With so many hit TV shows running up against each other, it appears that networks are realising that to reach the top of the ratings they need to bring something new and different to the small screen – by bringing back the old.
The second half of 2012 has seen the emergence of nostalgic shows such as Puberty Blues, Dallas, Young Talent Time, Prisoner, Melrose Place and even news of the Brady Bunch being remade in the USA, but it makes you ask why are they bringing back the classics? Is it that the current shows are being marketed to teens and young adults, and aren’t capturing that older audience at the same time? Or are networks predicting the end of the talent show era?
The first answer lies in the fact that since the launch of Australian Idol in 2003, talent shows have not only featured on our screens, but dominated them. This year alone has seen X Factor, The Voice, I Will Survive, Australia’s Got Talent and Everybody Dance Now (to name a few) and Australians are in need of a change. With the cancellation of Everybody Dance Now, and I Will Survive’s poor ratings, it is obvious that viewers are wanting variety; and networks think that nostalgia is the answer.
And they’re definitely onto something. Take Puberty Blues for example. It was a hit film back in the early 80’s when today’s older generation either grew up watching what they would go through in their teenage years, or grew up in time with the girls in the film. By bringing it back as a series some decades later, it sparks curiosity in that same older generation as it gives them the opportunity to relive their teenage years by triggering that nostalgic feeling, while for todays teens it gives them the opportunity to see what it was like in that era and grow up with those same girls again as the generation before did. It reaches a far broader audience than other shows have the ability to appeal to.
Likewise, there is so much content being brought in from around the world, whether it is the actual show or just the formatting. But they aren’t necessarily hitting our screens as fast as people like, and as a result, are being downloaded before reaching our shores. By bringing back the old classics and playing with the element of nostalgia, it removes the chances of shows being downloaded before they air and forces viewers to instead tune in when they air for the first time, bringing a fresh element to the screens.
These shows are being brought back for a reason – they were a hit in their heyday, so why wouldn’t they be the same today? The networks bringing them back need to be careful, though. There is a risk in trying to successfully remake something that was loved by so many people, just as much as there is a risk of flooding the market with remakes as has been done with talent shows.
I totally agree.
So many films, TV shows and even songs are now featuring content that is old, or rewritten for contemporary audiences. I am one of those people who is sick to death of talent shows, and am more likely to be sucked into the nostalgia factor, or interest in seeing something that has been remade. Whether it’s to criticise it negatively or to just enjoy it, they at least get me viewing it. I also agree that the people who remake these shows need to be careful they don’t ruin something for the older fans.
One such example is the show Glee, they cover so many great songs, and it ruins it for many of the people who loved the original versions, yet the younger audience, in most cases, has no idea who is responsible for writing and performing them in the first place.
Either way the people remaking the shows are making a lot of money, when you know something was successful in the past, it is a safe option to do it again.
Some shows from the past are definitely worth of being remade and I’m very much looking forward to seeing Puberty Blues after having been one who grew up in the same era as these girls.
However, the remakes selection criteriia needs to be researched carefully rather than churning out anything old, because not everything old translates well into a remake. Take for example the recent remake of The Three Stooges – I don’t know of anyone who even saw it and to me, it’s content of slap-stick comedy and physical violence is just not funny or relevant anymore in today’s world – we have moved onwards and upwards from that type of humour.
Memories of shows I watched in my youth tend to drip with nostalgia – in my mind they seemed wonderful, but to watch these same shows nowadays is sometimes a big reality slap as they seem so slow and basic compared with today’s standards. Sometimes, I prefer to keep those happy memories than have them tarnished with a shoddy remake.
I have never been into reality shows, even from the beginning of the first ever Big Brother – I have never felt comfortable watching other people’s real-life attributes and bad behaviours displayed for the world to see and I would welcome any shows that actually have content worth watching.