Fashion, they say, goes in circles. But that doesn’t pertain to what we’re wearing — pop culture recycles its favorite narratives, characters, and themes just as consistently. And right now, from the clothes on our backs to the stories on our screens, the ‘80s are back in a big way. Whether it’s old TV shows coming back to life, new movies paying homage to the era, or music that sounds like (or even comes from) the biggest artists from 30 years ago, right now is all about the decade of decadence. Consider the evidence, ahead.
Netflix’s smash hit sci-fi series is as packed with ‘80s pop culture references as it is modeled after the decade’s genre stories itself.
The beloved book series, which Ann M. Martin began in 1986, is getting a whole new TV adaptation
The original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling first entered the ring in 1986; the first season of Netflix’s comedy series inspired by the syndicated wrestling promotion premiered in 2017. The second season, which the stars of the show discussed in a recent EW cover story
, will drop in summer 2018.
Cartoon Network is bringing back the ThunderCats, the original animated series of which aired from 1985–89, in 2019. The feline extraterrestrials will come back to earth in a new show, ThunderCats Roar
; check out a sneak peek here
Janelle Monáe's "Make Me Feel"
The lead single off Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer
strongly reflects the influence of the artist’s late mentor Prince, who collaborated with her on the album. Even better, Monáe’s predictably spectacular wardrobe in the track’s music video
includes such ‘80s elements as bright leotards, boxy jackets, acid-wash denim, and one pair of starry earrings reminiscent of Madonna’s almost-virginal days.
Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic neo-noir took place in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019. Just two years before real life caught up with it, in 2017, Denis Villeneuve made a Blade Runner 2049, a sequel that brought back original star Harrison Ford.
The marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had all eyes on the royal family, and their emotional wedding day had his late mother Princess Diana — and her own dramatic, televised nuptials — on everyone’s mind.
The Carringtons live on in a reboot of the original primetime soap, which ran from 1981–89. The CW’s update on the ‘80s staple debuted in 2017 and was renewed for a second season.
The most stylish summer movie of 2017 was Atomic Blonde, in which Charlize Theron played an English spy in Germany in 1989, just before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The setting is all ‘80s paranoia; the minidresses, patterned sweaters, and vinyl trench coats are all ‘80s cool.
After six seasons, the critically beloved Cold War drama draws to a close this spring. Maybe its depiction of that particular geopolitical relationship started to hit a little too close to home?
He-Man's twin sister She-Ra will wield the Sword of Protection once more when Netflix releases its new animated series
based on the character later in 2018.
Made in the present, set in the future, and obsessed with the ‘80s, the 2018 adaptation of Ernest Cline’s sci-fi bestseller — coming from Steven Spielberg, a pop culture icon of the era himself — exemplifies the current mania with the decadent decade.
The brilliant and disturbing 1988 teen movie will get a modern update in the Paramount Network’s upcoming anthology series of the same name. Originally slated for a March release, the premiere of dark comedy was delayed
following the horrific shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in February, but is now scheduled to premiere July 10.
Depeche Mode's "Where's the Revolution?"
As if the ‘80s-inspired jams from hot new artists weren’t enough, some of your old-school synth-pop favorites are still around, fitting right in, and releasing new music of their own, including Depeche Mode, Alphaville, and New Order.
Life is still like a hurricane here in Duckburg. The 1987 series was rebooted by Disney XD last year, 30 years after it originally aired.
The super-stylish ‘80s police procedural, which originally ran from 1984–89, is getting rebooted
at NBC by none other than Vin Diesel.
Viewers are clearly still in love with the 1983 matchmaking game show, which was revived by Fox in 2017. The reboots updates include a new host, with Andy Cohen taking over from Chuck Woolery, and greater inclusion: After over 2,000 episodes, Love Connection
featured in LGBTQ contestant for the first time
He-Man, the main hero of the Masters of the Universe, will have the power once again when he gets his own movie in 2019. The Masters of the Universe were originally a toy line launched in 1982; they previously inspired an animated series which ran from 1983–85 and a live-action film
Tom Selleck starred as Thomas Magnum, P.I., on Magnum, P.I.
from 1980–88. In early 2018, CBS picked up a reboot
of the series for its fall schedule, with Jay Hernandez taking over the title role.
Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
The short-lived sci-fi series, which ran from 1987–88, has had a new incarnation in the works
since 2016, when a teaser trailer for the new project, called Captain Power: Phoenix Rising
, debuted at Comic-Con.
The exceptionally resourceful secret agent has had two lives on the small screen: First from 1985–92, and more recently in CBS’ reboot, which debuted in 2016.
The Steven Spielberg-created game show, which ran on NBC from 1985–87, will be revived
by Apple. Once Upon a Time
creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are on board as showrunners and executive producers, and Spielberg will be back to executive produce the new incarnation of the series as well.
The very first Spike Lee joint (made in 1986) was brought back to life, by the filmmaker himself, as a Netflix series in 2017.
Troye Sivan’s “My My My!”
Troye Sivan wasn’t even born until the ‘90s were in full swing, but his musical and sartorial style reflects the decade that came before.
ABC throws it back every week with The Goldbergs
, a family sitcom that takes place in the decade of decadence (and doesn’t skimp on the ‘80s-tastic wardrobe