Channeling the Reboot
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
NBC’s Friends, regarded as one of the most entertaining sitcoms ever, revolves around the lives of six friends. Bringing viewers on an amusing and poignant life journey, the 1994, Manhattan-set comedy ended with—after 10 seasons—a flawless, satisfying close. Thus, a remake would be both unwelcome and unsuccessful (remember Joey?). Casting the original crew would be an immense challenge and recruiting a new one would destine the show to failure. Think about it: Could anyone but Matt LaBlanc own the “How you doin’?” line? Could anyone but Lisa Kudrow sing about smelly cats? No and no. Considering a reboot, even Chandler would say, “Could you BE any more stupid?”
Perhaps the most morally reprehensible reality television show of all time, The Swan took women whom society, and even themselves, labeled as ‘ugly’ and gave them an entire full body makeover (entirely paid for), including, but not limited to, face lifts, breast implants, and liposuction. Regardless of the potential things that could be changed to make the show logistically better, as it would now be considered dated, the premise of the show itself is something that society should be relieved doesn’t exist anymore, for the sake of self-esteems everywhere.
It might not have connected with all demographics, but there are those out there who consider this highbrow sitcom to be one of the best comedies in the history of TV comedy. Originally a spin-off of Cheers, Frasier excelled with its witty dialogue, yuppie situational comedy, and terrific performances from Kelsey Grammer and company. It’s a show that had exceptional timing, televised during an era of economic boom and social mobility. In the rough fiscal state that this country is in now, characters bantering about the trivial tribulations of white collar life might not connect as well with today’s audiences.
Friday Night Lights
Other television shows will inevitably tackle high school football as their central narratives, but FNL creators Peter Berg and Jason Katim should never in a 1,000 years sell the rights to their show’s title to anyone other than themselves. It’s been beaten to death, but Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton’s expert and intricate portrayals of Coach and Mrs. Coach showed viewers the most beautiful, honest marriage the screen has ever seen. Football players cycled in and out season after season, but the dynamic worked due to Chandler and Britton, the show’s anchors. A movie is in the works—and hopefully, a nail in the flawless show’s coffin.
Noted for its distinct dialogue, touching comedy, and rooted emotion, The WB’s Gilmore Girls examined the relationship between Lorelai and her teenage daughter Rory. The achievement of the series rested in its dynamic familial themes and its cross-generational appeal, as well as in the talent of and chemistry between the lead actresses, Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. Reworking the show, then, would be too chancy a trial: not only would it be dependent upon the re-casting of Graham and Bledel, but it would also be at risk for seeming emotionally contrived and thematically overdone.
While on the air, The Sopranos garnered a cult-like following and put HBO on the map as a prime cable provider. While the characters were hard to relate to for audiences outside the New York-Tristate Area (and of course, this area made up the majority of the show’s fan base), the humanized portrayal of gangsters allowed curious viewers an interesting insight into a world very few know. Framed through intimate sessions with a psychologist, viewers came to love the anti-hero Tony Soprano and his over-the-top family, both real and mafia. While many miss the show, this soon-to-be classic is too perfect to retouch.