Are Revivals Exploitative?

Revival announcements for shows that were deeply loved a decade ago have been quite common over the past few years. So, are they genuine or exploitative?


If you don’t already know, a revival is a continuation of an older series that is brought back for newer audiences. I am a sucker for more content surrounding characters I love, yet revivals can be seen as a way of exploiting loyal fans for economic gain.  Within this post, I’ll be stating my opinions surrounding the revivals for Gilmore Girls, Arrested Development and Prison BreakSpoiler warning, read with caution. 

gilmore-girls
© Netflix

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Once Netflix announced the revival for Gilmore Girls it finally pushed me to watch the series to ensure that it would not be spoiled when the new episodes came out. When watching the revival being able to see the characters in today’s world with updated pop culture references and discussing current topics was really enjoyable. The revival sees the return of series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino,  who did not work on the final season so through the revival she was able to finally conclude their stories they way she intended. Everyone was debating and discussing what the final four words would be that Sherman-Palladino had in mind from the beginning. However one aspect really irritated me, and this was when Rory decided to turn her life story into a book. Surely there is a more interesting storyline than the retelling of a story I have already seen. It just feels like an incredibly lazy plot device used when characters are stuck.

arrested-development-promo
© Netflix

Arrested Development

Originally it took me several tries to get into Arrested Development and it was hilarious. The Bluth family and their shenanigans left me in tears of joy, specifically Buster and Gob. Although I didn’t have to wait an excruciating amount of time like others for the revival I was a little disappointed with it. It’s understandable that there would be scheduling conflicts with the actors since many have gone on to other shows or films. Yet it is possible that maybe they shouldn’t have bothered making a revival at all. It was all mix-and-match and the storyline was not nearly as good as the earlier seasons. Similar to Rory Gilmore, Michael Bluth decides to get the rights to turn his life story into a film, so that wasn’t something that sat well with me. There have been talks of Season 5 for a while, which hopefully means it will return to its normal structure and that is why it’s taking so long.

prison-break
© FOX

Prison Break

Anyone who has seen Prison Break must have been met with same confusion as I did when the revival was announced. How the hell are they gonna pull off a revival when the original show ended with the death of a main character? I thought I was done with these characters and their adventures but apparently not. I am attempting to stay away from information about the revival, but if one of the characters end up writing a memoir about their time whilst in prison, I will probably stay away from revivals.

The Golden Age of Television is an era we are currently experiencing, it’s no wonder that supposed ‘completed’ TV shows are attempting to adapt their content for newer audiences. Whenever I hear about a revival or reboot for a series, it usually encourages me to watch the original show. This may be due to my curiosity or simply because of my fear of missing out on the latest TV shows.


Do you think revivals are exploitative or genuine?

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10 thoughts on “Are Revivals Exploitative?

  1. i have been a loyal fan of gilmore girls since it started it 2000 and i think the revival was quite pointless in terms of plot but i loved seeing all the crazy members of stars hollow and the final four words were worth it

    1. I guess in a show like this it’s the characters that make it special. I can’t believe I had to sit through that 20 minute ‘Stars Hollow Musical’ it was completely irrelevant and a waste of time.

  2. Arrested Development is so funny I felt very disappointed with Season 4 as it wasn’t cohesive and feels so out of place. I think I will stick to rewatching Season 1 to 3

  3. I definitely feel like revivals are just cash grabs but i’m still excited to see the new season of prison break! I was really unhappy about how the series originally ended so i’m glad they’re bringing michael back (even though it’s a little ridiculous that they did that with sarah and now michael…………. these writers are the kings and queens of not following through with their decisions haha)

    1. They better have a good explanation for how he’s still alive. I hope the revival just as good as the first season because I didn’t really think the rest was as thrilling.

  4. While the revived Arrested Development isn’t as good as the previous seasons, I don’t think it was brought back for exploitative reasons. Arrested Development technically never really ended and the actors have such good relations that it was like getting the family back together for fun, not entirely for commercial gain.

    1. Out of the three I’ve listed I think Arrested Development is the least exploitative. Unlike the other shows, Arrested Development felt as if it ended abruptly and had more to give.

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