Nostalgia is no longer just a feeling or a sense that someone gets when thinking about the past. With revivals and reboots such as Fuller House, Gilmore Girls, and even Lethal Weapon increasing in popularity by the day, nostalgia has become a genre in and of itself. Recent news has even stated that a How I Met Your Mother reunion has been discussed among members of the cast and crew. With so many outlets now open to this idea, it seems like the sky is the limit.
Everyone has a favorite property that they wish could be revisited, but frankly, not all shows should be revived. Shows that played with time and had a sense of finality (see Six Feet Under or Lost) may not be the best choice, no matter how much audiences want to see more of that world. Seinfeld for example pretty much nailed their pseudo-reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and the cast has stated that that was the only way they would do it.
But we can't shake the feeling that there are other shows out there that have more to offer. Whether they were gone too soon or they left us hanging, all of these deserve another round. Here are 14 TV Shows That Should Have A Reunion.
Scrubs had a unique sensibility that was unlike anything on television at the time. It was like a live-action version of The Simpsons, with supporting characters getting many of the punchlines and constant cutaways to J.D.’s imagination. This was not the only brilliance of the show, of course. More than most comedy/dramas, it touched upon serious and often upsetting issues before swinging back the other direction to zany lightheartedness. While this is now commonplace among many television shows, it was perhaps one of the first modern television shows to define the term “dramedy.”
While network execs did acknowledge the fan base that followed it from time slot to time slot by keeping the show on for nine seasons, they also had trouble letting go. This resulted in a much criticized final season that lost many of the show’s regular players and substituted in less charming med students. Both fans and the show itself deserve a stronger send off, and it would be interesting to see if the future played out the way JD saw it in his mind.
13 Quantum Leap
Quantum Leap was very much a product of its time. It took upon itself the daunting task of being a show about time travel while still trying to maintain a problem-of-the-week formula for Dr. Sam Beckett to figure out with the help of his hologram partner Al. That was what the audience and the networks of the time wanted: a show that anyone could drop into without worrying about catching up or being caught behind on the action. This was no easy task, but Quantum Leap managed to pull it off for several seasons.
Two endings were recorded for the final episode of season 4, as the show's renewal status was uncertain at the time. The episode that would prove to be the series finale presented several interesting developments and shake-ups to the established formula, however, leaving fans wishful for a season 5. Sam could now leap without occupying someone else’s body, Al’s life was totally changed and he was now a happily married man, and teasers were in place hinting that a follow-up season would have sent Sam to the future. All bets were off, and the series was set to explore a bold new future (literally).
Reviving this property could give fans a proper sense of finality while combining the popular concept of time travel with an element of nostalgia.
12 Happy Endings
Different shows work for different reasons. Some shows discover a breakout star that ends up carrying the series to new heights, while others create a rich mystery that hooks in the viewer. Happy Endings, however, was a series that thrived on the off-the-charts chemistry of its cast Each of the individuals on the show are funny and talented in their own right, but their more recent on-screen outings have left much to be desired. It would be a crime not to try and recapture that magic at least one more time.
Always on the cusp of cancellation, this gem never found its full audience due to schedule changes and a lack of faith from the network. After being cancelled on ABC, a fourth season was considered for pickup by the folks over at USA, though they too passed on it in the end. The cast and crew are constantly teasing a reunion, and recent news has indicated that a new script is being written and will be performed at an upcoming festival. Fingers crossed that the performance will reignite widespread interest in a revival.
Firefly was ahead of its time in so many ways. Popularizing the unheralded “space western” genre, it took the idea of space exploration and married it with the familiar yet logical concept of western expansion. Being a fantastic yet entirely believable vision of the future, the crew of the Serenity only scratched the surface of the uncharted planets of the “verse.”
Even though fans of the show were lucky enough to have the major storylines wrapped up in a feature film, endless storytelling possibilities remain from this universe. The show's devout following has been begging for a reunion since the series was mishandled and removed from the air back in 2003. Of course there are certain casualties that happened in the film that would be hard to stomach, but it would be fascinating to see how the crew handled these losses and how their relationships have evolved over the past several years.
10 The West Wing
The West Wing gave us so much that has become commonplace in today’s television landscape. Debatably the definitive work of Aaron Sorkin, long walking shots and analytical yet poppy dialogue have become the screenwriter's true calling cards, and they're constantly borrowed from by other creators. Regardless of his future work, Sorkin was a pioneer in many forms of visual expression, and in many ways, this series is where it all began.
Today’s political climate is shaky at best, and there is acrimony not only across the aisle, but also within parties. With both presidential candidates raising eyebrows on different issues such as trust and fitness to serve, it would do the country good to be inspired and reminded of what an uplifting president looks like. Current television commentary on this subject takes a much darker form in House of Cards, so it certainly wouldn't hurt for the American public to see the light again.
Like Firefly, Smallville was probably a series that came before its time. It is now a golden age of superhero television, where there are so many comic book characters running around that even the most obscure properties have begun to be optioned. Smallville actually seemed afraid of alienating audiences with the superhero element, enforcing a “no tights, no flight” policy for quite some time. Audiences never even got a good look at Tom Welling in his full Superman costume in the finale, despite years of waiting. But oh, how things have changed.
Being the grandfather of The CW shows, it would be interesting to see this Clark Kent that viewers followed (and even stuck it out with in later seasons) as a fully formed Superman. The Flash has opened up the possibility of alternate worlds among the Greg Berlanti-produced shows of the Arrowverse, so perhaps Smallville could have taken place on one of those. Now that the creators have nothing to be afraid of, the sky truly is the limit.
Cheers was never meant to be about the ending. It was about the day-to-day shenanigans that took place while a former baseball player ran a bar where everyone knew your name. The show's finale managed to wrap up the majority of the hanging plot threads such as Sam’s relationship with Diane, and ultimately ended in an appropriate manner with Sam acknowledging and appreciating the best thing in his life. Namely, his bar.
But what's become of this popular watering hole over the years? Is Sam still in charge, or does he just come out of retirement for the occasional prank? The sense of community Cheers provided is quickly eroding in today’s television landscape, and this sense of nostalgia is exactly why revisiting these properties has become so popular as of late. With most of the cast still around and active, this reunion could remind viewers why they fell in love with television in the first place.
7 Married with Children
Many people tend to forget how much of an impact Married…With Children had on sitcoms of the time, as well as television as a whole. Other than The Simpsons, it was one of a handful of shows responsible for keeping the FOX network afloat in its early days. Furthermore, it showed the world that sometimes, we can be crass and our families annoy us, but just makes us more human and relatable. Married life isn't all sunshine and rainbows, after all.
While the format may seem archaic, it stands to reason that many people would be interested in seeing how the Bundy family turned out. Of course, there is the popular theory that actor Ed O'Neill's Jay Prichett is an older Al Bundy, and Modern Family is just a sequel to the show, but that one's a bit out there, even for us. An actual sequel series is apparently in development, but whether or not it ever comes to fruition remains to be seen, as it's been over two years since we've heard anything about it.
6 Saved by the Bell
Saved by the Bell defined the '90s for many kids. Not only did it define what it meant to be cool and the different roles everyone played in high school at that time, it also showed the audience the ideal high school relationship. Everyone wanted to be half of Zack and Kelly, and fans were thrilled when they ended up together. But what happens after you marry your high school sweetheart? What happens when the fourth wall-breaking troublemaker grows up?
Everyone would like to think that Zack and Kelly are still together, and if the recent reunion on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show proved anything, it's that there is an audience still out there for these characters. Many members of the Bayside crew have gone onto other jobs or disappeared into obscurity/infamy, so getting them all back together may prove difficult. That said, if it were ever to take place, the viewers are definitely owed some clarification on the whole Tori debacle.
5 The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years was another show that was unfortunately unaware of its fate during the filming of its final episode, and therefore had to record two final voice overs while waiting for the decision from the network. The childhood life of young Kevin Arnold was one that many viewers found infinitely relatable, but the show was just as much a commentary on history as it was on growing up. Thus, it would be fascinating to see how the characters responded to the challenges of the '70s, '80s, and '90s.
Girl Meets Worldhas found a lot of success in this area, but a revival of could be a more mature look about how people age and deal with children. Instead of adolescence, reconnecting with Winnie Cooper could be Kevin's midlife crisis. The last line of the show has Kevin going to play with his son, which could act as a beautiful entry point to the next phase in his life
And now that
Kevin Fred Savage has reestablished himself as a viable on-screen talent (see: his work in the unfortunately-cancelled FOX series, The Grinder), there's no better time than now to greenlight a reunion.
4 Freaks and Geeks
Perhaps the most perfect single season of a one-hit-wonder TV show ever, Freaks and Geeks was a breeding ground for talent. Led by Judd Apatow and Paul Feig, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, James Franco, and Linda Cardellini are just a few of the names that were part of this amazing ensemble. Also the victim of poor network treatment, the show has gained an even more loyal and fierce following as time passes.
While we wouldn't call the finale an unsatisfying one, it did leave us wanting more. Lindsay Wier went through a transformation in the first season that set her on a path of self-discovery, and her choice to follow the Grateful Dead on tour instead of pursuing her studies was the culmination of that. How would this trip have changed her and the characters? What new path would it set her on? While those involved with the show have shared second season ideas, nothing ever became of it. Being one of the best series about growing up to ever grace the small screen, it would be fascinating to see how these Freaks (as well as the Geeks) would deal with children of their own.
3 Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights had a lot going against it. The story of a small town’s football team and its coach accomplished the difficult task of essentially creating an inspiring football movie week after week that would successfully invoke the same emotional responses. This was not only due to the cinematic nature of the football games, but the strong relationships between characters, in particular Coach Taylor and his no-nonsense-yet-charming wife Tami.
The show ended with Coach Taylor supporting his wife’s dream for a change and moving away from the football-driven Texas for her job on the east coast. This was a big step for Coach, and that in and of itself wrapped up many themes from the series. That said, it would be nice to see how they are holding up. Did this create any conflicts the Taylors just couldn't manage to overcome? While that is doubtful, checking in on our Dillon favorites would put many things from the show in perspective. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.
The Whedonverse began by defining what it was like to be a member of a generation through the use of metaphorical monsters in place of personal issues. Of course, as time went on and the series' popularity increased, the mythology took on a life of its own. Both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel had series finales that left the door very open for a return. Buffy considered the idea of a normal life as she looked back at the crater where Sunnydale used to be, while Angel took down leaders of an evil organization before getting back to work slaying demons.
These stories have continued in comic book form, but it would be interesting to see the original creators’ take on where these characters may be now. Whether or not they chose to incorporate the adventures of the comics into a possible reunion is a question worth asking, and the aging of immortal characters could prove to be a bit problematic, but series creator Joss Whedon is certainly talented enough to write his way out of those corners. In Whedon we trust.
An easy number one on this list, Friends defined relationships for an entire generation. Still holding up today, it is considered to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, television comedies of all times. Constantly firing on all cylinders, this series was the result of a talented cast with palpable chemistry, pitch perfect writing, and flawless timing. Each member of the titular group was an immediate celebrity, and the show created a sense of community that has been sorely missing from the small screen in recent years.
While the cast members have repeatedly expressed their hesitancy to have an official reunion, it is constantly brought up whenever any of the actors are spotted together. Unfortunately, the expectations would be as high as they get -- and therefore, very difficult to meet -- but many viewers would probably think it's worth a shot. Frankly, the love for this show is as universal as it gets, and that is also something the world could use right now.
What other TV shows would you like to see a reunion for? Which of these shows would you prefer to remain in your rear view mirror? Sound off in the comments!