Mandatory Replay: Our Favorite TV Shows Celebrating 15 Year Anniversaries That Deserve a Fresh Binge
Believe it or not, we’re almost six months into the new decade. 2021 marks the 15th anniversary of some of television’s greatest hits; shows like Dexter, Friday Night Lights, and 30 Rock premiered in 2006. The early to mid-2000s was a different time to be sure, and one worth revisiting. Those who are old enough look back on that binge-less era of weekly installments with a nostalgic lens. Now that streaming services are a thing, a handful of shows deserve a fresh binge. If you just turned 18 and are unfamiliar with TV of the time, buckle up—you’ll surely be triggered by something. Without further ado, here are 15-year-old TV shows worthy of our Mandatory Replay.
Cover Photo: Showtime
Another celebration: ‘Basic Instinct’ Releases X-Rated Version For 30th Anniversary (Wait, So the First One Wasn’t X-Rated?)
Dexter, following Dexter Morgan, the blood splatter expert who not only solves murders but commits them (only killing guilty people, though), ran from 2006-2013. Given the demented nature of the series, it’s a cathartic binge (for some) and even more relevant now that Showtime is making up for that lackluster finale with the upcoming revival.
'Friday Night Lights'
Like the pastime it is built around, Friday Night Lights gave audiences an inspiring match-up every week from 2006-2011. The football games are cinematic and extra emotional due to investment in its characters; especially Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his wife (Connie Britton).
Back in 2006, Heroes was the first show to revolutionize the concept of a superhero; it made them feel like real people. In its first season, people all around the world begin to discover they have unique powers (some nicer than others). The narrative follows these characters as they either accept their newfound responsibilities as heroes or become villains. The season builds and builds until there is a big showdown...then there’s a second season, a third, and a fourth. Don’t bother watching those.
USA Network’s Psych is one of cable’s often-overlooked gems. For whatever reason, it seems like CBS’ The Mentalist got better publicity. Anyway, Psych is essentially the comedic version of The Mentalist, following Shawn Spencer and his uncanny powers of observation—which he uses to convince the Santa Barbara Police Department that he’s physic. Henceforth, he and his best friend Gus, solve cases as consultants. A quirky Holmes and Watson, if you will. Psych ran from 2006-2014 (not including multiple movies) and Peacock recently ordered a third movie.
Thanks to the powers that be, Anime is now cool. It wasn’t always; many of us worshiped in secret circa the early 00s’. Death Note (2006-2007) is hailed as one of the best Animes ever. The series follows a high-school student, Light Yagami, who discovers a notebook, the “Death Note,” that grants its user to kill whosoever name is written in its pages. Naturally, Light decides to use the Death Note to carry out a worldwide genocide of those he deems immoral. Even more naturally, an American film adaptation of the manga/series was released on Netflix in 2017. It was terrible.
'The IT Crowd'
If you don’t like British humor, keep scrolling. If you do, The IT Crowd is for you. Excuse the condescension, most of the people reading this have heard of The IT Crowd and the many awards it won during its 2006-2013 run. It follows the IT department of Reynholm Industries; technicians Moss and Roy and department head Jen. They’re exactly what you’d expect: lazy and antisocial. You’ll most likely recognize Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids) and Richard Ayoade (supporting roles in a variety of comedies) in the GIF above.
Tina Fey’s brainchild, 30 Rock, is loosely based on the backstage antics at Saturday Night Live and follows Liz Lemon (Fey), the head writer of a New York-based live sketch-comedy show. Enter Alec Baldwin as network president Jack Donaghy, Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan (basically himself), and Jane Krakowski as neurotic leading lady Jenna Maroney. They say write what you know and Fey knows comedy. 30 Rock ran from 2006-2013.
'Life On Mars'
Inspired by David Bowie’s song of the same name, Life on Mars has everything; time travel, detectives, and 70s nostalgia. The BBC series ran from 2006-2007 and is clever, funny, and retro in a surprisingly contemporary way. It’s still considered one of the network’s best, inspiring the sequel series, Ashes to Ashes, and, hopefully, a third season/revival sooner rather than later. Fox tried to adopt a version of the award-winning BBC show, but could never match it.
'The New Adventures of Old Christine'
Yeah, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is in Marvel stuff now. If it weren’t for The New Adventures of Old Christine, which ran from 2006-2010, Louis-Dreyfus may have never seen her career skyrocket following Seinfeld's end. The sitcom sees her play a divorced mom who, make no mistake, does not look old, handles motherhood, a full household, a business, and her ex-husband’s new, young girlfriend whose name is also Christine. A pretty typical sitcom setup with a not-so-typical lead.
R.I.P. Bill Paxton. A cinematic legend; from Aliens to Twister. If you need any more proof of his legendary status, Paxton played a typical suburban husband and father with three wives, nine kids, and three homes in HBO’s Big Love. His character, Bill Henrickson maintains a casino business while juggling a boatload of political and ideological dilemmas in this series that ran from 2006-2011. Check it out. Do it for Paxton.
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