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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Reruns, remakes and recycling: the death of Hollywood’s creative

The world of film and television has been slowly moving toward giving up on its plan to create any worthwhile new material and officially threw in the towel with the announcement of “The Walk,” which is scheduled to be released Oct. 8.

The film is directed by established director Robert Zemeckis and stars actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

On IMDb, the film’s description reads, “In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.” Sounds like an exciting film, except that in 2008, the documentary “Man on Wire,” was about the same man, doing the same exact thing. Basically, Hollywood is remaking a documentary. We’ve officially seen it all folks.

Television has started a very dangerous trend of working on either reunion shows or continuation stories of shows that were met with success at some point—a remake in disguise. Netflix, FOX and a few other respectable networks have released or plan on releasing titles such as: “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “X-Files,” “Fuller House,” “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” and “Heroes Reborn,” and the list just keeps getting longer.

Don’t get me wrong, the “Wet Hot American Summer” show was pretty good, and I’m shocked they got that many established actors together for that many episodes. However, there’s no reason for “Fuller House,” or for more “Heroes”—a show that went downhill at a lightning speed after a brilliant season one and just left us clenching our fists when we got to season four. “X-Files” could be incredible, but there’s no reason for it. Just leave it alone.

All these shows do is tell other networks to jump on board and find a show that had great success and to do it again, in some form or another. What’s even worse is they tell the same networks to shelf any new show that has the same potential to be as great as shows in the past have been.

The remake of “Man on Wire” is a bad thing to happen, no matter how good it may or may not be because it echoes what Ben Travers of Indiewire said: that “audiences always claim to hate about Hollywood: [there are] too many sequels.” Remaking and editorializing an actual documentary is in the same realm as creating a sequel.

The longer we go without a new show that would have swept us off our feet, the worse off it’s going to be in the future in terms of that same show having the chance of actually getting made. We use TV and watching movies as a way to escape the daily grind. We don’t want to see a show that we once loved simply rehashed in a different, possibly horrible, form.

We want to see something new. It’s like instead of listening to a new album by your favorite band, you just listen to an old one they’ve already released. Sure you enjoy it, but it’s old and you’ve heard it.

“Despite the growing grosses of film franchises, creative teams need to know when to say enough is enough; when something new is more valuable than something old,” Travers writes. We got lucky with the continuation of “Wet Hot American Summer,” but that was a fluke and not worth a boatload of other shows doing the same thing.

It’s scary to think where Hollywood is going to be in 10 years when this is the norm and just doing remakes and reunion shows is expected and lauded. It’s a good thing Netflix and other online streaming sites have catalogued a huge library to comb through because my pool of shows to choose from doesn’t look like it’s going to expand with original content in coming years.

Follow Daniel Geffre on Twitter.

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