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01/17/15

Familiar faces: TV and movies rehashing old hits feels like laziness personified

How many times have you heard about a movie or television "remake" and your initial reaction was an eye roll, head shake or shoulders shrugged without hesitation?
Chances are, those reactions, either all or just one, are justified after coming to the realization that one of your favorite movies or television shows is now being brought back for no other reason than to fill a 2 hour block at the theater or a particular time slot on a network that is scrambling and scurrying to add a spark to their lineup.
For those who review these forms of entertainment, you'll be just as hard or more so on not only the movie or show itself but the idea that rehashing an old favorite as nothing more than Hollywood showing its true colors as a medium that is maxed out on creativity and original ideas.
Anyone else catch a glimpse of Matthew Perry, the former star of "Friends," and his latest television vehicle? Yes, Perry somehow got talked into staring in the remake of "The Odd Couple," the show made famous by Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. Randall and Klugman took to the roles with great originality and vigor and made them their own. Attempting to recreate that tension, comedic genius and original back and forth banter between the Felix and Oscar characters seems like not only a tall task but nearly unachievable.
Anything short of the on screen chemistry of Randall and Klugman is going to come across as lame, lazy and tiresome. This isn't a knock against Perry, who has been struggling mightily to find a role after "Friends" to call his own, but rather an indictment on the writers and producers who sit aimlessly in front of a computer and can't muster up anything beyond hand picking a show from decades ago and attempting to rebrand it as their own.

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Some things are better left alone. Shows like "The Odd Couple" and others of that ilk fall directly into that category. Imagine if "All in the Family," "Seinfeld" or "Cheers" found its way back on to your television but the roles made famous by Jerry Seinfeld, Ted Danson or Carroll O'Connor suddenly were played by someone else.
Not exactly the kind of programming that is going to get you excited or engaged with any network that seemingly is on cruise control.
Granted, some shows or movies for that matter have found success being redone or "updated" for a newer, younger audience. But those success stories are few and far between, suggesting that unearthing the past is a pedestrian way to look at developing a so called TV series.

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