1994’s Reality Bites was the quintessential coming-of-age movie of the ’90s. Four Generation Xers (Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, and Steve Zahn), clueless about love and life, stumble and chain-smoke their way through adulthood after graduation. Today’s Generation Y can still relate to these themes, so Ben Stiller (who played TV exec Michael in the original movie) decided to bring the story back in the form of a half-hour series. We’re happy to hear that the film’s original screenwriter, Helen Childress, is on board to pen the show, but other than that, few details have been announced about the project. In case Childress needs some inspiration, here are some of our favorite things about the movie that we hope to see on the new series.
Obviously, this is one of the most exciting aspects of bringing Reality Bites back. Think of all the long, floral dresses, the penny loafers, the greasy hair — surely, it’s not a coincidence that grunge is all the rage in high fashion right now.
The movie is not shy about showing the true slackerdom that its main characters embrace, which means lots and lots of pot smoking. We hope the show’s producers have the guts to show the new gang lounging around, smoking weed out of a beer can, and waxing philosophic about One Day at a Time. Scenes like that really made the movie the cult hit that it is.
Generation X One-Liners
Without the stoner one-liners (which were actually quite witty), the show wouldn’t have the movie’s appeal. Here are some of our favorite quotes from the movie.
Lelaina to Troy: “You are a master in the art of time suckage.”
Troy to Lelaina (about yuppie Michael): “He’s the reason Cliffs Notes were invented.”
Vickie (upon making a life-altering discovery): “Evian is naïve spelled backwards.”
Poking Fun at Consumerist Culture
With so many references to the brands of the time period, it’s like an amazing ’90s nostalgia compilation. Vickie reluctantly agrees to become manager at The Gap, which back then was still an all-denim store (remember that?). Troy asks Lelaina after her date with Michael, “Did he dazzle you with his extensive knowledge of mineral water, or was it his in-depth analysis of Marky Mark that finally reeled you in?” It was a time when yuppies were the bad guys and slackers who worked at the newsstand and crashed on couches were the heroes. How will this translate with Generation Y, who grew up watching shows like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl? We hope the working-class hero returns.
As funny and irreverent as the movie is, there is also a lot of heart. From Troy’s struggles with his dad’s cancer to Sammy’s coming out of the closet, there were many tender real-life moments that make the movie all the more realistic and relatable. Hopefully, the show isn’t afraid to tap into the tougher issues.