Summer is ramping up and so is entertainment! There seems to be a trend of pop culture nostalgia this year. Here is what to watch for:
Stranger Things: Season 3 will drop on Netflix on Independence Day. Season 2 tied up some loose ends by sealing off the portal to the Upside Down. But come on, obviously something is about to go down and what better place to bring back the havoc than another center for pure 80’s nostalgia-Hawkins’ new Mall! That’s right, based on the trailers, the latest season of America’s favorite sci-fi series will be filmed primarily in a shopping mall. It is set in 1985 and really the final summer of the character’s childhood as the move into their teen years. According to interviews with the Duffer brothers it sounds like the smoke monster, Eleven, her sister Kai (we knew there was going to be more to that cameo), Hopper, Mike, Will, Dustin and all of the main characters will return including Jonathan and Nancy who finally got together at the end of season 2. The creators promise us that Will catches a break in Season 3 and that the season will go into more depth about Hopper’s past. Get ready to binge! And make sure to grab some “New Coke” while you’re at it. Yep, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Stranger Things and are bringing back the short lived “New Coke” formula from 1985. Nostalgia galore!
Speaking of nostalgia, it’s official: Beverly Hills 90210 is back with a reboot that stars most of the original cast. They are calling it BH90120 and it is slated to start on FOX on August 7th. It sounds like it will be different from the original show, but there should be some nostalgic elements you won’t want to miss. The most the public has been clued into so far is a trailer where the cast is shown starting off their mornings with an alarm, coffee, yoga etc. Then enter the familiar theme song from the original series and we see everyone entering a studio together. The original Beverly Hills 90210 really set the bar for teen dramas to follow. Without it we would have never had Dawson’s Creek or The OC. I am excited for the reboot, but also sad that Luke Perry will not be a part of it due to his death last year.
Disney is just on fire with their live action cash cow. They rolled out Aladdin this spring and a live action version of The Lion King is scheduled to hit theatres on July 19th. Plans have been in the works for this film since 2016 following the success of The Jungle Book. It is star studded: Donald Glover will star as Simba, Seth Rogan as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon, John Oliver as Zazu the red billed hornbill, Beyonce Knowles-Carter as Nala and of course James Earl Jones will return for the role of Mufasa. The film will feature the original music from the 1994 animated feature and it will undoubtedly be a huge success in the box office. If the live action reboots weren’t enough, Disney also recently opened the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at their theme parks in May with a Hollywood Studios’ version set to open August 29th. The park looks like you just walked onto the set of a Star Wars movie. Nerd alert, you may want to check that out to get your Star Wars fix until Dec. 20th when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is scheduled for release. The streaming service Disney + will be available this fall as well for only $6.99 a month. Safe to say they are going to shake up the streaming industry.
Have a hankering for some 90’s music? Hootie and the Blowfish are back and set to perform at the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday August 22nd. The band was a relic of 90’s alternative music that hit the mainstream with hits like “Let Her Cry” and “Hold My Hand.” They will surely have the audience singing along. The band performed at the season finale of The Voice Season 16 this spring and brought the house down. They will share the night with the Barenaked Ladies, so if you love the 90’s you don’t want to miss this show. Other Grandstand acts this year include Hall & Oates, Why Don’t We, Logic, Lionel Richie and Weird Al who has become somewhat of a mainstay at the Great Minnesota Get Together.
It: Chapter Two will be in theatres on September 6th. This is the adult part of the story which is adapted from the Stephen King novel and original 90’s TV miniseries where Pennywise the clown returns to the town of Derry 27 years later to torment the grown up members of the “Loser’s Club.” If you aren’t into jump scares, for those of us who grew up on the show Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, the long awaited Tom Hanks film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood comes out on Oct. 18th. Tom Hanks will star as Fred Rogers. The studio has taken to social media to post intermittent photo teasers of Hanks in the famous red cardigan and the internet has gone nuts for it. The film is based on the true story of the friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.
As always there’s a lot to look forward to in the world of entertainment but we don’t seem to be cranking out much original content. This Is Us is a definite exception. While it has the nostalgia factor of jumping back to the Vietnam War and life in the 80’s and 90’s, it is a refreshingly original drama. Fans will be happy to know it has been renewed for 3 more seasons with season 4 debuting in September on NBC. They need to hurry up with that one because I am still reeling from the season 3 finale where the show, notorious for going back in time to give us a glimpse of the Pearson’s life before present day, propels us to the future in which Rebecca is ill and possibly dying, Jack’s brother Nicky is back in the picture, Kevin has a son (!?), Kate is MIA and Toby seems depressed with a mysterious goatee. I spend over $100 a month for satellite TV for this show and football alone. I must know why Toby grows a goatee in the future- Do goatees make a comeback in the 2040’s? I hope not.
By Molly Penny