Why Television and Movie Reboots are Windows for Improvement


Fans were angered by the Charmed reboot, which stars Sarah Jeffery. (Facebook)

By Evan Meadows

This year has already demonstrated that it will be fully-stocked with new movies and television shows ready for viewers young and old alike. A multitude of the newly released films and television shows will be reboots of classics from the past, looking to pave a fresh path for their respective plots.

Many, however, take issue with the idea of having these shows and movies remade, however. Critics want to uphold the “canon” these reboots seek to change or improve upon. While these new movies are making an attempt at a fresh idea, opponents believe that it ends up hurting the original show by failing to do the classics justice. With these new releases coming soon, it is necessary to say that disapprovers of these types of movies and television shows should be more open-minded to the idea of a new approach to their television or cinema favorite.

Much of this controversy is the result of poorly-made reboots that, despite their interested audience or plot line, failed to capture the same essence that made their classics sensational hits. The greatest of these failures was the release of remakes such as the fourth installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, or the shortcomings of the once popular series “Prison Break.” Cases of poor acting and lacking plot points aside, their ultimate issue was a failure to stay true to what the original story stood for.

Indiana Jones tries to embrace a more science-fiction related idea rather than stay with its popular action and adventure. More so, the aging Jones is given an aura of immortality in his journey, rather than facing the same life or death consequences as before. The popularity that “Prison Break” had previously, was diminished by its unfortunately lackluster fifth season. The show’s biggest breaking point was the lazy writing that left plot holes in each episode. With all of these unanswered questions and failure to capture the same gritty feel as before, producers gave its last season a short nine-episode run. Most recently, the CW network set out to remake the popular ’90s series “Charmed” to offer it a new approach that would have a more feminist take on the show than the predecessor. This did not pan out well with fans, as many who saw the original series as a champion of feminism and believed that this remake would diminish the original show’s value.

The pattern with each of these movies and shows is that they chose to make these reboots for a purpose different than their originals, losing those fans who desired the nostalgia of their classics. However, this does not mean reboots cannot also improve where their originals were lacking. Many successful movies and television shows today and in the past have created masterpieces that are timeless even today.

“Casino Royale” (2006) offered a fresh new take on the classic image of James Bond with new leading actor, Daniel Craig. Martin Scorsese brought a Japanese film hit into American cinema with the release of “The Departed.” Al Pacino’s 1980s hit “Scarface” was a remake of the 1930s hit by the same name and remains popular with millennials today.

More recently, television masterfully reimagined some originals. The CW was able to reimagine the 1990 series “The Flash” successfully in its 2014 reboot, which continues to gain popularity alongside other successful modern-day comic book counterparts. Most notably, television and pop culture would not be what they are today without the American reboot of the British series “The Office.”

While there are those in film and television that have faced shortcomings in the ability to successfully create reboots, so long as they are mindful of not losing sight of the original’s themes, reboots can continue to have success in both films and television, offering fresh talent and takes on their respective classics. While these reboots may pay tribute to their originals, such as John Wesley Shipp reprising an older role on “The Flash,” or do their best to stay true to the origins of their respective works, such as 2018’s “Halloween,” that should not limit the scope of their plots or let them try to bring new ideas onto the screen.

One of the greatest things about reboots is that, we are not restricted to the same vanilla ideas as before, and we have something new to compare it to, bad or good.