Yo, Can We Admit Reviving Old Shows Is A Bust?
We've talked before about Hollywood's latest penchant for rebooting shows and movies that have ended over a decade ago, and the latest slate of upcoming shows proves that Hollywood isn't going to change this any time soon. There's a Dexter revival, a Sex And The City, a True Blood revival, an iCarly revival, and so on and so forth into what seems like infinity. But, while, at this point, everyone is aware that the TV industry is hitting respawn more often than my nine-year-old nephew playing Call Of Duty (sorry, but after what he shouted over comms, he had it coming), there hasn't been much discussion as to whether this has even been going well. I'd say, based on the recent sample of shows, it's been an absolute bust. Let's look at a few examples:
Will and Grace got canceled quietly after three seasons, which isn't terrible, but I'm willing to bet at least half of you didn't realize it had started back up yet. Fuller House lasted five seasons before getting axed, a remarkable feat, considering everyone stopped watching it after the 1st season.
The Rosanne revival did well for a season but was a PR nightmare after Rosanne's Barr's racist tweets, so ABC righted the ship by killing her off. This spawned The Conners, and while The Rosanne spinoff sans-Rosanne hasn't been doing too badly, its longevity always seems to be in question. Arrested Development's later seasons have been a disaster for what was once considered one of the greatest sitcoms of all time. Season 5 received 55% on Rotten Tomatoes and, although critic consensus shouldn't mean everything, that its 6th season has been canceled tells you all you need to know. Then there's stuff like Murphy Brown, Mad About You, 90210, The Muppets, and others that were blink-and-you-missed-it cancelations.
Whatever Hollywood is trying to do with these, it clearly isn't hitting the mark, yet they keep digging into old dirt like they're searching for fossil fuels. I would think that it's time to admit this was a mistake and take the L. Yes, not every show revival is dogshit. I happen to have loved the new Saved By The Bell, and despite having some friction at times, The Conners is still a ratings success (albeit not as much as the original Rosanne). But you'd think that if Hollywood were to abandon all illusion of artistic integrity by remaking everything under the sun, they'd at least be seeing a more positive return for it than just a couple of decently performing shows. It used to just seem lazy, but now, after thinking about it, Hollywood's strategy seems to be really dumb too.
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Top Image: Netflix