The “Formula” to a Hit TV Show


Malieka Khan

A picture of the rebooted series Gilmore Girls on Netflix that is still on today.

Malieka Khan, Editor

Youtube has been killing what is known as “traditional media” for over ten years now, making universal television (TV) shows that seem to be known by everyone to this day more impressive. This generation is fueled by nostalgia, and the best way to capture that feeling is to relate to a common ground built off the past: nothing new.

Shows like “Gilmore Girls” and “That 70s Show” are still quoted and referenced to this day even though they came around during the 90s and early 00s. How is this possible when shows now are cancelled within the first season unless they are nationally loved like “Game of Thrones” that are few and far between.

Sitcoms are usually the long lasting form of television because of their comedy and family content that is understood and enjoyable. Students in high school almost relate more to their teachers than their younger siblings on older shows because regularly students will mention shows that aired during the times of the teacher’s youth. “Many times I have been listening to a lecture and come across a reference from a show that the teacher has made that leads to a better understanding of the subject itself” states Roxane Fournier (11).  

These shows follow the same line with a relatable main character that has some charm or a story, humor from either a side character or a group, and drama that is interesting enough to not only pull jokes out of but a story as well. The best reference for this of the group would be “That 70s Show” that follows Eric Forman and his group of friends through their last years of high school and into adulthood. Each character is a somewhat animated version of friends stereotypical enough for people to relate to and specific enough for them to watch the uniqueness of the show, making it a show that people can still relate to and laugh at to this day because “we all know someone like this”.

“Gilmore Girls” takes the idea of individual characters and incorporates them to further move the plot along with some funny characters as well. The involvement of humorous side characters with a relatable main character and loving mother character make the show still loved and bingeable to this day.

Many shows are boosted by the drama themselves like “The OC” where a somewhat criminal Ryan is taken under the wing of his attorney after being placed in jail, all in the first episode. This drama propels the show through all of its series, making people invested in the show all the way through its run: making the show infamous.  

In the end, naturally loved shows are almost like lightning in a bottle with the perfect blend of characters and plot to enhance the interest of the show. The humor mixed with the lessons that is given through these shows like “Gilmore Girls” and the drama yet relatable humor of “Dawson’s Creek” are not only still referenced and talked about, but are also related over even decades later.