Reboots And Originality

Twin Peaks. The X Files. Ghostbusters. Full House…

It seems like everyday there’s some new reboot announced, and whether it’s true or just rumours, people get excited. Which is understandable, because who doesn’t want their old dead faves coming back again?

However, I’m at the point where I’m growing kind of frustrated with all these reboots. Is Hollywood lacking creativity? Are new ideas so hard to come by that instead we’ve decided to just accept recycling? If you Google this topic, you’ll find many blogs and articles asking the same questions….I’m not the only one who’s curious as to the fate of the entertainment industry, it seems.

Maybe I’m just lowkey bitter because all the reboots are things I never watched or had an interest in, so I’m unlikely to have an interest in the new stuff. Sorry, but I don’t have time to watch six seasons of Xena Warrior Princess so I can watch the reboot that may or may not be a thing.

But you may be saying to me, “Well, all your nerdy Marvel shows are technically reboots from the comics, and you still love them. And look at how many movies have been rebooted into Broadway musicals that you’re all over, you filthy hypocrite.”

Yeah, you’re completely right. I am a filthy hypocrite. Okay, well, actually I’m a moderately dirty hypocrite. Because here’s the thing: Reboots into different mediums can be cool. Movies into full musicals? COOL. Paper comics into hours worth of TV shows?  COOL. White male movie into progressive genderswapped movie? COOL. But TV shows into…more TV shows just a few years in the future? It’s just fan pandering, in a way. There’s probably a reason why the show/movie ended or flopped, and people have made peace with it (with the exception of maybe Firefly’s fans). There has got to be significant improvement or major differences and so far, not many of these reboots seem to have that. And if they do, they still sometimes fail. Jem And The Holograms, anyone?

I mean, there’s nothing really wrong with reboots, I guess. They get hype and people enjoy them, to some extent. After all, these are characters and stories that people fell in love with and they’re back! Though I personally never understood the appeal of Wet Hot American Summer, the 2015 Netflix show reboot got rave reviews. It just seems like everything is getting a reboot, to the point where fresh news of one is underwhelming. However, when I think of why there are so many, one quote comes to mind:

nos 1

nos 2  nos 3

This is really true. People are so desperate to feel nostalgia or go back to the ‘good old days’ that they’ll fully support whatever new reboot that comes about, even if it’s some show/movie that they really don’t miss all that much. As long as it’ll feel the same as the original, and be better at the same time. That’s a tall order, and as I just said, I can’t say that the order is always met, but that doesn’t seem to stop anyone.

Additionally, I must say, the rise of reboots is only furthering my suspicion that there seems to be a lack of creativity in the industry. Especially in TV, where the goal is to have a successful and interesting multi-season show that lives on in history. And yet, I’ll look at new shows and estimate their date of cancellation because I can’t fathom some shows living past a season or two.

Does that mean I don’t watch? No. I tuned into Blindspot last fall on NBC and enjoy watching it every week, but I’ve been vocal about my disbelief in the show’s continued success. Tattoo mysteries of the week can’t go on forever, especially when they already made some major progress in solving Jane Doe’s identity after three episodes. But Blindspot is a fairly original show. The promos were unlike any other. A naked, tattooed woman found in a bag in the middle of Times Square? It intrigued me, so between that and my love for Jamie Alexander, I’m giving the show a shot. It’s pretty good, already renewed for season two, and I’d recommend it, but I worry for its future.

But how many shows are essentially the same thing but with different characters? How many doctor and cop shows do we need in our lives? How many CSI and Law And Order shows can one possibly watch? I don’t watch any, with the exception of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as I don’t have an interest in most of them, but if you do, I’d love to hear your opinions on how they do or do not vary. I honestly am proud to say that most of the shows I watch and enjoy are pretty original. But maybe I’m biased.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy the shows/movies you love or frown upon every reboot announcement. After all, their purpose is entertainment, and there’s no dispute that they do just that. I’m excited for Grease Live! on Fox at the end of the month, even though there doesn’t seem to be many changes from the original movie.

So, in the spirit of positivity and trying to somewhat embrace the change, here is a homemade list of things that I personally would love to see get the reboot treatment:

  • FRIENDS (it’s been 11 years. It’s time.)
  • Hannah Montana (part of me is just kidding and part of me really wants to see crazy Miley as Hannah again)
  • Pokemon (as an official Bway musical)
  • Happy Days
  • Harry Potter (an HP TV show would be nice [Mauraders or the kids preferably])
  • Sabrina The Teenage Witch (a musical of this would be neat)
  • Calvin And Hobbes (into anything, really)
  • Eragon (give it another shot! PLEASE!)
  • Don’t Forget The Lyrics (this was a classic and I need it back.)

I do just think we need to consider how the industry is changing and perhaps stop being such loyal followers all the time. Where’s the line, and what is enough?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on that matter. Whether it’s on the reboot spam we’re being hit with these days or on the industry’s lack of originality or even if you have something you want rebooted, leave a comment! I want to discuss this with you all!


P.S. If for some reason you’ve read this exact post before on the internet, I actually wrote it for a blogging course I took last semester in university, so it’s all my own words, I’m just reposting it on my real blog!


34 thoughts on “Reboots And Originality

    • Haha I’m a sucker for musicals (though I’m not too fond of RHPS) so I can’t say I mind that too much, but the original was so classic and iconic, I don’t know how the reboot will be able to match it.

  1. Some of those shows and movies would actually be AMAZING rebooted. I mean, can you IMAGINE another Hannah Montana, with Miley still playing Miley. Omg it would be so strange!

  2. Oh my goodness gracious, amen to all of this!! Dear Boyfriend and I have this very conversation on the regular. My biggest question/concern is that, if nobody is producing original TV shows or movies that turn into multi-season classics, then what’s going to be remade for next generation’s adults? I think this is a very valid question for all genres really. Back in the 80s there were hit Saturday morning cartoons, all of which got redone eventually. And many children’s classics, from Dr Seuss books to Charlie Brown, have all very recently been redone in slightly more mature films. And it’s true for non-children’s works as well, like King Kong, Godzilla, Planet of the Apes, Jurassic Park, Alien, now Independence Day this summer, etc.

    As you ask, I have to wonder if it’s more a matter of Hollywood lacking enough creativity for new canons that will be so popular, or is it that the creativity is there, but producers are cherry-picking the reboots since the immediate cash-out is more likely?

    It’s certainly a fascinating, if scary, topic regarding the future of storytelling in various formats. Heck, I think the same applies to many video games too.

    Regarding what I would love to see get a reboot, I’ve gotta say I’m excited about the X-Files. That was my first fandom way back in the day, although the show debuted when I was way too young to watch it, so I didn’t join the fandom until towards the end. But if I had to pick something else to be redone, I’d say … hmm… Are You Being Served? It was a fabulous Britcom from I believe the late 70s or early 80s.

    • You bring up some good points. I haven’t given much thought to the far future’s entertainment possibilities, but you’re right to question it. Perhaps more recent big name franchises may be rebooted. Could we be watching a new version of the Harry Potter movies or the Lord Of The Rings movies in 30 years? Or perhaps a newly animated Monsters Inc? There aren’t many current huge franchises that are completely original, so who knows.
      I do think producers are cherry picking a lot, as reboots are clearly what the world wants now, so they might as well cash in while they can.
      I’ve never heard of Are You Being Served, but perhaps it’ll one day be a reboot if other Britcom movie reboot Absolutely Fabulous is a success!

  3. It’s so true. It’s like when they make about 50 million sequels of some talking animal movie instead of thinking of something different. I feel like creativity, in the movie industry at least, isn’t as good as it used to be.

    • Sequels are a whole other story, but they too revolve around the fact that they’ll make money. They don’t know when to stop. The ending to Toy Story 3 was so great but sometime in the next few years there’s supposed to be a fourth? No thanks!
      You’re right, it’s not as good as it used to be.

  4. The sad part is when they reboot things like harry potter,lord of the rings. No! Please never rebot these please it’s like rebooting music just dont. Yeah Hollywood we or I see you, you ran out of creativity. The pot is running a little dry huh. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion but please no just go back and watch the original show/ movies. I can’t .. I just can’t deal with this anymore.

  5. The problem is remakes and reboots make so much money. Edge of Tomorrow was one of the best films of 2014 and no one saw it. Also think there are a ton of original films, just not original blockbusters and summer films. So many really good original indie films come out each year but not enough people are talking about them.

    • Uh, Edge Of Tomorrow was an amazing film and I loved it!
      But I agree that there are original films that get overshadowed, but they get overshadowed because a) they’re lame or b) they’re not reboots. Indie films aren’t ever that popular because they’re usually more artistic and have a lower budget, and personally I don’t get into them.

    • I’m not a Star Wars fan, but I know what you mean. Star Wars fans of all ages were able to come together. Luckily, it was a hit and we’ll be seeing more of the franchise it in the future, but had it failed then perhaps things would be different. Perhaps plans for reboots would be scrapped.

  6. Good article! I agree that there’s too much rebooting already.

    Of course, recycling ideas is itself nothing new (Shakespeare based many of his plays on stories that were already famous), but it certainly feels like the regurgitating of ideas is at an all-time high.

    Part of the problem is knowing where to draw the line. For instance, I wouldn’t reboot “Friends” or “Harry Potter” because it’s way too recent for both. But everyone has different standards, so no one knows exactly when enough is enough.

    I’ve been meaning to write about the issue of originality for a while now myself, and I think you may have inspired me to do just that. Thanks! 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s not the fact that things are being recycled and renewed, it’s the fact that EVERYTHING seems to be this way.
      There is still Harry Potter-world stuff coming so I’m satisfied as I’m a huge Harry Potter fan but I do still kind of wish for a FRIENDS movie or mini-series.
      I’ll keep an eye out for your post on originality! Thanks for commenting!

      • I see. I think you mean you just want a “Friends” reunion. I thought you meant you wanted a full reboot with a new continuity. Yeah, it’s about time that we had some kind of reunion. 🙂

    • The original animated series was such a classic! Did you see the new Scooby Doo comic that’s in the works? The art style is…unique, but I doubt you’ll be interested if you’re already fed up with the TV show’s direction!
      Thanks for commenting!

  7. Definitely agree with the lack of originality, and the sense that most of the reboots really don’t do it for most people. Personally I’d be happy to see something I haven’t seen either in a long time or something I really think is good in a different medium. For example — bring back turning the newspaper comics (like Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, etc.) into TV shows. I don’t watch a lot of TV these days, largely because of cliche formulaic shows (any cop show and most sitcoms), and also most of the genres (reality – not!) don’t appeal to me. The only game show I watch is Jeopardy!, which I guess tells you something about my standards/interests. 🙂

    • Jeopardy is great, though I do find most of the questions too hard or too American.
      Perhaps there should be a limit on years between something’s original form and its reboot. Like copyright, 50 years or something? Maybe 30 is good?

      • In some ways, I think putting a time stamp on something would help… After all, when it’s been 15 or 20 years (think Star Trek – Next Gen, for example), most people will find it either refreshing, or not have seen the original.

        Jeopardy! questions are getting harder, and in some ways, very American. Since there are aspects of my own country’s culture I’m not into, some of the more recent stuff I totally bomb on.

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