Friday, April 15, 2011

Deja Vu, anyone?

In our "everything's disposable" American society, we have many, many items in our lives that are not made, or built, to last very long, really.  There are houses standing in this country that have been there for over 100 years, but modern houses?  Most of them are slapped up wood, a little concrete, and plastic.  Cars?  You drive it until it can't drive anymore and pile it up at a wrecking yard.  Clothes?  Wear it, tear it, and replace it.  Technology?  My ipod has been working for quite a few years now, I have a second gen. ipod nano.  But in the last year I've noticed it's starting to do a few buggy things.  It has many good years left, but when it dies?  I'll replace it with a new one.  No big deal. 

This mentality has even seeped into our entertainment world.  Lady Gaga mixes Madonna's melodies into her songs and although a few people comment on it, basically it's considered "new" and "fresh" and the radio won't stop playing the bloody thing.  On TV, for decades now, cop shows have been recycling the same basic premises over and over, as have lawyer shows, medical shows and sitcoms.  And once upon a time the whole "reality" TV thing was relatively new, as was the "talk show" (I remember Donahue...), but now, it's ALL been done.  And they keep doing it.  Again and again.  Often when a new idea comes along on TV, it's soundly rejected by the majority of the viewing audience and slashed from the lineup after just a few seasons (as evidenced here). 

And movies?  Movies are the worst offenders!  There seem to be more sequels and remakes every year than original films! I understand a "franchise" of films, such as "Star Wars" or "Indiana Jones" or "Harry Potter", telling a story or keeping a character going for multiple films, but what baffles my mind are movies such as "Yogi Bear" or "The Smurfs".  Whaaa?  It's jaw-dropping.  Or even worse, when Hollywood takes a classic film, like "Psycho" and decides it can do better.  Nah, just stupider.  I was looking at movie trailers here today and saw a new "Planet of the Apes" film is on its way.  My first reaction was to ask why the heck do they need another one.  Then I watched the trailer and understood.  It actually looks good, and it's a new angle, not just a "reimagining" of the old story.  But... it's still not really an original idea.  There have been a few times that a new film is a definite improvement on an original.  Take "Batman Begins" for example.  Other superhero or comic book movies fall into this category.  I understand taking a terrible movie and wanting to use the characters to make a better movie. 

It sounds like I'm taking both sides of a debate, which I guess I am, but what I would really like to see from Hollywood and entertainment in general are more original ideas. Maybe that will become the new trend in a year or two.  We can only hope. :)

No comments: