We are in the heart of the summer of 2022, but looking at the latest trends in Hollywood and beyond, you wouldn’t know it. While titles like Top Gun and Jurassic Park are winning at the big screen, Kate Bush’s 1985 single “Running Up That Hill” is topping music charts once again thanks to the newly released fourth season of the retro-drama Stranger Things. Even flare jeans and scrunchies have made a comeback!

We tapped our internal experts at MarketCast to discover what throwback-related content they dove into this summer, in their own words:

TV Series

Ivana Mora, Senior Analyst

Our Flag Means Death

“Our Flag Means Death has quickly become an obsession for myself and the online fandom communities I frequent. Aside from the humor and great storytelling, it has all the makings of a comfort show. It is explicitly inclusive of LGBTQIA+, disability, race and gender, class, and mental health issues in healthy, positive ways that never seem artificial or inauthentic. The characters are instantly endearing, and having watched the entire season 5+ times, and I am still not tired of it. The story, humor, and romance are funny, clever, and inclusive effortlessly and respectfully and represent the kind of entertainment I know many people would like to see more of in the future.”

Steven Fields, Sr Analyst, Custom Research

Obi-Wan Kenobi

“This series is the perfect bridge between the prequels and original Star Wars trilogy, showcasing the incredible emotional journey that Obi-Wan Kenobi must venture on to go from a broken man who lost faith in the Force and himself to the wise and strong Jedi that Luke eventually gets to know in A New Hope. It has everything you can want as a Star Wars fan – visually jaw-dropping light saber battles, compelling story arcs, witty quips from (an adorable) young Princess Leia, and an absolutely terrifying version of Darth Vader, all while filling in some of the holes of the larger Star Wars tapestry.”

Jourdan Pignatelli, Marketing & Events Manager

Girls5eva 

“Charming, relatable, and funny as hell, Girls5eva provides a clever reminiscence of the pop group days of the late 90s/early 00s while delivering a heartfelt comedic wit that had me cackling on my couch. Granted, I love anything Tiny Fey does, but this show is seriously worth the binge!”

Jillian Kramer, VP, Custom Research

Stranger Things: Season 4

“The ensemble cast of unlikely heroes and villains all come back with a vengeance in season 4 – separated into two sets of releases. The first seven episodes put into motion a spiderweb of stories that are at times charming, heartbreaking, humorous, and horrific (to be expected). By the second release of two feature-length episodes, we’re in the thick of the action, following each thread as they all attempt to prevent a catastrophic end. What brings lightness to an increasingly darker series is the cast of characters and their ever-evolving relationships with one another. You’ll find yourself laughing, gasping, crying, and cheering for your favorites.”

Movies

Stephen Popiel, VP, Automotive, Sports, & Brands 

Metal Lords 

“To put my somewhat odd (or is that awed?) choice in perspective, while I am no longer a huge metal fan (and tend much more to my roots of 70’s prog rock and jazz), Metal Lords hit me for two reasons. First and foremost was the fact that it mixes classical and metal and ends with the greatest heavy metal cello I have ever seen—that and the scene where one of the characters buys two music books, Metallica and Stravinsky. So something for everyone. Oh, and the acting isn’t half bad either.”

Kyle Brady, Ops Manager, Evening Show Editorial

Scream

“The new Scream is a great sequel/reboot (or, as they say in the movie, “requel”) of the original Scream from 1996. The movie does an excellent job of playing homage to Wes Craven’s 90s slasher classic by bringing back the trio of Sidney, Gale, and Dewey while also bringing in some new blood with a cast of instantly likable characters. Ghostface is at his most threatening in this movie with an opening scene that rivals the one from the original film, and the story both pokes fun at the current trend of “elevated horror” and also just how much fans play a role in the creation of the media they obsess over!”

Catheryn Pu, SVP, Finance 

Thor: Love & Thunder 

“Guns N Roses provides an excellent soundtrack to match the visual aesthetics with the title font/graphics and overall loudness and colors. The epic guitar solo in ‘November Rain’ added sonic vitality to the final climactic battle scene and was perfectly choreographed. Bonus points for catching other musical throwbacks with Enya and Mary J. Blige.”

Aimee Smith, Operations Manager-Ad Editorial

Tom Gun: Maverick

“It took 36 years for filmmakers to get the sequel to Top Gun in the theaters, and Maverick was worth it! State-of-the-art, pulse-pounding flight sequences give ordinary theater-goers a small glimpse of what it’s like to fly in a fighter jet, and lots of references to the original Top Gun give fans serious nostalgia and a major payoff for the long wait. This is definitely one you will want to see on the big screen.”

Jessica Yang, Senior Analyst, Quantitative Research

Jurassic World: Dominion

“Jurassic World Dominion is an admittedly thin story held together by satisfying fan-favorite moments and iconic re-enactments. Nevertheless, it’s a fun, nostalgic journey that provides a rare chance to see Sattler, Grant, and Malcolm grace the screen together once more.”

Music 

Edward Trujillo, SVP, Brand Event Analytics

Beyoncé – Renaissance

“Hello! The 90s called, and they want their House floor-filler jam back! And that’s a great thing! This coupled with Drake’s new house album has my summer grooves playlist full.”

Katie Brady, Production Manager, Brand Effect Operations

Emo/Pop Punk Resurgence

“Time to bust out the eyeliner and Vans because emo and pop punk are officially cool again. But if you’re busting out the Vans, be sure to get some gel inserts because we’re all older now, and arch support is important. From My Chem’s reunion tour to Avril’s new album to the When We Were Young festival in Vegas this fall, what’s old is new again and somehow even better than the first time. Hearing music I grew up with make such a big comeback, especially on places like TikTok, almost makes me feel cool enough to get a TikTok. Almost.”

Julie Kadzhabashian, Intern, Brand & Event Analytics

The Weeknd – Dawn FM

“The Weeknd continues to be an all-time great as he releases yet another album even more distinct than the last. The transitions and sequencing in Dawn FM are truly a work of art, with each song telling a story and releasing a sense of euphoria within the listener. The concept album feels effortless yet complex, showing Tesfaye’s shift in style from his once dark, murky lyrics to a new wave of spiritual, 80’s synth-pop.”

Video Games

Isauro Contreras, Media Writer II, Brand Effect Operations

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

“When I was a kid, my older sister used to take my younger sister and me to the arcades, where we played the TMNT arcade game and would go elsewhere in the mall later. The fact that they made another one in a similar style after all these years was a surprise for all 3 of us, and it has been enjoyable to remember what we did back then in the 90s.”