Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
The kids are back in school, and along with refreshingly crisp air and cozy wardrobe pieces, fall's arrival brings a new season of TV shows.
And while Grey's Anatomy and 30 Rock are back in full-swing, we can't help but feel nostalgic for some long-gone, small-screen classics. We think a few modern twists could make our old favorites worthy of a revival. Consider the following an open letter to network executives who are looking for a surefire hit.
With today's overly prohibitive culture around drinking, a show set in a bar would never fly. But the camaraderie of the Boston bar's regulars was on a level even the Friends of Central Perk couldn't reach (if we do say so ourselves). So, how about this: Borrow a bit from both series. Take the notion of a regular meeting spot – but instead of a bar, it's a coffee shop. And instead of it being a sort of side dish to the unlikely New York apartment setting of Friends, the cafe would be the primary setting. It would be particularly resonant since so many people are using Starbucks as their de facto office or living room these days.
The good news here is that, even though fans of this cult-favorite nighttime drama are no longer able to tune into thirtysomething each week, the series was just released as a DVD box set. Pretentious all-lower-case title aside, it had a pretty ahead-of-its-time unifying theme: a group of idealists who are grappling with how to reconcile their youthful dreams with the realities of adulthood. One particularly persistent issue: a career woman who is struggling with the decision of whether to keep her job or stay at home. Sound familiar?
Party of Five
With a robust cast that boasted the likes of Jennifer Love Hewitt, Matthew Fox, a young Lacey Chabert, and Neve Campbell, Party of Five's multiple storylines provided a great platform on which these budding stars could flex their acting chops. Too many shows these days feature one-dimensional characters that not only restrain the talents of seemingly good actors, but lose steam after a season or two.
It may seem like an unlikely romantic pairing now, but back in the '80s, there was no better sexual tension on the small screen than what Cybil Shepherd and Bruce Willis had. The actors' relationship was complex and nuanced in ways not seen since then. Moonlighting's slapsticky conceit of two private investigators taking on wacky cases probably would be asking a bit much of today's sophisticated TV audience – not to mention that the relationship structure has been exhausted by the glut of crime procedurals like Law & Order. So an alternative might be to have two leads be competitive bloggers who take liberties with their articles in order to get more traffic to their sites. Thanks to the James Freys and Jayson Blairs of the world, it's not only an intriguing plot, but a sadly probable one.