We are not the kind of family that watches very much TV. We are more of a movie family. But when I heard about the new ABC reboot of the classic Wonder Years, I knew we had to break our usual pattern of waiting until it came out in DVD and watch it live as it first broadcasts. The new Wonder Years runs every Wednesday night at 8:30pm EST and is now past the second episode, and so far it does not disappoint.
Dean Williams who is the new Kevin Arnold comes of age in a period slightly earlier than the original show, but many of the world events happening are similar. A relative is fighting in Vietnam and segregation has just ended by a famous Supreme Court decision. The voice over of Dean’s older (and mostly wiser) self provides knowing and often comic commentary on the everyday happenings of a twelve year old boy growing up in Montgomery, Alabama. While the reboot features struggles particular to an African American family growing up in the deep south, the new show still hits on those universal themes of growing up and discovering wonder in the most ordinary of things.
The concluding words of the first show best describe this perennial franchise and hopefully encourage you to follow the reboot along with our family:
Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you’re in diapers, the next day you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house like a lot of houses. A yard like a lot of other yards. On a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back … with wonder.
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What’s going on? Did ABC run out of black theme shows so now they have to steal other shows? At least rename it something else.
I would argue that it is in keeping with the tradition of the original, so it is appropriate to name it the same. It is much more than just a repeat, I believe.