Stream these nostalgic shows and movies that have stood the test of time
Nostalgia is truly a super weird phenomenon. It kind of operates like love in the sense that it bypasses logical thinking and directly goes for the jugular – it accesses one’s emotions. Every one of us has developed. to a certain degree, a longing for our younger years – the games we played, the food we ate, the music we listened to and the movies and TV shows that we watched.
You can learn a lot about a generation when you look at the TV programs they consumed and for the most part they will differ. For example, I won’t be able to tell you anything about kids’ shows like Sam & Cat from eight years ago or even Totally Spies from 20 years ago, but a teenager completing Matric this year would possibly look back fondly to a “less complicated time” when they were 10 years old and watching these shows.
Some TV shows and movies had tremendous staying power that managed to span more than one decade and influence multiple generations. Here are some of the best examples to stream on Showmax.
Dora The Explorer is still teaching little kids Spanish after 22 years and It is still muy bueno (“muy bueno” means very good and I learned that on Dora The Explorer). It is in fact so bueno that a live action film, Dora and the Lost City of Gold was created, starring Benicio del Toro and Eva Longoria. Me gustan los dos!
Mr Bean from three decades ago found a brand new audience in the form of a cartoon reboot. It doesn’t matter which version you watch – there is at least one person that is kakker than you with anything he attempts and he makes you feel good about yourself. Or at the very least, less alone in your perpetual clumsiness.
SpongeBob SquarePants has been around since 1999 and I bet my A-Team action figurine collection that parents, still in this day and age, think that watching this show leads to the premature consumption of adult origanum, which in turn leads to bad grades. Are they wrong, though? I mean, who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Seriously.
Another no-brainer contender would be the complete Harry Potter box set. The final movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was released a decade ago in 2011 while the very first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was released a decade before that in 2001. This wizard and his tjommies will probably never exit the zeitgeist – just a few weeks ago, the world’s largest Harry Potter store opened in New York and it is something to behold!
At the time of its final episode in 1996, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon (which first aired in 1987) was the longest running cartoon in American TV history, only to be dethroned by The Simpsons two years later, which currently holds the record. Our heroes in a half-shell were adapted to the big screen, most notably in the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), starring the perfectly cast Megan Fox and Will Arnett. For the super Turtle fans like myself, I also suggest watching the recently animated reboot from 2019, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Turtle power!
Number 2 on that longest-running TV cartoons of all time (but number 1 in my heart) belongs to those foul-mouthed fourth graders from South Park. Look, I have quite a few DVDs and BlueRay disks (Green Lantern being my favourite), but I have only ever bought two titles on VHS: The Lion King in the mid 90s and the first season of South Park, roughly a week before Y2K was supposed to destroy planet earth. The South Park boxset was so expensive that the tapes have, to this day, not seen the inside of any VHS machine.
Nostalgia motivates us to remember our pasts to remind us of who we were, who we are now and gives a sense of who we want to be further down the road.
A scientific study was conducted in 2012 where participants of one group of people were exposed to nostalgic engagement and reflection while the other group wasn’t. The researchers found that the participants who were not exposed to nostalgic experiences reflected a pattern of selfish and self-centred attributes.
Here are are some more nostalgic titles available to stream on Showmax, to help you to be less self-centred: