A show genre that is shamelessly and purely
based around nostalgia. The format is simple, cheap, seldom varied, and generally goes like this:
Celebrity Talking Head: Hey remember [decade appropriate fad]? They were brilliant.
(Stock footage of people participating in [fad])
Different Celebrity Talking Head: God, when I was a kid [fad] was everywhere. We had the biggest one on our road. And now no one remembers [fad]. They all have [modern fad]. [Modern fad] users just have no idea what they are missing!
And so on, and so on. Replace 'fad' with 'toy', 'hairstyle' or 'type of music' as needed.
Can be based around a particular piece of media (music or television) or sport, but generalist shows are the most common. Some Z-list celebrities seem to exist solely to fill these shows. (Danny Bonaduce is almost always involved at some point- hey, it's better than having him drive a truck. Especially right behind you in traffic...).
Compare with Anyone Remember Pogs?
, Top Ten List
. The soundtrack will inevitably be Nothing But Hits
. Often invokes the Nostalgia Filter
. Can potentially count as Narm
when taken too seriously.
- The trope name and basic format comes from BBC shows I Love 1970's, I Love 1980's and I Love 1990's, each consisting of 10 hour-long episodes covering each year.
- A nearly identical American version aired on VH1, starting with 2002's I Love the '80s. In total, VH1's covered The Eighties three times over, and The Seventies and The Nineties twice each. Notably, the later installments for the Seventies and especially the Eighties shed the Nostalgia Filter somewhat to discuss shows and fads that qualify as Deader than Disco, So Bad, It's Good and/or even completely terrible. (Howard the Duck, anyone?)
- They also did I Love Toys. Guess what it was about?
- I Love the Holidays was a 90-minute special that covered pop culture relating to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year's.
- These shows were so popular that I Love the New Millennium covered the 2000's... in 2008! It's almost fascinating now as a time capsule for what people THOUGHT would be memorable and lasting about, say, 2007. Some things apply, but some look laughably dated, even just a year or two down the road — and yet, it's almost more apt for the sort of nostalgia the show was made for. They had a long segment on Myspace...but didn't mention Facebook one time during the entire show.
- The versions focusing on specific fads were parodied by Gonzo at the end of I Love The Muppets, when he announced that forthcoming programmes would include I Love Posh & Becks, I Love Posh But I'm Not So Keen on Becks, I Love Becks But I Could Do Without Posh and I Love Gonzo The Great.
- VH1 also did a series of specials called When _____ Ruled the World. The Star Wars episode actually had the merit of featuring almost the entire cast of the old trilogy.
- VH1 parlayed this into the weekly show called Best Week Ever, and a yearly roundup called Best Year Ever which applied the same technique to current-day events. It was revived in 2013 after a badly-received retool killed it for a few years.
- Although they didn't last long, VH1 also had Super Secret TV Formulas — REVEALED! which was more or less TV Tropes - The Series, and the even more obscure Super Secret Movie Formulas.
- Black to the Future was a four-hour production that used the same format but only discussed about African-American contributions to pop culture from The Seventies through the Turn of the Millennium.
- In the mid-1990s, a weekly syndicated program titled Remember When focused on nostalgia, with features and segments built around the premise. The series lasted two seasons ... before becoming nostalgia.
- The Statler Brothers, a longtime favorite country music quartet, had several of its most successful singles play on the nostalgia theme. A prime example is "Do You Remember These", a No. 2 country hit in 1972 that fondly looked back at the (then relatively recent) 1950s, while "Class of '57" (released later that year) was a sometimes bittersweet look at how high school classmates fared since graduation. "The Movies" was a roll call of top movies from the 1930s on through its 1977 release, while "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott" was an homage to the silver screen cowboys of the 1930s and 1940s.
- Reminisce magazine, geared toward the plus-55 group, has numerous stories, photo essays and so forth focusing on the 1920s through 1960s. The magazine has been going strong since the mid-1990s.
- In addition, many of the numerous local "Plus 60"-type magazines and newspapers often have history columns, compiled from material provided by a local historical society or newspapers. Many newspapers – from the smallest, cruftiest mom-and-pop to the nation's largest – also have history columns, complied from various sources.
- TV Years was Sky's answer to the above and somewhat more tightly focused.
- Also things like The One Hundred Greatest One-Hit Wonders or The One Hundred Greatest Songs of the 80s, where the point is really to let C-list celebrities and critics (with an occasional B-lister or A-lister) wisecrack so much you get maybe five seconds of each song.
- Not to mention certain artists covered on the show (Falco, to name one) aren’t even technically one-hit wonders.
- Why I Hate the 60s: The Decade That Was Too Good to Be True was a snarky Deconstruction of the genre that used the same format to blast both the nostalgic image of the decade and the whole idea of these shows in general.
- In the UK Channel Four and Five seem to air a 100 Best Whatever show every few months, roping in lots of "celebs" to discuss their favourite whatevers.
- There is a long-standing gag that there's now enough material to make Channel Four's 100 Greatest "100 Greatest" Shows.
- Ireland's answer to this trope is 'Reeling in The Years', which is stock footage from whatever year they're showcasing, layered with songs from that year with comments running like subtitles on the screen.
- Which was based more or less on a British series called The Rock and Roll Years.
- Reeling in The Years is not really an example of this trope; songs aside most of the stock footage is of news reports (often of now largely forgotten protests, prison breaks and the like), political interviews and so on and the 'comments' are strictly informative, making this much more akin to a regular stock-footage history programme, such as The Second World War in Colour.
- Channel Nine Australia likes bringing out 20 to 1 every so often, but, rather than focus on one specific era, waddles along and tries to be nostalgic about everything that ever existed ever.
- From 1998-2008, the American Film Institute made lists and TV specials built around the number 100: 100 greatest American films, 100 greatest film quotes, 100 greatest heroes and villains, etc. The specials tended to follow this format, with celebrity talking heads discussing the given films/characters/etc. They had a classier sheen and bigger celebrities than most in this genre, and aired on CBS. TNT also aired a 10-hour runthrough of the original "100 Years...100 Movies" list in 1998, which looked at the films in far more detail than the 3-hour CBS show could.
- Channel Four leapt on the chance to release a new-millennium edition about as soon as 2010 started. Appropriately enough given the decade's widespread pessimism and sense of anticlimax, it was called "the noughties... was that it?" (yes, inexplicable-but-fashionable lowercase included).
- The genre was parodied in Armando Iannucci's Time Trumpet, which purported to be a look back at the near future produced circa 2030, with actors playing older versions of current celebrities. It got fairly surreal.
- In 2009/10 Russia's Channel One aired the show "Heritage of the Republic" (named after a Soviet film), where each episode showcased songs of a decade of Soviet/Russian history from the 1930s to the 1990s, with a separate episode for the Urban Romance genre and two non-competitive special episodes for love songs and war songs. A panel of celebrity judges and an SMS vote determined the best songs from each decade, culminating in the selection of the best song of all time. The performances of the songs were interspersed with the hosts' discussions of various fads and artifacts of the periods in question. While the mood of these discussions was generally nostalgic (since nostalgia for the Soviet Union is a mainstream position in Russia, if not the mainstream), the panelists' levels of nostalgia for the particular periods and their song styles varied greatly.
- The History Channel too has joined the bandwagon with their I Love the 1880s.