Regardless of our various political affiliations (I’m registered as a Marvel Comics fan), I think we can all agree 2021 isn’t starting out quite the way we hoped.
After 2020 was universally acclaimed as “The Year of the Dumpster Fire” — Christmas ornaments were made, so you know it’s official — most of us were looking forward to a peaceful transition into 2021. I was excited about spending my stimulus money on socks and a new ukulele.
Then last week happened.
For many of us, emotions (and anxiety levels) are running high. While we wait for things to calm down, why not take a break and settle in for some peaceful television bingeing?
Especially now, I can think of no better film series to binge than the “Back to the Future” trilogy, starring Michael J. Fox as high school student-turned-time traveler Marty McFly, Christopher Lloyd as quirky genius Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown and featuring Thomas F. Wilson as three generations of the Tannen family.
At the beginning of the trilogy, Marty accidentally travels from 1985 to 1955 in a modified DeLorean, where he inadvertently interrupts the moment where his parents meet.
To get back to 1985, Marty has to find a young Doc Brown and get his parents back together before he blinks out of history.
Obviously, he’s successful because we get two sequels, which in turn show us the wild world of 2015 and what 1985 imagined 1885 looked like. Spoiler alert: It looks a lot like an episode of “West World,” but without the free-flowing profanity, senseless murder or killer robots.
The music is pretty good. From these films, we got two 1980s anthems, “The Power of Love” and “Back in Time,” both from Huey Lewis and the News.
As long as you don’t think too hard about it, the series is charming escapism with easy laughs, set in an idealized America. People generally get along and do the right thing — with the exceptions of Biff, Griff or Mad Dog Tannen, the uncomplicated villains who stalk about menacingly, serve themselves at every opportunity and settle every score.
When they were first released, the “Back to the Future” movies dug deep into nostalgia for a fondly imagined generation. We loved the ’50s in the 1980s, apparently.
Minus a couple of scenes (and the incest subplot), the “Back to the Future” films are mostly family friendly. There’s action, adventure, comedy and the bad guys get their comeuppance, while the good guys get second chances and the opportunity to learn valuable lessons they probably should have learned much earlier.