Every time I glance up, it seems another name-brand pop culture item from the past is making a come back.
This week alone brings news that The Greatest American Hero is getting its long in development reboot and that Bryan Fuller would like to revive the original British version of The Avengers. )Oh yeah and Star Trek is coming back in 2017, but I ranted about that the other day.)
With a revival of Heroes (which I still haven’t watched yet but have DVRed each episode. It’s hard to forget how disappointing those last three and a half seasons were) currently airing and The X-Files about to get a new season in January, it seems like reboots are all the rage these days. Hollywood is content to offer us familiar things and hope that our memory is cheating a bit and that we only remember what we liked about them and not why they went away in the first place.
I blame a lot of this reboot-itis on one of my favorite reboots of the past decade, Battlestar Galactica. The show was a critical hit and drew a large, passionate and faithful audience. It also set a high bar for reboots that few shows have been able to achieve. It also added fuel to the fire in Hollywood that audiences were hungry for more of the same.
To which I’d argue — yes, we like our comfort foods. But if you’re going to give us more comfort food, do it for the right reasons. I think The X-Files is being smart about this by offering us a limited run, six-episode season instead of coming back for a full 22-episode season. Hopefully those six episodes will be in the vein of what we got in the first five seasons of the show and not the last two, which I faithfully watched but didn’t always enjoy.
And while part of me is curious to see what we might get with a new version of The Greatest American Hero, I can’t help but think that it’s a premise that will quickly run its course. To my young mind, it seemed to be on forever, but according to my DVD collection, it only ran three seasons. It seemed like it was a lot longer….
I also think there are some things you can’t necessarily reboot. As a big fan of the Monkees, I recall that we’ve tried to capture the spirit of the Monkees again in the late 80s with The New Monkees. I don’t recall much about it, except it didn’t really go well. As for the original British Avengers, I’m not sure it will necessarily work today. Like Batman 66, it’s so much a product of its time that part of me isn’t sure it could or should be pulled off today. Heaven only knows they tried in that misguided big-screen version. The less said about that one the better.
As for the one reboot or revival that I hear about every single time this subject comes up, I want to address all the Browncoasts out there. Firefly — ain’t gonna happen. Look, I like Firefly a lot. It was lighting in a bottle for those 14 or so episodes we got. But the thing with Firefly is it never got a chance to have a bad run of episodes or to erode the fandom’s goodwill. We got a movie that wrapped some things up and it was very enjoyable. But given how busy the creators and cast are these days, a revival ain’t gonna happen. Sorry guys, it just isn’t. For one thing, Joss Whedon is busy overseeing the Marvel Cinematic universe (and doing a heck of a job at it!), leaving little wiggle room for his pet project space western. It’s sad, I know. Believe me, I know what it’s like to have your favorite toy put up on the shelf. But sometimes you have to look at the reality of things. So, please, for the sake of all our sanity, could you please stop begging for it to come back?