2022 Comedy Reboots, Ranked by Terribleness
I’ve got an idea: Let’s remake 2022, but funnier this time! Our just concluded year was stuffed with comedy reboots and remakes, including the sitcom Reboot, which is not an actual reboot at all but a fictional remake of a fictional comedy. Got it? Back in a reality that’s trying to figure out comedy in a streaming world, producers spat out several comedy redos they decided we were clamoring to see. Actual laughs, unfortunately, were few and far between.
Along those lines, here are the most heinous comedy reboots of the year, starting with “meh” and counting down to “mind-numbingly terrible.”
Pixar and Disney expected to make major bank when they cast Chris “Captain America” Evans as a fledgling Buzz in the origin story Lightyear. Unfortunately, the box office take never got to infinity, much less beyond.
Lightyear trades wistful childhood friendships for lasers, killer robots and space cats. (We’re not saying this is a bad thing.) And though it was considered something of a box-office bomb, both critics and audiences liked it well enough. The animation, as always, was gorgeous. Laughs? Sure. Maybe the change in theme — from growing up in Toy Story to growing old and dying in Lightyear — didn’t create quite the same buzz (pun unavoidable).
Mystery Science Theater 3000
This long-running delight has a fervent fanbase, but for some reason, its countless reboots are all doomed to eventual extinction. From Comedy Central to the SYFY Channel to stepsister Cinematic Titanic to Netflix, MST3K has flourished and died. Now the franchise has created its own subscription-based home at something called the Gizmoplex. With renamed robots (Gypsy, perceived as an ethnic slur by some, became GPC) and a we’ll-produce-it-when-we’re-ready ethos, MST3K is back in business.
What makes this reboot less than amazing? It’s the per-episode $4.99 to rent/$14.99 to own price tag. Perfect (probably?) for MST3Kheads but the casually curious will likely opt for a month’s worth of Netflix content over a single download.
Inside Amy Schumer
Rotten Tomatoes has wowsers scores for the first few seasons of Inside Amy Schumer — the second and third iterations are both sitting at a pristine 100 percent. Not so much with Season Five, which may have as much to do with Schumer’s inexplicable fall from comedy grace as it does with the quality of the show itself.
Like Beavis and Butt-Head’s reboot below, it doesn’t help that Schumer is hiding on Paramount+, which currently ranks outside the top 10 of most-subscribed streaming services. If you weren’t aware that Inside Amy Schumer was back, you’re probably not alone. The show might have revved up more buzz if the latest sketches were more than… fine. A New York Post critic summed it up nicely: “The new episodes aren’t going to light the world on fire and the sketches are rarely hilarious, but they’re all amusing enough.”
Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock
If there’s one reboot that critics loved in 2022, it’s this one.
It’s sure colorful. But while the show has its adult fans, it helps to be seven for maximum comedic enjoyment.
Beavis and Butt-Head
So you want to reboot a beloved animated comedy. How about the one that MTV sanctioned to lampoon its music videos, you know, the kind they no longer play? Okay, wait. The music video part might be a problem. Got it — they could make fun of TikToks! Of course. Except it is one thing to make fun of boy bands or metal heads with insipid lyrics and ridiculous production budgets. It’s another to go after someone recording eight seconds of failed dance moves on their phone. Yeah, it’s not very good! That’s the whole app, dumbasses. As The Guardian notes, “This sucks. Again.”
The trailer for Night Court
I’m going to cheat and talk about Night Court this year even though the first episodes don’t drop until January 17, 2023. After all, the reboot was greenlit in May 2021. Your honor, our grievances: 1) Night Court was a middling hit in its original form that had no lasting cultural impact. When was the last time you saw a syndicated rerun? Like, never? 2) A depressing number of Court’s charismatic leads — Harry Anderson, Markie Post, Selma Diamond — are dead. And 3) the preview footage for the new show, which now has Judge Harry Stone’s daughter behind the bench, looks criminally unfunny. Can we move to adjourn before this one even gets started?
Father of the Bride
It’s a year for Steve Martin remakes and proclaiming that this HBO Max feature is the best one is damning with faint praise. Andy Garcia, Gloria Estefan and the other actors are fine, but the miserable marriage of the parents of the bride doesn’t exactly add to the fun here. (Aren’t we supposed to like the Father of the Bride?) Adding an extra element of torment to the traditional plot makes sure there’s plenty of extra suffering to go around.
Chloe Fineman takes over for Martin Short as the wedding planner and she’s funny enough, but we prefer her as Diane Keaton in SNL’s remake parody.
You could argue that Bel-Air shouldn’t be on a list of comedic reboots since the new version barely qualifies as a comedy. What scenes like this Uncle Phil confrontation could really use is a little Carlton dancing to “It’s Not Unusual.”
Hell, even Will Smith’s Oscar slap was funnier than this recipe for misery and despair. The Washington Post’s Inkoo Kang is with me: “Suck all the joy, exuberance and wondrous charisma out of The Fresh Prince — a worthy launchpad for an actor who, in his prime, was widely considered the biggest movie star in the world — and you’re left with the gloomy and plodding Bel-Air.”
Cheaper by the Dozen
Of Steve Martin’s many movie comedies, Cheaper by the Dozen is one of his least beloved. But the “damn, we got a lot of kids” premise does seem like it could be funny in the right hands. And everybody loves Zach Braff, right? Those T-Mobile commercials with Donald Faison are hysterical.
Add a blended-family Brady Bunch twist with a 2022 nod to just about every kind of diversity and you’ve got this Disney Channel hot mess. Inclusiveness is great, but it’s no substitute for, you know, jokes. Or believable characters. For Braff’s sake, kids do not talk like this (except in 1990s Nickelodeon shows). “Cheaper by the Dozen is worse than formulaic,” says Nell Minow over at RoberEbert.com. “It is lazy and condescending to its audience.”
Your kids are better off watching Only Murders in the Building.