What Makes A Good Remake (Or Adaptation)?

In this age of remakes and reboots, it’s kind of interesting to see which ones fail and succeed and why. If they all failed, then I’d think Hollywood would let up on them, but we’re several years into this trend, and it shows no signs of stopping, so something must be going right.

I used to think it was just that a lot of these reboots and remakes invoked a sense of nostalgia in viewers, and while I think that’s still true, I’m now also seeing all these remakes and reboots and adaptations as a chance to improve on the content. At least I hope that’s what these creators are trying to do. I think it’s the key.

DJ Khalid saying "major key"

Take Legally Blonde, for example. Yes, the movie was amazing and iconic and unmatched, but the musical is really great too, and I think it’s for two reasons. One, amazing music, a key element of any musical. Two, they built up Emmett’s character so he had more of a role and therefore the relationship between him and Elle was “so much better” (hehe). They made the material stronger by going out of their way to improve on the characters. In the same way that just making a remake live-action doesn’t immediately make it better (eg. Cinderella in 2015) simply adding music isn’t always enough. Take the Elf musical. That was another amazing and iconic movie but nothing was changed in the musical, so I found it kind of boring. Sure some adaptations can thrive with little to no changes (the Waitress musical, for example) but personally, I find myself really looking for improvements when I consume remakes/reboots.

Right now, the remake of Jumanji is in theaters and making a killing at the BO. What was changed in this version? New characters are sucked into a video game rather than a board game. I personally haven’t seen this new version, but I like this idea as it’s more modern and understandable, and clearly this concept and the production value seems to be good enough. Another example of a significant and overall accepted improvement is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Taking Elizabeth Bennet’s story and opinions and presenting them through the personal vlog format is genius and modern. Pemberley Digital, for all their flaws, was on to something wonderful. Spider-Man: Homecoming and Fargo are other examples of remakes that succeeded because they took what was great about the original and improved upon them. They aren’t just straight  regurgitations of old stuff.

But then there’s the new Heathers TV show coming this spring, and it seems doomed. The Heathers movie isn’t a favourite of mine, nor is the musical (though the musical did have some dope songs and a slight added level of humour!), but as the internet is pointing out, putting minority characters in things doesn’t always improve it, especially not when it goes against the point of the story. There’ll apparently be a minority spin on the upcoming Party Of Five remake too, so we’ll have to see if that’ll fare better. At least that one makes sense. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that the improvements and changes have to make sense and work with the material. Is something is better than nothing? Not always. Usually, but not always.

The Heathers casts from 2018 and the original movie

As more and more remakes and reboots and adaptations are announced (daily, it seems), I just hope that society eventually stops just accepting whatever is thrown at us. There’s an American Idol reboot coming to ABC this spring and I’m really hoping it’ll bring something new to the table that the Fox version did not. I’m hoping that the upcoming Mary Poppins movie surprises us. I’m hoping that if Hollywood is insisting on giving us all these reboots and remakes and adaptations that they’re done well and they use the chance to really entertain us.

What are your thoughts on the subject? What’s one remake/adaptation that you enjoyed or hated?


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Monthly Look Ahead: February 2018

February! Do you guys have to pronounce it in your head like ‘feb-ru-ary’ when writing it down? Because I do. Same with wed-nes-day, which today coincidentally is!

In terms of school, this month seems kind of mild, so I’m looking forward to that, the calm before the mess of March. And in terms of fun stuff, there’s a lot going on this month, so let’s break it down:

monthly look ahead logo

  • The Quidditch team is having a trivia night and a movie night.
  • My last reading week. I can’t wait to go home (where my parents can harass me in person about applying to jobs) and see friends.
  • Black Panther is coming out on the 16th. It looks cool so far, and I like that we’ve already met T’Challa.
    black panther poster
  • Legends Of Tomorrow is finally coming back for the second half of season 3 on the 16th. While I’m a little sad it’ll be taking Supergirl‘s timeslot, I adore the show and just want it back.
  • Season 3 of UnREAL finally begins on the 26th. It was delayed from the summer, and while I’m not super excited for it in general, I can appreciate the dramatics of the show.
  • The Olympics are this month, and though I’m not too into sports, I like watching curling and figure skating and also telling people from other countries that Canada is the best (related: this post of 150 reasons why I love Canada).
  • Tim Hortons’ Roll Up The Rim starts this month. It’s still pretty cold here, so I can justify the increase in my hot chocolate intake.

So that’s what my February looks like. Y’all got Valentines? If I can find enough good Tumblr Valentines, I may continue my tradition of sending them to friends, but people aren’t making them as much anymore. Anyway, feel free to make your own MLA post and tell me what you’re excited for this month!


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Happy Birthday, Ellen DeGeneres

Today, January 26th, is Ellen DeGeneres’ 60th birthday, and I thought I’d dedicate a post to her, even if she’ll never read it, because she deserves it and I adore her. Happy Birthday!

ellen birthday image

I watched a lot of The Ellen Show in high school. I’d come home, grab a snack, and destress from school with her. If I had the time, I’d still watch the show regularly, but once in a while I’ll tune in, especially when I go home to my parents’ and usually have ample time to watch TV. I wish I had more hours in the day so I can consume all the content she’s a part of (including her spin-off shows like Game Of Games). I do miss having her as a part of my daily life.

Her talk show is always so fun and funny and enjoyable (related: this post on feel-good TV shows). Ellen is always so nice to everyone and always so happy to be there. Watching her show is always a good time because it’s so positive. I need more of that kind of positivity in my life. She should also write another book. Seriously…I’m Kidding is one of my favourites.

Ellen saying "haters are my motivators"

Furthermore, Ellen herself just seems so genuine and kind. There are so many celebrities and or talk show hosts I love who have, at one point or another, rubbed me the wrong way or came off a little weird, but Ellen never has. It’s refreshing and appreciated, and that’s why people love her so much. Even when she’s talking about something serious or sad, she does so with the utmost respect and kindness.

She’s also changed so many lives. Through her partners on her show, she’s given away millions of dollars and helped so many, and that’s so amazing. She’s also obviously a huge advocate for LGBTQ rights, and when she is speaking up about a cause or movement, it’s never preachy or aggressive. She uses her power and influence so well.

As a TV lover and a fan of quality entertainment, I am very grateful for all Ellen has done. I may not have time to watch it all but I do appreciate how consistently fun and feel-good it all is, from her show or books down to her tweets. I think she also has a Netflix standup special coming eventually, and I can’t wait for that. I just know it’s going to be great.

I hope Ellen is having a great birthday, and I hope everyone reading this takes a second to appreciate and send good vibes into the universe that’ll help keep her around for many more years and Emmy awards to come. The world will always need Ellen.

Ellen and Kate McKinnon dancing
Two Ellens are better than one

I’ll end this post as Ellen ends her talk show: Be kind to one another.

P.S. I’m pretty sure my constant use of the word “y’all” came from watching Ellen.

P.P.S. I don’t remember how we got to talking about this, but several months ago I told half the Quidditch team that if Ellen Degeneres wanted to murder me, I’d let her. I stand by this.

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Books Are A Weird Medium

Books are great. People love books. I love books. It’s not uncommon to see someone’s Twitter bio say something along the lines of “lover of TV, books, and movies.” Books are seen as an equal medium to TV and movies. They’re just a different way to present a story and entertain the consumer, and that’s good and fine! But I’ve been thinking lately that books are a weird medium in several ways.

Snoopy reading

For one, where is their big award show? We have a billion music award shows and a bunch of TV and/or movie ones. We have theater awards and even Youtube/online media awards. So where are the big book award shows where authors and editors and publishers dress up and receive awards? Goodreads holding awards that users can vote for is nice, but there’s no big fancy award ceremony, which is weird because as I just said, books are seen as an equal medium.

And since we’re on the topic of awards, how come it seems that every book ever produced is a #1 New York Times Best Seller? They can’t all be number one. I mean, like, congrats to all the authors as that’s still #goals, but the New York Times needs to chill.

Another reason why books are a weird medium is how solo it is. Very rarely are there multiple authors for one book, and if there are, it’s usually some research book. I found a Goodreads list of 28 books by two authors, but even Goodreads only lists one author for categorization. We have songwriting duos (Pasek and Paul) and duo movie directors (Russo brothers), so why not writing duos? Think of how cool worldbuilding and plots could be if you had another person to contribute ideas…are share the typing/editing.

Cher from 'Clueless' saying "the more the merrier"

My fourth reason why books are a weird medium is that they haven’t really changed at all. Books from 100 years ago are quite similar to books now, except maybe the way they were printed has changed (perfect bound vs whatever was used back then). Movies and TV, though a lot more recent than books, have changed and adapted a lot since they began in terms of presentation, content, audience, and more, but books haven’t. Of course, there’s that “if it ain’t broke” saying, and I believe that here, but it’s definitely interesting how there aren’t really any books (that I can think of) that really shake up the medium.

The last reason why books are a weird medium is that they’re not actually that wildly popular. My dad doesn’t read books, a lot of my friends don’t read books, even I don’t read as much as I used to. The book industry is still huge and won’t be dying soon, but it’s weird that there are some people who can avoid reading books and live a normal life. It’d be weird if someone was like “yeah, I haven’t seen a movie in three years,” but I think a lot of people can say they haven’t read a book in three years for sure.

What are your thoughts on books as a medium?

Some lady saying "I do love books"

Anyway, if you couldn’t tell, this was a 2am idea, and then I also wrote a lot of it at 2am…

That’s all for now!


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14 Tips For New Bloggers

I’ve been blogging for almost seven years so I know my way around a blog by now. No longer am I the naive teenager who didn’t know the difference between a post and a page. I taught myself so much and I am so proud to be where I am today in regards to blogging. So I thought I’d take a second and offer some tips to any new bloggers. I visit a lot of new blogs in the weekly Community Pools and in various Reader tags, so I know what advice I can pass on as I see things over and over.

So if you started the year with a brand new blog and are looking for advice, look no further! I am by no means a perfect blogger and I hope I’m not coming across as cocky or braggy, but I want to help everyone’s blog become the best they can be in little ways. I don’t know the Secret To A Wildly Successful Blog, but I do what features I like on peoples’ blog and what I find beneficial. Furthermore, some of these tips can perhaps be useful for people who aren’t new to the game. This is a post of sharing and helping. These are all tried and true, and if I can help even one person, then I’ll consider this post a success!

  1. If you haven’t actually started your blog, take a second to research platforms. I love WordPress, but some bloggers like Blogger or Wix. Find out what’s best for you. The same goes for hosts if you want to go self-hosted or own a domain (which is not mandatory, by the way)
  2. You can always change your URL. I’m sure we all go through moments of wanting to change and rebrand, but in the end, you have to decide what’s best for your image and what’s easy for people to remember.
  3. If you do ever change your URL or relocate or delete your blog, make sure the URL attached to your username is changed too. So often I’ll get a new follower and want to check out their blog in return only to find dead links.
  4. Personalize your blog! Even free plans offer so many customizations options, so there’s no reason to stick with the placeholder images and text. Add colours, fonts, categories, a tagline, and widgets!
    Image result for personality gif
  5. Visit your blog the way a reader would. Log out if you have to, and pull up the URL to see what readers see. This is important for judging usability, clashing colours, and sizes.
  6. Edit your About page and make it easy to access. The About page is a very important part of your blog because it’s where new people will come when they’re deciding to follow you. Introduce not only yourself but your blog as well!
  7. Make sure to use spellcheck! I know good grammar is a dying art on the internet, but most bloggers do their best to avoid typos and make their posts as legible as possible for readers. A few mistakes are fine as we all make them, but not properly using commas or something can be irritating and could turn readers away. I know I’m guilty of occasionally having typos, so shoutout to my mother, who texts me every time she finds them!
  8. Learn the platform. Take an hour or two and click every setting and every option just to learn where they are and what you can use. Having an understanding of the site and where everything is makes using it so much easier.
    Image result for learn gif
  9. Definitely add a profile picture/image but remember that it’s a really small box that will cut off a lot so choose carefully so to best show what you want.
  10. In terms of blog content, I highly suggest adding images throughout posts. Walls of text is not always fun to read, especially when it’s so easy to add some visual to break it up. Not every post needs images, but they do spruce up posts. One blog I read often, The Invisible Moth, always has pictures in her posts, but sometimes they’re not even related to the topic, they’re just pretty and help break up the paragraphs.
  11. If you want to get more readers (and let’s be honest, we all do!) you will have to work for it. Read other blogs. Interact with other bloggers. Go looking for them because they will likely not come to you.
  12. Make use of the SEO tools you have. Make sure you use tags and keywords. Write catchy titles.
  13. Have a plan for your blog, not just in terms of content, but in terms of quality and quantity. What do you want to portray with your blog and how will you do it? My suggestion for complete newbies is to plan ten posts before you start so you can avoid burnout too quickly. Is my blog exactly what I thought it’d be when I started? Not exactly, but the general frame is the same. I knew I wanted to be nicheless and I knew I didn’t want to post more than once or twice a week, and those have maintained.
  14. Don’t spam your link and don’t demand traction because you’re new. If you want people to check out your blog, give them a reason to, and that reason could be as simple as a nice, relevant, meaningful comment. And most of the time, you don’t even need to manually add your link because your username will do it for you (provided tip #3 is in effect).
    Image result for you can do it gif

Having your own little slice of the Internet is a wonderful thing, and I highly recommend blogging to all, though I know it’s not for everyone. But if you do have a passion for it and you are new to the game, I hope these 14 tips helped you. And for seasoned bloggers reading this, if you have tips of your own to share, leave them in the comments!

That’s all for now!


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