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Those were the days: Nostalgia in our popular culture

Colin Farrell as the title character in ‘Sugar.’
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Colin Farrell as the title character in ‘Sugar.’ John Sugar is an old movie-obsessed gumshoe who patterns his professional stylings on the private eye archetype of classic noir.

We’ve been noticing a sort of backwards-looking bent lately in TV shows like Ripley, with its 1960s setting and its black-and-white aesthetic and its lush 1950s Italian pop soundtrack. Or Fallout, with its particular brand of retro-futurism and its Jazz Age-to-Space Age music. Or Sugar, with it classic movie-obsessed protagonist and its neo-noir tone.

There’s a theory that there’s more of an emphasis on nostalgia right now than normal because no one wants to live in 2024. There’s even a whole new Taylor Swift song about it.

This hour, a Nose-ish look at the heightened role of nostalgia in our popular culture right now. Plus: the dark side of nostalgia culture.


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Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

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Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.
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