It's 2019, and it feels like every single television series from our childhood is getting the reboot treatment: last summer's announcement they're bringing back (opens in new tab)Buffy (opens in new tab) with a black lead and the return of (opens in new tab)Kim Possible (opens in new tab) to the TV screens are two prime examples. While there are suggestions that were pretty much rejected from the get-go—did anyone ask for a Coach revival (opens in new tab)?—there's been an an astonishing lack of '90s and early '00s Black sitcoms on the reboot shortlist. Why aren't we capitalizing on Black nostalgia? I mean, for some reason we got multiple reboots of 24 that no one asked for. There are so many other options out there, too! From Living Single to Girlfriends, here are some of my favorite Black TV shows that deserve their chance to capture our hearst one more time.
'A Different World'
A Different World had a massive impact on black audiences with its honest portrayal of college life—black-ish creator Kenya Barris has cited (opens in new tab) A Different World as an influence and said he hoped his own shows would have a similar cultural impact. Set at an HBCU, the show was ahead of its time: a comedy that dabbled in social commentary, like racial bias and colorism, years before black-ish and America's Next Top Model did. Just cast Zendaya as Whitley and Dwayne's kid (we've come close before (opens in new tab))entering her first year at Hillman, and you've got a series. If you're really anxious for this concept, grown-ish on Freeform is a close facsimile of the A Different World reboot we've wanted for years.
Tia and Tamera Mowry's beloved '90s sitcom—which had effectively the same plot as The Parent Trap—followed twin sisters who were separated at birth, one raised by a single mother, the other by a single father, who reunite as teenagers and move in with their parents to live under the same roof. Tia & Tamera are interested in bringing it back (opens in new tab), and I can imagine the show focusing on the two sisters leaning on each other while they parent their own set of twins, with Jackée Harry's Lisa Landry popping in from time to time to play grandma. But don't call her grandma.
Friends wouldn't be Friends without Living Single. We definitely wouldn't have Sex and the City without Living Single. Enough said. The sitcom, which aired from 1993 to 1998, followed six friends living in Brooklyn, and launched Queen Latifah into the spotlight. The show was a love letter to modern Black female friendship, showing how you can be strong and true to yourself while also making sure you're respected. And there may be some good news: According to Latifah herself (opens in new tab), a reboot of the show is in the works.
'The Famous Jett Jackson'
The Famous Jett Jackson gets lost even in the dialogue of modern-day Disney Channel shows, but it was a true gem, and had a plot that would work seamlessly in 2019: Wanting a taste of the normal life he left behind, teen actor Jett Jackson has the production of his hit TV show, Silverstone, moved from Los Angeles to his father's town in North Carolina, where he goes to school and hangs out with his friends, but his "normal life" doesn't exist because of how famous he is. With some paranormal elements thrown in from time to time. Bringing this show back would be an amazing career opportunity for a young black actor, as well as a great way to pay homage to the original Jett Jackson, Lee Thompson Young (opens in new tab), who passed away in 2013.
'Out All Night'
This sitcom was short-lived (1992-1993), but it should have been on forever if only because the theme song (opens in new tab) is an actual bop. Musical legend Patti LaBelle played a former singer who owns her own club in Los Angeles, Club Chelsea. Set in the same universe as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Hillary Banks even appeared in an episode), the show also starred Vivica A. Fox and Morris Chestnut and boasted a stellar list of musical guests like TLC, Boyz II Men, and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Bring this one back with Loretta Divine as the lead and musical guests like Normani.
Fans of Girlfriends are still holding out hope that Joan, Toni, Maya and Lynn will get a reunion of some sort. And it seems farily likely—even creator Mara Brock Akil has expressed to Page Six (opens in new tab) her desire to give the show a proper send-off, and the cast has also shared a dream (opens in new tab) for the show to return. The show was a sacrifice of the 2007–2008 WGA writers' strike, with producers deciding the show was too expensive to produce and declining to renew. But that meant that the show basically ended before we saw how Joan handled her fiancé being sent off to Iraq or Toni and Joan make up. So, it's no longer a request, but a demand: Bring Back Girlfriends. ...If Tracee Ellis Ross isn't too busy, that is. The best way to handle? Have the reboot start at Joan's wedding, and go back to the beginning, showing us how we got there.
Amanda Mitchell is a writer and podcaster with bylines at Marie Claire, OprahMag, Allure, Byrdie, Stylecaster, Bon Appetit, and more. Her work exists at the apex of beauty, pop culture, and absurdity. A human Funfetti cake, she watches too much television, and her favorite season is awards season. You can read more of her work at amandaelizabethmitchell.com or follow her on Instagram and Twitter @lochnessmanda.
The 22 Best Korean Romance Movies Ever Made
They'll shatter your heart, then put it back together again.
By Marina Liao
All of the Best Fourth of July Fashion Sales
Let the savings begin.
By Julia Marzovilla
You Won’t Believe How Much Work Went Into Ryan Gosling’s “Barbie” Tan
“We had to reapply his tan every week.”
By Samantha Holender
'Manifest' Season 4: Everything We Know
It's official: The once-canceled NBC show is returning for a final chapter (or two) on Netflix.
By Jenny Hollander
The 14 Korean Thrillers on Netflix You Need to See
Good luck sleeping after watching these.
By Quinci LeGardye
The 28 Best Korean Movies on Netflix in 2022
See you guys never.
By Quinci LeGardye
Join #ReadWithMC: Marie Claire's Virtual Monthly Book Club
Never feel guilty about skipping book club again.
By The Editors
Rose Leslie and Theo James Play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?'
The 'Time Traveler's Wife' stars prove their chemistry is one for the ages.
By Marie Claire Editors
The 50 Best Love Songs of All Time
The best, most romantic love songs ever written, spanning every genre.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
The 80 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time
Where does your fave fall on the list?
By The Editors
The 30 Best Black TV Shows Ever
Clear your schedule. You have some binge-watching to do
By The Editors