Take one look at recent television news and you’ll notice that reboots are having a moment in the spotlight. Though there has long been a tendency in the film and TV industries to rehash old classics, 2018 has seen an influx of highly-anticipated remakes, setting social media abuzz with excitement and division alike.
News that Sabrina The Teenage Witch – the beloved late Nineties show starring Melissa Joan Hart – would be remade with a darker edge with Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka has definitely piqued curiosity, while the poorly received Heathers remake from earlier this year proved that, sometimes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a mantra best upheld. What’s more, the conversation around the recent revelation that a Buffy The Vampire Slayer reboot will feature a black female lead posits another important question about the role of remakes: how can television redress deep-seated diversity issues, and is doing so through existing stories the easy way out?
One thing’s certain, whether they’re there for nostalgia’s sake, to revisit cliffhangers from the past, or even to guarantee attention in an oversaturated streaming climate, remakes are hard to avoid. Here are five great examples that are definitely worth watching…
It might qualify as a guilty pleasure, but when the Noughties version of the Nineties hit returned to our screens in 2007, it filled a void that the The OC’s conclusion had left the year before. Rich kids from California, farfetched plots and a Meghan Markle cameo all make for superb watching.
Seasons 1-5, Amazon Instant Video
Though it’s not a reboot in the traditional sense, Fargo’s television iteration expands on the Coen Brothers’ original universe in a way that has you hunting for the subtle threads that connect the television series to the 1996 film. This, plus a consistently impeccable cast, sets the show apart.
Seasons 1-3 and the original film are both on Netflix
Twin Peaks: The Return
With a reputation as infallible as Twin Peaks’, daring to revisit the surreal world nearly 30 years after it transformed the whole landscape of television could seem like risky business. But David Lynch’s return to the small screen last year was as mind-blowing – and indescribable – as you could imagine.
Twin Peaks: The Return is on Now TV
It’s been this year’s social media phenomenon, spreading in a way that the original’s pre-Twitter landscape didn’t permit. That season 3 is in the works just six months after the new version first debuted in February is a testament to Queer Eye’s popularity – and proves just why reboots can sometimes achieve what originals can’t.
Seasons 1-2, Netflix
She’s Gotta Have It
Spike Lee’s modernisation of his radical 1986 film, She’s Gotta Have It, involved teaming up with a host of female writers to work on its lead character, Nola, and changing a problematic plot point from the original he has since regretted. Brooklyn may now be gentrified, but what remains is a revolutionary story about a sex-positive black woman.
Season 1, Netflix
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