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Minimal Effort: Dissecting the Trend in TV Reboots

Written by TV

2017 has been a busy year for the reboot. Beauty and the Beast was back in cinemas, Crash Bandicoot is out for PlayStation, and the Crystal Maze is back on TV. A surge in nostalgia has producers in a frenzy, making reboots that no one asked for. When it comes to television reboots, successful endeavours are few and far between, and I can’t help but want to tell these producers that sometimes just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

The problem with reboots comes when they are mindlessly churned out in pursuit of cash grabbing. A reboot with no changes flops because it is just a lesser version of the show we have already seen. There has been an increase lately in rebooted animated shows, such as Duck Tales, Teen Titans, and The Powerpuff Girls. Each of these shows draw off the nostalgia of the 90’s and 00’s to lure in viewers. This surge in reboots does pose the question of originality, and whether or not relying on nostalgia is enough to justify the recycling of material as opposed to creating new shows. Very few reboots live past the initial interest that is given to it by nostalgia.

However saying that, there are instances where a reboot can breathe life into an old or forgotten show. Doctor Who for example, is a perfect example of this. The original series ended in 1989, and came back to the BBC in 2005. When it came back, it brought with it new directors, a new production team, and a younger cast that mirrored the direction they would take the show. The reboot managed to keep the tone of Old Who whilst simultaneously bringing a new and interesting take on the beloved show.

“This surge in reboots does pose the question of originality, and whether or not relying on nostalgia is enough to justify the recycling of material”

A good reboot is a difficult thing to make, keeping the familiar tone of the original but making enough changes to bring it in to its modern setting in an interesting way. And although there are a few cases of reboots being more popular than their source material, it appears that successful reboots remain in the minority.

Last modified: 6th November 2017

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