Now, I realize Hollywood is predicated on material that gets used over and over and over again whether for tv or big screen movies. Hell, within each show is a standardized formula. I’m actually okay with formulas because the structure gives you the freedom to come up with great characters and stories (even though there’s nothing really new under the sun). With formula, you don’t have to worry about being some avant garde artiste every single week or with every movie premiere. I appreciate formula as a writer and a fan.
Remakes, though… holy God, what is with all the remakes? I’m not putting this out there as a writer (much), but as a huge fan of both tv and movies. The ease with which a remake gets done has gotten so far out of control — Life on Mars. Hawaii 5-O. 90210. Three different versions of Dracula coming out in the next two years to a theater near you. 21 Jump Street. Battlestar Galactica. Skins. Being Human. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. The list just keeps going on and on!
And now the very latest, Elementary, which is the new version of Sherlock Holmes. This tipped me over the edge. It’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back (21 Jump Street almost did it when I saw the first preview a couple of months ago). Not because CBS is playing off the success of BBC’s incredibly well done Sherlock — studios are in the business of making money, after all. And not because it’s a new version of a classic story — there are so many versions of Sherlock Holmes, that’s not even a factor. What pisses me off is that in order to make this “original” they changed John Watson into a woman. Really? Changing John Watson’s sex is how you make this unique? This is a character who has stood the test of time for 125 years and you decide that mucking about with him like that is a good idea? Seriously? What about Sherlock Holmes in space? Or a Sherlock Holmes who travels through time? Or an alien Sherlock Holmes? I would honestly rather watch those than see a female John Watson no matter who got cast (and for the record, I love Lucy Liu to pieces – if anyone can pull this off, I’ll say it’s her).
There is so much great, original material out there to be made into tv and movies. So many new and veteran writers with stories that would knock the public’s socks off! I want to see more originality like we found in Firefly, Lost, Sons of Anarchy, Bones, Heroes, 24, The Sopranos, Wilfred, and Terriers. I want to fall in love with new characters and get involved in their sordid/exciting/uplifting/soap operatic lives! Some of them won’t work. Some of them will suck. But some of them will become the next Chuck that stuck around for five seasons despite the studio wanting to cancel after the very first one.
Please. As a fan, I’m begging you. Stop the remakes. Stop the madness.