A World of Bland Imagination

How well does a reboot really do?

Seriously, think about it for a second. Amongst the pantheon of reality shows, home makeovers and re-runs of Bargain Hunt, how many reboots, remakes and reskinnings of corpsified televisual entertainment can you name that have really been successful on TV these days?

Battlestar Galactica was a step in the right direction, having stories, characters and settings that referred to and took inspiration from the original before spiraling off into a separate magical fantasy world of suicide bombings and baby-snatching. By the end of its run it was almost indistinguishable from its predecessor, succeeding both as an artefact title of its progenitor and as a show in its own right.

How many others are there, though?

As with anything obviously it’s not a universal quality, but the number of absolutely balls-tastic remakes out there is staggering. Dross like Charlie’s Angels, Knight Rider and Kath and Kim (the US version with fitted tees and distinct lack of Melbournian accents) only serves to pollute the already-muddied waters of television, and it’s not helped when the majority of alternatives involve the Real Housewives of Redneckville or another Who Wants To Be An American Idiot Idol mashup.

This kinda bleeds back into a rant I did a few months ago on television, but why the hell are we even bothering anymore? Is the televisual gene pool so diluted that all we can do is recycle anything with the slightest brand recognition or ability to conjure nostalgic memories through contemporary reinterpretation? Is there nobody out there who can save us from this television ennui that threatens to engulf us in so many regurgitated visions that sooner or later TV will just look like a washed out football jersey?

Actually, there is someone – several someones, with names like Whedon. Nolan. Morrison. Fuller. Abrams. Sorkin. Davies. These won’t come as any surprise to the four or five people who read this blog, but it’s my firm belief that without more creative and innovative input from this A-Team of art we will one day be reduced to seeing Beauty and the Beast reinterpreted as a tween crime drama starring Lana from Smallville.

Oh, wait.

One thought on “A World of Bland Imagination

  1. I think television right now is second only to comics, in its equal capacity for original content, as it is for derivative shlock. The same channel that airs the new uninspired Charlie Sheen vehicle also airs one of the most original comedies in years, starring Louis Ck, just as how the same company that publishes formulaic crap like Thief of Thieves also puts out stuff like the Manhattan Projects and Prophet. It's just a matter of picking and choosing. More often than not, the unoriginal stuff is going to outnumber the better work, but that just makes finding these gems all the more special, at least, that's what I tell myself when I contemplate why I still read comics.

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