What’s old is new, well, new-ish.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is, everything from our books to our tv shows to our movies is shooting to capture their respective audience’s nostalgia for the entertainment and joy of their younger years, and audiences are all too willing to consume the warm, happy memories of their childhoods.
No one is more guilty/gullible of perpetuating this nostalgia machine more than the ’90s kid generation.
I’m a true ’90s baby. I grew up in the golden era of kids tv, or, so I and a large number of my fellow ’90s kids will fiercely believe until our dying breaths. There was nothing like growing up as a kid during the final decade before the year 2000. We eagerly devour any whiff of a ghost of our beautiful childhood, and the past couple of years have offered us a ticket to the past.
Reboots. Remakes. Re-Releases.
Take the Splat on TeenNick. When 10pm est hits, the channel travels back a decade
Some of their content still holds up two decades after I first watched them as a young child. Shows like All That and Rugrats capture my attention just as they did as a five-year old, sitting in front of my tv with my apple juice and Oreo cookies. Hey Arnold was even better than I remembered when it first started airing around the age of seven.
Yet, some shows aged more poorly than those. CatDog and Rocky’s Modern Life didn’t hold my attention and affection as they once did.
Even more so, in my pursuit and consumption of my childhood cartoons, I haven’t taken the time to see anything new.
I haven’t even stopped to ask or create something that hasn’t already been done.
Nostalgia is a double-edge sword. On one hand, it takes us back to a place when we were happy and felt safe. We can draw upon those memories in times of struggles, and they can provide us with comfort when we may need us the most.
It can also be our greatest road block in moving forward.
Sure, reboots and remakes can be great in small doses, but they shouldn’t be the only thing we see.
Yet, they are.
Today, we seem extremely keen only producing works of entertainment that has already been made. We dust it off, shine it up with a little modernity, and re-release it to a public that is all too willing to escape the uncertainty of the now. Everything we now see has become a hateful, chaotic one, and yesterday offers more good than the world we now find ourselves in.
Yesterday’s guarantee seems better than today’s uncertainty.
But, how do we move forward then? How do we create when everything is just recycled from what we already know?
Sure, it’s easy to rest on what we already know because it’s safe. We feel safe and secure if we stay within the safety of what we know, but to move forward, we need to venture outside into the open uncertainty of the now and the future if we want more and better for the world.
As the quote goes, “Ships are safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.”