Do we really need this many (or any) reboots?
No, that’s the answer. We do not need these reboots. Don’t get me wrong, I’m
not usually a cynic. There was a time when the words “live action remake” were
sure to give me an adrenaline rush. The idea of being able to relive a cherished
childhood experience, wrap myself in the warmest blanket of memories of a time
gone by, it’s enough to make anyone happy. But all my hopes came crashing
down the day I actually had to sit through one.
Reboots, in theory, are a good idea. Taking a time-old, dearly beloved piece
of work and repackaging it to fit current times, somehow managing to fuel it with
nostalgia while sailing uncharted waters, what could go wrong? A lot, apparently.
There is a common running theme here, which seems to be the biggest issue and
that is taking a show that was full of life and saturated colour palettes and turning
it dark and edgy. Riverdale is a dark and edgy take on the Archieverse, Fate: The
Winx Saga was Winx Club with a dark and edgy twist, the new Gossip Girl reboot
takes it’s itself way too seriously and if the trailer of Bel-Air is to be believed at
face value, you can expect a dark and edgy Fresh Prince reboot soon enough.
Yes, I understand that making the exact show twice would be a waste of
time and these are dark times we live in and contemporary art should reflect that.
But, bear with me, spending millions of dollars to create an unwatchable mess for
the sake of being “with the times” and “camp” is also a waste of time. Riverdale is
a colossal failure that will not continue the Archie legacy. Teenagers solving a
murder, good enough but why was 17 year old Archie fighting grizzly bears in
Canada and being wrongfully imprisoned, all while 17 year old Veronica was
running an illegal speakeasy and feuding with her mobster father. The leaked
script for the pilot of the Power Puff Girls live action remake caused such an
uproar online that they had to discard the whole thing and start from scratch. And
that was for the best because even for the sake of cultural relevancy, I don’t think
that Blossom should have a LinkedIn account (I can go on about that wretched
script but I can’t, in good conscience, put anyone else through that).
There are certain aspects of the original source material that are targeted in
their updated counterparts. Bloom (of Winx Club) had a good, healthy
relationship her parents, as did the Powerpuff Girls with their father but both of
these ended up on the cutting room floor for the remakes. “They” took one look
at the stable, loving dynamics and steered them right into the ground. Mental
health is being acknowledged on screen and it’s about time, but maybe
reincarnated kid’s shows should retain some elements of the escapist fantasy
lands they were originally conceptualized to be. Yes, sometimes I want to watch a
struggling protagonist to feel better about myself but sometimes, I also want a
put together champion placed on a pedestal that I can look up to, please don’t
ruin that for me (Did we learn nothing from Rory Gilmore?).
No one expects a reboot to measure up to the original but the least it should
do is be able to stand on its own two feet. Almost the remakes have been
slammed by the audiences, old and new alike. Maybe iCarly was a bit of an
exception but no one’s talking about it now. All that time and money and
potential wasted on these creative failures that survive just because Twitter loves
to mock or maybe as money laundering schemes (I’m looking at you Riverdale).
We’re already drowning in content. If Hollywood can’t come up with anything
new, it should stop for a while, leave well enough alone, we’ll just re-watch The
Naina Priyadarshi Mishra