Why Is Hollywood Holding Us Hostage in Reboot Hell?

Is Hollywood losing its steam or are we just living in such a fucked-up social climate that makes many of us Gen-Xers and older Millenials  want to retreat to the 80s and 90s by way of supporting this new TV and movie remake-reboot culture?

It almost never fails that when I roll out of bed in the morning and check my Twitter feed or scroll through my Instagram account, I get hit with a post from The Hollywood Reporter, Filmthusiast, or other TV-movie news sites, announcing some reboot of a decades-old TV show or a remake of a movie that I grew up watching as a kid.

It makes me wonder. Is Hollywood not able to squeeze originality out of its many writers or are we, the consumers,  buying our own front-row-seat tickets to the Nostalgia-Abyss by backing it up and taking part in this latest trend? Click To Tweet

Now, don’t get me wrong, Hollywood has provided us with several trips down memory lane for many years; but in my opinion, it seems to have gotten totally out of hand, lately.

For me, the insanity started with the recent announcement of the remake of the comedy-classic Coming to America (Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall). The original was an instant hit back in 1988 as well as a pretty major part of my childhood. The McDowell’s restaurant, the Soul Glo jingle, and Mr. Randy Watson’s rendition of “Greatest Love of All” made for comedy gold back then. The Coming to America jokes, which ran so rampant through my house and my school, can be recited word-for-word by me, my brother, and our friends right now during regular every day conversation. Yeah, we’re weirdos. But, whatever.

That’s the reason I couldn’t understand why, after 30-plus years, they would want to tackle this super-funny film with a remake that sounds like it’s going to be headed straight for Flopville. Make it make sense, y’all.

Not only am I NOT here for this Coming to America 2 pre-catastrophe, I’m also not on-board for these Set It Off and House Party remakes. I told y’all it’s getting out of control. recently posted that Issa Rae is planning to reboot the 1996 Set It Off (Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah), another respected cult classic. I admire Rae and I think that she’s a talented writer-producer by the success of her first web-series The Misadventures of the Awkward Black Girl, as well as her hit  HBO original series, Insecure, which I can’t wait for its return later this year.  I would think that instead of dabbling in something that’s already been-here-and-done-that (and done quite well, I must say),  Issa should focus and use her artistic genius and flair to bring her fans more original content. I’m pretty sure her supporters would agree that we’d rather not see her go down this reboot-remake road. Issa, you’re too good for that shit, girl!

And that’s not all. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the same thing is in store for the 1990 cult comedy House Party (Kid-n-Play, Tisha Campbell, Martin Lawrence). Apparently Lebron James and his business partner Maverick Carter have collaborated with new director Calmatic (“Old Town Road“-Lil Nas X) to rebirth the hip-hop party movie of all hip-hop party movies. Do they think that they can do it better? I hope not; and, I seriously doubt it. But, I guess we’ll see how this one shakes out if it ever sees the light of day (*fingers crossed*).

Before they keep going down the road to reboot hell, hopefully the producers and other Hollywood bigwigs would take the time to think about what happened to the all-female Ghostbusters (2016), Godzilla (2018), The Mummy (2017), Footloose (2011). Shall I go on?

Not only are movies being overrun by this remake-reboot epidemic, it’s taken over the small screen as well. Hit TV shows such as Charmed, Full House, Punky Brewster, That’s So Raven, Saved by the Bell, Beverly Hills 90210, Murphy Brown, and many others have been thrust back onto us with a vengeance. While some make work, others are hanging on by a raveling string or have been sent into the doom of cancellation, because they just don’t have that same pizzazz that they did when they captured our hearts and minds back in the day.

I love to watch old TV shows and old movies that I grew up on from time to time. Yeah, the original ones. I’m a total sucker for old episodes of Golden Girls, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin, The Office, and many others. I also relish in logging into one of my many streaming services and watching old movies like Can’t Buy Me Love (1987), The Fugitive (1993), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), and many others, taking that trip down memory lane. I just don’t believe in playing around with greatness. When there’s a movie or TV show that has hit its pinnacle of success, it should be against some Hollywood law for anyone to attempt to tamper with its awesomeness.

Is creativity slipping away from the creators? Is it just being lazy? Is it easy money for Hollywood? Is it a way to for the viewer to escape from the harsh realities that we’re currently dealing with by delving back into our childhood?

Or, is it all of the above?

What do you think?

Written by LaToya Anitri


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