How The Attack Of Reboots and Spin-Offs Is Hollywood’s “Fuck You” To Originality
The business of Hollywood is now overtaking the creative landscape as we accommodate the climate of reboots and spin-offs — that started off as nostalgically sweet — but has now combusted into a viral infection that is eating out the process of originality.
From blockbuster movies like Lethal Weapon and True Lies being reduced to sizes small enough to fit the small screen — to popular TV shows like Roseanne, Will & Grace and Murphy Brown — making the ultimate comeback — there’s a strong indication that the value of entertainment is shifting into a phase that isn’t at all inspired by the tradition of securing a vault of classics for the next generation.
The blueprint in these present times is dipped in the profit-making machine — which wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it didn’t mean the astute adherence to being attached to anything or anyone that is already pre-packaged for success.
There’s no doubt that without the nagging pull and power of social media and the demanding users who’ve now become the only critics that matter —we wouldn’t be overwhelmed with the symptoms of what happens when venturing into unfamiliar territory suddenly becomes the surefire way to court inevitable failure.
We can’t have too much of a good thing — which means investing and expanding to ensure that the good times never end. The goal is the convergence of star power — and all the elements wrapped in pre-requisites that establish durability without the risk of diminishing worth.
The TV shows that are currently being prepped for their immaculate re-emergence are supposed to utilize the past — in order to make the present appetizing. The spin-off from the Fast franchise — is being primed to illustrate the flexibility of a global phenom that started off as a beloved car movie — and is now being surgically disfigured.
And let’s not even attempt to downplay the embarrassingly epic disaster that will forever haunt the ill-fated Baywatch movie. There’s also the transparently vile assault on the Star Wars brand that is quite frankly excruciating for diehard fans like me to tolerate.
As adorable as it is to reunite with the characters that wooed us with their unrelenting charisma — is this revamped trip down memory lane really worth it — at the expense of fresh blood that is now coagulating from tragic neglect?
What about the tradition of scoping out original thought from unestablished writers who are bursting with ideas — that need to come to fruition with a little help from those who are tasked with scouting gems that end up lasting a lifetime?
Relying on the security of transcripts that have already served time can’t be the dominant method of expression. Especially when the unique temperature of pop culture — with the collision of politics — has proven that there are many ways to interpret what we are enduring — in ways that surpass the panel discussions on cable networks like CNN.
Actually — here’s an idea: How about a dramedy that explores the headiness of news rooms that are competing to dominate the news cycle — against the backdrop of an explosive political and cultural arena that is basically galvanizing the dignity of a once dignified sport.
The wretchedness of watching journalists succumbing to the very thing they swore to avoid at all costs would be a relatable trauma.
My idea definitely needs a script doctor — but with enough work and intense scrubbing — it could shape up to be something intriguing. But — even if I’m giving myself way too much credit — just take the time to consider how many far more exceptional treatments are clogging up the queue — waiting to be dusted off for their slot in the spotlight.
The reason Hollywood is even able to overdose on the menu from decades past is due to the thought process of thinkers who conceived the roster of classics that are now clustering screens — big and small.
They were allowed the freedom to experiment with a show about a racist and cantankerous White man named Archie Bunker whose attributes are complex enough not to dismiss him — and another offering — about a Black wealthy couple — The Jeffersons — who hilariously navigate the privilege that actually doesn’t exist for obvious reasons.
The art of entertainment should be progressive — and that requires a heavy dose of risk taking. We seem to be moving backwards and while the sheen of resurrecting what needs to be allowed to rest in peace gives the falsehood of supremely paying homage to past eras — there’s also the danger of infectious stagnancy — that won’t bode well for the future.
The tools of advancement are erected in the playground that is boasting weeds — instead of flourishing with renewals that spring forth with the discoveries that deserve to be uncovered— with the authority of what it means to abide by the rules of creation.
We just can’t afford to continue fucking that up.