Unless you've been living under a rock for the past several months, you must have noticed the huge 1980's revival going around the small screen lately. And if you are living under a rock, how are you reading this blog right now? Your ISP must be amazing.
Anyway, as my colleague Ariel has discussed elsewhere in this blog, synth pop is back in a big way, even in shows and movies that aren't in other ways very turn-of-the-century. But more and more shows are paying homage to the decade of big hair and neon tracksuits in more overt ways.
From the fantastic Cold-War era The Americans and Halt and Catch Fire to the hilarious The Goldbergs to the short-lived Carrie Diaries, Dead of Summer, and Wicked City, everybody wants to party like it's 1989. And the king of them all, of course, is Netflix's Stranger Things, which pretty much set off a crazy for silky bomber jackets and light-up shoes all by itself.
Don't get me wrong--I'm not complaining. The 80's were a fun time, from what I can gather. I never lived in that particular decade, but Marty McFly seemed to think they were pretty rad. But it's becoming kind of a tired aesthetic. It seems like the way to instantly prop up a badly-written show is to set it in the 1980's. Insta-cool. Except it's been done, and it's not unique enough to win you quick awesome points anymore. Neon can be done well, but it has to be done right. So stop pushing through terrible shows set in a popular decade (here's looking at you, Wicked City), and start focusing on great shows with great stories--even if they take place in *GASP* the 2000's.