Rebooting and reinventing or how to dismantle your childhood heroes

Bild Rebooting a TV Show and turning it into something dark, brooding and deeply depressing seems to be the hip thing to do these past few years. Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t mind updates, remakes, reboots or whatever you want to call them. But I absolutely hate reinventing/reimagening. I really wished Hollywood and the movie industry would put its efforts into creating something original. Has Your generation nothing new to offer? Do you really ALL have to come back to the old and safe? There are so many good writers out there, with genuinly new ideas and entire universes to explore that it is unexplicale why they keep trying to fix things that don’t need fixing in the first place. And why always turn something postive into negativity, darkness and distrust? Worse of all by constantly retconning, the makers alienate the longterm fans who actually made the show a success back in the days and passed the love for it onto a next generation. The lack of respect to the original stories, the characters and their fans is ipso facto counterproductive. Because we’ll just stop watching, or going to the movies. No fans, equals to no commercial value of the movie/series and that, as we all know, results in the death of the show/movie/franchise. Get that Networks and Studios? Make the fans huff off, and You’ll lose the show!

One thing I really mind is when my childhood heroes are being turned into whining alcoholics as in Battlestar Galactica, or one man shows for overpaid wannabe James Bonds as in Mission Impossible. (Teamwork? What Team?) Yes, and then the paramount of reboots gone bad: Bionic Woman. A stiff and sulky faced, bartending brunette that even makes the 24/7 pouting Kristen Stewart look vivid. Oscar Goldman and ALL other characters are badies and no one trusts or smiles at anyone, ever. EVER! (Alias squared)

Oh lordy Lord and holy flying spaghetti monster! Should I go into it some more? NOPE my grey hair is growing back!

I’m sure, there are plenty of lovers of the whole deep and dark and brooding approach. But its ike the “I’m thinking, I’m thinking” scene with the thinker by Rodin in Night at the museum II. Looking broody doesn’t make you smart, dark shows don’t make it interesting by just being dark. It’s the writing, the originality, the difference that make us watch. And does he darkness has to be in EVERY reboot? We’ve had Alias! We’ve had Dark Angel! We’ve had the magnificent XENA! They were originally brilliantly written and conceived dark shows. But why turn Bionic Woman into a third class Nikita with an implant? (and yes, Jessica Alba had more sex appeal in her pinky toe than… You get my point) Why turn Hawaii Five-O into The Prisoner goes Lost with a sociopathic homicidal mother coming back from the dead? Why discard the planet of the Apes from all philosophical aspects, as in the brilliant final scene with the statue of liberty on the beach and Charlton Heston… oh I’m digressing again?

And Sabrina? AUDREY HEPBURN!!!!! Period! Need I say more?

And then finally why rip Batman from the last bit of poetic beauty and Burtonesque brilliance?

Its like that fashionable little sister/daughter thing so popular these days… She is annoying, clumsy and dad/mom/bro’ does not understand. Good we got it. It stopped being funny in Eureka after season two. At least they got it and had her evolve a wee bit.

Take Hawaii Five-O for example. Season one of the new one had three dimensional characters a good balance of procedural “who done it” and the core characters back stories. You know… the kind of… do less more… (I’m quoting, I’m quoting) Season three has none of that elegance anymore. The criminal cases are boring and predictable and have become secondary, the back stories are so overcomplicated they are starting to bite themselves in the bacon, or vanish into oblivion, because no one gets it anymore. Even Ariadne would go “darn you’ve lost me” here. And the “additional women” on the show are written by men and for men as one-dimensional sexual fantasies in a way only a man can imagine how a woman of the 21. Century should be (always available and willing to do anything he asks for, no matter what it may cost her… but that’s another story) to lure some Lara Croft fans off the computer towards this show. Even the original Charlies Angels was less oversexed. But Hawaii can take it, right?!

Today’s generation should have a chance to have “positive heroes” of some kind like we did. As a matter of fact looking at the world today, they even desperately need them! Why is Hollywood depriving them from hope in 3D? What is so wrong with some lighthearted fun? Or a good old-fashioned cop story? Why digitalize and over-CGI the crap out of all movies, as much as to turn them into a video game? Do You think drowning us in more and more CGI and rumination untill there’s no living aura left will make up for a bad script? I’m not asking for Inspector Colombo or the utterly brilliant Agatha Christie’s Poirot every week, but when You fell in love with a show back in your youth, why do you have to take it apart now? Why do you feel the urge to destroy it, by making it bad? My childhoods TV and movie heroes however trite, banal, cheesy, or naive they might have been, enriched my life. Roddenberry’s approach to a positive future made me a better person. Instead of always searching for all the bad in all the characters in all the shows and all the universes, he gave me hope and trust in a better tomorrow. A trust that not everyone is trying to cheat on, or lie at me.

You know what? I guess I am wrong, I do NOT like reboots/reinvention after all. So far only two have not disappointed me. Drew Barrymore‘s Charlies Angels I and II and JJ.’s Star Trek into Darkness. But the latter one only because I’m a Spokaholic, both of them. The story itself was meh! 

I fear for the moment they’ll reinvent Magnun p.I. as a PTSD suffering, hobo with no home and welfare rejected secondhand Hawaiishirts, stalking a poor writer and uncovering a huge maleficiant underground coverup operation called Zeus vs Apollo and Higgins is the female ninja hitman/woman trying to drag Magnum to the dark side, with her singing remotecontroled helicopter called TC and they always meet in Ricks cafe, and new Baker and Poncherello are shooting themselves out of every trouble, shooting first and asking questions later, always dead serious of course. NOOOOOO!

“My” CHiPs, btw. never ever ! Except for Bear once, drew their guns in the entire series, they flirted, served and protected, and flirted – a lot – did I mention the flirting? ahhhh, the good old times!

And frankly all this overpondering crap today has gotten just plain boring! What some call good drama, I call destructing a good time. I don’t want to go into darkness I want to go into the light! The undiscovered country ist bright! Right? I WANT MY JAMIE SOMMERS BACK!!!
Disclaimer: no picture belongs to me, I merely googled them. Mahalo!

Addendum, 30.05.2013:

I’ve since been asked why I prefered “my” Jamie to the new one. Is that a question, really?! Just look at that picture above! Not enough?

Ok, it’s simply because my Jamie (sorry about that “my” thing Lindsay Wagner, not that I expect You to read this, but just in case…) had the sparkling smile of a life loving survivor. That smile you only get once you stood at the abyss of despair, felt the physical, psychological and mental pain of being sick or seriously wounded and yet and maybe unexpectedly surmounted it all!

No matter how often she got knocked down by life, enemies or deadly fembots, she stood up, wiped her clothes clean and continued on her path, giving the world her inimitable beautiful radiant smile. Gracefully, classy and loyal to her family, friends and loved ones. She stood by them and found them standing by her in return. She didn’t hate the world for trying to protect her, she knew they did it because they loved her and subsequently proved to them she could take care of herself, not with hate, anger and negativity, but with a positive smile and a loving heart. My Jamie looked for love and found it, as much as the new one looked for distrust, hate, envy, grudge and guess what? She found it too. A generational problem? Maybe…

What I’ve learned from Lindsay Wagner’s Jamie? We will always find what we are looking for, and we will find it in the same places. It only depends on OUR OUTLOOK!


A dying kids last wish: to get postcards from his heroes; Cops, EMS, Firefighters! Can you help?

There is a 6 year old boy from Rustburg, Virginia  in the US, that is dying of terminal cancer and he might not live to see Christmas. His special request is to receive Christmas cards from police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel from around the world.

I would appreciate if you could take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and grant Nathan’s wish by sending him a card. Let’s show our love and support!

Some of you also asked about sending him shirts and other items. So a fan did some leg work, and came back with this information for us.

Heard back on sizes for shirts for Nathan = Size 8 / Small

Brothers and Sisters Sarah & Matthew 10/12 = Med

Tabby 5/6 = XS

Cards can be mailed to:

Nathan Norman
81 Dunivan Drive
Rustburg, Virginia 24588
Original Post by Medneck Central on Facebook
Thank You guys!!!

Living with ADHD and OCD. Or my restless brain syndrome, with an inbuilt brakechute

I was sent to the school shrink at the age of nine. Official reason: She’s just too much! (too helpful, too cheerful, too inattentive, too much antsy feety…)

After an afternoon of tests, the shrink summoned my mother and the teacher and told them: she is the smartest, happiest and sweetest girl I have seen in a long time and if you don’t take that as a gift from God, you’re the ones who need psychiatric help.

And to me she said: be whatever you want, dream of whatever you want, but know this, some people will always find you different, because they are jealous of you. Being able to see everything at once, thinking different thoughts at once, is your chance to become someone really special, but it might leave others envying you. You are very, very smart, you just think in a different time zone. There’s nothing bad about that. Accept that and take it as an opportunity. Because that is who you are and no medication will ever change that.

WOW, sucker punch! Not really what a nine-year old needs right?! All I wanted back then was to fit in. It’s only after a couple of days of thinking in my „spaceship“ (my cabin-bed, the safe heaven), that my Grandpapa took me aside and explained why he had always be so headstrong. And that we where two of a kind.

I realised that this was why my mom looked a me that way. “It” had skipped one generation, and she could not understand us. She also could never forgive us for taking away her fathers love from her and giving it to me. I was then raised by my Grandparents. And what a wonderful childhood that became. The extensive travelling, endless hiking tours, the reading, discussions going on for days, the love, acceptance and human warmth, made me whole and accepting the fact that, we might be getting the cards to play, but we choose the game and how we play it, made me take charge of my destiny.

Growing up in my family and its polyglotism did certainly not help me fit in and rest my mind a bit.

Grandpapa was French, and he only spoke and responded in French to me. His wife, my Grandmother Mimi, had German family and she only spoke and responded in German to me. My other grandmother was British/Canadian and her hubby, my paternal Nonno was Italian. (WWII and its strange ways) After his death Nana emigrated to the lucky country (OZ, to all nonaussies) with my two uncles, leaving my dad to move to Switzerland…. see me coming? Switzerland being the only country truly living its four nationalities heritage is why I never claimed any of my other possible nationalities and Passports. I learned “Swiss” at the age of 7. And some other languages quite easily afterwards. This might have been cool in the “broaden you mind” way. But not for someone with a restless mind anyway. Made me even stranger. Because no one would, now literally, understand me. OK, a 10-year-old correcting its french teacher on the Latin etymology of a word, is rather creepy I reckon.

As for us, we have never been on a family reunion, where we actually finished a sentence in the same language we started it in. Nor an idea. Leaves our guests and other outsiders alienated and/or gobsmacked.

Strangely ADHD with a squirt of OCD runs in all our family tree’s branches, and has been diagnosed in all of them except in the Italian one. Maybe because Italians always talk with their hands and tend to be a bit too loud overbearing fast and excessive in what they do. Its regarded normal there. My Aussie branch, besides the Swissies (yes that’s a word-mix of Swiss and Sissies) take it with most humour I think. Our motto is: “Pick me, and never get bored again. And You’ll always know how many spoons are left in the drawer”.

Not quite as serious as the Canadian part who wants a pill for every ill!

My OZ Friends and Family are the fastest think-lane-shifters. We start discussing the question whether NOT believing in God and still feeling spiritual is contradictory or not and end up categorising TV hunks by their amount of Tattoos in five-0 seconds. (Just trying to find out who might be reading this) Included in our chat is a short side trip over to the life changing question about Deep Purples best song ever. Needless to say, we often end up just spending “family-time” without spouses… before any of us get “the look”. And because we’ve “self medicated” by living high paced lives, using adrenaline like others Ritalin to help us focus, and “sporting” to excess, our joints and knees are all kind of week points. My Doctor diagnosed mine as the ones of a 70 years old farmer! Cheers mate.

But how can I explain to the rest of the world, (not that I expect the world to actually read ANY of this) what it feels like to be a fish talking to a bird, while I’m a cat? Get my drift?

I’m not the typical ADHD combined type (Inattention and Hyperactivity-Impulsiveness) mine was diagnosed as ADHD with occasional OCD. Or as I like to call it a “restless mind in a restless brain syndrome, with an inbuilt brakechute”

But is an occasional OCD an oxymoron or a contradiction in adiecto? On the other hand so is a perfectionistic impulsive… (if you get this, you’re one of us)

Anyway, its like I see something that really catches my attention. Like that great scene with Halle Berry in Catwoman, at the restaurant with the fish in the Aquarium, remember? It’s not just the usual constant surrounding sounds and images bombarding me. Its something worth concentrating on, obsessing about for a while. So my brain goes “Oh, look at that over there (insert any interchangeable item) that’s interesting, you want to do that. Now. Right now. Go for it. You know it. You need it. NOW!!!” And I’m “laser-pointing” all my energy in to this one exclusive thingy. That’s when I drift into this YABA (yes, another bloody acronym) mode. I feel the physical NEED to move. To act. Or to react. The world around seems to slow down. I’m in hyper drive, one thought become crystal clear. Everything else goes blur.

But then the brakechute opens “OYE! OYE! Hold the horses, what are you doing? Do you know what you’re about to do? What if you do it wrong, you’re probably not good enough to master this, you’re gonna screw it up. You’re gonna hurt someone… you better count to three first and breathe deep… one… two… oh, that’s better… much better… three.” And its like a reversed explosion of my energy. Like in those movies where you rewind the blast of the bomb. I “channel” myself back inside. “that felt so good, let’s do it again breathe and count to three. One… oh yes… calming… warming up… two… now a little sequenced finger game… and three… there it is, the cosy worn out coat, put it on… now you’re safe, it’s all ok. And they’re safe because you didn’t screw up” And I/my thoughts/brain/mind slow down, while the world fastens up again…

And occasionally I kind of snap out of it, realising I just said something to someone, or answered a question, without noticing. And I get that look again! The “I don’t get her, but she’s kind of funny” look. And luckily enough its usually the right answer too…

But it feels like one side of me is outside me, the other one inside.

Yet ironically enough, its exactly what helped me become a decent fire-fighter. Because I do not “laser-point” my attention to the hose. When I’m in there with the “boys” I sense what happens around me. Change of wind, water pressure, my boys focus, getting tired, a manometer or “firefly” going off etc. Then I go through procedures (yes I LOVE procedures) in my mind, analysing possible outcomes and react. Hitting some of them by surprise, even now after 24 years.

I just have to continue learning new things. Keep my mind busy and interested. Like making my major as Safety Engineer and HAZMAT specialist, besides the combat medic, which came in very handy, when they started firing people. I did 4 jobs at once.

Ok, I did end up getting sacked after my cancer treatment. But now I’m back as Care-team member and official expert on inquiries. So Carpe Diem and to my sackers I quote Götz von Berlichingen by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe!

What I’m trying to say is: It doesn’t always need medication, sometimes a grandparent backing you, a recruiting Officer looking beyond your sex and other differences is all it takes… And yes military training helped a wee bit too. The tidy beds, rules and rituals there are pure and unadulterated OCD (And that’s my concentration going walkabout again…)

So parents, please: LOVE YOUR KIDS BECAUSE OF THEIR ADHD/OCD and whatever name we’ll find for humanity’s diversity, and not just “even though”… got it???

There are some great books from Thom Hartmann, for those of you who want to read about it from someone smart. Those books changed my perception on this matter, seeing it as the chance it was and not an infirmity. And remembering my shrink as the visionary she was.

But the real reason why I’m coming out tonight is an Australian actor named Alex O’Loughlin, whom I admire deeply not just for being fit as a Mallee bull and one true spunk, but who inspires me to come straight with it. Because hey, if he can do it and still be amazing without folks giving him “the look”, so can I!

Whether his confessions are public relation induced furphy or genuine, I don’t know. But anything’s possible in Hollywood. Even that the truth is being told once in a while. And, I don’t know why, but that guy seems fair dinkum to me…

Oh my constant checking if you really get me? That’s it as well… Wanting to be understood, but doubting I ever will.

My Danny

Forgive my poor English. I never took lessons. Iw rite from my heart.

Sometimes I am thankful for things I hated at first… like for having had the chance to meet 2 men in my live I adored…

The first one (yep, here’s the odd biblical sense quote) stepped in my life at the american embassy in Berne, next to where we used to go swimming in summer as teens (called the KWD)… He was stationed in Europe. I was helping give swimming lessons to kids 3 evenings a week. And there was this very mysterious, quiet and handsome blond young man, lying on his belly… reading. (!) A brain wrapped in a body that took my breath away. Literally!

While his friends were flirting, joking with the “Barbie’s aka pretty ones” and swimming, showing off – he was reading. At least that’s what he wanted me to think (he admitted to me much later, he kept reading the same lines over and over, when he saw me from behind his glasses, what he liked about it, I never knew). It took him 3 weeks to address me with a short “good evening miss” How polite! I was little over 16 and very frustrated… “good evening miss” was definitively not what I wanted to hear from him. But I was used to be overlooked by men, since I always were more interested in fixing stuff, rollerscating, hiking and playing ice hockey, or reading the thicker the book the better, than boys and pretty dresses *shudders*. But I digress again. (Yes I do that a lot. If you want to know why, just read my post on my ADHD with a touvh of OCD) Anyway, that good evening miss, is all I got for the next 2 weeks. It was Joe, his older friend, a funny redhead covered in freckles, who actually asked me out in his name. Thanks Freckles. All I could think was: 5 weeks for a coffee, he better be worth it!

And he was!

I used to call him Danny because he resembled an actor from his favorite TV show Tour of Duty, Tony Becker’s Danny Percell. I also very much “find” him in Larry Wilcox’s Jon Baker (even though Jon is kept from spiralling down and eventually hitting the wall by eternal goofball Ponch, IMHO) or even a bit in Mark Valley’s Chance from Human Target, who took another apporach for dealing with “it”. All the same kind of men, blond, not to tall, striking pale blue eyes, with this remarkable and at first maybe a wee bit naive but ultimatly happy idealistical sparkle, of a boy going out into the world to serve his country and fight for freedom and prosperity, simply doing the right thing – what was expected of him. I don’t think anyone ever asked these boys if it was really what they wanted to do with their lives, it was what was expected of them: to man up! Chin up, and keep marching! And they did. But that’s just my opinion. I so thouroughly admire their integrity and sence of duty and responsibility. These beautiful young men, headstrong and quick to take offence, independent, stubborn, bossy, but as cute as a button. And actually shy to the bone, getting red ears if you looked at them for too long, or got too close. These men, after their tour, you feel this touch of a broken soul in them, a hint of too many things seen that sometimes shines through those marvellous smiles. A sadness, quickly coverd up. As if they knew, and had seen too much, too much to tell anyone… some of it I later learned myself being a smokediving firefighter and EMT myself for 25 years at the Swiss Federal Railway battalion, always being the first to be called in after suicides, and “accidents”, and then having to tell the families why a closed coffin was preferable, and not quite telling them the truth of why we needed DNA samples of their lost family members, some I’ll never know. But it was what he didn’t tell me, that told me all I needed to know, when is eyes looked right through me, into the void. A glare. When he just lay there, breathing differently (no sexual innuendo intended for once).

I showed Danny my Switzerland, the lakes, the mountains, the rivers on his days/weeks off… we spend days just walking and talking and more. My first overnight hiking, trough the Wallis and Engadin were with him. And yes, the first naughty too. He taught me too surf and dive with scuba-gear. I taught him how to snowboard like a real Swissboy and how to properly eat a Cheese Fondue.

Anyway, when he talked about his home in Watertown NY, that island state park (don’t remember the name) he went camping with his dad, I was there with him.

I loved to watch him, and those sparkles in his eyes, while he talked about his family, his friends in High School, his pranks… The little dimples that formed on his cheeks when he smiled…
I used to read in German to him, so he would learn how certain things were pronounced… He then would read his two favorite books to me in English. Zen & the art of motorcycle maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig, and on the road by Jack Kerouac. Still my favorite books. He wanted to show me so much, of his country, his life…

To cheesy? Well… stop reading then.. And BTW.. I am Swiss, that’s what we are, cheesy people.

Later, I even discovered that he had asked my dad to be allowed to ask me to marry him… My dad didn’t like american’s, he was a little boy in WWII in Italy and saw things he never shared with us, which must have been “unpleasant”. But he was impressed by this guys guts and determination, and agreed.

Danny died before that. On a sunny, warm Sunday in may, the 15. it was the warmest day measured until then (Funny the things we remember) We were on Holiday with two of his friends. It was a diving accident. He drowned. Or maybe he had stopped breathing before the air went out. I don’t know. And I don’t want to know… The cave collapsed and all I remember is that pink cloud out of his mask and his thumb sign to me and Freckles. UP! Freckles turned me around and we started the emergency resurfacing procedure. He held my arms so hard I bruised. No one ever looked at me that way before and ever again. He held my buoyancy-compensator with such a firm grip, that I gave in. I just gave in…

I’l never forget Danny’s eyes… they could change from that ice clear pale grayish-blue of a frozen lake in the alps, looking calm and peacefull at the surface, but so imfinite, I knew I could lose myself in them, if I dove in to deep – to the bright blue skye on a crispy cold and cloudless winter day… On February 23. 2011 he would have been 60 years old… (which is why I wrote this) When I think hard, I can still remember how his kisses felt and his skin tasted.

Today I am thankful for the love I was allowed to share, and for the strength I found, where I didn’t expect it. And for my friends who kept me going after that…

And I am thankful for that one night, 19 years ago, I took a cab, after a hard night-shift at work… I never took a cab from this company before… That night I looked into the most peaceful and loving grey eyes I had ever seen, and I knew I was finally home… We got married on February 25. 1994.

And you know what? He still looks at me with the same amazement and love in his eyes…

So if I got to go today, I’ll go overwhelmed to have had that luck, not once but twice!

Yes, I can say I am happy now!

A hui hou kakou Danny…