Take 2: Which sitcom reboots live up to the hype?
Does your favorite sitcom deserve a second chance?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when rebooting beloved TV shows became a hot trend, but for viewers who are eager for a high dose of nostalgia, the timing could not be any better.
While Netflix was ahead of the trend with rebooting Arrested Development in 2013, broadcast networks seem to have caught on and 2018 is turning into the year of peak reboot TV. NBC’s "Will & Grace" kicked things off, and we’ve already gotten tastes of a "Roseanne" and "American Idol" reboot.
And that’s just the start. CBS is working on a reboot of Candice Bergen’s "Murphy Brown" and the CW is working on a new version of "Charmed" and "Roswell." Plus, add in the rumors that "The Office," "Miami Vice," and "The Munsters" could also be getting a face lift and you’ve got yourself a heaping of rebooted shows to choose from.
With so many options and only a limited amount of time to binge your favorites, we decided to ease your TV reboot anxiety and take a closer look at which reboots you should be tuning into, and which shows should get the boot.
Original run: Before any of the HGTV designing shows that we have grown to love were on the air, "Trading Spaces" on TLC was redesigning rooms for people in dire need of help. Two neighbors would swap houses and redesign a room in two days with the help of a designer, $1,000 and a carpenter. The show was addicting, the designers were hilarious and the redesigned rooms usually turned out pretty great (unless Hildi was in charge of the design).
The reboot: The reboot of "Trading Spaces" is bringing back bubbly host Paige Davis (yay!), carpenters Ty Pennington and Carter Oosterhouse, and all your favorite designers. This time around, the neighbors will design two rooms and have a $2,000 budget.
Should I tune in? OBVIOUSLY! "Trading Spaces" was a legendary show, and we’re so excited to see it come back.
Original run: There is no denying the impact that "American Idol" had on the music industry and pop culture. Not only did the original show ignite the careers of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and so many others, but it also paved the way for countless other reality competition shows like "The Voice," "So You Think You Can Dance" and "The X Factor." It also gave us the judges — from Randy Jackson’s “yo, dawg,” to Paula Abdul’s wacky optimism, and Simon Cowell’s harsh reality checks, there was never a dull moment. Sure, things got a little weird when Ellen Degeneres and Nicki Minaj became judges, but there is no denying the legacy of the show.
The reboot: It was a little surprising to hear that "American Idol" was getting a reboot since it recently ended, but the show has a new network and a new panel of judges who are ready to find America’s next singing superstar. The show premiered in March and has delivered thus far. Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have great chemistry, but the true test will come when the live elimination shows begin.
Should I tune in? If you tuned in for the first couple seasons of "Idol" then you will love the reboot. There is something fresh about this new season, whereas the later seasons felt old and tired. Let’s just hope the new "Idol" doesn’t fall into bad habits.
"Will & Grace"
Original run: When "Will & Grace" first debuted back in 1998, there was nothing like it on TV. Will Truman and Jack McFarland not only paved the way for other gay TV characters, but their storylines were not tied up with clichés like coming out or dying of AIDs. Will and Jack were three-dimensional characters with emotions and sex lives and families and everything else that straight TV characters have always had. Plus, the show gave us Karen Walker, the gift that never stops giving.
The reboot: If Donald Trump wasn’t elected president, would we have gotten the "Will & Grace" reboot? That’s certainly debatable, since the first episode of the new season focused on the aftermath of the election (Will, Grace, and Jack all supported Hillary, and of course, Karen is hilariously in Trump’s inner-circle). In the new reboot, Grace has moved back in with Will, Jack still lives across the hall and Karen is still drunk. Some things just never change.
Should I tune in? If you were a fan of the original series, then watching the reboot is like a trip down memory lane. Old guest stars from the original run come back, like Karen’s arch nemesis, Beverly Leslie (played by the brilliant Leslie Jordan), Will’s ex-boyfriend, Vince, and even Minnie Driver’s iconic character, Lorraine, is back to give Karen hell one last time. The show does lean heavy on Trump jokes, so if you voted the man in office, this might not be your cup of tea.
Original run: With a catchy theme song, iconic catchphrases (How rude!), and a dynamic cast (John Stamos, we’re looking at you), the eight-season run of "Full House" brought us laughs, tears and plenty of teachable moments from Danny Tanner. Viewers literally got to watch D.J., Stephanie, and baby Michelle grow up in front of their eyes, all while falling in love with Danny, Uncle Jesse, Aunt Becky and goofy Joey. Oh, and how could we forget about Kimmy Gibbler?
The reboot: The wonderful people at Netflix decided to give "Full House" the reboot treatment but with a twist — "Full House" is now "Fuller House," with D.J., Stephanie and Kimmy Gibbler raising D.J.’s three boys. Millennials were ecstatic when the reboot was announced, but now three seasons in, the show seems more aimed at young teens than 20-somethings.
Should I tune in? Seeing an adult Kimmy Gibbler on TV in all her sitcom glory was worth the wait for the reboot, but not having Danny, Uncle Jesse and Joey in the show full-time leaves something to be desired.
Original run: When the original "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" premiered on Bravo in 2003, it wouldn’t be another 12 years until gay marriage would be legalized in America, with the show being one catalyst in America’s long road of accepting the LGBTQ+ community. In each episode, five gay men (known as the “Fab 5”) were tasked with giving a makeover to a straight guy in need, along the way showing that gay men are funny, approachable and normal. The show was hilarious, heartwarming and revolutionary.
The reboot: Netflix brought back the beloved show in early 2018 with a new Fab 5 and new straight (and one gay!) men who desperately need a boost of confidence, a haircut and a new wardrobe. The reboot lives in a different space than the original show, since it is 2018 and gay marriage is legal in America, but the essence of the original show is deeply interwoven in the reboot.
Should I tune in? Absolutely! Every episode is a tearjerker, and the new Fab 5 have just as much charisma and chemistry as the original boys. It’s especially nice to see a straight man, who would normally never interact with an out-and-proud group of gay men, bond and find common ground on not only grooming tips, but also hot button issues.
Original run: Roseanne Barr’s sitcom "Roseanne" took everything that viewers knew about sitcoms and absolutely threw them out the window. Roseanne’s family was poor, lovingly rude to each other and dealt with issues that actual families overcome, like poverty, abuse and teen pregnancy. It was a breath of fresh air in a time where sitcom families were squeaky clean.
The reboot: The Conner family is back in 2018 and still dealing with problems that everyday Americans face. The show seems to be tackling the Trump presidency head-on, trying to show both sides of a political coin. With just a few episodes in, it will be interesting to see how the show continues to handle controversial topics.
Should I tune in? That depends on if you can separate the real Roseanne Barr from her sitcom character. While both Roseannes are Trump supporters, Barr does not hold back, even sometimes sharing far right, untrue conspiracy theories on Twitter. But with 18.2 million people tuning into the first episode of the reboot, they must be doing something right.
Original run: Originally hosted by Chuck Woolery, this funky dating show of the ‘80s would try to set up couples on dates. If the dates went well, the couple would get a second date and the show would proclaim that they found a “love connection.”
The reboot: This time, the rebooted "Love Connection" is hosted by Andy Cohen and basically follows the same premise as the original show. The person in search of love goes on dates and Andy Cohen does a great job of getting the contestant to dish on all the gossip from the dates.
Should I tune in? What is nice about this updated "Love Connection" is that it has contestants of all ages and sexual orientations, so it feels a lot more modern than most dating shows like "The Bachelor." If you’re into cheesy reality dating shows, then Love Connection is perfect for you. If you think finding love on TV is a load of bologna, then I’d pass.
Original run: There aren't enough good things you could say about David Lynch’s surreal crime drama. While it only ran for two seasons, it is often referenced when talking about great TV shows because of how easily it dipped into other genres and used surrealism and offbeat humor to tell its story. The show formed a cult following of die-hard fans.
The reboot: Showtime gave the green light for David Lynch to work on a brand new season with most of the returning cast, including Kyle MacLachlan. While the reboot wasn’t a ratings avalanche, critics could not get enough of it, with many publications naming it one of the best shows of 2017.
Should I tune in? "Twin Peaks" is one of those shows that you would want to watch the original run before jumping into the reboot. If you’re a fan of highbrow TV, "Twin Peaks" is right up your ally. If you just want a good laugh, then give this a hard pass.
Original run: For seven glorious seasons, Lorelai Gilmore and her teenage daughter Rory brought us into their lives and the fictional town of Stars Hollow. The series focused on the close relationship between Lorelai and Rory, and also Lorelai’s high-class parents who were full of tough love. The show gathered a cult following of loyal viewers who were 100 percent invested in the lives of residents of Stars Hollow.
The reboot: Fans of "Gilmore Girls" almost lost their minds when Netflix announced they were bringing the show back, but the format was a little different compared to other reboots. The show was a four-part mini-series, with each episode taking place in a different season of the year.
Should I tune in? This reboot was a little underwhelming for audiences. "Gilmore Girls" fans wanted a full season of Lorelai and Rory quipping with each other. Instead, we got four dull episodes with an ending that was lackluster and disappointing.
Original run: While "Arrested Development’s" original run was cut short after three seasons, the impact that the show had on the comedy world is undeniable. So many hilarious callbacks to previous episodes, inside jokes, and enough puns to put you in stitches made this show a cult classic.
The reboot: "Arrested Development" fans almost lost their dang minds when Netflix brought back the show. With the entire Bluth family coming back, it was a real treat to see Lucille boss around man-child Buster, or to see what kind of shenanigans Tobias was going to get himself into.
Should I tune in? When the cast shot the new season of "Arrested Development," scheduling conflicts between actors made shooting together difficult. Because of this, each episode of the season 4 reboot is focused on a certain character. Viewers deeply missed seeing the ensemble acting together, but the show still had everything that made "Arrested Development" so beloved in the first place. Plus, season 5 of the show is set to come out sometimes in 2018, so look forward to that.
"One Day at a Time"
Original run: A show that defined the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, "One Day at a Time" told the story of a single mother raising her two teenage daughters, with the help of her eccentric mother and the quirky building superintendent Schneider. The original show ran for a whopping nine seasons.
The reboot: The reboot of "One Day at a Time" is basically a reworked version of the original show. The new show features a single Cuban-American single mother raising her son and daughter with the help of her mother, played by the iconic Rita Moreno. It’s basically the same show, just updated for 2018 audiences.
Should I tune in? Yes! On its second season, the new "One Day at a Time" has received rave reviews across the board from viewers and critics. It’s also a shining example that not all TV reboots have to be the same exact cast, continuing on the same story.
"Lost In Space"
Original run: While the premise of getting lost in outer space sounds absolutely terrifying, the Robinson family just rolled with the punches on this ‘60s sitcom that lasted just a few seasons. The best part of this show is that it takes place “in the future,” and by future, we mean 1997.
The reboot: Netflix has yet again dived into the dumpster of old sitcoms and is reviving "Lost In Space" for 2018 audiences. The premise seems to be the same as the original, except better special effects.
Should I tune in? If you’re a sci-fi fan then you will probably eat this show up, but it doesn’t premiere until April 13.
Is there a classic show from the past that you want another season of? Let us know in the comments!
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