ARTS & LEISURE — January 9, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Teenagers are stuck in an age of nostalgia

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"High School Musical," "Victorious," "Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and "Lizzie McGuire" posters in a collage.
Movies and shows like “High School Musical,” “Victorious,” “Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and “Lizzie McGuire” are a pivotal part of many teenagers’ childhoods. Graphic by Darian Williams

A wave of nostalgia has come over teenagers within recent years. Nostalgia is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for a return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition.”

While it can make people more connected, which is shown by the large fandoms that discuss and enjoy trends from the past 20 years, nostalgia has negative effects on people. Simply put, nostalgia romanticizes the past and can lead to hopelessness about the present and future.  

Generation Z has fallen into a loop of their childhood since the early 2010s; it has only grown worse in recent years. Netflix’s recent partnership with Nickelodeon brings “Victorious” and “Drake and Josh” to the big binge game. Disney+’s much waited for release has made every Disney Channel Original Movie like “Camp Rock,” and television shows like “Hannah Montana,” available to the public.

This is only added to by the culture of reboots and remakes. Disney has promised a new “Lizzie McGuire” series by 2020 and the final season of the “Full House” reboot, “Fuller House,” was released on Dec. 5. The entertainment industry is getting creative. “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” is a great example of this since it is styled as a mockumentary of teenagers performing the musical. This is a simple, but enjoyable way to bring fans back to the preexisting fandom.

On the note of franchises, “Star Wars” has sold itself to three generations. Came out Dec. 20, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is the closing film to the 12 film series that also involves 10 existing shows and two shows yet to be released. This pulls in the fans for a large amount of content with very little effort for advertising and marketing. 

On the other side of entertainment, the popular band, My Chemical Romance, has recently made its revival, which follows that of similar bands like Fall Out Boy in 2015. Stars from our childhoods have only grown in popularity like Arianna Grande and Selena Gomez. 

Taylor Swift was awarded the first-ever “Woman of the Decade Award” by Billboard. Over the past ten years, her music has expanded over various genres and topics. However, many of her fans often say they prefer the “old Taylor,” who sang country and primary sang about romance. 

Through nostalgia, the entertainment industry has hit a lull. The serious lack of new ideas could stunt the creativity of future generations. With the constant demand for already established franchises, the company is able to make easy money by re-releasing old content that was refurbished or had been unavailable for a period of time.  

Editor-in-Chief | + posts

Mackenzie is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and is an Editor-in-Chief. She plans on going to school for English education. She enjoys playing Sims, reading and riding her bike.

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