A few years ago, the trend that took over the film industry was rehashing the old stuff. No one was doing anything bold or new. They were just retreading older movies like Star Wars and Ghostbusters, and casting actor after actor as the same superhero in the same tired stories.
So, it was only a matter of time before reboot fever spread to the small screen and every TV show with a moderate fan following was getting a new season. The trend doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, so here are 5 Sitcoms That Should Be Revived (And 5 That Shouldn’t).
10 Should: 30 Rock
We need more 30 Rock, because the character dynamic at the core of 30 Rock is more relevant today than ever. It was about an ambitious left-wing woman’s struggle to advance her career after the hiring of her new boss, a chauvinistic entertainment-industry mogul with absurdly conservative views and unlimited wealth and power – and he’s played by Alec Baldwin!
Does this need to be spelled out? Now is the perfect time to bring the show back. Bob Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC Entertainment, has said, “If Tina [Fey] called and said, ‘I’d do 30 Rock,’ I’d do it in a heartbeat, even for a limited run.” Fey herself simply said, “I don’t know, maybe.” So, we’ll see. But fingers crossed!
9 Shouldn’t: Friends
Friends just might be the most popular sitcom of all time. Its popularity grew from a combination of the right cast being in the right place (in their lives) at the right time. It was a show that perfectly captured what it was like to be young and single and living in a big city in the ‘90s.
A revival would be a completely different show: a bunch of married middle-aged people living in the suburbs in the 2010s with kids. Fans have been clamoring for a reunion for years – even before it was the new trend in TV – but it just wouldn’t be the same.
8 Should: Freaks and Geeks
The short-lived, yet highly popular high school dramedy series that launched the careers of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, Busy Philipps, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr is a prime candidate for a revival. Its one season has found a cult audience over the years that would gladly tune in for a reboot.
Producer Judd Apatow has said that a reboot “could happen.” While those cast members have all gone on to become big stars, they haven’t forgotten their roots and would happily return to the show that gave them their start – especially Franco, who mentioned it in his Golden Globe acceptance speech a few years back. He even has an interesting idea for the reboot: the characters’ 20-year high school reunion.
7 Shouldn’t: Seinfeld
While the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm gave us a promising glimpse of what a Seinfeld reunion might look like, they shouldn’t bother with an actual revival. When Larry proposed the reunion idea to the cast in Curb, they laid out exactly why these TV reboots don’t work: the actors are older, the sets and cameras make everything look different, it’s not the same, and it’s certainly not as good.
The only reason they agree to do it in Curb is the chance to redo the finale, but there’s no way a reboot would be any more satisfying, so it should just be left to rest.
6 Should: Peep Show
David Mitchell and Robert Webb’s incisive and inventive P.O.V. sitcom Peep Show needs to be brought back, simply so we can hear its characters’ take on current events. Between 2003 and 2015, we got to hear Mark and Jez’s musings on Tony Blair, George Bush, New Labour, and the euro, among other things, with their clash of emotion versus logic and conflicting political ideologies leading to endless laughs.
However, the show ended just one year before a lot of interesting world events. We need to hear what Mark and Jez make of all this! The series finale ended exactly how the series began, with Mark and Jez sitting in the same flat in Croydon, watching TV, so it would be almost too easy to revive it for another season.
5 Shouldn’t: Futurama
Fans are desperate for more Futurama, but it should be left as it is. Matt Groening’s brilliant sci-fi satire, which offered a nerdier and more surreal alternative to his flagship series The Simpsons, wrapped things up beautifully with the series finale, “Meanwhile.”
Plus, if it comes back for more and more episodes (it was already revived once by Comedy Central after Fox decided to cancel it), it’ll risk losing its magic and freshness and passing its expiration date, like Groening’s other show. The last thing anyone wants is to live in a world where Futurama is considered stale and uninspired.
4 Should: King of the Hill
Unlike its animated cousins The Simpsons and Family Guy, King of the Hill was a very grounded show with relatable family situations. Bob’s Burgers has been called its spiritual successor, and that’s one of the most popular shows on the air right now, so why not bring Hank Hill and the rest of Arlen back to the screen?
Fox TV boss Dana Walden has described meetings with series co-creators Greg Daniels and Mike Judge, who both seem to be on board: “They were both excited about it, but they’re working on a lot of different things individually, so it’s about finding time.” So, let’s do this!
3 Shouldn’t: Everybody Loves Raymond
Ray Romano’s hit ‘90s sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond captured the foibles of married life, parenting, and having meddling in-laws, and while it would be interesting to see the premise flipped with Ray and Debra now old and retired and living across the street from one of their kids and their family, the series shouldn’t be rebooted.
Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle have both passed away, and even Sawyer Sweeten, the child actor who played one of the twins, tragically took his own life in 2015. The show just wouldn’t be the same with that sense of morbidity hanging over it.
2 Should: The Office
NBC has discussed the possibility of rebooting The Office with a revival set a few years down the line. It would mix together old cast members and new ones as some of the original characters have left Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch and been replaced, while others have stayed. We’d likely lose Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Mindy Kaling, Ed Helms, and every other cast member whose career has skyrocketed post-Office, but some old favorites would still stick around.
The network’s first attempt at keeping The Office fan base on their airwaves after it went off the air, Dwight-focused spin-off The Farm, went down horribly. But that wasn’t Dwight’s fault – it was just too much Dwight. Put him back in the manager’s office at Dunder Mifflin and surround him with co-workers and you’ve got a show. It might be basically the same show, but isn’t that what we want?
1 Shouldn’t: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
For a while now, there’s been talk of a reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. However, Alfonso Ribeiro has stated he will not be taking part in a potential revival of the show and James Avery passed away back in 2013.
Without Carlton or Uncle Phil, will it really feel like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? As if that’s not bad enough, the rumor mill suggests the premise will see Will as the fusty old uncle to a new streetwise kid, suggested to be played by Jaden Smith. Has there ever been a more bad idea for a TV show?