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Six TV shows that actually deserve a reboot

With a growing list of reboots and revivals of shows like Full House, Gilmore Girls, and The X-Files, it seems like TV land is hell bent on bringing the ‘80s, ‘90s, and early ‘00s back in style by re-introducing proven concepts to a new slate of viewers.

Thankfully, quality TV is pretty easy to find these days, now that we’re finally out of the reality TV rut and producing great programming like Modern Family, The Blacklist and The Goldbergs. Even so, there are still some classic shows we’d love to see jump on the reboot or revival bus. Here are just a few.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1990-1996, NBC)

Today, we know Will Smith as an A-list action star extraordinaire. But back in the ‘90s, he was a burgeoning rapper and the goofy star of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He played a teenager from a rough part of Philly who, as the well-known theme song explains, goes to live with his auntie and uncle in Bel-Air. Here’s one of the most memorable scenes from an early episode of the hilarious show, where Will (Will Smith) tries to teach his little cousin Ashley (Tatyana Ali) how to fend off a bully.

That ’70 Show (1998-2006, Fox)

We could revisit the characters 10 years later, including Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), Jackie (Mila Kunis), Donna (Laura Prepon), Eric (Topher Grace), Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), and Steven (Danny Masterson). But let’s face it: Most of the actors are pretty busy these days with other projects, and have long left the memories of this sitcom behind. A reboot, however, with new cast members playing similar roles could work. The question is: since That ‘70s Show aired in the ‘90s/’00s, would today’s version have to be That ‘90s Show? Whatever decade, those signature “circle scenes” where the friends indulge in a popular free-spirited pastime, absolutely must return with any re-incarnation of the show.

Dexter (2006-2013, Showtime)

It has been rumored before, and the reason this show needs to be resuscitated isn’t based purely on the fact that it was a great show (it was), it’s primarily because it ended so dreadfully. Sure, Dexter only went off the air less than three years ago. But die-hard fans were subjected to a seriously WTF ending (and not in a good way.) Surely, a new set of writers can come up with something better. It would be great to put the defibrillator to this show and give viewers the ending they truly deserve. (We’ll even accept a dream sequence excuse to justify it!) In case you need a reminder of just how phenomenal a show Dexter was, the two-minute opening sequence will help jog your memory.

Friends (1994-2004, NBC)

Wouldn’t you love to see a modern-day version of Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Ross (David Schwimmer), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Monica (Courtney Cox), Joey (Matt Leblanc), and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) dealing with everyday hijinks? Virtually every ensemble show featuring a group of 20- or 30-something pals that has debuted since has been trying to emulate the show in one way or another anyway. Resurrecting that same story, with a new cast of millennials, could be brilliantly refreshing. Though instead of the eccentric hippie character singing songs like Smelly Cat at the Central Perk coffee shop, Phoebe might become a hipster sipping organic tea and reciting woeful poetry.

Married…With Children (1987-1997, Fox)

It was so ridiculously politically incorrect, but the show catapulted the careers of Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, and Christina Applegate. How could we not want to see a newer version of what many would call such a seriously offensive program? It followed the lives of the low-class Bundy family, including the dejected shoe salesman dad Al (O’Neill) who was always quick with a witty (and often terribly insulting) remark, useless mom Peggy (Sagal) with an affinity for 5-inch heels and eating Bonbons, ditzy rebel teenage daughter Kelly (Applegate), and awkward son Bud (David Faustino). We can already imagine the backlash against the stereotypical, over-the-top portrayals and hurtful insults that were uttered in every episode. It’s doubtful any network would be brave enough to attempt a modern-day version of this ‘90s TV gem. But we’d sure love to see one.

Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989-1993, ABC)

A child prodigy solving unsolvable medical issues, this show introduced us to the charming Neil Patrick Harris as the adorable whiz kid Doogie. It’s evident our desire for medical dramas has continued through the years with shows like ER, House, and Grey’s Anatomy. So why not bring this plotline back into the mix? Child actors like nine-year-old Jacob Tremblay, who picked up a Critic’s Choice Award for his role in Academy Award-nominated film Room, prove that there’s plenty of young talent worthy of filling Harris’ shoes as a Doogie 2.0 of sorts.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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