Drowning in Yesterdays

There is nothing wrong with nostalgia, in fact it’s quite lovely and even fascinating. However, culturally we are drowning in nostalgia.

Nothing new there, there’s a reason the world is filled with classics of things – we naturally harken back to a time and to things we understand through years of process. From Bach to Shakespeare, and Enzo Ferrari to Orson Welles. It’s always been there.

Some nostalgia is cyclic, the 70’s dwelled in the 50’s, the 80’s in the 60’s, and the 90’s definitely had a kick for the 70’s. Some nostalgia as mentioned lingers for decades, even centuries crossing not just generational divides, but generational gulfs.

All that being said, the 2010’s seems to have gone nuts with nostalgia. Someone figured out it sells, and someone figured out the formulas to keep it selling. And it’s been fantastic frankly, oh the hits just kept rolling in and rolling in, movie franchises long since gone were resurrected, franchises that really should have been short and sweet rolled on and on, there were sequels to books ages past, bands and groups reformed and toured and put out new albums, and new artists gave new life to old songs.

It wasn’t universally great, there were a hell of a lot of misses. What there wasn’t was a lot of brand new IP’s. Except of course, there was, and from new authors not just old – but in most media it gets drowned out by things like the MCU, Star Wars, Disney remakes, new James Bond books and Take That reunions.

So manifestly there is nothing wrong with nostalgia, but we do over do it a bit. So much so that sometimes things that exist. Case in point:

I definitely agree with Cary Elwes on this, definitely not something we want to see. Though I will admit, it’s a knee jerk reaction and maybe it will turn out to be an amazing remake, maybe they’ll give a new take on it, swap some things around .

Then there’s this, it’s not a reboot…. but:

Given how Caprica went, and how solid a story Ron Moore’s 2004 reboot was, I’m not sure I can see how this will work. Another group of survivors going in a different direction (anywhere but Earth). It screams we need something, but we don’t know what – let’s look in the lost property. Again, it could turn out to be amazing, it just doesn’t feel it.

I can’t stand on too much principle though, I’ve had a couple of ideas ruminating in my brain for a while, different takes on the Count of Monte Cristo, it would do something interesting and clever with it. I’ve not committed to anything yet, even though it’s been in my brain for years, because whenever I’ve started plotting, I found I was sailing too close to the source material, and I don’t want to simply change the clothes. It’s the essential theme, the motif that matters, not just a chapter by chapter, word for word remake.

It’s something I want to proceed with, I’m re-reading The Count of Monte Cristo again, it’s so glorious I love this book so much, and I really hope to do it justice in my own work.

So, I’m not immune to the desire to dwell in nostalgia, both as a consumer and as a creator. The bubble will burst, and probably soon though. Hopefully there’s a new wave of creative minds bringing along a new wave of original content, and it’s going to be so exciting. It’ll also be sad though, for when the bubble bursts, all this nostalgia we’ve been enjoying will turn sour, and the unbreakable juggernauts will have to flop. It must happen, otherwise what nostalgia will we have to enjoy in twenty- or thirty-years’ time? Nostalgia of nostalgia?

So to all those more creative minds than mine out there – I say bring it on, challenge us, give us something new.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.