by Brandon James Anderson
Last month I pointed out the increasingly obvious: the ’90s are back. The National Geographic channel even spent three consecutive nights this week celebrating the decade with a documentary miniseries narrated by Chris Tragger Rob Lowe. (If you missed it, it’ll be replaying this weekend.)
For those of us who grew up in the ’90s, it’s not hard to understand the widespread nostalgia for the 20th century’s final decade. Thus, it should come as little surprise that there are several more ways the ’90s have come back into popular culture:
Though the original Reading Rainbow TV show ran from 1983 until 2006, I think we can all agree LeVar Burton was mailing it in those last few years, making the ‘90s the show’s definite heyday. While it may no longer be on PBS, Reading Rainbow is still around as a website and app that encourages children to go anywhere and be anything.
Recently, LeVar made it known he wants all of America’s youth to read. And he went to Kickstarter to make that happen, looking for a million dollars in donations. Burton’s campaign easily exceeded that goal, bringing in $5.4 million. Oddly enough, an additional million will be added by Seth MacFarlene matching donations to the campaign.
These recent happenings may not amount to the full-scale revival some would have hoped for, but raising money to help promote literacy is definitely a great thing.
The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story
Last month The Hollywood Reporter noted that Lifetime will be airing a movie that chronicles the supposed off-screen happenings of the Saved by the Bell cast. The film certainly isn’t striking while the iron is hot as public interest in a Bell reunion has gone on for years, oftentimes with the support of much of the cast. It’s notable that the casting director of the beloved series was the one who also picked the actors for this bio-pic. So The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story is unauthorized according to whom, exactly? Mr. Belding? Ms. Bliss? If so, I’ll meet you at The Max come Tuesday September 1st!
Girl Meets World
Another ‘90s sitcom that has come back to life, in a way, is Boy Meets World which was ingeniously given a sequel series entitled Girl Meets World. With Cory and Topanga now raising kids in New York City, Girl focuses on the Matthews’ daughter, Riley. Having by chance seen the last half of what I presume was the first episode, I can already tell this show might just have what it takes to actually turn me into a regular viewer of Disney Channel programming for the first time since The Mickey Mouse Club was on the air.
For starters, the showrunner for the original series is the person in charge of the sequel. Secondly, the episode I saw part of featured Mr. Feeney, apparently now a ghost-like figure, looking over Cory Matthews as he tries his best with fatherhood. Also, Rider Strong will eventually make an appearance on this sequel show, reviving the role of Shawn Hunter.
But really, it’s the likelihood that every few episodes will end with Cory struggling to figure out the right thing to say to his tween daughter, only to do and say what comes from the heart while the ghost of Mr. Feeney looks on and utters a reassuring “Not bad, Mr. Matthews…” is enough for me to set my DVR to “Save Until I Delete.”