An older Millennial trying to embrace what makes her generation special.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Reboot That Must Never Happen: Dinosaurs

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Okay, when I first came up with this entry, I thought it would be on the tail of a She-Ra review that didn't happen because I got drunk and decided I wanted to talk about Monopoly for Millennials. But I'm still doing this because Dinosaurs is the reason I love Jessica Walter - yep, like a million years before she was Lucille Bluth and Malory Archer, she was good mom Fran Sinclair.

And I do love Dinosaurs. It was a preachy show that didn't feel preachy when you were watching it. In fact, in an early drug PSA episode, they told the camera they didn't want to be preachy, which probably helped the children who were watching the show totally miss the fact that nearly every episode of the show was social commentary. Given how Millennials are not shy about social commentaries themselves, it's a show that probably shaped a lot of childhoods.

But it should never, ever, ever be rebooted.

I'm someone who generally loves reboots. I mean, Hollywood was never original. Even Wizard of Oz was based on a book, and not even the first Wizard of Oz movie. I was a film major before I dropped out of college - I can cite examples all day. But a reboot is about the exciting, fresh new way to tell an old story. There are reasons that could never work for Dinosaurs.

First, there's the everyone dies ending. I'm sorry if I just spoiled the ending of a show that was canceled in 1994. This eliminates an entire category of reboot of shows from this generation - the sequel series. What's Baby Sinclair and his kids up to? We can never know because dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the original series. Coming back from that would be so disingenuous that it would be insulting.

Second, there's the set it in the present era form of reboot. But it's Dinosaurs. It's pre-history. They could do like Flintstones in the comics, and make it relatable to this era, but there's a reason I think it worked for Flintstones but couldn't for Dinosaurs. The original Flintstones was set in idyllic 50s pre-history world. The 50s were never like the way they were portrayed on TV, and so they had a lot of room to move around to be more authentic while still being The Flintstones. Dinosaurs came out in the 90s, where authenticity was already being portrayed on TV - families aren't perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Add in the fact that Dinosaurs was already heavy on social commentary and really, the only thing you could do is give them pre-historic Internet, and that's not enough of a change to be interesting.

Finally, the interest level could never actually be high enough. No reboot of The Munsters or The Addams Family, not counting the movies with Christina Ricci, has ever done well. These are both shows that were canceled relatively early in their runs. Sure, they may have done well in cable reruns, but a reboot only targets that exact same audience - if they weren't there the first time, they won't be there the next five times. Dinosaurs would fall into the same category.

I would still watch a Dinosaurs reboot, and getting drunk wouldn't stop me. I would just deeply resent it the whole time.



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