2013 was the year that Hollywood got really nostalgic. In the past 12 months, several old film and TV series have stretched out their creaky joints and limbered up for new sequels and continuations after almost 10 years away from the limelight. But is it always a good idea to resurrect a television or film series that hasn’t seen any action in over a decade? We look through the list of series that have found new life in 2013, and puzzle whether their new chapters are up to snuff, or if the various properties were better off left in our memories.
Where we left off: In 2004’s Before Sunset, one-night lovers Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) have reconnected for the first time since their chance encounter in 1995’s Before Sunrise. The duo only have a few fleeting hours to determine if the sparks still fly like they did nine years ago. (Spoiler alert: they do)
Where we are now: In 2013’s Before Midnight, Jesse and Celine are now a couple with twin girls, but time and age have strained their relationship, and the characters have doubts about whether a life together is still worth fighting for.
Was it worth the wait?: Richard Linklater has created a three-film romantic epic built solely on the foundations of small conversations and loving glances. His method of stretching his three films out, each with a decade between them, has allowed his movies to truthfully examine the distinct stages of a long-term relationship. Before Midnight isn’t about grasping love like the earlier films, but about keeping hold of it when it’s slipping through your fingers.
Where we left off: San Diego Newsman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is the the king of the local news mountaintop, but the status quo begins to alter when changing times and some old, old Civil War ship called “diversity” sails into town and starts to shuffle things up in the male-dominated newsroom.
Where we are now: The 2013 sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues finds Ron anchoring the news in 1980s New York, and the film series now points its mustachioed weapon of satire at the genesis of the 24-hour news network.
Was it worth the wait?: The original Anchorman’s mix of absurdity and insane quotability didn’t set the world on fire in 2004, but the film slowly kindled a cult-like popularity over the past decade. The nine-year wait might have allowed the film to grow a rabid fanbase, but since we’ve all been quoting the original Anchorman almost non-stop ever since, the humor isn’t quite as fresh as it once was.
The Best Man
Where we left off: The Best Man came out in 1999, and was a sleepy little hit that told the story of Harper (Taye Diggs), whose semi-autobiographical novel causes a load of drama between his college friends right before his best pal’s wedding.
Where we are now: Fourteen years later, The Best Man Holiday picks up the story with a Christmas-themed reunion that sees nearly forgotten but still simmering tensions and resentments boiling over in the backdrop of the holiday season.
Was it worth the wait?: Much like Anchorman, The Best Man has enjoyed a boost in popularity over the past decade and change, and the new film has enjoyed a great amount of success. Fans of the first film and newcomers alike are charmed with the continuing adventures of Harper and his friends.
Where we left off: Arrested Development had a bitingly funny yet painfully short three year run beginning in 2003, and while the show’s quick wit and wonderful characters were a hit with its small following of fans and television critics, the show failed to gain a mainstream audience and was axed after only 68 episodes.
Where we are now: After the events of Season 3, the Bluth clan has found itself separated and trying to continue their lives without the meddling influence of their other family members.
Was it worth the wait?: Once again, like some of the other properties on this list, the past decade was good to Arrested Development. Over the years, the series has grown immensely in popularity, and has slowly grown to become one of television’s most bemoaned canceled series by spurned television fans. Luckily, the Bluth family was plucked from the television graveyard and resurrected by the streaming service Netflix. Unfortunately, the new season of Arrested Development was hampered by a clumsy structure and scheduling conflicts that didn’t allow for all of the Bluths to come together in true Arrested Development fashion until the last couple of episodes. While the new season had its fair share of moments, it doesn’t come close to it’s legendary status of its first three seasons.