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There are a lot of shows that we all loved as kids. Most of those shows do not stand up to the ravages of time, nor the march of progress, and get left by the wayside. Sure, you probably look back on them fondly, but that’s about it.
But what if we could look forward to them again?
I know that reboots, preboots, prequels, and sequels can be touchy subjects. On the one hand, we really like to see more of our favorite characters and settings. On the other hand, we crave original content. I don’t know if there is a balance that can be struck between these, but what I do know is that sometimes (read: most times) nostalgia wins out.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, while not a perfect show—it definitely went downhill in its later seasons—was proof that those old intellectual properties could be infused with new life. It took something I’d known for most of my life and it made me look at the story and characters from a different perspective.
Granted, I don’t think every show needs this kind of treatment, but here are five blasts from the past that, I think, deserve a second chance.
This show has been around since 1969… 1969!! There are so many different versions of it that I can’t even deign to list them all, lest I get heckled for forgetting one. It also means that it’s still around, so the big question becomes, why reboot a show that’s constantly being rebooted anyway?
My answer to myself is that it’s always being rebooted for children. Sure, Be Cool Scooby-Doo had humor for adults to enjoy, and Mystery Incorporated managed to have a truly grand overarching story, but for the most part, they were still created for children…
What we need is a mature version of Scooby-Doo. I want to see the gang solving a murder that occurred in their hometown. I want to see them solving smaller mysteries every episode as they try to learn who killed old man Jenkins. And I really want to see them running from a guy in an old diving suit through the corridors of an abandoned aquatic research lab. Not sure why, but that last one is non-negotiable.
Basically, I want to see Scooby-Doo done by the guys who made Veronica Mars.
Come on, you know it would be great.
2.)The Secret World of Alex Mack
I’m not sure if this one is too obscure, or too old… or both for that matter.
Either way, the original Nickelodeon show was pretty good. It was about this girl (Alex Mack) who was involved in a chemical spill on her first day of junior high. Shortly after the accident, she realizes that she has some amazing new abilities.
Like the ability to move things with her mind. Or turn into a puddle of liquid.
While the original show focused mainly on Alex’s school life, it did have a large subplot involving her trying to avoid the company that owned the tanker of experimental chemicals that gave her powers.
Now, imagine moving Alex up to high school, or even college. You could still have the interpersonal drama (my least favorite part of any show) and whatnot, however, you could really play up a cat and mouse narrative. Like, they are looking for her so that they can perform experiments, and she’s investigating them at the same time.
It would basically be a superhero show, but without all the tropes getting in the way…
Or at least I would hope that they wouldn’t let the tropes get in the way.
3.) So Weird
So Weird was a monster-of-the-week show that aired on the Disney Channel in the late ’90s.
It was about a young girl named Fiona Philips who traveled from town to town with her mother’s band. While they were crisscrossing the country, she would encounter various strange and bizarre phenomena, including, but not limited to:
- Time Warps
- And Trolls
Basically, it was Supernatural, but for 90’s kids. The main story even had Fiona looking for clues about her father, who died while investigating strange occurrences.
I propose that, for a mature reboot, the show focus on an older version of Fiona who lived with her father until his recent death. He was always into the occult, and though she loved him, she always thought that he was a little crazy. Now, she is forced to travel the country with her mother’s band, but she begins to see strange things that may prove that her father wasn’t crazy after all.
You could basically take all the best parts of Supernatural, sprinkle in some X-Files, and then serve with a side of angsty teen.
4.) Space Cases
This was basically the show that started my interest in sci-fi.
It’s about a group of kids who attend a school in space. One day, while everyone else is attending a lecture or something, a group of problem students—and two teachers—accidentally make their way on board a mysterious alien ship that warps them to the other side of the galaxy.
If that was not problematic enough, the ship registered the kids as the main crew, leaving the adults in a bit of a sticky situation.
What I loved about this show was that it was silly and bizarre, but also had some weirdly grounded aspects. There was an entire subplot in the first season about how the human character’s dad fought and died in a war against the andromedans. This makes the human kid prejudicial against one of the other kids, who is an andromedan. While it was played pretty seriously in the show, it was still undercut by the low production value and spotty acting.
Basically, I want this show to be Farscape, but with better graphics and a slightly younger cast. I mean, it was basically the precursor to Farscape anyway, since it came out three years before Farscape even started.
Okay, I say that, but Farscape was nearly perfect (to me, anyway). What I really want to see from a Space Cases reboot is a show with more focus on the relationship between the crew members while they try not to die in a distant corner of space…
So I guess it would be more like Stargate Universe, just with a younger cast… of aliens.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
5.) Wizards of Waverly Place
This Disney Channel original was always a bit all over the place. It eventually settled into something resembling a coherent show, but for the most part, it was just slapstick magic fun.
However, If you delve into the story and lore of the show, you start to see the potential in creating a more mature version of this children’s show.
The main story focuses on the Russo family. The mother is a normal person, but the father was born to a wizard family. Now, he is not a wizard, and that’s because only one child per wizard family gets to keep their magical powers. So of his three children, only one will get to keep their magical abilities.
Now, this is where the true potential of a reboot comes in.
You see, it’s not a genetics thing that lets a kid keep their magic as an adult. Nope, they basically have to compete against their siblings for the right to keep their magic. The other two are left to live normal lives and know that they will never again be able to perform even the simplest of spells.
Can you imagine a gritty retelling of this story? It would be amazing. It would be like a less lethal Hunger Games, pitting a bunch of wizard children against each other while their parents basically help train them to ruin each other’s lives… to a certain extent.
If you add all the vampires, werewolves, and such on top of that, you have the potential for a pretty riveting show.
So, Netflix idea curators, if you’re reading this—and I know you are—you need to get on this shit. Chop chop.