I am getting sick of seeing some of my favourite TV shows being remade and I am even more annoyed about the rumours that circulate about potential remakes. They just put me on edge for weeks and months until the remake eventually arrives on my screen: a massive disappointment and waste of time kind of like when your burn a pizza. I know there are original ideas out there so why are people being so lazy? Why can’t people just let amazing TV stay preserved and untouched by modern hands - is that too much to ask for? With all this said and done, maybe there are a few - and I mean a very small amount - of remakes that aren’t completely terrible but to begin with let’s just talk about all the truly dire dribble out there.
The original BBC House of Cards is revered as a masterpiece and although I do admire the skill and artistry of remake oozes style and sleaze in a way that the original failed to do
A prime example is: The Inbetweeners (2012) the stateside remake of The Inbetweeners UK TV series (2008-2010). The English Inbetweeners is generally loved by anyone who had any awkward secondary school experiences - which is pretty much everyone. The four main actors are totally believable and enthralling as their characters and the stories are completely cringe and laugh-out-loud funny. With such a perfect recipe for comedic joy, why did anyone think they could recreate this magic? It is like taking a Nigella Lawson recipe and saying: “Well what if we just add a whole heap of American stuff, that would make this perfect chocolate cake even better wouldn’t it? The simple answer is: no, it would not. You cannot improve Nigella’s recipes, and you cannot improve upon The Inbetweeners.
Another type of remake I have a real distaste for is Agatha Christie’s stories. Stop remaking Miss Marple with any actress that fancies a pop at it, Margaret Rutherford did an amazing job back in the 1950s, and although I am not saying we should all go back to watching the TV from the era of misogyny, it is just that I think sometimes we forget the greatness that has come before. Of late, there has been Marple after Marple and I feel stuck on a perpetual Marple rollercoaster: Joan Hickson, Gerladine McEwan, Julia McKenzie - whos next? I love the Marple stories but maybe we should do some re-runs instead of so many remakes. The same rant applies to Poirot, although he has not been re-represented quite so many times with everyone realising that David Suchet really got it spot on in the TV series that ran from 1989 to 2013.
One remake that I can’t quite make my mind up about is House of Cards (2013) with the mesmerising Kevin Spacey. The original BBC House of Cards (1990) is revered as a masterpiece and although I do admire the skill and artistry of the series, the 2013 remake oozes style and sleaze in a way that the original failed to do. The original is perhaps in true British style a bit too polite whereas the modern remake has changed with the times and provided a more bold and direct insight into the slimy world of politics. I also admire the ways in which the series adapted to the American setting, unlike the Inbetweeners.
With the advent of many remakes of classic British comedy on the horizon, such as Dads Army and Are You Being Served, I begin to worry that soon nothing will remain untouched.
Dream remake: Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow
If your childhood wasn’t filled with Creamy Muck Muck or Dirty Norris then I feel very, very sorry for you. Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow entertained the nation on weekend mornings between 2002 and 2006, a disastrously short period of time.
With characters such as Harry Batt, The Prize Idiot and Tomdickunharry, viewers were treated to up to three hours of surreal and disturbing fun, in which two grown adults acted less mature than the majority of the children who participated. The show’s inventive finale featured spoofs on shows such as Deal or No Deal, The Crystal Maze and The Weakest Link: Dick and Dom’s imagination was one (or two) of a kind, the likes of which that we will never see again. Unless it makes a mucky return in 2016.
Who doesn’t want to see, after a ten year absence, the two big kids sticking giant pictures of their own faces to people’s backs in Eeenymeanymackerrackerraridominackashickapoppadickywhopperrompomstick? Who doesn’t want to see the general public break out in outrage as the pair battle celebrities at who can shout “bogeys” in a library the loudest? And perhaps most importantly, who doesn’t want to see the fake Geordie Harry Batt interrogate Dom over a jar of garlic mayonnaise, bursting into the room through a cardboard door and screaming “NAEBODY MOOVE”?
viewers were treated to up to three hours of surreal and disturbing fun, in which two grown adults acted less mature than the majority of the children who participated
The return of Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow would not only bring a shed of heroically idiotic light to a dark world, but it would also bring Melvin Odoom back from the Xtra Factor to the lunacy where he belongs.In true Dick and Dom Muck Muck Finale tradition, there’s really only one thing left to say. GO GO GO!
Dream remake: Bewitched
Bewitched for 2016? It was the day I turned 10 when I was given a boxed set of the 1960s American comedy fantasy series. Over the following month, the series became intrinsically part of weekday evenings.
Encircling a young witch named Samantha (played by the charming Elizabeth Montgomery) married to a mortal advertising executive named Darrin Stephens, the series is set in a quintessentially suburban American neighbourhood. Owing to his insecurity about his wife’s powers, Darrin forbids Samantha from using them, to which she - heaven knows why - agrees. This, of course, does not bode well with Samantha’s family: in one episode, Samantha’s mother Endora turns him into a werewolf and in another, replaces his head with that of a pig’s.
What a different age it was. Overlapping with the African-American Civil Rights Movement, several episodes held particular poignancy: in one, the Stephens’ young daughter Tabitha transforms her and an African-American playmates’ skin tone to a black-white polka dot hybrid after a bully tells the pair that, owing to their different skin colours, they cannot be sisters.
Owing to his insecurity about his wife’s powers, Darrin forbids Samantha from using them, to which she - heaven knows why - agrees. This, of course, does not bode well with Samantha’s family: in one episode, Samantha’s mother Endora turns him into a werewolf
In another echo of the series’ progressiveness, this was perhaps the first instance of the idea of a “mixed marriage”, never mind between a witch and mortal, being portrayed so lovingly. Today’s television could do with another round of this: tongue-in-cheek, unpretentious and innocent, with overtones of the age’s social limitations. A Bewitched remake that stays true to the essence that made it special would be, I think, magic.