Lindsay Ellis does great video essays, including a great commentary on the “many feels” of Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2. Her current video, Stranger Things, IT, and the Upside Down of Nostalgia, takes a look at the different types of nostalgia and the “thirty year cycle.”
The “thirty year cycle” is when media looks back at a more “idyllic” time period, generally twenty to thirty years ago — in the ‘70s and ‘80s, they looked back to the ‘50s with movies like Back to the Future and Grease, while currently, we are seeing a boom in ‘80s-themed media. (Lindsay points out the obvious reason for why — that the children of thirty years ago are currently the adults making the films.) And the two biggest examples are Stranger Things and IT.
I like her reasoning on how Stranger Things is more celebratory about the ‘80s, while IT is more deconstructive. In Stranger Things, most of the adults are good and generally helpful — even Sheriff Hopper helps the kids. But in IT, the grown ups don’t care. In the book, it’s said that IT has infected the town itself, but that can just be seen as a metaphor for the inherent racism/sexism/classism of America at the time (in the book, it’s the ‘50s — in the movie, it’s the ‘80s).
Go watch the video. And then try to figure out what else currently is trying for “deconstructive nostalgia.”