Dear Hollywood, please stop making remakes and reboots.
The reviews of every movie and television show often read a little something like this, “This show was fantastic, I’ve never seen anything like it!” Yes, you have. You have seen something like it. We all have. The same ideas for movies have been regurgitated dozens of times and each time it gets a little less nutritious.
Take the 2017 horror/comedy movie “Happy Death Day,” for example. A woman in college has to continue reliving the same day over and over again. This is a cool idea, right? Reliving the same day over and over again sounds interesting. Well, it sounded more interesting thirty years ago when Harold Ramis did it in his film “Groundhog Day.”
Do the films have their differences? Sure. “Happy Death Day” has horror elements and a young pretty blonde girl as the lead actress — no shock there — and “Groundhog Day” focuses on a middle-aged weatherman. But when it boils down to it, the main plot is that the two main characters have to continue reliving the same day over and over again until they can figure out how to get out of the loop. And, of course, both films had to have a romance subplot in there, because what’s a big Hollywood motion picture without it?
“Happy Death Day” is not the worst movie out there (that title goes to “The Room” by Tommy Wiseau which ironically isn’t a reboot or remake); it just isn’t the most original. Then they went and made a second one — and then they went and started making a third one — and now we’re going to have three “Happy Death Day” movies where the same character has to relive the same day over again, for the third time. A movie that wasn’t original to begin with has been beaten to the ground and sucked dry of any ingenuity it had.
A trend in recent years of repetitiveness in entertainment is the reboot of old children/teen movies and shows. “iCarly,” “That’s So Raven,” “Zoey 101,” “Lizzie McGuire.” What do all those shows have in common? If you said, “they’re all old children’s shows that are getting reboots?” you’d be correct.
All of these shows came out in the early 2000s, airing on either Nickelodeon or Disney Channel. Now a decade and some change later, audiences that once watched these show’s characters live their lives as teenagers get to watch them live their lives as adults. If only the people who watched Nickelodeon in 2005 still watched Nickelodeon.
The kids who were watching “iCarly” in 2007 are adults now, probably in their early to mid-twenties. Considering that the reboot is set to air on Nickelodeon we can expect it to still appeal to a younger, child audience. So why would Nick call for a reboot for the show?
Well, if there’s one thing the higher-ups in Hollywood like more than not having to come up with a creative television story, it’s making easy money.
Disney knows that “That’s So Raven” works. It was on for four seasons in the early 2000s and people still talk about it and make references to it. It even had a spin-off, “Corey in the House,” that was able to last a couple of seasons.
The idea works; people liked it once, chances are they’ll like it again. Disney doesn’t want to waste money producing a new show with new actors and characters if they aren’t certain that audiences are going to cling to it. If people don’t cling to it they lose money and have to think of a new idea which seems to be a difficult task nowadays.
So as long as audiences are still getting excited and nostalgic about their favorite show from years ago getting new episodes, Hollywood probably won’t stop making them. They’ll throw in a brand new show every once in a while so that people get attached to it and they know they’ll be able to reboot it in ten years’ time.
In the meantime, the most important question proposes itself: how many more “Fast & Furious” trailers is the world going to have to watch?
Audra McClain is an opinion writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.