The nostalgia is real. Some of the hottest shows on TV today are revivals of sitcoms of yesteryear, and for the most part, we are 👏here 👏for 👏this. But there are a lot of potential reboots on the horizon that we are just maybe not so sure about.
When it comes to reboot fan reactions, there are basically three categories: the unsubscribe bunch, the “I hate myself for watching but I can’t help it” crew, and the yaaaaas queen squad. Reboots can be a hard pill to swallow, given that they seldom hit the mark in the way that their source material did. Let’s face it, some of our fave movies and TV shows just existed better in the time they were originally produced. It’s hard to get back to that initial vigor and response after so long, or in some cases, too soon after the original ended. However, that doesn’t mean that reboots deserve a chance to thrive—the comic book franchise continually reinvents, recasts, and creates new universes with the same group of superheroes and people keep coming back for more, so it’s doable, as long as the series accepts that it has to be different from the original in order to stand out and not fall flat. Here are 10 reboots and rumored reboots we’re nervous about.
Listen, even as a huge Friends fan, when a potential revival was first brought up, my initial reaction was, “No! Let it live in peace.” Friends was a quintessential ’90s show. Everything about it was ’90s. To take a show like that and plop it into 2018 would be a disaster waiting to happen. The whole premise of Friends is a group of struggling 20-somethings as they navigate being #adults and figure out their messy lives. The plot is entirely relatable to millennials, so the concept itself would work in 2018, but the characters just don’t fit into that plot anymore—they’re old now. Let’s be real, no one wants to see the gang brought back after they failed in all of their respective careers to keep the same tone of the show, and I doubt anyone is craving Friends: The Domestic Bliss Edition.
What makes these characters compelling is how they deal with the hardship of inventing themselves and getting by when they were just starting out—take that away and you have no show. That being said, there is merit for a smaller-scale reunion. A movie would be an interesting venture—if done right. Joey’s antics would absolutely fail in 2018, so it would be cool to see him still single and navigating the dating pool without his terrible pickup lines. We need a scene where he says, “How you doin’?” and a woman gives him her best withering stare and asks if that has ever worked on anyone. In other words, The Tale of How Joey Tribianni Becomes a Feminist.
The other possible workaround would be going the Next Generation™ route, like Full House and Boy Meets World did. (RIP Girl Meets World.) This idea would have to be held off for a while if accurate timelines are to be followed. But, it could work if it were focused on the kids, who are basically their own family, now grown up and facing the same things their parents did in the updated age of digital media. This would enable the OG characters to return while allowing for busy schedules and the inability to be there every episode. Basically, there are a lot of ways that this could go wrong, but quite a few that would make it work. The potential of a reboot bringing in Paul Rudd is enticing enough for me to throw in the resistance towel, TBH. Let’s just avoid a repeat of the short-lived spinoff, Joey, that you probably didn’t know existed because all of about 10 people watched it.
9. The Office
It’s only been five years since The Office ended and yet, rumors were piling up about its potential revival in April. John Krasinski was a little salty that he wasn’t contacted when he found out about the potential revival online, but nothing official was ever confirmed. The Office lost so many main characters by the end of its run, its cancellation was almost a relief because it just didn’t even seem like The Office anymore. The first hurdle a reboot would have to overcome would be finding a way to make the show work. Everyone got a (relatively) happy ending and a good portion of the characters went their separate ways in the finale to pursue various dreams and goals.
A revival would either have to backtrack those accomplishments and the nine seasons of development that led up to them by dumping everyone back at Dunder Mifflin or, again, throw mostly new characters into the mix and have the OG characters pop up every now and then. Neither sounds like a great enough plan to warrant a revival, despite Krasinski and Jenna Fischer being on board for a reboot. It seems like as soon as nostalgia sets in, the revival train starts whirling and mediocre reboots that had the potential to be something more are created. Not everything needs to be rebooted or at least, rebooted in a rush. As the saying goes, if you love something, set it free.
8. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Oh, mamma mia. Here we go, again. I won’t be able to resist this revival because, obvi theater nerd, but it’s high on the revival stressometer. The trailers actually look really good for the Abba mashup musical sequel, but sometimes a sequel like this can fill in a lot of information that’s better left to the imagination. The movie, judging by the trailers, is set up like a prequel and sequel all wrapped in one. It follows a now-pregnant Sophie as she tries to figure out how she’s going to raise a baby without her mom to help her and flashes back to 1979 as Sam, Bill, and Harry regale her with meet-cute tales, How I Met Your Mother style.
While decade movies and flashbacks are always fun, it’s almost better to imagine those moments as mysteries that no one but Donna and her respective men knew. It will be interesting to see everything play out but is it necessary? One of the biggest concerns was resolved with the second trailer. It seemed like the movie was going the cyclical route in terms of Sophie reliving Donna’s life because there were moments where she said things like “I don’t know how I’m going to do this alone” and “I’m in the exact same position as my mom was in.” It seemed like history was repeating itself until she noted, “except we know who the father is.” Honestly, Sophie, those situations are nothing alike, but you do you, girl.
7. Mission: Impossible Fallout
Another Mission: Impossible? Yay… Like clockwork, every few years, Hollywood gets bored and decides to crank out another movie in this 1996 franchise. Honestly, it’s been over 20 years at this point—let it die. Going even further than that, the original TV show the movies were based on came out in 1966. It’s been… a while. Even though it’s an action series, which means the wow factor is generally more important than the rinse and repeat plots, but how many times can one franchise tell the same story over and over again before it gets old?
It’s not even that the movies are bad. They’re not. They’re entertaining and action-packed, but unless they do something truly brilliant to shake things up, it’s going to feel like another sequel in a list of movies for a franchise that should have ended already. It’ll no doubt still be fun, but the previous movies lose their impact a little more every time an unnecessary reboot is done.
6. Incredibles 2
This one is a little more excitement and a little less nervousness, but the feeling is still lurking. It’s been 14 years since The Incredibles came out and that’s a lot of time in between movies. Since it’s animation, the film picks up generally where it left off with Jack-Jack still a baby. That decision, at least, will eliminate the usual dilemma of “where are the characters now?” and “how do we keep this engaging after such a long time?” Judging by the trailer, not much will change beyond a major focus on Elastagirl, which, sign us up. Trailers don’t always paint the full picture so we’ll see how the sequel compares to The Incredibles when it releases.
Announced TV Shows:
5. Murphy Brown
This one could go either way. CBS picked a great time to reboot this 1989 comedy about an empowered female journalist given the current political climate with “fake news” and all of the headache-inducing jazz. Bringing these characters back to tackle such a big political issue that heavily involves journalism as a whole is no small task and if done with tact and cleverness, will be a raging hit but if it misses the mark and goes either too far or not far enough, it could be a major letdown. The most compelling aspect of the reboot is that Murphy Brown’s son hosts a conservative morning show directly in competition of her not so conservative morning show. Yikes.
The fact that so many of the original cast members have signed on is definitely a good sign and the political climate the show is returning to will definitely lead to compelling and engaging plots for the reboot. Fingers crossed that it meets our expectations.
Fans of the cult classic movie, Heathers, generally had no hope for this TV version revival. While the original dark comedy pushed past boundaries, it didn’t make a mockery of the very real issues it depicted. Rather than being edgy like the rebooted TV series was planning, its over-the-top attempts to reign in that cult classic tone and humor just made it… cringe. Instead of focusing on a group of straight, white, rich girls, the reboot flipped the status quo and had minorities like students identifying as genderqueer, body positive, and a woman of color rule the school—an action that, in and of itself, would have been awesome had it seemed genuine. It also doesn’t help that the three Heathers are painted as villains, whereas Veronica is the antihero who does what needs to be done. So, essentially, the show takes a plot in which the main character is fighting against inequality, (through homicidal methods, of course,) and flips it to where she’s fighting against minorities for the good of the oppressed cis white characters? Ehhhhh.
Everything about the trailer of this show seemed forced. It’s like a mix of corny Disney humor and edgy black comedy tone that was thrown up all over the rug—it just doesn’t work. A show with that kind of tone makes it hard for the messages to land and seems to be in place more for shock value than the actual messages. The OG Heathers is first and foremost dedicated to the story and messages it conveys—the tone and atmosphere fall in line once those things are established. The TV version appears to focus so much on being groundbreaking that it prevents itself from doing so.
We don’t have a whole lot to go on, the trailer was only two minutes long and definitely not enough to completely trash it but from the looks of critic reviews, it doesn’t seem to hit its mark. The show came along with a short-lived Broadway run of Heathers the Musical, and perhaps waiting a bit after that would have been best. The show was initially slated to air in March but after the Parkland shooting, the network big wigs decided it would be in poor taste to release it at that time, as school violence is a major theme. The fate of the show is still up in the air and it may not ever be released, but it deserves a first episode watch before completely ruling it out.
3. Cagney and Lacey
Normally, another cop show would warrant an eye roll because, how many of them do we need on the air? (Brooklyn 99 being the exception because it’s B99 and it’s flawless.) That being said, if another cop show has to happen, better it is a female-led show than a run-of-the-mill crime drama with a white male lead coz, snooze. Even B99 was inspired by the iconic, groundbreaking ’80s show, as the writers named Sergeant Jeffords’ twin daughters Cagney and Lacey.
Like Heathers, this show is a remake instead of a reboot, which usually leads to more criticism than praise. It’s difficult to take a step back and do something new when it feels like something you love is being replaced. The new series will take place in Los Angeles instead of New York, so the scenery will be much different. The original series spawned some TV movies but a series rework of the show has never been done before. The most exciting aspect of the revival is Michelle Hurd, who offers representation instead of the show focusing on two white women.
2. Magnum P.I.
CBS is on fire with the reboots this year. This was a particularly surprising reboot given that CBS launched its pilot show, SEAL Team last fall, which was also successfully renewed. To be fair, Magnum P.I. revolves around an ex-Navy SEAL who becomes a private investigator, so the premises are definitely different, but it will be interesting to see how each show plays out.
1. Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling
If you didn’t grow up watching ’90s Nickelodeon, this one won’t make much of an impact, but for those of us who crave ’90s cartoons the way they used to be, these cartoon reboots are a big deal. The TV movie, featuring our favorite Australian wallaby, will take place in space instead of the original premise of the show, in which Rocko tries to adjust to life in the U.S. Not much has been released about the movie that is set to air sometime this year, but we’re hoping it stays true to its original tone rather than adapting the feel of current cartoons. Let us have this one nice thing, please.