Nostalgia Sells


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Demetria Slyt, Opinion Writer

What is nostalgia? Nostalgia is the longing or deep affection for the past, which everyone, young and old, can experience. It can be a time or place, and it can even be a person or a thing. Obviously the media has surged with remakes, reboots, and retellings over the last few years. There are many movies, shows, toys, or books we grow up with that stay with us. Those things hold a place in our hearts. The idea of experiencing something again for the first time can feel enthralling. It can also be exciting to share those experiences with family or friends. Nostalgia can make many companies the big bucks, drawing in both new and old consumers. Is reusing old ideas or concepts a bad thing? Why does this business tactic work so well? What are recent examples of this? When will the regurgitation of ideas cease?

While nostalgia isn’t a newly exploited idea, it is more noticeable and relevant to today’s media. Generally, there is a target demographic or trend that the entertainment industry seeks out, such as people born to a certain era or decade. At this point in time, there is a great deal of nostalgia for  simply referencing the 1980’s, because many individuals who grew up during this time are now adults with families of their own. There are many classic films from the 80’s such as “Back to the Future” (1985), “The Goonies” (1985), “Robo Cop” (1987), and “Ghostbusters” (1989). A few of these classic films have already been remade, specifically “Robo Cop” in 2014 and “Ghostbusters” in 2016. It is extremely likely that there will be more of these remakes in the future. 

Considering the previously mentioned trend, there has already been a huge resurgence of things from the 1990’s swarming the media, and especially merchandise like clothing or food. We’ve already had the “Fresh Prince of Belair” reunion. Not to mention the more recent retooling of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” How long will it be before “Friends” gets a reunion or even a reboot? I honestly don’t think this trend of exploiting nostalgia will ever fade. It will keep drawing people in. Old ideas will continue to be reused, and keep making Hollywood the big bucks.

I don’t think reusing old concepts or ideas is a bad thing, especially if new things are being built upon it or if new technology is being utilized. We have a lot more advances in technology and graphics in cinematography than we ever have before. It is unfortunate to say that these new advances can ultimately make or break a remake or movie in general. I do still think that even if a remake, reboot, retelling, or whatever is good or bad, it will bring in an audience because of nostalgia alone. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to use nostalgia in the media. However, it can be overused, and like today it is about as noticeable as a big spaghetti stain around a toddler’s mouth. 

Is reusing old ideas or concepts a bad thing? Not necessarily, not when they’re built upon in new creative ways. Why does this business tactic work so well? Nostalgia will always be a feeling that exists in everyone, no matter the age group. What are recent examples of this? There are almost too many to list. When will the regurgitation of ideas cease? Probably not any time soon. At the same time, new ideas will never stop either. What do you think about the use of nostalgia in the media? As always, feel free to reach out via email with any comments you may have pertaining to today’s article or even just feedback about what I could have covered better. I enjoy hearing back from readers with their own opinions or personal thoughts. Stay tuned for new articles every Monday and Friday, and stay safe out there!

Demetria Slyt is a Dakota Student Opinion Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]