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Analysis: Melissa Rauch needed the nostalgia of ‘Night Court’ as much as we did

A version of this story appeared in Pop Life Chronicles, CNN’s weekly entertainment newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.



CNN
 — 

Nostalgia never gets old.

There is something so comforting in looking back on memories of times past — the good ones, of course — and Hollywood knows this.

That’s in large part why it continues to serve up reboots, and that leads us to this week’s newsletter.

Something to sip on…

From left: Melissa Rauch and Kapil Talwalkar in a scene from

As a big fan of the original sitcom, which ran from 1984 to 1992, actor Melissa Rauch told me she took special care while serving as both star and executive producer of the reboot currently airing on NBC.

“Every week you could tune in with ‘Night Court’ for some good laughs and some comfort,” Rauch said. “I think that’s something that’s pretty important right now.”

“I think there’s a lot of power in nostalgia because it can remind us of times in our lives that we were feeling that sense of security or comfort,” she continued. “I know for myself, sitting on my couch and watching shows that I loved as a kid with my parents and my grandmother, it reminds (me) of those people, even if they’re not here with you anymore. It’s almost like a little time machine back to that part of your life.”

Amen to that.

In the new series, Raunch plays Judge Abby Stone, daughter of the show’s original lead, Judge Harry Stone, played by the late actor Harry Anderson. In early episodes, the show sees her character having to convince her father’s former friend and colleague, Dan Fielding (John Larroquette), to return to practicing law.

And life imitated art, or vice versa, because Rauch told me it took some persuasion to get Larroquette to return to the role.

“He was so kind on that first call and very graciously said, ‘I don’t think that’s something I necessarily want to do,’” Rauch recalled.

“But he left the door open just enough to continue the conversation, and I’m so glad he did,” she said. “We really developed such a friendship. It was during the pandemic, so it was all over Zoom and on phone calls. He was just open to continuing to talk about it, even though he wasn’t a hundred percent sure.”

In the end, Larroquette came around — and court was back in session.

One thing to talk about…

From left: Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert and Rachel McAdams in a scene from

Let’s stay in the throwback space, shall we?

“Mean Girls” came out in 2004, but we still talk about it as if it just came out the other day. At least my friends and I do.

The runaway success of the teen comedy spurred a 2018 stage musical, which is now being remade in turn as a film, with production beginning just this past week.

Tina Fey, who wrote and starred in the original film and wrote the book for the musical, will be among those starring in the new project.

“I’m very excited to bring ‘Mean Girls’ back to the big screen,” Fey told Playbill in a 2020 statement. “It’s been incredibly gratifying to see how much the movie and the musical have meant to audiences. I’ve spent 16 years with these characters now. They are my Marvel Universe, and I love them dearly.”

She’ll appear alongside at least another original star, Tim Meadows. Others in the cast include Auli’i Cravalho, Jenna Fischer, Busy Phillips and Renée Rapp, who previously played Regina George in the musical.

But what I can’t wait to see is if soon-to-be new mom Lindsay Lohan — or, really, any other famous North Shore High alums — will be in the mix, even if just for a cameo. That would be so fetch!

You should listen to…

Miley Cyrus performs during her

Give Miley Cyrus her “Flowers.”

That’s the title of her latest earworm hit single, after all.

It’s one of several bops on her new album, “Endless Summer Vacations.” She talked about the record in a recent Disney+ “Backyard Sessions” special, explaining how she hopes it will offer listeners real insight into her life.

“There’s, you know, honesty and truth and there’s some wisdom and some humor. There’s some heaviness and depth,” she said. “It represents who I am and I feel that the greatest records that I’ve been able to make, or the greatest songs that I’ve been able to write, do exactly that. They really connect me and whoever is listening in a way that feels like an intimate honest conversation.”

“Endless Summer Vacations” is out now.

Cannot wait to watch…

Keira Knightley in a scene from Hulu's

Though they’re quite the opposite of nostalgic, projects revisiting infamous crimes and criminals are all the rage right now. Hulu’s “Boston Strangler” is the latest example.

Based on a true story, Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon star in the film as the reporters who were the first to report on a serial killer on the loose in the city in the 1960s.

“Boston Strangler” is streaming now.

From left: Nick Mohammed and Jason Sudeikis in a scene from

If you haven’t been watching “Ted Lasso,” the critically acclaimed series starring Jason Sudeikis as an American coach working with a British soccer team, you have been missing out on sheer joy. (The team in question has been missing out on a lot of goal-scoring opportunities, meanwhile, but that’s a different plotline.)

There’s still time to rectify that, as its third season started streaming this week on Apple TV+. But it’s also the show’s last, so consider this your chance to get in on the action before it all goes into overtime for its grand finale.

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