Something I saw the other day got me thinking about the duality of an idea, how it can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the circumstances. What I saw was a promotion for a T.V. series set to premiere in September. But it actually first aired in 1988 and ran throughout most of the ‘90s.
That’s right. The new series was an old series: “Murphy Brown.”
This has been happening a lot. Television shows that ran 10, 20, 30 or even more than 40 years ago have found new life on the airwaves.
Yep. “S.W.A.T.,” which re-appeared on the T.V. roster in 2017, originally aired in 1975, 43 years ago.
Reboots, revivals or remakes — regardless the terminology — are not uncommon. Not only are the major networks resuscitating old series, venues such as Netflix and The CW are offering their versions of “One Day at a Time” and “Charmed,” respectively. The former is another 43-year-old series.
In the past several years, “Will & Grace,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Dynasty,” “MacGyver” and “Roseanne” have all resurfaced. Well before those, “The Twilight Zone,” “The Outer Limits” and “Battlestar Galactica” were rebooted or revived. And, in addition to “Murphy Brown,” fall viewers will see “Magnum, P.I.” brought back to life.
Of specific interest to me was the revival of “The X-Files.” The original series was a favorite of mine, and I was eager — if not a bit anxious — about the reboot.
My sweetie, Rebecca, shared my cautious excitement because she was a fan of the series, too. In fact, one Halloween she dressed as F.B.I. Agent Dana Scully to complement my costume of F.B.I. Agent Fox Mulder.
Yeah, we did.
But the revival of “The X-Files” could have gone either way.
Not all efforts to revive a series are equal or even a good idea. And they are certainly subjective.
For example, when the reboot of “Battlestar Galactica” was announced, I began seeing clips that convinced me I should not even bother. Regardless of how well-made it might have been on its own terms, it wasn’t on its own terms in my mind, which was happy with the coveted memories I had of the original series.
But “The X-Files” reboot was different. When I saw the preview clips, the original cast was back and the general atmosphere of the reboot looked similar to the original series.
I was in. And I was glad I was.
Though some of the new episodes were a bit uneven, the reboot was enjoyable overall. In fact, a few of the episodes were as good, or better, than some of the episodes from the show’s original run.
At least, that’s my opinion. And that’s where the subjectivity comes in.
In the end, I guess all ideas have a dual nature. They can be good or bad ideas, depending on the circumstances.
The tricky part is separating the good ones from the bad ones.