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NY Post
New York Post
22 Apr 2023


NextImg:Why nostalgia is ruining television one classic at a time

Nostalgia is officially out of control.

The recent news that two franchises, “Twilight” and “Harry Potter,” will get TV series adaptations doesn’t mean you’ve time-traveled back to a decade ago.

This still is 2023.

The reboot culture in television has run rampant for a while — “Magnum P.I.,” “True Lies,” “Fantasy Island,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Queer Eye” and “Cobra Kai,” to name a few.

This month alone will offer upcoming small-screen adaptations of “Dead Ringers,” and “Fatal Attraction,” with A-list stars attached to each project (Rachel Weisz and Joshua Jackson, respectively). 

But at least those stories have been lying dormant for 20-odd years (or more) before their resurrection.

But in turning to the early 2000s regarding “Twilight” and “Harry Potter,” Hollywood has gone too far in that “How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” vein.

Let’s face it: not enough time has passed for either franchise from their first round in the spotlight.

The last “Potter” film came out in 2011, while the last “Twilight” movie was released a year later, in 2012.

Even Gen Z was around then.

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.”
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, and Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."

Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, and Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”
Summit Entertainment

Both franchises are still beloved by audiences, warts and all.

Scoff at “Twilight” all you want, but many fans embrace it as camp that can’t be recaptured, since half the fun of “Twilight” is that it’s unclear if the movies were playing it straight — or if moments including the infamous vampire baseball scene are hilarious on purpose.

Plus, all the accouterments that accompanied the movies — such as Robert Pattinson visibly appearing to loathe his role in them — were all of the “You had to be there” variety.

There’s no doubt that “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” were the zeitgeist at the time. But could they be zeitgeist today?

Hermione (Emma Watson), Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), and Ron (Rupert Grint) in "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1."

The last film of the Harry Potter franchise came out in 2011.
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Hermione (Emma Watson) and Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

Hermione (Emma Watson) and Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”
©Warner Bros/courtesy Everett Co

Well, the fans don’t think so.

“The oldest Twilight movie isn’t even old enough to drive and y’all wanna f–k w that legacy???” one outraged fan tweeted

Another stated, “what Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart did with the Twilight saga cannot be replicated sorry!” 

Another viewer scoffed, “It’s kind of nakedly pitiful to redo…Harry Potter, and Twilight.” 

He’s right. It is pitiful.

Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) in "Twilight." A new "Twilight" show has been announced.

The “Twilight” franchise will announce a new TV series adaptation.
Summit Entertainment

“Harry Potter” and “Twilight” seemed novel at the time they arrived in theaters.

But, since then, there have been countless “magic school” shows – “Wednesday,” “Legacies” – and countless vampire shows (“True Blood,” “What We Do In The Shadows.”).

Regarding “Twilight,” the first few episodes of “The Vampire Diaries” essentially told the same story, until that show pivoted to a bolder and more twist-filled direction than “Twilight” ever did.

Hermione (Emma Watson), Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Ron (Rupert Grint) in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." They stand in a line looking serious.
Hermione (Emma Watson), Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), and Ron (Rupert Grint) in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” A new Harry Potter show has been announced with a new cast.
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) in "Twilight."

“Twilight” is seen as a pop culture moment in the aughts. 

Summit Entertainment

So, coming out in today’s media landscape, these two franchises that were once fresh would now seem stale, dulled by the sands of time and trends.

“What We Do in the Shadows” already did a mocking riff on “Twilight’s” infamous vampire baseball with their own vampire kickball sequence, and it was funnier.

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Every character or plotline from these franchises has been mined for punchlines over the past decade — to the point where a new show that’s earnestly trying to replicate the real thing would seem stodgy.

And that’s not even mentioning the parts that haven’t aged well.

The “Potter” plotline where everyone mocks Hermione for trying to free what are essentially slaves (house elves)?

The “Twilight” plot where Jacob falls in love with a baby? Yikes!

There are plenty of other popular books that haven’t been adapted into shows … yet.

We don’t need to do this.

At the very least, these shows could cover different territories.

“House of the Dragon” gave us more “Game of Thrones” before most of us wanted it. But, that’s a different story with new characters.

Both “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” could take a page out of that playbook — “Twilight” could do a show that’s Carlisle Cullen’s origin story, or “Harry Potter” could do a “Marauders” series about Harry’s parent’s generation.

Instead, they’re opting for lazy re-treads.

Hermione (Emma Watson) and Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

A new Harry Potter show has been announced with a new cast.
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." New versions of these characters may soon hit the small screen.

Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) in “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” New versions of these characters may soon hit the small screen.
Summit Entertainment

If you’re going to do a nostalgia show, at least try for some imagination.

“Twilight” and “Harry Potter” were both singular pop culture moments in the aughts.

But Hollywood seems to have no concept of that phenomenon known as “lightning in a bottle.”

The harder they try to recapture it, the more futile it is — and, the sillier they look.