The TV reboot: successful or bound to fail?

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Reboots, remakes, and spin-offs of iconic TV shows are either in the works, or set to be released this year. But promising us new casts, characters and plot lines, will they do the originals justice?

In 2021, Michael C. Hall is set to return as Showtime’s beloved serial killer Dexter, for a 10-episode limited series in the hopes to make up for the lacklustre Season Eight finale that ended the drama series in 2013. Meanwhile, the HBO American teen drama series ‘Gossip Girl’ is also being rebooted with a new generation of upper east-siders. Set to release in 2021, the show promises a new diversely representative cast which should make this reboot worthwhile. Hopefully, this revival will also make up for the confusing, controversial ending of the series in 2012.

Alternatively, a much more innocent teen sitcom is also set to return. Originally running on Nickelodeon, Paramount Plus have ordered a revival for ‘iCarly’, bringing us back what is arguably the best teen comedy show of our childhood. However, it seems that sometimes the promise of reboots is just too good to be true. Whilst Hilary Duff was ready to reprise her role as Disney Channel’s Lizzie McGuire, production came to a halt last year with the storyline of Lizzie in her 30’s deemed as ultimately unfitting for the family-friendly streaming service.

Despite this news, other rumoured reboots, and remakes to look out for include the ‘Friends’ reunion special announced in 2020, ABC sitcom ‘Bewitched’, Nickelodeon’s ‘Rugrats’, a TV-series reboot of both ‘Grease’ and ‘Clueless’, a prequel series to ‘Game of Thrones’ and spin-offs of ‘The Walking Dead’. Marvel is also turning their comic books into mini-TV series with eight new upcoming shows.

While this recycling of TV shows perhaps shows a current lack of innovation within the television industry, with original shows seeming much harder to come by, one might consider what’s the harm in upcycling fan favourites? The nostalgia and familiarity of these shows seems like something everyone could do with nowadays, and it’s a perfect opportunity to tie up loose ends.

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Lily Boag

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June 2022
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