It’s 4 p.m. and you make a mad dash for the school bus, eager to get home to a warm plate of pancit canton–the perfect companion to watching Kevin Arnold getting his heart broken by Winnie Cooper for the nth time. This was the TV experience in the early 90s, when streaming and downloading shows (legally!) were still unbelievable futuristic concepts.
Welcome to 2017: we can now watch our shows anytime we want; pancit canton is still awesome; and sad TV moments are still the best TV moments. Knight Rider and Charmed are set to return, so it’s about time these other childhood shows got a reboot.
The Wonder Years
For six seasons, The Wonder Years was the undisputed champion of Heartbreaking TV Moments. Told from the point of view of an adult reminiscing about the good old days, the series ran the whole gamut of emotions felt by a young Kevin Arnold on the brink of manhood. From his whirlwind romance with Winnie Cooper to the struggles of being a bullied bunso in the suburbs, Kevin became the quintessential hero of sensitive young males and hopeless romantics everywhere.
The show revealed what happens to everyone in its final episode in 1993, pretty much closing the door for any potential reunion. But you have to wonder, what would Kevin be like as a dad?
Finders Keepers kept it simple: contestants are split into two teams, objects are hidden in rooms, whoever finds said hidden objects first wins. The game was frantic and highly entertaining, and there was something oddly satisfying in watching kids ransack small rooms inside the Finders Keepers house. After Richie Rich’s mansion (“You have your own McDonald’s?!”), the Finders Keepers house, which was always left in a state of disarray, comes a close second on the dream house list. Seeing a 2017 version of that house is enough reason for a reboot.
Small Wonder was a show that aired way ahead of its time, finding laughs in the struggles of VICI, a girl robot trying to blend in with her inventor’s family. Its bizarre premise didn’t quite make for engaging TV in the pre-Internet mid-80s, but VICI’s monotone speech, the annoyingly catchy theme song, and jokes that pick on next-door neighbor Harriet were enough to keep the show relevant.
Imagine a 2017 reboot of Small Wonder with VICI–as the same old fashioned, 10-year-old girl in a red-and-white pinafore dress–in a constant battle of wits as she tries to keep up with the Siris, Robins, and Jarvises of the modern world.
Ghostwriter was about a group of friends solving mysteries through the help of a “ghost” that could manipulate words on signs and books. Talk about another bizarre premise. The “ghostwriter” also used a less creepy update of the Ouija board to type words like “help” and “answer me” in all caps on a computer (this was the early 90s). Wouldn’t it be cool to see Ghostwriter sending cryptic messages via Viber or Whatsapp? Please give us Ghostwriter back, but this time with better special effects and updated methods of communication. Perhaps Samuel L. Jackson can reprise his role as the cool dad? Yes, Nick Fury appeared for three episodes.
Replace VICI with a half-adorable, half-annoying alien life form and you get ALF, a science fiction sitcom that ran for four seasons in the mid-80s. ALF–which stands for Alien Life Form, duh–became a TV icon of the era and appeared in video games, shirts, trading cards, and even in other shows. ALF is everywhere, but sadly not on his own show, which abruptly ended in 1990.
For the reboot, let’s pretend the atrocious TV movie Project ALF didn’t happen, and pick up from the cliffhanger finale: Was ALF captured? How long before ALF actually eats a cat? Why the name Gordon Shumway? All these need to be addressed.
Saved by the Bell
Saved by the Bell was huge in the early 90s thanks to its colorful cast of characters, some of whom remained relevant long after the original show was cancelled in 1993. Because of the show’s popularity, several spin-offs were released to follow the Bayside High School gang outside the campus halls. Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas came out in 1994, while Saved by the Bell: The New Class ran until 2000. Why stop there? We want to know what happens to Zack, Kelly, Slater, Mr. Belding, and Screech when they face the struggles of being 40.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Are You Afraid of the Dark? has all the elements of an awesome teen show: a group of friends with a cool name to call themselves (The Midnight Society); a secret meeting place in the middle of the woods; horror stories; and a valuable lesson of some kind at the end. It’s like The Twilight Zone minus the nightmares. It needs a reboot because The Midnight Society members are all grown up now, which means their stories are darker and more horrific. Who wouldn’t want to watch The Tale of the 9 to 5 Job or The Tale of the Vanishing Internet Service?
If there was a TV experience in the 90s that masterfully evoked feelings of joy and anger in a span of just three minutes, it was the British game show The Crystal Maze. The objective of the game was to collect glass crystals by solving physical and mental challenges within a three-minute window. Sounds simple enough, but The Crystal Maze banked on smart puzzles and a snarky host (Richard O’Brien) who made fun of the contestants. He also randomly played the harmonica during tense moments. The Crystal Maze was TV gold and we want it back.
What other TV shows from our childhood do you think deserve a reboot? Let us know below!