[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, Hatton Returns to Nostalgia…

Happy New Year everyone!  It’s my first blog of the year, and given the entertainment I’ve absorbed the last couple of weeks, I thought I’d revisit the topic of nostalgia.

In the last week, I got a chance to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife as well as the most recent season of Cobra Kai and they are interestingly connected in that they both were born into the world in 1984 and here we are, over 35 years later, revisiting that well of ideas and pulling on the heartstrings of those that grew up on them. Yes, there have been tons of revisits to shows and movies over the years ranging from the campy (The Brady Bunch films) to the not good (Car 54, Where Are You) and a thousand of good and bad ideas in between.

Ghostbusters and Cobra have knocked out that formula we have gotten used to, but do so in two very different ways – both successful – but, I won’t lie.. I think one of them does it much better.

So here’s my reveal – I enjoyed Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and I sat there engaged with it in the way people my age were meant to. Giggling at the sly retelling of jokes, reminded of the scenes from the original that I loved, tearing up at seeing artifacts of the past… but tears aside, I don’t know if I will watch it again any time soon. Maybe it was simply because it only had 2 hours to fit so much in, but it felt like it didn’t have its own voice as much as it let the voice of the past dictate its journey. It had a list of things to check off, and each time it did it, it was fun, a giggle, a reminder, a wistful past-oriented sigh of memory, and we’re on to the next one on the list. It’s written well, but it feels like it would need another movie for me to even begin to understand who these characters actually are.

On the other side of things, we have Cobra Kai. To be fair, it gets a lot longer of a runtime to play its nostalgia card since it has finished up its 4th Season, but it does something so dramatically different that sets it aside in the realm of ‘member the 80s? ..we do‘ and that is that it takes your expectations and changes them. A villain is brought back from the past in Terry Silver, and it explores precisely why he was such a madman in Karate Kid 3. We get a moment that feels almost exactly like the ending of the 3rd film, and your emotions are built to recognize what’s coming… and then it doesn’t – in dramatic fashion.  Every inch of retread ground it walks, it is because these characters have their own agency and they are retreading steps of the past, but not making the same decisions.

Ghostbusters relies on its source for its skeleton, Cobra Kai is building a new skeleton that just happens to look similar… if that makes sense. I loved both, but I really think one shows a much greater care towards the universe that came before it.

What did you think? You know where to tell us… @STSTCast and @RevVoice, and we’ll see you next week.

Author: RevVoice