Every TV season it seems as if there are quite a few remakes, reboots and spin-offs that make it onto the schedules of the network and cable channels and this season was no exception. The number of these types of shows that are actually successful is small, but it doesn’t stop the TV executives/producers from trying it over and over again.
I’m usually willing to consider a spin-off if the parent show is good. Although this season two shows that I like did spin-offs, and I just wasn’t feeling it even from when they were first just rumors.
One of them was Once Upon A Time in Wonderland. I never got into the whole Alice thing. I don’t remember reading the book and while I’ve seen movie adaptations, I just haven’t been all that fascinated with what’s down the rabbit hole.
I love Once Upon A Time a lot! I like the twists, turns, and re-vamping that the creators/writers have done with some of my favorite fairy tales and characters, but honestly one make-believe world is enough for me. When I first read ABC was greenlighting this spin-off, I didn’t think it was a good idea and the ratings seem to indicate that I wasn’t the only one. Sometimes more of a good thing is just too much! Plus there’s already a ton of TV competition on Thursday night and Wonderland didn’t have enough oomph to pull me away from my established shows.
The other unnecessary spin-off is Ravenswood on ABC Family. I adore Pretty Little Liars, but I have to admit that I’ve been having issues with their storylines of late. I don’t think it has been as good as it once was, so I don’t feel the EPs needed to divide their focus with a new show. I’m actually finding PLL so frustrating and disjointed that I didn’t even watch the premiere of Ravenswood because the last thing I wanted to do was take on another show by the same people. In fact, I might be pulling PLL from live watch status and relegating it to secondary DVR status since Tuesday night has also become loaded with good shows this Fall.
There is a spin-off that I absolutely love this season almost more than the parent series and that is The Originals. It’s all the things that made The Vampire Diaries so good, and since I had time to love/hate many of these characters when they were on TVD they have already established a hold on my heart. I’m excited by The Originals and look forward to the rest of the season!
In terms of remakes Ironside and Dracula were two that launched this fall. I actually saw a couple of episodes of the original Ironside on a cable channel that airs old TV shows. It was okay, but I didn’t see what the tempest was to remake it. Perhaps it was groundbreaking when it first aired and Raymond Burr was a good actor, but otherwise?!?
I really wanted to like this remake because I love all the actors especially Blair Underwood. He’s truly a nice guy and deserves to be on another hit show, but unfortunately Ironside was not it.
I can’t put my finger on why this didn’t work for me. Something was just off or forced about it. I felt as if we didn’t get a chance to really know or care about these people enough before suffering through Ironside’s disagreeable personality. I think the writers wanted to show that being paralyzed didn’t stop him from being tough and good at his job, but they tried too hard and he was just unlikable. I realize ever since The Sopranos and Dexter our TV heroes can be “bad guys” or “not so nice guys,” but something about Ironside wasn’t quite that either. It was all too formulaic. The cases, the plotlines, and the supporting characters were all generic and bland, but I watched it anyway hoping it would get better. It actually did seem to be improving when NBC cancelled it.
On a side note, I hope Blair gets another series soon. This was his second time up to bat with NBC, so fingers crossed that if there is a third time it will be the charm.
I am, for the most part, enjoying NBC’s remake of Dracula. It made some intriguing twists to the story and the notable characters, so I’m involved for now. I hear it’s supposed to be a limited series, so I don’t know if there will be second season or if I’d even watch it if there were one. Guess I’ll cross that bridge if it becomes necessary.
Now on to resurrections i.e. former TV stars coming back to head up new series. This fall we saw Robin Williams, Michael J. Fox, and Sean Hayes among others all returning to TV. Unfortunately all of their shows are comedies and I rarely do comedies. I usually find them to be blah and just so NOT funny. However since I loved MJF on The Good Wife, I decided to give his show a try. Again it’s on Thursday night, so even if I liked it, I would only be watching it the next day via On Demand. Well no matter since I didn’t like it!
Much like Ironside, it isn’t horrible as far as network comedies go, but it’s not up to my standards either. First off, I don’t get this whole talking directly to the camera/fake documentary thing. It’s too overdone now, so stop it! In addition, except for MJF, the characters are once again stale and generic. It’s sad really because I think the premise of the show is great, but the execution is sorely lacking. I’m also being selfish because I’m thinking if NBC cancels it maybe MJF will return to The Good Wife as a series regular and that would be awesome!!!
Anyway, I’ve been keeping up with TV industry news and the networks and many cable channels are looking to reboot former successful shows in upcoming seasons, so this trend isn’t dying anytime soon. Some of the TV shows that are getting a possible make-over include Charmed, Star Trek, Remington Steele, Falcon Crest, Murder She Wrote, Love American Style, Fame, another attempt at Wonder Women, and the recent Broadchurch from BBC complete with star David Tennant. There are also movies that are under consideration to be turned into TV series including Fargo, 12 Monkeys, and The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. I know, right? It’s insane, and I think very few of these proposed pilots will ever get off the ground or fly if they do show up as a series on our TV screens.
Actually a few weeks back CBS announced their new spin-off for next Fall How I Met Your Dad. Seriously?!? So-called comedies like the god-awful 2 Broke Girls seem to thrive on CBS, so Dad probably will as well. Whatever, I’ve never watched How I Met Your Mother and really could care less about a Dad.
What do you think about spin-offs, remakes and other such things? What former TV star would you like to see make a comeback or movie star debut on the small screen? What are you loving or hating in the world of re-imagining? Let me know!