Yesterday, my Facebook stream lit up with reactions to the new Jem and the Holograms trailer, and they were all bad. I read through an article about how awful it was and how it was angering fans of the show, and bracing myself for the worst, I took a look at it. And…I want to see the movie. Right off the bat, my first thought is how this is an origin movie for a series that started off without an origin. The series follows this group after their initial success, so they already have an established routine, and even an established rival. But you wouldn’t find any of that in their origin, if they’d had one, would you? Not really, no. So I’m ready to give the movie the benefit of the doubt. I may be wrong, and the film may suck and make me wish I hadn’t wasted my time or money on it. But based on this one short look, yeah, I’m intrigued.
I feel kind of alone on this, though, because the vast majority of coverage on the trailer is 100% “Ugh, really?” This reminds me once again on how often I end up being outside of the in-crowd when it comes to just about everything. This sucks because if I love something, it usually means it’s gonna die due to a lack of interest. Even when something I love has a big enough fan base to sustain it, ANY mention that I like these things instantly invites a flood of criticism and teasing. I must be stupid to like them, because the mainstream zeitgeist has classified them as pure shite.
The same thing has happened with the new Supergirl trailer. I found out about it from the collective groaning on social media, and I watched the trailer and got goosebumps. I want to see this show so, so bad. I can’t wait for a box set, I need it to come to Rai NOW. This is a thing I need in my life, and I haven’t felt that way about any superhero TV show since Smallville.
And yet, go look at io9 and Polygon marching lock-step in their hate for Supergirl, and for Jem. And the thing is, what’s the gist of all their hate? “This is not the way we wanted it to be!”
Um…and so your point is? I mean, for the last fifteen years, every time a new superhero movie has come out, there have been drastic changes to the story, the costumes, the characters, the settings. Each time a release is found lacking, but the changes made to the story happen because Hollywood is trying to write to a wider audience, and screw what the die-hard fan wants. We’re not the target market, and we’ve been told this every, single, time. These films are not made for us. They’re made to introduce everyone else to this thing we’ve loved and supported. And if the drastic changes alienate us? Well them’s the breaks.
It’s not like I don’t see where y’all are coming from with this hate. I try to give a lot of films and shows a chance, but the changes made to them often alienate me to the point where I can’t see or appreciate what it is that others love so much about the reboots. I loathed the Nolan-helmed Batman trilogy and don’t understand the love for them. I hate the new Man of Steel so much that I’d happily tie Henry Cavill to a kryptonite boulder and drop him in an ocean. I haven’t liked a single X-Men movie since the first one. I don’t like Arrow or Flash. I haven’t liked most of the second phase of the MCU. I don’t like Sherlock or Elementary. I don’t like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
But this doesn’t mean I dislike all reboots. I’m really enjoying Sleepy Hollow. I love Teen Wolf and am eagerly awaiting the release of the season 4 box set in June to keep watching. I thought the first Toby Maguire Spider-Man was fantastic, and I don’t like Spider-Man. (Or more specifically, I don’t like Peter Parker. I loved Miguel O’hara in Spider-Man 2099, which of course meant that reboot was doomed to die quickly.)
I think part of this hate has to do with people becoming fatigued by reboots and remakes. Look at the reactions to the news of a remake of The Craft. It’s all collective groans like “Why do we need another remake? Can’t Hollywood do anything original?”
Well, yes they can, and they often do release original stuff. But those original works are risky and a lot of them flop or just barely make back what they cost to be produced. This makes the studios jumpy about doing too much new stuff, and so they look back at older successes and say, “Let’s do that one again!” Why? Because the people who watched the original will come back for the new version to do a comparison, and a lot of newcomers will go see the new version out of curiosity. The reboots and remakes can still fail, but they have a much higher chance of making bank than an original idea. That’s how we get yet another round of remakes and reboots.
I understand why people are fatigued by the trend, and why they dislike the details of their favorite story changing so much. But not all change is bad, and some reboots turn out better than the original. You want an example? Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To me, that first movie was great. As I watched the first season of the TV show, I really hated the changes made to it. I swore off the series until much later, and it was only in watching Angel that I decided to give Buffy another chance. And yeah, there’s stuff I don’t like about both shows. I could rant for hours about individual problems with episodes, or with whole seasons of both shows. But the reboot was a huge success and has led to an ongoing universe of comics, the so called “Whedonverse.”
I may end up hating both Jem and Supergirl once I see them, but I am not joining the in-crowd in hating the trailers just because they don’t follow some established storyline. I’m still open to the idea of something turning out better with a complete reboot. Maybe they’ll both suck and I’ll come back later and say so in a future post. But I know that my initial reactions to both trailers is positive.
I’m not even really trying to convince anyone else to give these reboots a chance. If you hate them, okay, I understand why you feel that way. I’m just saying that for me, these premises sound interesting, and that I’m going to cut them some slack for not tailoring their story to fit with the originals. We almost never get a direct translation from one medium to the big screen, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that these two adaptations are going to be so different. We’ve been here and done this a long time now. We should be used to the pattern already. We, the fans, are not the target market. We know this. We should get it by now.
But maybe if we can one day accept that being different doesn’t mean being bad, we might all have more fun exploring these new takes on old ideas. But then again, these days, hating rebooted things seems to be way more popular a hobby than loving them does. And that’s a damn shame, because sharing hate for a thing is in my opinion a lousy way to find common ground with each other.