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Why nostalgic T.V. shows like Stranger Things and Twin Peaks are so popular

An analysis into why modern streaming services like Netflix are picking up, and even creating, content that is modeled after the 1980s. Why is a decade that most of the viewers of these shows never experienced so popular in contemporary culture?

  • I'd attribute the current 80s trend mainly to two main factors, though I'm sure there are many more. On the one hand, people tend to remember their formative years in a positive light while simultaneously shutting out more complex issues they weren't paying attention to at the time. The 1980s, like any decade, had its share of crises (the AIDS epidemic, the Cold War, the state of the global economy, etc.). For children and teens, however, their focus was probably not on these issue they couldn't or didn't want to engage with, instead focusing on music, movies, video games, or other media that we would now identify as "classic 80s." So now that those former kids and teens are older and producing their own content, their memories of that time tend to be overwhelmingly positive and rose-colored (unless they're creating something grounded more in reality). And if those trends hold up, their creation becomes popular and delivers on their creative investment. Which leads to the second factor: If someone comes up with a popular idea, everyone will want to copy it to get some of that sweet revenue; for every Stranger Things that hits a cultural chord, you'll get Ready Player One or Fuller House to that exists mostly to ride the 80s nostalgia wave. I don't think there's anything inherently special about the 1980s that makes it any more ripe for nostalgia than any other decade, it's just the one that's in vogue right now. But then again, my nostalgia is for the 90s, so maybe I'm just biased. – CulturallyOpinionated 1 year ago
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