'90s Caricature Movie Reality Bites to Become '90s Period Sitcom

By Luke Y. Thompson in TV
Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm

In case you don't remember what a terrible insta-parody Reality Bites originally was, just watch the trailer above and do a shot every time you see something that almost immediately became a horrible media trend.

Navel-gazing reality TV/Vlogs - check.

Period rock song supposedly signifying bonding moment - check.

Ethan Hawke's facial hair allegedly being cool - check.

Jokes about mineral water to imply less-than-manliness - check.

Sarcastic use of classical literary reference - check Joss Whedon's entire career.

David Spade in a movie for any reason - check.

If we get into the movie itself, beyond just what's in the trailer, and talk about the references to Melrose Place, Dr. Zaius and kids' cereals, well...let's just not, okay? All those parody movies that consist solely of references to other things owe this movie a huge debt. In fairness, it was probably trying for something more.

Except now Ben Stiller's turning it into a TV series that's going to be set in the early '90s. So those same jokes that were old then are going to be retro now!

There is one way the show can improve on the movie. In a curious display of reverse-narcissism, Stiller himself played the nice-but-somewhat-conservative guy who is ultimately rejected by Winona Ryder in favor of her douchey rocker best friend Hawke. In a series, there is almost never a happily ever after, so in theory this triangle could be more complex.

Ahhh, who are we kidding. It'll all be jokes about TLC and Crystal Pepsi. Maybe they'll even have a character say something like, "Man, I love MTV and the way they play music videos all the time." And huge cell phones.

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