Thursday, August 06, 2009

It's Official (Again)

Well, if I needed any proof that Hollyweird has run out of ideas, I've gotten it.

You may recall a few months ago that I pointed out ABC's remake of the series Cupid. At the time, I laughed at it, because it was a remake of a show that had failed spectacularly less than a decade earlier. Of course, I ended up liking the show, mostly because it was well-written and well-acted, a rarity in this day and age of reality TV

Well, now ABC has announced a remake of "V", a miniseries and then TV series that aired about 25 years ago on NBC.

The premise of the show was simple enough: A large number of giant spaceships appeared over Earth, with the inhabitants looking to loot Earth's natural resources. The miniseries and series was eerily similar to the movie Independence Day that appeared about a decade later, only instead of dropping giant blue beams of antimatter that obliterated entire cities prior to stripping the planet of its resources, the aliens in question infiltrated our society by disguising themselves as humans and pretending to come in peace and goodwill.

The show failed of course, mostly because it was poorly written and acted, and was prohibitively expensive to produce. Not unlike NBC's previous Sci-Fi series Battlestar Galactica (the original series).

Nowadays, of course, hi-tech Sci-fi shows are easier and cheaper to make, mostly because of advances in digital technology.

But this does not change the fact that this new show is still a remake of a failed TV series that lasted less than one season, and only originated in the first place due to the minor success of two massive miniseries that were successes because there was little else to watch at the time.

I have long held this theory: Decades ago, at the dawn of Hollywood, thousands of writers, directors, producers, and other film and TV people created this giant vat full of ideas. As movies and TV shows were created, those ideas were drained out of this vat and used as necessary. And new ideas would be tossed into this vat by others, thus keeping the vat full.

But as more and more movies were made, and television went from four networks broadcasting eight hours a day to 400 networks broadcasting 24 hours a day, that massive vat of ideas got drained faster than it could be filled.

And then the ideas ran out. And the remakes began. Expect to see movie versions of Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and Mork and Mindy within a decade.

I blame our education system for this. Our education system which has systematically cut funding to art and music education, which are the keys to stimulating imagination, which in turn is the key to creating new ideas.

Imagination has died here. When I was growing up, the books I read in elementary school envisioned a world where today we would be driving flying cars, colonizing other planets, and moving from one side of the planet to the other as easily as we walked across the street. Tell me: How much of that is true today?

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