10 cult tv shows that are overdue a reboot

From a second season of 'Freaks and Geeks' to a 'Strangers with Candy' reunion, here are the throwback TV projects we're desperate to see.

by Emily Kirkpatrick
04 July 2017, 3:35pm

still from 'my so-called life'

Thanks to a combination of nostalgia, the intensity of internet fandom, and a seeming dearth of fresh ideas from Hollywood executives, these past few years have seen the return of some of our favorites 80s and 90s TV shows. Everything from Full House and Gilmore Girls to Twin Peaks and The X-Files seems to be getting a second lease on life right now. But while we've seen the long-clamored for comebacks of a number of the era's most beloved series, there are still a few more classics deserving of the reboot treatment.

Strangers with Candy
Strangers with Candy has to be one of the most criminally under-appreciated comedies to have ever graced the small screen. Despite only airing for three seasons, the show instantly became a cult classic. It starred Amy Sedaris as "boozer, loser, and user" Jerri Blank, a 46-year-old ex-prostitute returning to high school to start her freshman year, alongside Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello, who played teachers and closeted gay lovers. The show expertly parodied 70s and 80s after-school specials while also toeing the line of just how crude and odd Comedy Central would let a cast be.

Dinosaurs is one of those shows you kind of have to see in order to understand. Created by Jim Henson Productions, the show was like an acid trip through the Mesozoic Era, filmed entirely using ground-breaking, full-body animatronic puppets. Framed as a parody of the modern American sitcom set in the year 60,000,003 BC, it starred the Sinclairs, a family of dinosaurs who live lives not all that different from our own. The baby dinosaur was also single-handedly responsible for some of the most popular, nonsensical catchphrases of the 90s.

With her nihilistic outlook on humanity, monotone tenor, and penchant for thick-rimmed glasses and combat boots, Daria helped define the essence of the 90s from both a sartorial and ideological perspective. The show gave voice to the era's all-pervasive sense of teenage angst, depicting both the intellectual depth and idiocy that angst often comprises. While the classic MTV show is decidedly of an era, it seems we still need this cartoon teenager's caustic takes on the state of our Sick, Sad World just as much as ever.

My So-Called Life
My So-Called Life was the antidote to traditional high school dramas like Dawson's Creek and 90210. While it had all of the same drama, gossip, and hookups as your traditional teen series, it also took a serious look at many real-life, adult issues like homophobia, alcoholism, and drug use. Not to mention it also happens to star a young Claire Danes as the protagonist, Angela, a sophomore struggling to find herself and Jared Leto as resident illiterate bad boy, Jordan Catalano. And the best part is, considering both actors look as though they haven't aged a day past senior year, a reboot could pick up right where the original series left off.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
While Will Smith is now a serious Hollywood A-list actor, landing roles in blockbuster action films and sci-fi thrillers, once upon a time he was just a boy from West Philadelphia, born and raised, who after a scuffle on the basketball court was forced to move in with his auntie and uncle in Bel-Air. Of course, humorous fish-out-of-water hijinks ensued, as well as a whole lot of technicolor street-savvy fashions and legendary dance moves. The bottom line is we need a revival of this show if only to finally get a remix of that classic hip-hop theme song.

The Adventure of Pete & Pete
You can probably thank The Adventures of Pete & Pete for playing a part in our generation's artistic inclinations. While ostensibly a show for adolescents, a quick synopsis of the premise makes it clear this is more Salvador Dalí does a sitcom than your standard Nickelodeon kid's show fare. Case in point: the series follows the surrealist sagas of two red-headed brothers both named Pete Wrigley. Other significant characters included the metal plate in their mom's head, Little Pete's forearm tattoo of a dancing woman named Petunia, and a stocking-clad gentleman named Artie, the Strongest Man in the World.

Freaks and Geeks
Amidst the rampant popularity of teen shows like Beverly Hills 90210 and Boston Public, Freaks and Geeks opted for a very different portrayal of what it's like to be in high school. While the late-90s show is set in the early 80s, it explored every eternal teenage theme — first love, peer pressure, and navigating the treacherous waters of popularity — without ever losing its sarcastic bite and witty repartee.With an all-star cast of actors and comedians, including Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Martin Starr, and Busy Philipps, and executive producer Judd Apatow, if anything were to keep this reunion from happening it would most likely be the impossibility of coordinating the schedules of so many famous actors.

The Nanny
Fran Drescher in her quintessential role as Fran Fine, the caretaker of a British widower's three Upper East Side children, wasn't just another 90s star. She was a bonafide fashion icon, now complete with her own hugely popular Instagram account that attempts to identify every item of clothing in her label-heavy closet. Combine that peerless designer wardrobe with the simmering sexual tension between her and her boss Maxwell Sheffield, and withering one-liners from Nigel and C.C., and you have a formula for sitcom gold. As the theme song says, "She had style, she had grace, she was there. That's how she became The Nanny."

Are You Afraid of the Dark?
This show was like Goosebumps for a slightly more advanced set: not as gruesome as your standard slasher flick, yet still spooky enough that the stories would haunt you well into your adulthood. Are You Afraid of the Dark? always began with the same group of friends, who went by the name The Midnight Society and gathered together to recount spooky tales around the campfire. With plot lines that covered every iteration of ghost story from vampires and werewolves to magic curses and aliens, kids probably weren't the only ones who found themselves having a hard time falling asleep after watching one of these episodes.

Given the popularity of the catchphrase "Damn, Gina" across the internet, Martin seems long overdue for a 21st-century redo. The Detroit-based comedy starred a young Martin Lawrence as a smart-mouthed radio and TV personality who consistently found himself in various scrapes, getting into trouble with his group of friends and pissing off his girlfriend Gina. Though Martin acted cantankerous, routinely throwing out his signature wise-cracking comedic barbs, his attitude also belied a soft heart, giving the sitcom an enduring, feel-good spirit.

My So-Called Life
freaks and geeks
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
are you afraid of the dark
The Nanny
strangers with candy
best of martin