Posts Tagged Nickelodeon
The ‘90s are back. Nickelodeon recently announced that it will be showing throwback shows like “Kenan & Kel” and “Clarissa Explains It All.” Are the program makers getting lazy? Absolutely not; they’ve just identified a lucrative market. A whole generation of T.V.-watching children has been born since Bill Clinton was president, but the real beneficiaries of Nick’s decision are the people who watched these shows when they first aired.
Nostalgia is a powerful force, especially when it comes to 20-somethings and their childhoods. That may seem a bit strange; after all, their childhoods just ended. Yet they love to reminisce: in addition to the demand for vintage television, there is a significant market for old video games. The Nintendo 64, the grandfather of the Wii is a popular choice but, unlike collectors of previous generations, many old school gamers still have their original systems.
Baby Boomers invented this consumerist nostalgia, seeking out the Matchbox cars and comic books their parents threw out, and putting a million dollar price tag on childhood memories. Some people (mostly men) feel the need to recapture a simpler time in their lives, or make up for experiences they missed out on when they were children (now they have enough money to buy all the toys they want). Or they’re just really immature.
However, Boomer nostalgia and Gen Y nostalgia are not the same things. The Nickelodeon generation doesn’t need to recall a simpler time or catch up on missed experiences; they are living what most people consider the best part of their lives. There is no need to recapture lost joy; the shows in question have only been off the air for a few years and were endlessly streamed on the Internet in the interim.
College students watching “Rocko’s Modern Life” between classes are not returning to anything; they are continuing to watch these shows because they still like them. Watching daytime television may no longer be age-appropriate, but the shows this generation watched 15 years ago still have appeal.