We are in the full age of extreme nostalgia, where practically all things from the 90s (and even the late 80s) are just as beloved and popular as they once were during their initial heyday. Whether you long for the fashion, the music, the movies or just the overall vibe, it’s no doubt that in these current troubling times overdosing on nostalgia is the ultimate great escape.
There is one nostalgic medium that has picked up steam in the last few years—and that’s television. Many classic shows from a bygone era have not only been rebooted, but also have become hits for a new generation. From Fuller House and The X-Files to this fall’s Will & Grace and the upcoming Roseanne, reboots of classic shows are the hottest ticket in town.
This got us thinking about our favorite classic shows that would be perfect to reboot in this unsettling era we live in. Now before we get into it, two of the most popular black TV shows of all-time are not on this list, so for obvious and unfortunate reasons The Cosby Show and Martin are not included. This list is still lit though, so check out which classic shows we think need to come back and remind us of the good ‘ol days!
Sister, Sister – According to recent reports, the deal is almost done to bring this show back—and we couldn’t be more excited! The great thing about a Sister, Sister reboot is that the show didn’t revolve around a strict premise that would need to be heavily adjusted due to time passing. In short, it can pick up in present day and be just fine. Tia Mowry has previously stated that all cast members from the show are all on board, which makes things even better. The beloved twins are both married with children in real life, but the reboot could explore either both of them single, married or a combination of both. There’s also the welcomed presence of the pair’s parents—is Lisa still married to her husband or did she start dating Ray again? Tia and Tamera have such a positive, infectious energy that is definitely needed these days…so hurry up with the reboot!
Living Single – There have been rumblings over the last year or so that the groundbreaking 90s FOX sitcom Living Single could be playing the reboot game. Queen Latifah has gone on the record as saying that she is not very interested, but that she’s working on it and hopes that everything falls properly in place. Living Single could absolutely still work in today’s television landscape because during the end of series’ original run left the ladies at critical points in their romantic and professional lives. They were young twentysomethings then and a lot could have happened between then and now, such as who’s still single and who’s not? Besides, the natural chemistry between the cast was always what made it so funny and relatable, and as long as you have that a reboot would be very successful.
A Different World – Talks have been going on about rebooting this series for so long that it almost feels like it won’t ever happen—despite members of the cast and crew being totally willing to do it. The themes that A Different World covered back in the day are still very relevant in this current era and showcasing the college experience of an HBCU would be great to explore once again. There are a few ways to go with a reboot, the obvious would be to feature the children of the show’s main cast members (Whitley, Dwayne, Ron, Freddie, Kim, Jaleesa) as they attend Hillman. Another way could be to have the original cast have current ties to the university, ala working on staff, volunteering, mentoring, etc. In the years since the idea of a reboot has been brought up, BET has added The Quad to its line-up, which is supposed to be like a new A Different World, but it only proves that there’s nothing like the real thing.
Moesha – Earlier this month the entire cast of the classic Brandy Norwood-led sitcom Moesha reunited on the daytime talk show The Real and it got fans excited to see a possible reboot. When the cast was asked collectively if they would be down for a reboot, there was an enthusiastic “YES!” from them all. If you think about it, a reboot is only fair considering the sloppy way the show was cancelled, leaving several cliffhangers that were never resolved. Although it would be sad that Lamont Bentley (Hakeem,) Bernie Mac (Uncle Bernie) and Yvette Wilson (Andell) won’t be a part of it due to their unfortunate deaths, an updated Moesha could still come out and give us that 90s vibe all over again.
Girlfriends – She may be living it up now in her Golden Globe-winning role as Dr. Rainbow Johnson on ABC’s Blackish, but to many fans Tracee Ellis Ross will always be our beloved Joan Clayton from the classic sitcom Girlfriends. In its final season, the core four had been reduced to three when cast member Jill Marie Jones (Toni Childs) left the series. As a result, fans didn’t like the final season as much and have demanded that the series tie up loose ends in the form of a movie, reunion or a full-blown reboot. As recent as 2016, Tracee Ellis Ross said that she would completely be ready for a reboot and that the rest of the cast would as well. However, show creator Mara Brock Akil has said in the past the issue lies behind the scenes within the business aspect of the show, specifically CBS Studios. Hopefully things can get worked out because we desperately need our beloved Girlfriends to return.
Family Matters – Now you may think that a reboot of Family Matters may be a bit hard to pull off given that Steve Urkel is in his 40s and it’s probably difficult to attempt the Urkel voice these days, but there a perfect way around it. Jaleel White can reprise his role as Steve Urkel, but this time it’s he and wife Laura’s son who is the lovable nerd. After the cast recently participated in a reunion photoshoot for Entertainment Weekly, fans have been going crazy with the thought of the Winslow’s coming back for another round. Fans questions were running so rampant that rumors of a reboot already in the works started to swirl, which led Jaleel White to confirm that currently there are no plans for it…but you never know what could happen.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – There is one way and one way only that this reboot would work…get Will Smith’s son Jaden to star in the series and reprise his father’s role in an updated capacity. Not only is the resemblance between the two uncanny, Jaden is a natural actor in his own right and it would be cool to see a reboot done with someone who has real-life ties to the original star. Maybe Will, Jada and Willow could do some guests appearances on the potential reboot, along with original cast members? Unfortunately, the odds of a reboot happening are slim to none, as co-star Alfonso Ribeiro shut down all hopes earlier this year in an interview. Also, there’s the fact that one of the centerpieces of the show is gone in James Avery’s beloved Uncle Phil character, the actor passed in 2013.
Soul Food – When you sit back and think of the fact that there are only a handful of black family dramas on TV, you realize just how important and essential the Showtime hit series Soul Food was to the television landscape. Based on the hit 1997 film of the same name, Soul Food was one of the few film-to-TV adaptations that was just as good as its source material. The always relevant themes of family, love, career and life’s obstacles mean that Soul Food could pick up right where it left off and feel just a timely today. In an unexpected twist, a sequel to the film is reportedly in the works, but there is no word on if the TV adaptation would ever come back. Perhaps if the film’s sequel does well it could drum up interest in a TV reboot? Fingers crossed!
The Chappelle Show – File this one under “no chance in hell of it ever happening”—but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream about what could be. Given that Dave Chappelle abruptly quit his iconic show and left a whopping $50 million on the table, there is absolutely no chance that he would consider returning his show to TV audiences, despite how bad we need it right now. Can you imagine the satirical comedic skits that Chappelle could come up with revolving around the Trump administration? It would be comedy gold! Nevertheless, it won’t happen, but just be glad that Chappelle has returned from his self-imposed exile and is performing stand-up again around the country and on Netflix.
The Wire – This is another show that will likely never see a reboot, but it definitely should. See, like many iconic things, the general public didn’t appreciate The Wire like it should have until it was gone. It was repeatedly snubbed at awards shows and ratings were always on the lower side, but it became a cult classic and now viewers realize just how absolutely amazing the show really was. Since it has become more popular now than it ever was during its original run, many fans think a reboot is a no-brainer. However, the show’s creator is adamant that it was special and specific in its time-frame and succeeded at telling a certain story. Still, with all of the police corruption going on around the country, especially Baltimore where the original show was based, The Wire would be required viewing in today’s current climate.