Why TV Revivals Need to Stop

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get personal, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: why TV shows keep coming back from the dead and why this needs to stop.)

TV show reboots and revivals have been around for decades. Just look at Leave it to Beaver, the 1950s black-and-white sitcom that was resurrected in the ‘80s as — wait for it — The New Leave It to Beaver. There’s The Odd Couple and The Twilight Zone; even the cartoon classic Tom and Jerry came back 74 years after its original creation.

So we can’t pretend that younger generations have any kind of monopoly on the concept of a television revival. But over the last couple of years, we have seen an especially high concentration of sometimes long-dead series announcing their return, to the point that sometimes it feels like everything new is just an old story reimagined.

And sure, fans tend to welcome these reunions rabidly. How can we help ourselves? Look at Arrested Development, which according to film critic and podcast host Tom O’Keefe “probably kicked off this recent spate of revivals.” Its return after a short-lived first run was hugely anticipated — but also hugely disappointing. Yet even after that fourth season, Netflix is releasing a fifth in 2018, and fans are already cautiously optimistic.

Are we gluttons for punishment, or do we just not know when to stop?

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