Carissa's Corner: We Need to Talk about Our Reboot Problem

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Before I launch into the main topic of this Carissa's Corner, I have a specific audience who needs to listen up.

Enough whining about the glory days of Criminal Minds with Hotch and Morgan. You guys are enough to drive a person to drink. The ship has sailed.

If you want characters to continually return and rehash old storylines, there are still soap operas on the air and they will never stop appealing to those of you who want to cry in your coffee.

There are also a plethora of comics shows airing willing to beat more dead horses than ever a horse has been seen in any comic, and hallelujah, you can watch reboots for even more miserable storylines that won't stay dead.

Carissa's Corner Logo

Speaking of reboots and revivals, we need to talk about them.

Isn't it strange that two of the most successful shows in years -- This Is Us and Empire -- were fresh material for the small screen, but instead of emulating that behavior, networks are still clamoring for more reboots and revivals? Viewers want new and interesting broadcast programs, but they're not getting it.

It's obvious the R&R are never going away because networks would rather cancel a show with a new and innovative idea than give it time to grow, instead banking on name recognition from an era the coveted market shouldn't even know.

Related: Clarissa Explains It All: Reboot in the Works!

Here's my pitch: No more reboots. Only revivals.

My reasoning is this: Will & Grace is already renewed for it's third season it's doing so well. It's a revival. Another, Roseanne is so hot we have to clean up burning embers every time we post something about it.

Dallas was respectable a few seasons ago because nobody could resist Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. If he hadn't been in ill health and passed away, the show would have gone on as long as he was willing.

Charmed Cast Pic

On the other hand, a Charmed revival isn't giving anyone the warm fuzzies because anyone who still remembers it (which is a good portion of those in the market), does so kindly. They follow the Charmed Ones on Twitter and write or read fan fiction. They've waited patiently for a revival focusing on the sisters or their children.

Dynasty tried hard to be the next big thing, but the only thing keeping it alive is its Netflix worldwide distribution deal (OK, Elizabeth Gillies as Fallon was a great choice and Nicollette Sheridan coming up as Alexis could swing the series).

Even the kids of the 90s are having their little hearts crushed now with a coming reboot of a CGI series called The Guardian Code. The look of it is worse than the original, which in 2018 is making many who remember the series fondly seriously shake their damned heads.

Frankly, I'm up for more recent shows to be rebooted and fail so everyone can discover what it's been like for the older crowd to suffer so many failures and gut-wrenching disappointments as memories from our youth were crushed without a second thought.

When it's done poorly and without success after a huge marketing campaign and a lot of news coverage, it's like eating something awful, and you can't ever wash the terrible taste out of your mouth. Yes, I'll always find a way to talk about Charlie's Angels!

Hello, Angels!

I'm not going to lie; CBS has done reboots some justice. Hawaii Five-0 and S.W.A.T. are pretty good. But Code Black, Blue Bloods, and yes, Criminal Minds aren't reboots and stand up on their own merits.

Movies to TV fare better as long as the premise of the movie remains intact or is enhanced. Taken Season 1 did poorly because Bryan Mills and his "particular set of skills" were virtually unrecognizable.

M*A*S*H was a hit because it was virtually the same as the movie with subtle changes carried over to the TV show, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Teen Wolf took silly high school movies and gave them more guts, glory, intellect, and wit.

Related: Carissa's Corner: Is Falling Water Canceled? Why are We In Love with Love Triangles?

If networks are in a rut and hoping to find good material, there is never a shortage of books available for adaptation.

The Sinner was a runaway hit for USA Network in 2017. The Handmaid's Tale has taken Hulu to new heights and given them serious awards clout, while Big Little Lies battled it out for HBO during a time their other novel series, Game of Thrones, was on hiatus for awards season.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Poster

A book doesn't even have to make an impact for it to do the same on TV because of the liberties that can be taken with the material if the author is willing to sell and keep the contract liberal.

Sometimes an author can finally see their work adapted well if they've been let down in the past. Stephen King had a lot of bad adaptations of his work early in his career, but Mr. Mercedes, for example, is one of the best adaptations of his work to date.

With the opioid crisis in full swing (and a TV show being made about it), I'd love to see a television adaptation of Valley of the Dolls.

While it's not about opioids and I wouldn't want it to be updated to current times if it could be done well, parallels could be made without the subject being rammed down our throats. I imagine Hulu or HBO doing it justice.

The cost associated with making a pilot (or going to straight to series if they're really feeling good) seems risky when so many people are begging for networks to stop rebooting even if a network owns the intellectual property and considers it a risk worth taking. 

Who Has the Power Now? - Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 6

I'd have to disagree. Bragging rights for one special series that wins not only critical but audience acclaim has to be better for a network than five reboots weighing it down and suggesting future programming might not be worth watching. 

Right? Or is that only something I wish to be true?

There's something else I want you to look out for this week. I know many of you have been wondering why we're using callouts in our articles now. For different reasons. The first is I don't want our vast archive of historical content to go stagnant just because the articles are no longer on the first few pages.

Related: Get Walter Presents via Amazon Channels for Original, Exclusive, Hit Series from Around the World!

I thought it would be easier for you to see associated content if we called some out within the articles.

The second reason is, of course, advertising. But not only did I do it that way to make it less invasive than many other ads on our site but because I believe in what we're selling. To that end, I'll be sharing "reviews" if you will of the content of some of the Amazon Channels I love.

Acorn TV only on

The channels I watch the most are Acorn, Britbox, and Walter Presents. As a lover of foreign television programming, I get a lot of what I want through the channels, so I'll let you know what I think of them and why you should be watching. 

It's my hope to up the ante on streaming programming full stop going forward, so I hope you have a lot of streaming choices at your fingertips. So many people have claimed to have cut the cord, yet we're still inundated with traffic that only wants to talk about broadcast and basic cable programming. What gives?

That's what I have for my time in this corner. Hit the comments and let me know your thoughts on what I shared above. I love to hear from you!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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