Everything old is new again in Hollywood. Blame a dearth of imagination or a fear that any project without a brand tie-in is doomed.
Either way, old shows just keep coming back. “Will & Grace,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “The X-Files” are just three recent examples. The original programs date back a few years, though, not decades.
What about the ’80s? We’re simply not done revisiting the Reagan era, even if we’re far less intrigued by the following decade. Just ask the throng of fans who adored “Stranger Things” and, to a lesser extent, last year’s “Sing Street.”
Here’s why Hollywood should consider rebooting the following five ’80s shows, but with a twist or two to make them contemporary.
5. “Family Ties”
The beloved sitcom made Michael J. Fox a star. It also gave us the uber-conservative Alex P. Keaton, who made his hippie parents wince on more than one occasion.
The show tweaked that Reagan mystique in a playful way. Why not switch parties for a reboot? Have a very conservative family raising a progressive Alex P. Keaton. Today’s comedies rarely poke fun at liberalism. This would be the perfect chance to right that wrong. Only it shouldn’t do so in a mean-spirited way. That’s not what “Family Ties” was all about. Sha la la la.
C’mon, you miss the fuzzy orange fella. Modern special effects would likely mean a new, improved ALF made of ones and zeroes. That’s not the best reason to reboot the series.
Why not have ALF cast a withering eye at our culture in 2017? Safe spaces. Body shaming. Heck, ALF could be the alien Everyman, wondering aloud at why we do the things we do.
Of course, he’ll still wanna munch on cats. Some things shouldn’t be changed.
3. “Married with Children”
Not every sitcom husband adored his wife, and vice versa. It’s why “Married” proved a revelation after it first aired. The Peg and Al sniping felt fresh at a time when the sitcom desperately needed a shakeup.
A new “Married” could play off a similar theme, shredding conventional wisdom on couples, parenting and more.
Pop culture needs a stick in the eye right about now. What classic TV family could deliver that better than the Bundys?
2. “Silver Spoons”
Let’s face it. “Silver Spoons” is no sitcom classic. It simply rubbed people the right way with its silly storytelling and man-child father figure. That makes a reboot unnecessary.
And yet there’s a very good reason to pursue it all the same.
We desperately need some affluent characters who aren’t trying to rip the rest of us off. We’re still in an Occupy Wall Street age, even if that ragged band of anarchists went the way of the 8-track tape. Suddenly, rich people aren’t to be trusted in our pop culture stories.
Why not showcase a loving, and hyper-rich, father and his close ties to his pre-teen son?
1. “The Greatest American Hero”
This reboot might actually happen. Two years ago, we learned a “Hero” reboot was in the works. There’s been precious little news about the show since then, though.
The reasons to reboot it couldn’t be more clear. We’re obsessed with superheroes today. Modern FX can make our wobbly hero fly more realistically than ever before. And, frankly, with the rise of antiheroes, supervillains and conflicted super folk, we could use a blast of sweetness from the genre.
William Katt’s clumsy hero could barely stay in the air, but he was earnest to the core.