The Age Of The Television Revival

Feature image credit: Kyle MacLachlan in Twin Peaks (2017) via IMDb 


Like hair scrunchies, hooped earrings and oversized denim jackets, TV shows we thought had gone forever are making a comeback. 

Gilmore Girls, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Full House, Will & Grace– the list is never-ending.

And it just keeps growing with revivals currently underway for The L Word, Dynasty and Roseanne

But just how successful are they and when should they stop?

And which television shows ended so perfectly, that bringing them back would destroy everything?

The answer to this is of course, is Friends. You cannot revive Friends.

Rory (Alexis Bledel) returns to Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – via IMDb

When I first heard that Gilmore Girls would be returning for a four-part mini-series early last year, my first thought (after some shrieking and serious fangirling) was: “Oh my God, what if they mess it up and ruin everything?”

The word mess is, of course, a substitute for the more colourful language used. 

What if they mess up Luke and Lorelai’s relationship? Would all members of the original cast be involved? Did Rory become a successful journalist? And what were those last four words of the revival finale going to be?

I had to sit down- I was stressing myself out and there were still months before the revival’s release on Netflix.

Television revivals are always a gamble- are they going to rate well or are they going to fail dismally? And do the fans really want to see their favourites back on the small screen?

First, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between a remake, a reboot and a revival.

ABC News has attempted to define the difference. According to our national broadcaster – a remake is an old storyline with fresh faces while a reboot can have familiar characters but a newer storyline. However although remakes and reboots happen in both films and TV, a revival is exclusive to the small screen and sees the main cast of a show return years after its original run.  

TV revivals thrive on nostalgia and remind us of a time when television was more than just non-stop reality shows. They let us take a trip down memory lane to see how our favourite characters are doing x-number of years down the track. Revivals are appealing because they reconnect us with the familiar- like a warm, comforting hug.

The X-Files returned to our screens in 2016 – via IMDb

It’s no secret, either, that the actors involved in television revivals are paid big bucks to reprise their much-loved characters. Gilmore Girls’ Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel were expected to receive $750,000 respectively for each episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life– not too far off Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki’s $1 million per episode salaries for CBS’s The Big Bang Theory.

There are even talks of some revivals being picked up for a second season- a one season spin-off is no longer enough for some devoted fans. 

NBC’s revival of Will & Grace– set to air in Australia 29 September on Stan- has already been approved for a second season

David Lynch and Mark Frost’s 90s cult classic, Twin Peaks, has just finished its 18-part revival, 26 years after it ended in 1991. 

Fans have already started a petition to bring the hit series, starring Kyle MacLachlanSherilyn Fenn and David Lynch for a fourth instalment. So far, 15 500 supporters have signed the petition, with a target goal of 25 000 signatures. 

Lynch, however, told his loyal Twin Peaks fans that a potential fourth season wouldn’t be back on the small screen until 2021, if ever. After all, season three was 25-plus years in the making. 

The famous Double R Diner made a return in the recent Twin Peaks Revival – via IMDb

Of course, television revivals run the risk of upsetting fans, rather than pleasing them. They don’t like to see the status quo disrupted with new characters or learn that their favourite characters didn’t get their happy endings. I’m still coming to terms with the recent Twin Peaks finale and the fate of my favourite character, Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn).

The thing with you have to remember with TV revivals is this- you have to be willing to watch them with an open mind. If there’s something you don’t like, forget it ever happened and pretend the show ended when it did- like I plan on doing in regards to my dear Audrey. Either that or vent your frustration verbally at the television because for the near future at least, television revivals are here to stay. 


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Dscribe

Dscribe showcases the work of Deakin University’s journalism students. The opinions contained in Dscribe stories are that of the individual, and not Deakin University. If you believe that any of the material on this website infringes on your rights, click here: COPYRIGHT