Netflix and Nostalgia: My Magic School Bus Reboot Expectations

 

In 2014, Netflix revealed some of their early plans for an updated animated series based on the hit scientific show The Magic School Bus that ran from 1994-1997. This show has a special spot in my heart as it taught me so much at

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Fact: Ms. Frizzle wore the best themed clothes.

such an early age! For example, there were many times throughout high school and even university when I would get a Frizzle-flashback (I’d like to believe I just made that up) and I would know that the cartoon had taught me this information years earlier.

Netflix Canada has had the original series available in their library for a while now and I absolutely still watch it. Obviously, I enjoy it mainly for nostalgic reasons, but I remember the episodes and characters so clearly that it feels like I’m rehashing personal stories with old friends. The nostalgic element is what makes this reboot a risky move to me; I believe that they will likely disappoint their grownup fans in order to properly hold the attention of and educate today’s youth (a valid reason).

My mixed feelings surrounding the Magic School Bus revival lie mainly in my fear that the animation will be too modern for my taste and that the writing will be less punny. I honestly loved every Carlos pun and I think

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The other kids had poor taste in jokes.

that the innocence of dad-humour played a large part in the overall likability of the show. The Magic School Bus captivated young audiences with visual learning in a way that wasn’t common in elementary schools of the 90’s. Kids today may not fully understand that teachers had to book one of maybe three tube-televisions that would be wheeled down the hall for an allotted hour or so, and that this was a big deal because you rarely got to watch videos in class. The Magic School Bus took textbook knowledge and relayed it in an entertaining fashion!

Although I have my reservations, I am trying to have faith in the reboot and I will definitely give it a watch.

Netflix has kept a lot of secrets since the reboot’s 2014 announcement, but here’s what we do know so far:

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Season 1 episode 3 “Inside Ralphie” was always one of my favourites.
  1. It will be computer generated animation (this makes me nervous [I’m not always a fan]).
  2. Stu Stone, the voice actor who played Ralphie (one of two characters who we got to know from the inside-out), is on board as one of the producers of the reboot!
  3. Multiple other cast members have signed on to help in some way (I’m hoping that they pull a Degrassi-The Next Generation and have the original cast play parents)
  4. Top secret celebrities will lend their voices throughout the new series.
  5. It will likely be titled “The Magic School Bus 360˚”
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Early concept art of The Magic School Bus 360˚.

The early concept art indicates that the Ms. Frizzle character seems to be a similar age as she was in the 90s. If the original Ms. Frizzle were to have aged with us, I would love for

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Lily Tomlin (right) co-stars with Jane Fonda (left) on the Netflix original Grace and Frankie.

her to still be voiced by actress Lily Tomlin and I also hope she married a woman (I just feel like she could have)!

It has been twenty years since The Magic School Bus ended, this has allowed for extensive technology advancements and many new discoveries about our planet. These changes in scientific development are enough reason to justify why the reboot’s relevance. There is a large amount of educational content to teach the modern generation that so many youth television shows are simply not covering.

Topics that I would love to see covered in the new Magic School Bus:

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Me, when I took a tour at my sister’s work’s visitor centre. Very proud of my sister who works as a Nuclear Operator.
  • An emphasis on women in STEM careers
  • Wearable technology
  • A new space episode talking about changes within our galaxy (*cough* Pluto)
  • Global Warming
  • Corrections on new discoveries with dinosaurs (our apparently fine-feathered-friends)
  • Life before cell phones
  • Robotics
  • Crime Forensics (to an extent)
  • Wireless everything
  • Hovercrafts
  • Drones

There are so many choices in topical scientific studies that I’m really excited to see what the creators decide to showcase. Hopefully it will be just as successful as the original series and we will have a positive program that is trusted by parents who learned from an familiar fiery Frizzle.

I think that we (as older viewers) need to either

  1. watch it and love it if they do it justice nostalgically (Fuller House did this well, but the original was already geared toward both kids and adults) or
  2. let go of our nostalgic reigns to let a new generation benefit off of an educational program aimed to please and educate kids, not adults.

the-friz-and-the-liz-share-a-wink-magic-school-bus-1954677-500-375-e1321546050246The show is currently in production and I’m hoping to see it released soon!

Are there some quality scientific television shows already out there for youth today? Let me know some of them! I’m thinking of shows similar to Bill Nye, The Science Guy or the Magic School Bus for us 90’s kids.

 

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How-To-Halloween Using Netflix Canada: Make Your Own Marathon, Eh

 

(Find concise list at the bottom)

Maybe you have a Halloween party or two to go to this weekend, waiting for the Great Pumpkin, or you’re just looking to get into the spirit of the holiday at home, here’s my list of really great Halloween themed episodes from TV shows that you can find on Netflix Canada.

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You at your Halloween Party.

We all have our favourite Halloween movies and there are plenty of lists naming the greats, but the issue is that Netflix Canada kind of dropped the ball on providing us with a decent selection this year.

Where’s Hocus Pocus? Where are all ten of the Halloween franchise films? What about those amazing animated holiday specials we used to watch on TV each year from Peanuts, Garfield, and other greats?

To be fair, they do have some good “scary” movies including: The Others; The Sixth Sense; Rear Window; and the family films: Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit; Hotel Transylvania; and The Nightmare Before Christmas (Halloween/Christmas movie).

We need to see people dressing up, celebrating, and/or being spooked actually ON Halloween.

The perfect alternative to putting your favourite Halloween film on in the background while you get ready this year is to watch some of these holiday-special television episodes. I always love Halloween-themed episodes so I’ve taken the time to figure out the season and episode numbers of some of the shows that I like on Netflix Canada.

I hope that this makes it easier for you to coordinate your own Halloween-TV-marathon with Netflix Canada.

Cassy Curates: Halloween Episodes on Netflix
(in no particular order):

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  1. Community
    1. S1 E7 – Introduction to Statistics [Day of the Dead Party]
    2. S2 E6 – Epidemiology [Dena’s Halloween Party = Zombies]
    3. S3 E5 – Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps
    4. S4 E2 Paranormal Parentage [Pierce’s Mansion)
      1. (NOT ON NETFLIX) S5 E8 – App Development and Condiments

For some reason, Netflix Canada only has the first 4 seasons of Community, but if you’re up to streaming the last one good for you! Community has made some of my favourite holiday-themed episodes of modern television. Definitely watch these ones for your marathon to either continue your love of the show, or to ignite your desire to start watching this fantastic comedy series!

 

 

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  1. The Mindy Project
    1. S1 E4 – Halloween

I LOVE The Mindy Project and only hope that they make more holiday-themed episodes. We need to see Mindy Kaling in more costumes please! Also I really recommend that you read her two books that she has published, because she is one hilarious woman (especially beneficial if you’re also a fan of The Office as she has many behind the scene tidbits in her first book).

 

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  1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    1. S1 E6 – Halloween
    2. S2 E4 – Halloween II
    3. S3 E5 – Halloween Part III

Simple titles, but these three episodes do not disappoint. If you don’t watch the show already, you’re going to want to start from the beginning after seeing Andy Sandberg’s adorable character dressed in a variety of costumes and carrying out more tricks than treats in an ongoing bet against captain Holt.

 

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  1. Freaks and Geeks
    1. S1 E3 – Tricks and Treats

A show that everyone knows should have been granted with the go-ahead of a season two, luckily (for me) had a Halloween episode in it’s first. Many shows don’t do holiday-themed episodes every season so thank you Judd Apatow. This show is stacked with some great actors and actresses who had yet to see the fame that waited for them with later projects. If you’re a fan of 80s nostalgia, good writing, and teenage shenanigans than you should definitely give it a watch – I mean look how awesome actor Martin Starr, playing Bill, looks as the Bionic Woman!

 

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  1. Friends
    1. S8 E6 – The One with the Halloween Party

Obviously Friends is on this list, it was my sister’s favorite show so I have seen every episode multiple times. It’s been nice to rewatch the series now that I’m in my mid-twenties too! This is strangely the only episode dedicated to Halloween and it took them until the eighth season to do it. A sexy cat and a soft pink bunny host a Halloween party, plus a bunny and a potato have an arm wrestling contest = gold.

 

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  1. How I Met Your Mother
    1. S1 E6 – The Slutty Pumpkin
    2. S7 E8 – The Slutty Pumpkin Returns

I’m shockingly not a huge fan of How I met your mother, but I can admit that the show makes me laugh when it’s on. I dated someone who loved this show and I therefore saw quite a number of episodes, these two were far apart in seasons, but I loved that they exist. I also really appreciate the titles since so many shows go with the lazy ‘Halloween’ and leave it at that. If you’re single this Halloween and attending a party, these two episodes should be at the top of your Netflix marathon list. Be hopeful, and definitely dress up so that you don’t look stupid next to your very own slutty pumpkin soul mate.

 

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  1. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
    1. S1 E8 – Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part I)
    2. S1 E9 – Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part II)
    3. S4 E7 – Hex and the Single Guy

I am still very pleased that Netflix put The Fresh Prince of Bel Air on their roster. I was/still am a huge fan of this show. It was able to be innocently funny while also producing some very touching and emotional scenes for teenagers to relate to. “Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect” is a very memorable two-parter for me, not only did it focus on one of my favourite holidays, but it also had a fairytale ending. Watch as Carlton and Will compete to get a date for the party and enjoy the amazing costumes! The fourth season’s Hexing Halloween episode also features Carlton looking his most hilarious as McCaulay Culkin!

 

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  1. 3rd Rock from the Sun
    1. S3 E5 – Scaredy Dick

I watched 3rd Rock on an irregular basis when it originally aired on TV, but I am so glad that I took the time to watch the entire series when it arrived on Netflix. It is now one of my favourite television shows ever and I strongly urge you to watch it from episode one. Since the show is about aliens, the sci-fi element always exists so it makes sense that only one episode in six seasons focused on Halloween. Maybe I’m biased, but I personally don’t think that there is a bad episode and you will laugh while Sally and Tommy attempt to guard Mary’s house from egg-ers and Harry gets spooked by a ghost.

 

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  1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    1. S2 E6 – Halloween
    2. S4 E4 – Fear Itself
    3. S6 E6 – All the Way
      1. S4 E10 – Hush

I have a soft spot for Buffy as she represents a tough on-screen woman who is both strong and feminine – everything I strive to be! Yes she slays vampires and other supernatural beings, but she also takes the time to try and experience what it’s like to be a teenager which means Halloween parties, mishaps, and monsters who totally take the fun out of her downtime and put the fun in the series for the audience. In case you don’t know, Joss Whedon and his fellow writers incorporate humour insanely well and the Halloween episodes have some of the funniest lines! Even though “Hush” from the fourth season isn’t technically on Halloween, I included it because it is definitely the scariest episode in the series for me – check it out if you’re into creepy villains.

 

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gilmore-collage

 

  1. Gilmore Girls
    1. S6 E7 – Twenty-One is the Loneliest Number

I watched Gilmore Girls when it originally aired and was heavily invested into Rory’s love life, it was funny to be more interested in Lorelei’s suitors when I rewatched it this past year. For a series that loved featuring the small town’s festivals, the creators tended to steer clear of holiday-themed episodes. The show was more episodic than some of the other sitcoms on this list, but I still wanted to include this one so that you can get a healthy dose of Stars Hollow-een in your system if you’d like. Plus I’d like to acknowledge all the times that Rory dressed in costume throughout the series – she had some pretty good ones!

 

 

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  1. The Office
    1. S2 E5 – Halloween
    2. S5 E6 – Employee Transfer
    3. S6 E8 – Koi Pond
    4. S7 E6 – Costume Contest
    5. S8 E5 – Spooked
    6. S9 E5 – Here Comes Trebel

Look at all the Halloween episodes to choose from! The Office was one of my true loves in high school, I’d say that it was my boyfriend instead of actual human males. The sheer number of holiday-themed episodes is reason enough to explain why. I drifted from the show after high school for a bit when it was heading toward its fifth season, but Netflix has made it easy to catch up on what I missed since then. Three-hole-punch Jim is a classic costume and seeing Dwight as a Sith Lord makes me very happy as well. If you’re an Office fan, you could just have a mini marathon of their Halloween episodes alone.

 

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  1. Scrubs
    1. S2 E6 – My Big Brother

Scrubs is a work-centered medical dramedy so a lot of the costumes you see in this episode are at work. The Halloween themes are subtler than some of the other episodes on this list, but enjoyable just the same. J.D. and Turk are their ever-adorable selves so why not watch them bob for apples?

 

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  1. That 70s Show
    1. S2 E5 – Halloween
    2. S3 E4 – Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die

This show makes me laugh so much, I love looking at the retro fashion and home décor. If you’re also a fan, you already know that it’s one of those programs that ran on a little too long, but these episodes were in the earlier seasons so they’re really great! In “Halloween,” Fez goes trick or treating for the first time as Adam West’s Batman and the gang watches the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in theatres. In “Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die,” the show parodies classic horror movies while Fez dresses in drag (Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque).

 

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  1. Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23
    1. S2 E2 – Love and Monsters

I only just started watching this show, it’s a bit wild, but is a great background show that makes me laugh. What’s exciting for me is that I haven’t actually seen this episode yet! I will definitely be including it in my own personal Netflix Halloween marathon. I don’t want to spoil the laughs for myself so all I researched was this one picture!

 

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  1. The Magic School Bus
    1. S1 E8 – The Magic School Bus: In The Haunted House

I included this one because it’s nostalgic and always educational! The great thing about including this one on your list is A. nostalgia and B. it’s nice and short. If you’re short on ideas for Halloween costumes still you should definitely go as Ms. Frizzle, you might not get another good opportunity to wear a wacky dress while being simply fabulous.

 


There you have it, 15 shows, 33 episodes, and plenty to choose from to make your own marathon! Hope you enjoy watching Halloween specials this year and I’ll be very jealous if you get to see Peanuts and Garfield.

Concise list:

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Other Contenders:

Supernatural

  1. S4 E7 – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester

Charmed

  1. S3 E4 – All Halliwell’s Eve

The Vampire Diaries

  1. S1 E7 – Haunted
  2. S2 E7 – Masquerade
  3. S3 E7 – Ghost World
  4. S4 E4 – The Five
  5. S5 E5 – Monster’s Ball
  6. S6 E5 – The World Has Turned and Left Me Here
  7. S7 E4 – I Carry Your Heart with Me

Pretty Little Liars

  1. S2 E13 – The First Secret
  2. S3 E13 – This is ‘A’ Dark Ride
  3. S4 E13 – Grave New World
    1. Special (Not on Netflix) aired during S5 – We Love You to DeAth

Grey’s Anatomy

  1. S4 E5 – Haunt You Every Day
  2. S10 E7 – Thriller

Last Man Standing

  1. S1 E4 – Last Halloween Standing
  2. S3 E5 – Haunted House
  3. S5 E6 – Halloween

Netflix should put Home Improvement on eventually and when they do… Halloween episodes:

  1. S2 E6 – The Haunting of Taylor House
  2. S3 E6 – Crazy For You
  3. S4 E6 – Borland Ambition
  4. S5 E6 – Let Them Eat Cake
  5. S6 E7 – I Was a Teenage Taylor
  6. S7 E5 – A Night to Dismember
  7. S8 E6 – Bewitched

About a Boy

  1. S2 E3 – About a Will-o-Ween

Angel

  1. S5 E5 – Life of the Party

Glee

  1. S2 E5 – The Rocky Horror Glee Show

Futurama’s The Honking is S2 E18 and for some weird reason Netflix starts from S3.

Netflix Canada, I officially request you to get Bob’s Burgers, Frasier, Family Matters, and Home Improvement. These would be a good start at least.

Sincerely,
Dedicated TV Fan Cassy