The Best and Worst Reboots and Revivals of 2021

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2021 has been the year of revivals and reboots. Working in TV seemed like we were always announcing another reboot or revival of a classic sitcom or cult favorite.

Some we felt we'd been waiting for years (CSI: Vegas), and others we didn't know we needed that reboot (The Wonder Years).

 TV Fanatic staff compiled a list of the revivals and reboots of 2021, and we enjoyed almost all of them on this list. Only one was an absolute miss.

Reboots and revivals cover photo

Which one of these shows were you glad to see return?

Which ones did you wish stayed gone and buried?

Dexter is Refreshed

Dexter: New Blood (Showtime)-Best

Dexter: New Blood is a bit of a slow burn but worth every flame. Dexter: New Blood is a welcome return for fans and newbies alike.

Ties to the past are haunting while the new characters intermingle with chill. Clancy Brown adds major creep-factor, as per usual, and we look forward to seeing how his diabolical shit falls apart as Dexter sees him for whom he is.


The Wonder Years (ABC)-Best

Initially, the idea of a Wonder Years reboot was enough to make anyone roll their eyes. Why mess with a classic? But instead, we got one of the best new series on network TV.

Inspired by the original, the series chooses to show what life was like for a Black family in the South during the 60s, which opens the series to explore a coming-of-age story from a more diverse perspective that we otherwise wouldn't have witnessed before.

It's a fresh take that sets the reboot apart from the original, so it doesn't feel like a direct copy. The series offers something new, and that's all you can ask when it comes to a reboot. Does this story deserve to be told? Yes.

The ensemble cast led by a spectacular Dule Hill is one to watch, and it's a wholesome series that has you tuning in week after week for more.

Looking for Hodges - CSI: Vegas Season 1 Episode 10

CSI: Vegas (CBS) - Best

CBS was wise to start the series with a mystery that involved some of the old-time favorites, such as Sara, Grissom, Hodges, and Jim Brass.

They used them to propel the story and introduce the new team, who were great at solving cases and using the latest technology.

We hope now that the series has been renewed, the new team will interact with even more veteran team members.

Punky Brewster

Punky Brewster (Peacock)-Best

The Punky Brewster reboot showed how Punky had come full circle and was now a single mom raising three kids.

This time, she meets spunky Izzy, played by the talented Quinn Copeland, much like young Punky. She longed to give Izzy a genuine home, and Izzy taught Punky about love, forgiveness, and being a family.

Some of the best moments were between Izzy and Travis(Freddie Prinze Jr.), who was Punky's ex-husband but treated Izzy just like one of his kids too.

And Just Like That... Poster

And Just Like That (HBO Max) - Worst

While it's only a few episodes in so far, And Just Like That lacks the charm and humor the original Sex and the City series and the two movies had.

The friendship between the three remaining ladies felt forced. The series killed off Mr. Big, so now Carrie is single, and we'll probably see her date again in her 50s.

The gang Leverage: Redemption

Leverage: Redemption (IMDBTV)-Best

Leverage: Redemption came to steal our hearts, and they did. The highly-anticipated revival of this great series couldn't have come at a better time when the world seems both awful and bleak, and the little people need wins.

The Leverage revival is everything that we wouldn't want if there were any fear that Timothy Hutton's absence and Aldis Hodge's limited availability would detract from the greatness of the show and the familial team dynamic that was put to bed.

The addition of Noah Wyle and Aleyse Shannon only added to the series, and the revival has the same charm, heart, and feel-good, comedic, and wholesome vibes of the original series.

Doogie Kamealoha, M.D Cast Pic

Doogie Kameāloha, M.D. (Disney +)- Best

The re-imagination of the original put 16-year-old Lahela as the teen doctor. Peyton Elizabeth Lee shined as a teen medical genius who wanted to be a typical teenager experiencing first love and being accepted in high school.

It helped that in this version, Doogie had two siblings, and they were both more street smart than her, making for some amusing interactions.

The backdrop of Hawaii in one was gorgeous and added to the beach and ranch scenes.

Max is Sad - Gossip Girl (2021) Season 1 Episode 11

Gossip Girl (HBO Max)-Both

The Upper East Side of Manhattan's elite has been sorely missed these last few years. Gossip Girl came back into our lives with the same scandalous drama but with a 2021 modern spin.

The twist of who is behind Gossip Girl is an interesting angle that shakes up the series and changes the flow from the original series. And, the cast of characters covers many of the classic roles from the original series.

However, where is the fun?! Everyone is so miserable in New York City. The original Gossip Girl succeeded because there was vicious drama mixed in with likable characters. Let these teens (and even the teachers/adults) have a good time and enjoy their plots.

Carly and Freddie Dancing - iCarly Season 1 Episode 5

iCarly (Paramount Plus)-Best

Making iCarly an adult show could have ended in disaster, but luckily they handled it with poise and maturity.

While we missed some of the regular characters from the original show, the returning cast made for wonderful nostalgia, and the new cast complimented them wonderfully.

Misquoting Clueless - I Know What You Did Last Summer Season 1 Episode 1

I Know What You Did Last Summer (Amazon Prime)-Best

I Know What You Did Last Summer carries many of the same elements from the iconic 90s slasher movie and book, but it sets itself apart to be its own thing.

It's campy, outlandish, and it isn't shy to make its characters unlikable. This is the darker side of the I Know What You Did Last Summer story, and if you embrace the sheer campiness and absurdity, it delivers an exciting time.

Plus, there's a complex web of murders and a mystery with a killer that will leave you with goosebumps.

Welcome to Fantasy Island Season 1 Episode 7

Fantasy Island (FOX)-Best

It sure seems like those trying their hands at reboots and revivals have found a nice rhythm in honoring what came before and forging a new path.

Roslyn Sanchez is a worthy successor to Mr. Roarke as his niece, Elena, and offering backstories on the family and how they manage the island hasn't deterred the series from exploring the episodic storylines of visitors, hoping their fantasies come true.

Did your favorite reboot make this list? Let us know in the comments which reboots and revivals were your favorites and which didn't make the cut.

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