Today is officially the first day of fall, and depending on where you are in the country, that could either mean it's time to bust out the sweatpants and consider taking up knitting again, or it could be just another day of perpetual summer. But no matter where you live, two things have become universal constants for the autumn: pumpkin spice lattes and television reboots.
Now, I'm not going to use this time to talk about pumpkin spice lattes/ scones/ tea/ cookies/ edible underwear. That's not what this site is about, though rest assured that I DO have a lot of opinions on the topic (it's still 80 degrees out, Starbucks! Get it together). No, for the purposes of this blog entry, we shall focus on a far worse phenomenon plaguing the land. TV reboots.
Lately, it seems like Hollywood is running out of ideas. Every pilot season is an exercise in deja vu, new shows mining everything from beloved action franchises from the '80's and '90's to game shows from the '60's. On the surface, it sounds like a fine idea--if a show was great in decades past, how much better could it be with today's technology and budgets?! We all remember the success of the fantastic Battlestar Gallactica reboot, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want a new Sliders.
But the thing is, rebooting all these old franchises means that all the great ideas of today have a harder time getting to the screen. Production companies and networks want to bet safe on stories that already have built-in fans, and they're giving up the opportunity to let new tales shine. Not only that, but they often badly overestimate the public's nostalgia for and acceptance of changes to beloved stories.
Take, for example, tomorrow's new MacGyver reboot. Sure, maybe some of us did miss the show and did wish there were more episodes. But no one thought Richard Dean Anderson needed a makeover into a long-haired twenty-something with a sidekick who carries a huge gun (hating guns was like, THE defining characteristic of the original MacGyver). RDA's not even that old! And those of us who've only seen the original MacGyver because of Richard Dean Anderson's work on Stargate SG-1 REALLY don't have any ties to the new version.
Rush Hour, The Odd Couple, The $100,000 Pyramid, Damien, The Exorcist, Frequency, Fuller House, Lethal Weapon, Lost in Space, Prison Break, X-Files. It's time to give it a rest, Hollywood. Let great old movies and shows stand on their own--they're not any less enjoyable now, though their colors might be dull and they haven't been formatted to fit my wide-screen. Genius doesn't fade. We still love the old MacGyver and the old Odd Couple and we certainly never need a "gritty remake" of Little Women. Give the great ideas of THIS century a chance--I I promise, you won't be disappointed.