When the original series “The Wonder Years” went off the air in 1993, it left its adoring fans with these final words at the end of the series finale:
“Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you’re in diapers, the next day, you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house like a lot of houses. A yard like a lot of other yards. On a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back with wonder.”
Since the original show went to rerun heaven following those words, fans have been wondering if it would ever be rebooted.
And now, nearly 30 years later, it’s finally about to be.
The rebooted series of “The Wonder Years” will premiere on Wednesday, and there will be both similarities and differences to the original series that captivated audiences and won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1988.
The concept will be the same, with a narrator looking back on his childhood growing up in 1968 and highlighting what it was like to be raised in that time period with a blend of comedy and life lessons (rewatch the episode from the original series on Mr. Collins and it’s a good bet you’ll be in tears and have a whole new appreciation for teachers).
Joe Cocker’s version of “With a Little Help From My Friends” returns as the show’s theme song.
The original series had actor Daniel Stern as the narrator, while this one will have Don Cheadle.
The pilot episode Wednesday was even directed by Fred Savage, the actor who played Kevin Arnold in the original series.
The big difference in the reboot is that the show will focus on a middle-class, working Black family residing in Montgomery, Alabama as the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing.
The star will be Elisha Williams, who will play 12-year-old middle schooler Dean Williams, a tween entering his puberty years.
Dean Williams lives with his father, a college professor, his mother and older sister, and just like Kevin Arnold with Winnie Cooper, 12-year-old Dean has a crush on a girl named Keisa Clemmons.
According to the trailer, Dean Williams hopes to unite with white kids in the community through baseball and a peaceful game on a local diamond.
Time will tell if the show can last the six seasons the original series did, but regardless, the effort to revive the classic series is certainly appreciated by millions of fans.
At long last, it’s time to look back with wonder again.