featured different judges, it kept the same structure it had back in 2002.

Revivals allow fans to see the growth and development of their favorite characters after years in the dark. By watching these revivals, fans can relive some of their favorite childhood memories and see cast members grow up. 

There is a common misconception that revivals are not as good as the original T.V. show. Revivals are not meant to be better — they are a way to reconnect with past audiences. Revivals are less about comparison and more about the nostalgia viewers feel when watching. 

Revivals also tend to modernize the world characters grew up in, allowing fans to further relate to the show. Revivals bring fans back and provide them with a better understanding of each character. When actors step into the shoes of their character 10 years later, fans witness a side they have never seen before. 

No (P.Y.)

Iconic T.V. shows such as “Gossip Girl,” “Sex and the City,” “Full House” and “That’s So Raven” influenced their audiences with new, original stories. However, over the past few years, revivals, specifically of notable early 2000s shows, took over television. The revivals not only lacked creativity but let down longtime fans. 

“Gossip Girl,“ “Sex and the City,” “Full House” and “That’s So Raven” all garnered large cult-following fan bases. Streaming services’ rebooting of these shows come across as ingenuine, a calculated cash grab — a term now associated with streaming giants’ attempts at exploiting fans’ nostalgia for money.

The strong sense of nostalgia that these revivals may evoke does not validate a revival. Fans of the original tend to be protective of the show and fear that a revival would ruin the reputation of their beloved show. This fear is unavoidable, as the audience definitely compares the original and revival. This fear and constant comparison results in the low ratings many of the shows receive.]

Revivals rely on existing storylines and plots rather than innovation and creativity. The imaginative ideas the creators implemented boosted shows such as “Gossip Girl” and “That’s So Raven.” In “Gossip Girl,” an anonymous source named Gossip Girl exposed the lives of New York’s elite and led viewers on a chase to find Gossip Girl’s hidden identity. In “That’s So Raven,” viewers become intrigued with Raven’s permission in the future. Both plots were reimplemented in their respective revivals, and the lack of innovation left audiences uninterested, desiring something more.

Keeping in mind all the risks of rebooting a show, if done right, revivals can further develop and complement the original show. For example, “A Cinderella Story” modernized the classic fairytale storyline. Despite the plot being repetitive, the innovative setting and time twists gave it a different feel. The innovation of revivals allows the ability to tell stories the original never got to tell or chose not to.

Revivals fail to grasp audiences’ attention, unlike original shows. The unavoidable fears and comparisons that come with revivals, along with the lack of creativity, have the potential to tarnish the strong legacy of its predecessor.