HOLLYWOOD—As many TV fans prepare for absolute nostalgia with the return of the FOX classic, “90210” re-coined “BH90210” it got me thinking about the state of reboots in Hollywood. I mean it seemed to start with “Fuller House” and since we’ve had a ton of TV classics return including “Murphy Brown,” “Charmed,” “Will & Grace,” the list goes on and on. However, not all have struck lightning with fans.
Some have been hits, but many others have seen their hopes dashed as they were cancelled. The thing about a reboot is we want nostalgia, but we want something fresh at the same time. Like with “BH90210” it’s the actors and actresses playing heightened versions of themselves and the characters they made iconic on the series. Rather lightning strikes with the series will be determined by ratings, but I will admit I was intrigued and it was NICE to see something that didn’t feel like something I’ve watched before. I mean the self-referential digs the actors and actresses took at themselves were highly entertaining to say the least.
It feels like Hollywood has no fresh ideas, for the TV world reboots are the major craze, whereas with the cinematic universe this has always been the case, more than ever in the early 2000s where there was a remake of almost every horror film that came out in the late 70s or 80s. Now, it seems the remake is ever-present with animated features, but with a twist: a live-action version.
I love a good remake, but I have to be honest and not sugarcoat things: I cannot think of one single remake/reboot that I have seen that was better than the original. I’m being 200 percent honest. If you were to ask me 10 years ago, I would make arguments that certain movies were close to the original, but now that I reflect they don’t come close to the original. There is a reason you should never touch a classic, because the chance to outdo the original are slim to none.
In Hollywood, most are concerned with a heightened version of the original, which is a complete bore to me. I don’t want to see the same movie in an elevated time period. Yes, seeing advanced technology and new faces in iconic roles is fun, but is predictable. It does not bring anything fresh to the table or enamor the viewer with a storyline that leaves them in a frenzy (in a good way).
I feel like this is Hollywood’s new go to method, and to be honest I don’t think it has ever changed. We’ve had remakes of classics since the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and I’m certain it will continue to transpire as movies are made in years to come. To all the Hollywood filmmakers out there, if you are going to compose a remake here are some tips: 1) take a small nugget from the original and utilize that as a draw to the audience 2) craft a story that is in NO WAY directly linked to the original 3) do not attempt to deliver nostalgia to the audience 4) deliver something we haven’t seen before.
I know those things seem easy, but in Hollywood it seems those rules that I have put out there have been ignored time and time again. Why? Everyone wants to recreate a classic scene or moment from the classic. What’s the problem? It never lives up to the expectations or in most situations it falls so flat that it is not even funny. I mean look at the 2007 version of Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” where Michael Myers dons that sheet appearing like a ghost.
It lacked suspense and the sheer dread that the original sustained. Why? The character had no idea she was about to meet her fate, whereas with the remake there wasn’t enough punch to heightened the tension for the audience if you ask me. You might be thinking I’m being the punching bag for horror remakes, but it applies to all genres, and to all you have to do is look at the 2001 remake of “Planet of the Apes” starring Mark Wahlberg.
I mean that movie was terrible and did not come close to blowing the socks off the audience with the reveal that the planet our hero was on the entire time was actually Earth. It’s difficult to implement a twist like that, when the audience already knows what the twist is. So this is my plea to Hollywood, if you’re going to reboot a classic bring something unknown, unfamiliar to the audience to make us want more of it. Nostalgia only works to a certain degree, and after it wears off then what?