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!


About the 666 Park Avenue sacking and why even bother?

Ok, after yesterday’s bad news for all 666 Park Avenue fans. I ask you why do they even bother making new shows? And why do we bother falling in love with them?

It takes such a huge amount of time, effort and passion to come up with something new, getting it all together and making it happen. The right guys working together, getting to know each other, develop the storyline, the chemistry, all the writers, composers, producers, camera people, lighting, sets, actors, decors, logistics and so many others building a team. And just one lousy figure interpreter without foresight to take it all down!

My point? Look at Star Trek TNG. The first season was new. Duh! Bear with me please…

We all had to get used to not having Captain Kirk “JoeCockering” himself through cardboard decors. But hey, the baldly go where no man has gone before right? Then we did get used to it and it got a second season. But alas, the season 2 curse struck. They changed the winning team. (DONT EVER DO THAT!)

Pulasky? As useful as a screen-door on a submarine! But ok, the rest became more and more interesting, not least because they treated the classic show with respect. No Retcon!

And then came season 3. Unexpected to some, because the ratings hadn’t been that sky-high. But someone with a vision (!) and not just dollar signs in his eyes saw the potential and kept it going even after season 2. And it paid out! The longer it went on, the better it got. You could actually feel the actors having fun, enjoying themselves, the characters evolved, the writing got more and more complex, they started experimenting breaking new grounds, discovering the undiscovered land. Over 7 seasons it became what it is today; a classic hit! And we Trekkies still spend thousands of Dollars each year on that franchise and its conventions. Why? Because it respected us! And we respected it back! Got it Networks? Treat the fans with respect and you will be respected and loved back. And love in this business translates ino: viewers aka ratings aka cash aka show stays on the air! Ergo: piss of the fans and you’re killing your show. But that’s another story.

Now why does a remarkable show like 666 Park Avenue get sacked today? Because no one taking decisions in Hollywood or NBC, ABC, FOX, and any other three-letter word, has any vision any more. It’s all about prequels (WE DO NOT WANT AND LIKE PREQUELS. GOT IT??!!), warming up old soups, “retconning” and making cash today or never out of bronzed morons with the IQ of a Pavlova (Nigella fans know what that is).

And because WE the public are sick of constantly being bombarded with new stuff, that wont even last an entire decent 25 episodes long season. Why bother looking into it and getting into the mood, with the hassle of the commercial breaks that last longer than the episode itself? So many of us are recording (!) shows to watch them later. Hassle free. Yes networks, people record and watch later too, and thanks to all of you constantly airing all the really good shows at the same time, we now can watch them when we want and where we want. Because we have evolved! Have you evolved along with us, dear networks and studios? NOPE! Or we buy the show via iTunes, cheaper and better quality than many antennas. And all that does not show up in your weekly over hyped but antiquated ratings! Looking beyond those “figures” has obviously become impossible, to the office sitters and their surroundings. Patience? Alien concept!

Network and studio execs show such a flagrant lack of common sense and disrespect, usually only associated with my favourite mythical creature: the honest politician, towards all the “creatives” and the fans that I am no longer willing to fall in love with a show, until a season two is definitively on its way! I know it’s not 42 either. (42 being the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything else of course)

Sad proof? Human Target almost got axed after Season 1. But we fought like devils for this show and got a second season, unfortunately someone decided to change it all. For the worse. And so even the most fervent fans were alienated to the point of giving up on it for good. That is what I call the season 2 curse. Change something by all means without giving it time to settle. This hits almost all shows IMHO.

There is one exception: Even tho my favourite at the moment Hawaii Five-0 was also struck by that season 2 curse. But at least it had a season 2.

I watched the pilot S01E01 because of the actors, yes all four of them! But then I stopped watching, because I knew this would be too painful once it got sacked, it was just too good to be true. My favourite childhood series rebooted. It had to be bad. With some of my current favourite actors, filmed on location in the only other place on earth I could actually imagine moving to in real life, besides my beloved Switzerland. I was almost certain it would turn out like CSI NY. That is as a Universal Back-lot tour with occasional helicopter shots of Manhattan filmed in different film-material than the rest of the show. Trying to revive the flow and groove that shows like Magnum P.I. a MacGuyver, Stingray and the Professionals gave me? It just HAD to get sacked I thought. They don’t do quality stuff like that any more. Well, apparently Peter Lenkov does! And I was wrong! I will never underestimate that man again! I still waited until this summer to catch up. I mean Season 3 with a real chance for a season 4? Really?! BTW, it does keep getting better and better, S03E05 having been epic. This show is here to stay! (here being my heart) And so I let myself go. I allowed myself to fall in love with this show! I love it with a passion. (Yo CBS, don’t ruin it for me, you hear me?)

So of course I started following what Terry O’Quinn was up to, after all he had never disappointed me in any of his work. I had to watch 666, right? Little did I know… 666 axed.

I mean common, just look at the splendid overall ensemble, the ideas, the execution, the wit! All down the drain… So I’m really asking you why do we even bother???