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    "The Wonder Years" Views Black Culture Through A Nostalgic Lens, And It's A Welcome Surprise

    Even the theme song got a very Black reboot!

    15. One of your early brushes with television nostalgia likely came from the good ol' series The Wonder Years, which premiered in 1988.

    The original Wonder Years title card

    Sure, as a Gen Z'er or millennial, you probably knew little to nothing about the period in which the series was set — the 1960s — when the country was at war in Vietnam, political and civil rights protests raged, and assassinations filled the news. 

    14. Yet somehow, while examining the circumstances of this tumultuous time, the hit series also managed to convey the aches, pains, and heart flips of its young cast.

    Olivia d'Abo, Jason Hervey, Fred Savage, Josh Saviano, Alley Mills, Dan Lauria
    © New World Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

    13. As a product of its time, however, the series did little to dive into the perspectives of people of color.

    Primo Gif / Via

    12. Enter this year's The Wonder Years reboot.

    Show poster

    11. Created by Dave's Saladin K. Patterson and executive-produced by Empire's Lee Daniels, the series reboot takes on the nostalgia for yesteryear by looking into the life of a Black family in Montgomery, Alabama.

    Lee Daniels attends the 2021 Met Gala
    Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for the Met Museum/Vogue

    Last year, Entertainment Weekly announced the show, describing it as depicting "how a black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama in the turbulent late 1960's, the same era as the original series, made sure it was The Wonder Years for them too." But that was last year, and the show is now set to premiere Wednesday!

    10. Given that the series is set in Alabama — the epicenter of significant events during the civil rights movement, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, and the Selma-to-Montgomery march — it's clear audiences can expect a reboot with an entirely different approach to a typical series revival.

    Amari O’Neil as Cory Long, Milan Ray as Keisa Clemmons, Laura Kariuki as Kim Williams, Elisha Williams as Dean Williams, Saycon Sengbloh as Lillian Williams, Julian Lerner as Brad Harper, and Dulé Hill as Bill William
    Matt Sayles / ABC

    9. The series will tackle major events from 1968 — the first episode includes the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

    Elisha "EJ" Williams in his role as Dean Williams
    ABC/Erika Doss

    8. Perhaps best of all, the show accurately depicts the Black experience beyond strife and racial struggles.

    Amari O’Neil as Cory Long, Milan Ray as Keisa Clemmons, Elisha Williams as Dean Williams, Saycon Sengbloh as Lillian Williams, Dulé Hill as Bill Williams, Laura Kariuki as Kim Williams, and Julian Lerner as Brad Harper
    Matt Sayles / ABC

    7. The reboot demonstrates that Black culture deeply contributes to Americana and makes the point that amid times of great strife, Black people have managed to thrive.

    Dulé Hill and boys playing baseball
    Erika Doss / ABC

    6. As in the original, we'll see the main character, Dean, as he grows up and takes part in great pastimes like baseball, bicycle rides, and fun dirty jokes he doesn't understand.

    Amari O'Neil as Cory Long, Julian Lerner as Dean's friend Brad Hitman, and Elisha "EJ" Williams as Dean Williams
    ABC / Via

    5. And also just like Kevin Arnold (the main character of the OG The Wonder Years series), Dean has his sights on a crush, Keisa.

    Keisa looking unhappy in the classroom

    4. It's no wonder, because this chica is Girl Crush 2.0.

    A smiling Keisa
    Matt Sayles / ABC

    In the first episode, we see that Keisa is clever, kind, and no coward when it comes to bullies. Literally, she could probably kick your ass into shape while maintaining a 4.0 in all of her STEM classes.

    3. The episode also foreshadows Dean's potential growing pains on the home front as the season continues.

    Dulé Hill as Dean's father, Saycon Sengbloh as  Dean's mother, Laura Kariuki as Dean's sister, and Elisha "EJ" Williams as Dean

    2. The new series shakes things up when it comes to Dean's family, too, showing them living in a thriving and comfortable Black neighborhood.

    Laura Kariuki as Dean's sister, Elisha "EJ" Williams as Dean, Saycon Sengbloh as Dean's mother, and Dulé Hill as Dean's father

    His father is a music professor, his mother is an accountant, and his sister is a high school student with college and civil rights activism on her mind.

    1. Are you excited to watch? You can catch The Wonder Years on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.

    ABC / Via

    You're gonna love it!