Reboots and spin-offs are the industry’s favorite bet, and while I’ll admit I enjoy the wave of nostalgia from time to time, it’s time for a reckoning. Leave the original theme songs alone and just pick new ones [cuss redacted] some!
The most recent show to fall for this tacky (and possibly lazy) production choice is Netflix. that 90s showfeaturing Cheap Trick’s iconic anthem “In the Street”(Opens in a new window) morphs into a ’90s capsule via a grunge remix and VCR montage. Yes, mixing it with a more ’90s sound might be admirable, but “In the Street” belongs exclusively to Eric (Topher Grace), Donna (Laura Prepon), Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), Jackie (Mila Kunis), Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) and Hyde (Danny Masterson). and deserves to remain his song. Before you call me dramatic, let me state my case.
In the world of sitcoms, a single theme song can help increase a show’s popularity, longevity, and memorability. You may not remember an exact episode of the golden girls, but you will always be about to burst into “Thanks for being a friend” if someone dares to play the first note. (And then you will inevitably say: “We should look again the golden girls.”) I can say the same about Friends, Big Bang Theoryeither how i met your mother. One second of “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandt and suddenly you’re clapping to the beat.
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These shows may have had their ups and downs, but their theme songs remain iconic. In part, this is because they are objectively great and catchy songs. It is also because we have grown up with them. In an era before the “skipped intro,” we spent season after season listening to these same tunes while our characters cavorted around a fountain or messed around in a bar with visuals to prove it. The themes of sitcoms were long. the problem with that 90s show it’s that it’s set up as a sitcom, but still sticks to Netflix’s binge-watching model, which feels a bit awkward. You have no incentive to watch the intro, and when you do, it sucks because it’s so short.
Part of the joy of watching old sitcom intros was seeing your favorite gang doing what they did along with whatever iconic music you associated with them: even if the experience lasted the excruciatingly long time of a whole minute. In That 70’s show it was watching Eric pick up his friends in his Vista Cruiser while everyone sang “In the Street.” But in that 90s show, we get an abruptly rushed rendition of the song (which isn’t particularly good, oops) and a sequence of Leia (Callie Haverda) filming her friends that ends before you know it. Aside from the awkward length, when we’re considering how imprinted a theme song is in the DNA of a sitcom (think of me golden girls Y Friends argument), then seeing it used with a new set of faces feels off and somewhat intrusive.
It’s something like “Hey? What are you Everything you’re doing here?” Which makes sense, because you’ve tied a specific set of chords to a specific set of comfort characters. It feels like the producers are almost setting up reboots to fail by relying on nostalgia instead to work with what they have. that 90s showIn the finale of, for example, we see a great montage of Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” as Leia reminisces about a summer when things finally felt fun. That could have easily been the clue and the opening scene of the show. It’s an anthem. It is an ode to youth. It sharpens perfectly that 90s showThe tone of while introduces us to his new generation. And it’s what they deserve.
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I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you’ve already spent an entire show imagining a new moment in time for a new set of characters, it’s okay to keep imagining and creating something that exists alongside the canon that they are. a part of, rather than overshadowing it. And the easiest way to do that, in my opinion, is to change the theme song entirely to usher in a new era. It’s like an anime show with a thousand episodes that keeps changing its theme song to match a new arc. that 90s show have something to learn One piece.