Nostalgia anchors these popular pieces of entertainment

Entertainment entities are debuting programming that takes “kiddish” games to the next level by harnessing the perfect mixture of nostalgia and competitiveness to fully engross global audiences. Such revivals ultimately help consumers recall simpler times in their lives, and firms like Netflix and Fox are smart to tap into this sweet spot.


Netflix packed some serious nostalgia—along with what looks like actual laval—into Floor Is Lava, a show inspired by that classic childhood game you definitely played when you were a kid. The concept has proven successful: when Floor Is Lava aired on the streaming service back in June, it quickly became one of the most watched shows ever on Netflix. The game show harnesses all the fun you felt jumping from furniture to furniture and pretending your floor was magma, but with better graphics and different rooms containing a slew of obstacles for contestants to tackle. There are two goals in the game: to have the most teammates make it across the course, and/or do so in the fastest time. If a contestant falls in, the show gives them an epic ‘game over:’ they’re edited to melt away in the lava-like substance.


Legos were (and still are) the building blocks for many epic kids' playtimes around the world, and now they’re the foundation of the highly rated competition show Lego Masters. The series pits two master Lego builders against one another as they race to build the superior structure. The U.S. version is hosted by Will Arnett (who also voices Lego Batman in The Lego Movie franchise), and Fox is already preparing its second season. The show has also been met with success across the globe, with versions in the UK, Australia, and Germany all receiving high ratings and increased viewership among young adults.


The age-old sport of marble racing has a newfound uptick in viewers thanks to YouTube—and Covid-19. The ‘sport’ involves videos of colorful marbles racing through handmade courses, as viewers mentally bet on winners and enjoy the simplicity and overall entertainment factor of the exercise. The YouTube channel Jelle’s Marble Runs has some of the most popular marble racing videos, which are racking up millions of views and thousands of subscribers who have found an outlet for their sports needs, albeit with a serious injection of humor and whimsy. Most recently, the hit HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has taken over sponsoring Jelle’s upcoming 2020 Marble League; think of it as the modern Olympics of marble racing.