2019 Pop Culture is Taking Us Back to Our Childhoods

Gettysburgian media critic Jackie McMahon

Gettysburgian media critic Jackie McMahon

By Jackie McMahon, Staff Writer

The early 2010s were a simpler time. Artists like One Direction or Carly Rae Jepsen were at the top of the music charts. I still had a subscription to Tiger Beat magazine. The Avengers, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were dominating the box office. Teenage girls everywhere were swooning over celebrities like Justin Bieber or Taylor Lautner. Now as a new decade is rapidly approaching, it seems old favorites in popular culture have been re-emerging across music, television, and film.

In the music scene, former boy band The Jonas Brothers announced in February that they were getting back together after originally breaking up in 2013. Their two new singles, “Sucker” and “Cool,” have both been met with an outpouring of positive reception, with “Sucker” being their first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Another former Disney Channel star, Ashley Tisdale, is attempting to rehash her music career with her soon-to-be-released 2019 album Symptoms. Disney has been consistently attempting to revitalize stories from their golden age with live action versions of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and the forthcoming The Lion King and Aladdin. J.K. Rowling has been creating new material in the Harry Potter universe (though some fans wish she’d stop already), like the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child or the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film series. TV shows like Charmed or Roswell have been revived. But why is there such a sudden resurgence in 2000s and early 2010s favorites?

Maybe part of it is just that Hollywood is running out of ideas. Revitalizing a franchise which generated significant praise and revenue the first time around isn’t a bad business decision. (Let’s be honest with ourselves here – maybe it sounds ridiculous that Disney keeps making live action remakes, but we also keep buying tickets to them.) But also after all of the controversy, conflict, and polarization in society throughout the best several years, there’s been a public hunger to relive the past. I know I’ve personally fantasized about how easy my life was when I was ten, dancing around my room to “Burnin’ Up” with posters on my wall of High School Musical-era Zac Efron. It was a different era, when all of us jaded college students were young and innocent.

The appeal of a revival or a reunion is nostalgia. It enables us to revisit our old favorites, see how they’re doing now, and regain the old feelings of happiness they inspired in us. So while you may be sick of the constant rehash of old ideas, and not all revivals are necessarily created equal, it’s not hard to understand why they might be appealing to some.

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Author: Jackie McMahon

Jackie McMahon '21 enjoys writing OpEd and A&E articles for The Gettysburgian due to her strong opinions about everything and her borderline unhealthy obsession with television. In her free time, she likes to binge-watch shows on Netflix, post on her Tumblr blog, and attempt to write a novel. She is passionate about feminism, cats and anything with chocolate in it. Her ambition is to someday become a best-selling novelist or a journalist.

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