The reason? The current state of the world has us searching for the security blanket of pre-9/11 life, when we weren’t at war, our jobs (or our parents’ jobs) were secure, and everyone was just happier.
It’s an interesting theory. I could maybe chalk up my love for Harry Potter and Saved By the Bell (Zack Morris on Jimmy Fallon was more than funny; it was brilliant) to a return to innocence. It’s soothing to think about the time in my life when those things were new to me. When New Kids on the Block got back together last year, it gave my best friend in third grade and I a chance to be those screaming, sighing girls again – however, this time over e-mail: “Did you see them sing on the Today show” and “Donnie hasn’t changed a bit” – and remember our childhood of Jordan Knight t-shirts, collecting stickers and all-around elementary school fun. I connected with her on a level I haven’t been able to in a long time.
And that’s just it. I don’t think it’s necessarily all about remembering better, safer times. I think it’s more about reconnecting. It’s more about reliving, and not because our current lives are lacking, but just because it’s fun. It’s why I still watch Friends reruns. It’s why I can’t believe Ally McBeal could just be coming out on DVD. It’s why I love any reference to The Princess Bride. It’s why I’m nearly exasperated when little kids don’t know who Ramona is or the Muppet Babies (or why I love my brother and sister-in-law because my niece and nephews love Tom & Jerry reruns).
Those bands, books, TV shows made me who I am. And if I like who I am, then of course I’m going to like revisiting how I got here. And while I can somewhat push my favorite things on the little kids in my life (Christmas and birthday presents), I’m also curious to see what will form their personalities and who they become.
What bits of popular culture do you look back on fondly? What will the kids of today have to look back on, do you think?