Dear Crabby, Has Hollywood Run Out of Original Ideas?

Dear Crabby,

When I was watching the Tony Awards®, I noticed a number of the musicals are based off movies. For example, “Mean Girls,” “Pretty Woman,” and “Tootsie.” That got me thinking about how it seems recently there are more and more remakes happening in TV and movies. It seems to be everywhere. So, are the folks in Hollywood just lazy or have they run out of original ideas?

Chanel Changer

Dear Chanel Changer,

I was asked something similar last year and at the time I one-hundred-percent believed Hollyweird was phoning it in. But upon further reflection, I now can see how nostalgia plays a big part. People watch TV, go to the movies or plays for an escape, right? Have you read the headlines lately? This world is going to hell in a handbasket, so it’s easy to see why folks might want to retreat into something familiar and comforting. Plus, these shows already have a built-in fanbase, so it’s not like when studios and producers create something from scratch and hope that audiences like it. Even if something wasn’t a hit back-in-the-day, today’s audience might think it’s a hoot, so why not try?

That being said there has been a never-ending slew of these reboots/remakes/whatever they’re calling them. Personally, I blame that show “Full House” for getting this fad started. Or I guess I should say “Fuller House.” I think they’re the show that set off this chain reaction of everyone thinking it was a good idea to resurrect these shows from whatever vault they got shoved into when the studio lights went out. Back in the ‘80s ‘TGIF’ on ABC and then in the ‘90s ‘Must-See TV’ on NBC pretty much ruled the airwaves; holding families captive on Thursdays and Fridays in homes across America. But even with nostalgia factored in, I’m not sure every show needs to be touched.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

In May, for one night, two episodes from two iconic ‘70s TV shows — “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” — were aired in front of a live studio audience. I’ll give them credit for at least doing something different. What I didn’t like were some of the casting choices. You see, Archie Bunker is basically my spirit animal, but Woody Harrelson couldn’t come close to nailing the cankerous wit of Archie the way Carroll O’Connor did. Oh, it painful to watch. Everyone else seemed to do just fine. Now, I will say I enjoyed Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson. Even so, I’m hoping that neither of these shows comes back full time. Supposedly there are other episodes of shows they want to do the same stuff to, so I guess as they say in the business, ‘Stay tuned.’

Sometimes, even though there is interest from fans, these reboots don’t always go as planned. Just after it was announced “Beverly Hills 90210” was getting a second chance, one of its stars, Luke Perry, suffered a stroke from which he eventually died. The reboot is still going ahead as planned, but I have to think the excitement surrounding it has been dampened a bit. “Fuller House” should be riding a high as it heads into its fifth and final season, but all anyone wants to know is what’s going to happen to the Aunt Becky character since actress Lori Loughlin who plays her is still in hot water for her role in that college admissions scandal. My guess is she’ll be sent to the same imaginary purgatory the Olsen twins have. And let’s not forget the biggest cautionary tale of them all: Roseanne. Even if your name is in the title, you can be replaced.

Whatever your stance on these reboots/remakes are, just know they aren’t going away anytime soon. Think about how many animated movies Disney still needs to turn into live-action films! As long as some longsuffering studio lackey can figure out a way to give a slightly different twist to a beloved favorite TV show or movie, we the audience will be stuck watching them. But not me. I’ll be hunkered down with my “M*A*S*H” DVD collection. I still stand firm that no one better thinking of touching that show.

Happy viewing!
Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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