Take all the feel-goods of your past, strip them of painful memories, package them up and you’ve got yourself what should be a federally regulated Schedule 1 substance: Everyone’s favorite drug is nostalgia.

Like most recreational drugs, small doses of nostalgia won’t kill you and are a fun diversion. The problem is that nostalgia gets to pick and choose; it edits out the stuff you’d rather not think about. Odds are, your parents were splitting up in the background of your favorite Saturday morning cartoon (which, by the way, Saturday morning cartoons aren’t a thing anymore), or one of the most popular songs of your generation played while you learned your first love was cheating on you. Nostalgia is often a lie and, when it’s the crutch upon which a story leans, it’s a weak, cheap imitation of life — all wrapper, no sandwich.

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