In the age of reboots, people are turning to show runners of their favorite shows from the past, begging for their return.
In the past, when shows aired their series finales and were taken off the air, that was it. Fans would have to move on and find something else to watch in order to fill the void caused by the absence of their favorite shows and characters. I for sure have experienced this sensation after the end of shows such as Lost, Bones, House, Friends and a plethora of other shows with one word titles. Things have begun to change, however with the dawn of the era of a million reboots. Whether we asked for them or not, television shows from the past are coming back onto our television screens, and are actually becoming very successful. Shows such as Will & Grace, Murphy Brown, Rosanne and Veronica Mars have all come back, or are in the process of returning, and have all been given off the charts support. Rosanne is a different story, but before all that, it was being very well received. My question however, is could every show from the past be successful in today’s very politically correct society.
In a recent interview, Steve Carrel spoke about a potential reboot of The Office in the future. His response has made a lot of people start to think about what audiences consider to be funny nowadays. He touched on the nature of the show and his character, and how the humor of the show might not necessarily land in today’s hypersensitive culture.
There’s a very high awareness of offensive things today—which is good, for sure. But at the same time, when you take a character like that too literally, it doesn’t really work,” said Carrel.
I don’t know if I agree with him on this. Newer audiences are finding The Office on Netflix and are loving it, however I do agree that if it originally came out yesterday, it would not succeed. I think people can watch the original on Netflix, with the knowledge that the show first premiered in 2005 when a lot of the jokes would not have been found offensive, and kind of give it a pass and are able to laugh at it. If it came out as a new series, and not as a reboot, with the knowledge of what different people can find offensive today in mind, then I would agree with him and I don’t think it would be successful. The same can be said for the show Friends, which many people have said was homophobic.
In my opinion, comedies and comedians should be given a pass by society. Comedy is where audiences can go to look at their experiences and see it be made into something funny. It shouldn’t be done in an outright mean way but if the intention is not to offend but to make light of something and bring humor into a super serious world, than why not. Comedies on network television today are funny, but nothing makes me laugh more than when I watch Friends or The Office. If these shows were to come back today, they would be different, and while they would probably still be successful, it would not be what fans have been waiting for.