The Reimaginarium of Doctor Asshatuss

Dear Entertainment Industry,

I’m writing to you today as a loyal consumer, viewer, gamer, reader, listener and one of the faceless multitude that ultimately keep you in business. You seem to have forgotten, or perhaps no longer care, that it is my hard earned cash that keeps you in the manner to which you’ve become sadly accustomed.

In times gone past every new film, game, book and television program was new and unique. They may have followed a similar genre, and many, especially westerns, seemed at first glance to be carbon copies of each other, but they all brought their own new and individual stories to the table.  Some became classics because of good casting, Oscar worthy acting or stirringly unique scores, and others were consigned to the dust of history because they couldn’t cut it.

It makes me sad, and deeply concerned, at how much you’ve lost your way. I believe it’s fair to say that the Entertainment Business is far more about business than entertainment now. Like so many industries in the world the day of the individual skilled craftsman is gone and only mass produced products remain in it’s place. Entertainment has lost its focus. I would go as far as to say that very little of modern media is actually entertaining. It might put backsides on seats, move tonnes of popcorn and keep cinemas open, it’s good enough for that purpose, but it’s not good.

Your recent, and seemingly increasing, fascination with the so-called “re-imagining” of older ideas has got to stop. In fact the very idea that you’ve managed to introduce the neologism “re-imagining” into common speech galls me. Equally galling is your hijacking of the computing term “reboot” to signify an attempt to start again from scratch. Let us be honest with ourselves though. What you’re creating is fan fiction, with high production values truth be told, but at it’s heart it’s fan fiction where the creators often show utter contempt for the original whose name and fan base they’re so desperate to trade on.

Strangely I don’t blame the writers, and not because I’m a writer myself, but because I’ve seen and read much about what happens between a story being written and a story reaching the bookshelves or cinema. An outstanding example of this was the recent movie Babylon AD. It was critically panned, and I have to agree it’s a shoddy film, but even before release the director Mathieu Kassovitz had complained bitterly about the constant interference from 20th Century Fox. There’s no guarantee that if they hadn’t interfered that the film would have been a hit, but given Kassovitz’s earlier success I have to wonder about what might have been.

I’ll admit, grudgingly, that sometimes these re-imaginings have exceeded the originals, but only for a time. The much vaunted re-imagining of Battlestar Galactic springs instantly to mind. The original, much as I love it, was campy, high sci-fi hokum of the worst kind and it’s a running joke that many of the episodes were set on whatever set was going spare  on the back lot that day. Like Buck Rogers, Knight Rider, The A-Team and dozens of others from the 70s and 80s it was very much of its time and place, and it should have been left there.

Don’t get me wrong here, I loved the “re-imagined” series, but it wasn’t Battlestar Galactic. It was a modern Sci-Fi show trading upon the glory of a show that’s had it’s day. They could just as easily not used any of the names or ideas from the original series and it would still have been just as good, at least until the writers got carried away with their own success….

So, lords of the Entertainment Business, I’m asking you, hell I’m begging you, stop pushing out this recycled crap and re-imagined ideas and start bring new things to the table. Stop ruining our minds with formula rom-coms, rehashed 1980’s series, painful ruinations of dear childhood favourites and comic book movies that make the original creator puke up their livers.

Oh, and no more FUCKING VAMPIRES OK!

Throw the brakes on the reboot wagon and start supporting imaginative, and original projects, like the guys who are producing Iron Sky, before it’s too late.



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