Don’t you, forget about me. From Abbott Elementary to Riverdale, John Hughes‘ The Breakfast Club left a lasting impression on the small screen.
The 1995 cult classic focused on five teenagers from very different backgrounds who end up serving detention together at their high school. The cast of The Breakfast Club — which included Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson — quickly found success for their involvement in the iconic coming-of-age story.
Ringwald, who collaborated with Hughes on other movies such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty in Pink, later explained why she didn’t think The Breakfast Club aged well since its release.
In a 2018 essay for The New Yorker, the actress recalled her initial concerns about watching the film with her daughter.
“I hadn’t anticipated that it would ultimately be most troubling to me,” the California native, who shares kids Mathilda, Adele and Roman with husband Panio Gianopoulos, wrote in reference to scenes she found to be problematic years later. “If attitudes toward female subjugation are systemic, and I believe that they are, it stands to reason that the art we consume and sanction plays some part in reinforcing those same attitudes.”
She continued: “How are we meant to feel about art that we both love and oppose? What if we are in the unusual position of having helped create it? Erasing history is a dangerous road when it comes to art—change is essential, but so, too, is remembering the past, in all of its transgression and barbarism, so that we may properly gauge how far we have come, and also how far we still need to go.”
After joining The CW’s Riverdale in 2017, Ringwald’s legendary film was the subject on a special episode in the series’ third season. The show’s flashback episode titled “The Midnight Club” paid tribute to The Breakfast Club by having the main actors play younger versions of their onscreen parents.
“It’s an episode called ‘The Midnight Club.’ Which is our take on sort of The Breakfast Club. Obviously the much-darker Riverdale version of that,” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa shared at the Television Critics Association press tour in 2018. “Camila [Mendes] will be playing a young Hermione (Marisol Nichols), Cole [Sprouse] will be playing a young FP (Skeeth Ulrich), KJ [Apa] will be dying his hair brown and playing a young Fred Andrews (Luke Perry). And we’re going to learn about a really, really dark secret in Riverdale that the parents have been keeping since they were in high school.”
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Scroll on for more TV shows that paid homage to The Breakfast Club over the years: