Netflix Revives Your (Parents’) Childhood

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I think Netflix has finally revealed its hand. For a while now, Netflix has been releasing nostalgia pieces, with Fuller House and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday being only the most recent to join the charge. However, what we are dealing with now makes those look modern: Netflix’s Your Childhood, which begins streaming today, is the final boss of nostalgia reboots.

To put it bluntly: this is a quadrilogy about the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s trying to restore the face of America’s ex-Dad, Bill Cosby. It even starts off with Cosby in prison, only for him to be rescued by the Dukes of Hazzard. Mr. Cosby then learns that emo vampire sitcoms and Linkin Park have taken over pop culture and only by reminding the adults of their era can America be saved (along with Bill’s legacy).

Then Bill Cosby does stand-up in front of a horde of Pokemon.

You’d think that each of these skits would only last for 3-4 minutes, right? Well, since it clocks in at 12 hours total, let’s just say that everything in Your Childhood gets a couple of shots. In fact, there about two references to your parents’ past every minute of run time.

To discuss the plot… Bill has to find REO Speedwagon and Sir Mix-a-Lot, with the help of the USS Enterprise to stop the Nintendo vs. Sega fanboy wars. Bill must rescue Steven Spielberg and James Cameron from the Jurassic Titanic that is filled with the poltergeists of Aliens. Bill has to team up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Care Bears and the entire casts of Dragon Ball Z, The Chipmunks, Scooby-Doo and He-Man to enter the Matrix, to stop the production all of their respective terrible reboots and save the Transformers from Michael Bay.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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The final episode of Your Childhood plays out like everything I just mentioned fell into a blender and had even more ‘70s, ’80s and ’90s dumped into it.

To summarize: After defeating the emo vampire legions and physical embodiment of hair metal (gargantuan baggy rave pants, of course), Bill Cosby finally finds out who was behind it all (spoiler!): Shinji Ikari and the ghost of Kurt Cobain. Bill is then challenged to a “best two outta three” match of Mortal Kombat for all the souls of America. In SPACE. To top it all off, every single reference in the movie appears in the climax.

Do I need to say anything else? With Your Childhood, Netflix is clearly pandering to anyone who has been alive in the past four decades, but it’s the best kind of pandering, pandering via bombast.

But enough about that. For now, I’d like to wish us all a deathly serious April Fools. Thank you and adieu.

(Video is a teaser for Netflix’s “The Life of Mikey,” a sitcom based on a beloved ’70s Life cereal commercial. Twelve new episodes will start streaming in October.)

TV Talk is a regular television column written by Robert Pulford, Current Staff.

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