Over the past few years Netflix has come to the aid of many thousands of fans whose beloved TV series were cancelled by their networks too soon. As well as their early original programming, such as the turbulent House of Cards, the streaming giant has brought back numerous fan-favourite TV shows to great delight. It has become part of their business plan to find old shows whose casts they can reunite to continue the story years later, bringing these shows up-to-date. Arrested Development, Fuller House, and Gilmore Girls were early successes. Since then we’ve seen many old TV shows reinvigorated, with a new-found fan base joining those who were with them from the beginning. But that’s not all.
Just recently, Netflix announced that they are to bring back Invader Zim and Rocko’s Modern Life to the streaming service. But that’s not all. There are rumours circulating that Eddie Murphy is being offered a huge multi-million Dollar deal to return to stand up. For the rest of us we can head on down to games promo codes… Netflix certainly has the money to do this, but is it enough to simply bring these shows and specials back?
This would be a huge coup for Netflix. Murphy’s stand-up specials are legendary, and given the streaming service’s aggressive promotion of new stand-up specials, this seems like an obvious next move. Along with George Carlin, Robin Williams and the great Bill Hicks, Eddie Murphy’s stand-up routines from the ’80s came to define a new era of comedy across the world. But he will be returning to the stage following years in Hollywood, where his success has been up and down. There will be curiosity no doubt, and perhaps in this era of Trump and Fake News the brash, bold and confrontational material Murphy is famous for its just what is needed.
There is caution however. Bringing back beloved properties, whether they be stand-up specials from legendary comedians or much loved TV series from the past, is a risky move. If the proliferation of old TV shows on YouTube is anything to go by, sometimes these shows are better left to our imagination where they can be laced with nostalgia and kept in warm remembrance.
Often shows are built on, and appeal directly to, the times in which they are made. Bringing back The X-Files for two late series proved that the spark was simply not there anymore. As has been seen by the recent Independence Day sequel, the public’s curiosity and appetite for answers to find out if we are alone in the universe has dissipated. These shows cannot simply rely on nostalgia alone. They cannot simply continue and pick up where they ended years, sometimes decades, ago.