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Retro TV Classics Coming Back in 2020

So, we're now two actual decades into the millennium - a fact that just seems wrong to those of us who still feel like the Noughties (or even the 90s) only ended a couple of years back. If you often find yourself all misty-eyed about those simpler times, then brace yourself, because a bunch of retro TV favourites are set to make a comeback in 2020.

Many of these classics have been reborn in other forms of media, whether it be through video games, movie spin-offs or even as novelty slot games, a number of which can be found at the CasinoGenius slot games. Question is, will these new TV reboots actually be any good? Let's ponder their prospects...

Bullseye (and Play Your Cards Right, and Strike It Lucky, and...)

If you're of a certain age, the very word "Bullseye" is enough to make you feel instantly sad that the weekend is almost over and it's school tomorrow. But what was a downer back then is a source of lovely warm nostalgia now. Ah, remember Bully the cartoon bull? Host Jim Bowen making grumpy small-talk with the contestants? That bloke who kept the scores and liked to shout "One hundred and eee-aighty!" into the microphone?

Now, Alan Carr is bringing it back for ITV. And not just Bullseye. His imminent series, Epic Game Show, is a kind of goody bag of nostalgia, with each episode rebooting a different show. Play Your Cards Right, Strike it Lucky, The Price is Right and Take Your Pick are all being given snazzy modern facelifts.

We can imagine this working for all of them except Bullseye. Why? Because Bullseye with a shiny makeover wouldn't be Bullseye. This is a show that absolutely belongs in its own era. If it doesn't have contestants with mullets getting mildly enthused about winning a carriage clock while throwing darts in a room that has the exact atmosphere of an old people's home at tea time... it just isn't Bullseye.

All Creatures Great and Small

Think of comfort telly. Now, whatever you're imagining, make it at least five times more comforting. We're talking tea and an entire packet of chocolate Hobnobs while curled up on your nan's sofa levels of comfort. That sums up All Creatures Great and Small. Broadcast in the 70s and 80s, it followed the gentle adventures of a country vet, James Herriot, in 1930s Yorkshire. Imagine panoramic scenes of the Dales, lots of cows and some very nice people wandering around being very nice while wearing tweed.

Now it's coming back on Channel 5, in a remake starring Samuel West and Dame Diana Rigg, which promises to be every bit as adorable as the original series. It's actually great timing for a new version, because in an era of fake news, apocalyptic politics and terrifying disease pandemics, a programme about a pleasant chap delivering baby goats in Yorkshire barns is exactly what the doctor (or vet) ordered.  

(Fun trivia fact: before the original, iconic TV series, there was actually a movie version of All Creatures which starred a young and very fresh-faced Anthony Hopkins.)

Friends

When it was finally confirmed that yes, after all the years of frenzied speculation, the stars of one of the most popular sitcoms ever made really ARE getting back together, the obvious Friends jokes came thick and fast on Twitter. It's "the One Where They Get Back Together"! Why, they were only "on a break" after all!

Except, we really should pause and pivot. Because, despite the delirious hype among people who still wish it was the 90s, this reunion special coming to streaming service HBO Max isn't actually a Friends episode at all. We're not going to be getting Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe. We're going to be getting David, Jennifer, Matthew, Courtney, Matt and Lisa, sitting around a stage chit-chatting about that time something funny happened on set in 1998.

OK, so it's the very same stage where the series was filmed, and it'll be kind of magical to see the old gang together again. But this is friends, not Friends. And deep down we're actually kind of glad because our expectations would have been so high that a real remake would probably have stunk as badly as Smelly Cat.

Saved by the Bell

NBCUniversal's new streaming service Peacock knows how to make an entrance. It's only gone and remade Saved by the Bell, the fondly-remembered kids' comedy shows that couldn't be more early-90s if it wore baggy trousers and danced like MC Hammer. If you don't quite remember it, Saved by the Bell was about a bunch of high schoolers doing high school-type stuff, with the main character being a cocky, Ferris Bueller-type schemer called Zack Morris.

It was colourful, zany, silly and really, really of its time. Which is why a new version of Saved by the Bell, stripped of its neon-bright 90s trappings, is hard to imagine.   But the intriguing thing is this is technically a sequel rather than a remake - it's even bringing Zack Morris back, except now he's the Governor of California (because being an arrogant upstart will get you places - who knew?). 

This version has an unexpectedly political edge to it, with Governor Morris being slammed for closing low-income schools, and deciding to divert the affected students to Bayside High, where his 90s hi-jinks took place. With 30 Rock writer Tracey Wigfield as showrunner, it might actually be worth catching even if the original passed you by.

Lizzie McGuire

Another much-adored US coming-of-age series is primed to return in 2020, and - like Saved by the Bell - it's a follow-up, not a reboot. We're back in the world of Lizzie McGuire, who in the original early 00s series was a 13-year-old trying to navigate the rapids of high school life (think sassy cheerleaders, awkward crushes and well-meaning clueless grown-ups). In an unexpectedly surreal twist, the action also included Lizzie's internal monologues, delivered by a small, cartoon version of her who would occasionally pop up on screen. No, we're not just making things up now. That's what really happened on the show.  

This new update brings back Hilary Duff as the now-almost-30 Lizzie, who's become a kind of Brooklyn hipster with a chef boyfriend. In other words, this is an intriguing example of a kids' show coming back as a show aimed at adults (although hopefully still with a cartoon version of our plucky hero, because... well, this IS Lizzie McGuire).

One snag is that production has been put on hold at the time of writing due to "creative differences" with the showrunner, but hopes are high it'll still be hitting Disney+ at some point in the near future. Get ready to be reminded of just how long ago 2001 was...

 

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