2010s: Reboots, Remakes, and and Spinoffs

When I think of our decade, especially the past few years, it is difficult to overlook how many of my beloved, childhood sitcoms have been remade, rebooted, or turned into a spin off. It is interesting to think about how many sitcoms, and the decades we have discussed in class, have come full circle to our current time period. 80s – 90s shows like Boy Meets World or Full House have become Girl Meets World and Fuller House. Sex and the City lead to a prequel The Carrie Diaries on the CW. Gilmore Girls just premiered last week, but I was never a fan of the original series so I have yet to see how that compares to the original.  

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I am not a fan of the reboot/remake of classic, praised sitcoms. Just like movies, the first one is usually the best. There is something strange about watching the actors, after all these years, play their characters again and act like nothing really changed. Although I could not handle my excitement watching reruns of Full House as a kid, I could not get myself to watch Fuller House. It inevitably changes how you feel about the original series, and why taint the happy memories the original episodes induced? It will never be the same as the original, but a wave of reboots seems to be an attempt to pull in more viewership and transition into popular streaming landscape.

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Although traditional TV usage has been falling at around 4% among viewers 18 – 34 years old Nielsen figures showed that between September and January in 2015, TV usage dropped 10.6%. Check out the study here. In favor of streaming services it seems as if traditional television viewing is just not the same as it used to be in terms of viewership.

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Prepare for this–Prison Break, Star Trek, Twin Peaks, The X-Files, are in the works for a reboot in the near future. Do you think these reboots will be a success? As you get older and more nostalgic, will you turn to shows that you watched as a kid? Or would you rather them be left alone, secured and unaffected by our memories watching as a child?

– Ziba Klein

 

 

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5 Responses to 2010s: Reboots, Remakes, and and Spinoffs

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I agree, I haven’t been a fan of the remakes of many of the sitcoms you mentioned in the first paragraph. Fuller House and Girl Meets World just didn’t have the same magic for me as the original shows did. I think this is because both of these shows were targeted to a younger audience, instead of to the audience that watched the original ones. As a result, all of us view them now as childish and overdone. Gilmore Girls, however, thankfully did not make this mistake! They targeted their new remake to the same audience that watched the original series. I didn’t feel like the remake was childish, because the characters had grown up as I did and met me right back at my current age. This is a hard thing for sitcoms to pull off for sure, but I definitely think one of the most often mistakes is the targeting of the wrong audience.
    -Lacey Worsham

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with everything you said in this post. I never like sequels or remakes as much as the original and I think it sometimes devalues the original. It makes sense that so many shows try to reproduce the success of the original show, but it never adds up. I also cannot bring myself to watch some of the reproductions because I don’t want it to take away from how much I liked the original show.

    Arianna Gershon

  3. mediaphiles says:

    On the other hand, there have been a number of spinoffs, reboots, and remakes to come out recently that I think have been stellar. For example, Mad Max: Fury Road rebooted the series thirty years after Thunderdome, and it was hands-down the best film of the Mad Max Quadrilogy and, in my opinion, the best movie of the year. Better Call Saul, the prequel spin-off to one of the most lauded dramas of all time, Breaking Bad, enters its third season next year, and it’s an incredible show. The FX original series Fargo (also entering its third season next year) is something of a reboot of the 1996 masterpiece by the Coen Brothers, a feat no one thought could be done and everyone thought was a bad idea, but it is one of the best shows currently on TV. We have just entered an unprecedented era of Star Wars spinoffs and sequels, and as far as I’m concerned, The Force Awakens was a pretty good movie. All that to say, I don’t think it’s necessarily the fact that something is a reboot or a sequel or a spinoff that makes it bad, or that reboots, sequels, and spinoffs are inherently inferior to the originals and not worth making. I think a lot of the time they can be nostalgia-manipulating cash-grabs, but I also think that if the creative talent involved in bringing these properties back to life is really invested in the story being told and really passionate about what they’re doing, sometimes the second or third or fourth time around can be better than the first.

    –Kevin Pabst

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I’m mostly in agreement. I like the new Gilmore Girls. I think part of the problem with the reboots is that both the writers and the actors are not in it the way they were the first time around. By that, I mean, you get better at things when you dwell in them, spend time consistently doing it. I try to write every day, because it’s so much harder to write a paper in one sitting than something you do consistently. When a show is being produced in its first run, the writers and the actors live that show. They write and act every week. The reboots are not the same production environment, so the product is also not the same. But NOSTALGIA!

    Elyse

  5. mediaphiles says:

    Your statement of the first is usually the best doesn’t really sit right with me. I think that’s a matter of personal taste. Like Kevin said, there are many great spin offs. I was a huge fan of the most recent Star Wars and really looking forward to Rogue One. I think the Disney live-action remakes are pretty good. I love Fargo and Better Call Saul. I do think reboots can be easy cash-grabs. I like the Mad Max Fury Road largely because the original creator was involved, but that’s true for some television reboots. I think if there is a creative force to justify the spin offs/reboots, I’ll give it a shot. If it’s a cash grab, I’ll probably pass. – Max Dosser

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