Revivals of old series, adaptations and period plots very popular on Netflix

Revivals of old series, adaptations and plots from very ;s popular on Netflix


By surfing the platforms, Netflix in mind, we realize that nostalgia reaches new heights. In addition, resumptions of old series, adaptations, returns and series derived from significant franchises abound. Teenagers and young adults join in. However, in most cases, the era presented to them, they have not lived it. They develop nostalgia by proxy. Is it because it was better before?


“There is a craze for the 1980s and 1990s,” observes Katharina Niemeyer, professor at UQAM’s School of Media. The era before 2.0. It's analog nostalgia. These series from before the Internet, where communications were less increased, allow young people to see how their parents did. They find that there was less communication stress. And yes, we can be nostalgic for a time that we did not live. As we can be from the future. Generation Z harbors a fantasy of what the world was like before, and television serves them well.



Nostalgia is present in many ways. First in projects that bring an era to life. Stranger Things is a great example. We are immersed in the 80s, in its codes, its fashion, its music. All the elements are there to feel those years or remember them. Same for Everything Sucks, set in the 90s. Other projects flirt with nostalgia through their aesthetics. Think of Riverdale, a modern adaptation of the Archie comics. This is also the case with Sex Education. The colors, the filters, the looks, the timelessness are reminiscent of the past while the plots are distinctly contemporary and the action takes place today. The creator Ryan Murphy to whom we owe many series including Glee, American Horror Story, Pose or Ratched > often explores these two approaches.

Derry Girls

Discover outstanding series

It's no wonder the 1980s and 1990s are making a comeback. It is the youth of today's adults who themselves have teenagers of an age to watch the series that have marked them. And we have access to it in one click, without having to go out to rent a “cassette” or a DVD at the neighborhood club. Reviewing a series means rediscovering security, comfort, familiarity. It is to reconnect with a way of life of the past while being anchored in the present. Friends falls into this category. “There is a form of identity reconstruction,” notes Katharina Niemeyer, who has long been interested in nostalgia in the media. She has also co-edited and co-written a book entitled Contemporary Nostalgia. “We are in the transgeneration, she continues. »

The Office

The Office also stands out. First back in the spotlight thanks to social networks and its memes, the series is a hit again 15 years later. It's the perfect example of the commodification of nostalgia that relies on popular expressions, characters that have become mythical. 

Stranger Things

Finding our bearings

Reviving successful series several years later is a winning recipe that Americans frequently use. It's expensive, but when a show comes with memorabilia, you might think the ratings will be there. a film that we loved, says Nathalie Fabien, senior director, channel and programming Groupe TVA. It has no age. Many reboots are on the Take 2 lineup. Let's think about Fantasy Island, Lethal Weapon, Magnum P.I. or McGyver. These are shows that bring beloved characters back to the screen in modern iterations with actors from a new generation. They still top the charts.


In short, there are several ways to go back in time, to reclaim commonplaces, to discover what marked the generation that preceded us, to embrace an era, to educate oneself. Watching these series entertains us, comforts us, brings us back to positive feelings, fuels a discussion with our loved ones, provokes exchanges, gives us access to aesthetics, but confirms to us that nothing was better before. It was just a little different.

Sex Education

Nostalgic vocabulary

You will forgive me here for a few anglicisms to understand how nostalgia is present in different respects. We see it in particular in spin-off, series derived from a successful series. It can be a series starring a character different from the main character, but who would have stood out to the point of having his own series. In this category, we have seen the appearance of sequel (suite) and prequel (mise en abîme). The big franchises spoil us in this matter. There are remakes which offer adaptations of a landmark series. And the reboot which consists of relaunching a successful series, but several years later and without necessarily revisiting elements of the past, unlike the revivalwho dives back into it. These are opportunities to see what has become of our beloved characters. 

Everything Sucks

Series set in the 1980s-1990s >

  • Stranger Things
  • Glow 
  • Pose
  • Derry Girls
  • Everything Sucks

Cobra Kai (Karate Kid)

Nostalgic Series

  • Cobra Kai (Karate Kid)
  • Girl Meets World (Boy Meets World)
  • Magnum P.I.
  • MacGyver
  • The Connors (Roseanne)
  • Fuller House (Full House)
  • BH90210 (Beverly Hills 90210)
  • Twin Peaks: The Return  
  • The X-Files
  • Bel-Air (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina ( Sabrina the Teenage Witch)
  • Gi lmore Girls: A Year in the Life (Gilmore Girls)