There’s no question that the last 10 years have been the best that television has ever seen. Before 2000, television was not really considered an art form, but a mishmash of crime shows and sitcoms. Not that those shows are bad — some great ones still exist today — but fewer people took television as seriously, and fewer storytellers decided to choose it as a medium.
The TV landscape today is completely different. The shows that are being produced are so consistently good that it’s overwhelming for the viewer – my Netflix and Hulu “to-watch” lists scare me sometimes with how much content is on them. It’s even more interesting, then, to examine the current trend of TV reboots. Over the past year, we’ve seen numerous reboots of older shows from the 80s and 90s.
From the looks of it, we’re going to see more: everything from “Murphy Brown” to “The Twilight Zone” should be hitting your screen in HD. There’s no question that these shows are big money-makers for networks. People are obviously more inclined to tune in to a show where they already know the premise, and maybe some of the characters, than a totally new concept with a new name.
One has to wonder whether they’re really giving these reboots the golden treatment, though. So far into the 2018-2019 reboot game, the critical response varies. Netflix’s take on the 2001 reality series “Queer Eye” has been lauded. The CW’s campy soap “Dynasty,” based off the 1980s show of the same name, has been mixed critically, and falters in ratings next to the network’s ridiculously popular “Riverdale,” but was just renewed for a second season. On the other hand, most people have yet to realize that CBS is redoing “MacGyver,” even though it was renewed for a third season.
It’s a big reboot year for Melissa Joan Hart as well. Hart, a child actress throughout the ’90s, had two hugely popular main roles: Clarissa in “Clarissa Explains It All” and Sabrina in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” Both shows were kid-friendly, funny and cute. They are both getting reboots.
Not much is known about the new “Clarissa,” other than that it will return to Nickelodeon and Hart will play the same character, who is now a mother. The new “Sabrina” seems to be taking a totally different route. Now on Netflix, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is going to be darker, more like the “Archie” comics they’re based on.
Yes, you heard that right. Sabrina Spellman and her friends in Greendale were written into the “Archie” comics, the same ones that inspired “Riverdale.” Similarly to “Riverdale,” this show is said to be a much darker spin on the original material (can confirm, as there are literally faceless people in the trailer and the devil sings her happy birthday). Starring “Mad Men” alum Kiernan Shipka in the title character, the show looks like it will bring a little Halloween spirit to my favorite childhood witch.