Weekly Musing: Remake, Reboot, Remix, Re-whatever

Over the last decade plus, there’s been an explosion of remakes and reboots. Sometimes the remake/reboot is a way of updating an older TV show or movie. Sometimes it’s a case of a successful franchise being rebooted probably just so the studio can make more money. Mostly it is at the movie theater where we see these but TV is starting to pick up the torch. In the 2015 – 2016 TV season there will be a limited run of The X-Files and Heroes Reborn will pop up on the schedule. There’s also been a smattering of bringing back shows for a limited run like 24 but by and large, TV has been safe from this remake/reboot fetish.

One of the biggest reasons why remakes/reboots are popular is there is built-in brand recognition. This is coupled with nostalgia you can see why remakes and reboots are big business. Look at how many TV shows and movies from the ’70s and ’80s have already been released or in the works. No matter how truly god awful these things are, still Hollywood makes them because studios make back the stupidly ridiculous amounts of money they spent. But the problem with using nostalgia as a business model is that most people view the past through rose-colored glasses.

This isn’t to say that no reboots/remakes should ever happen. Some have been incredibly well-written and well-received both on the small and big screen. 21 Jump Street was hilarious although it only vaguely resembled the TV show. The Batman franchise on both the small screen and big screen has been wildly success. And the granddaddy of them all, M*A*S*H is probably more well-known as a TV show first then as a movie even though the movie came out in 1970 based on a book that had come out 2 years prior.

So, just for fun, what shows would I like to see come back? Keep in mind this list is purely for fun as there is a huge part of me that would truly shudder if anyone actually decided these were a good idea. And yes, my list is based purely on nostalgia.

Punky Brewster: Oh, yes, this should come back. Although if this were updated, Punky would probably be from a different country, it wouldn’t be an elderly man as her adopted father, the dog would be some messed up breed like a Goldendoodle, and Punky’s awesome bed would disappear. The show would probably be ruined by bring in a love interest for Punky’s adoptive parent and then more focus would be on that rather than the relationship between Punky and her adopted parent.

Out of This World: I think I’m probably the only person from my generation who watched this show. It was quirky, odd, and science fiction which I didn’t realize at the time. Evie, the show’s man character, was part human, part alien and could freeze time. Who wouldn’t want that ability? Given how popular extra-ordinary people are this is one show that maybe could come back. Naturally I think the tone would change from gentle, family-friendly to dark, gritty, and Evie would suffer from way more angst due to dad never appearing here on Earth. Also, Evie would probably be written to kick ass and fight crime instead of just being sorta normal. On second thought, maybe this shouldn’t be remade.

Daria: This is one show I truly, desperately wished would come back. Daria Morgendorffer’s biting and highly accurate social commentary is much needed. I’d love to see her as a grown-up, though not necessarily with children of her own, can’t see her as a mother. Instead of being jaded by her fellow teenagers, she would be jaded by her fellow co-workers and neighbors. I also think Daria’s take on gender roles would be refreshing and rational rather than the emotional Social Justice Warrior crap that currently populates the internet.

I can’t honestly think of any other shows it would be fun to “what if” they were remade. By and large I prefer original ideas or quality book adaptions to just digging up what worked in the past. I guess when millions of dollars are on the line, it’s better to go with the safe bet even at the risk of fatiguing audiences.



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