Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Same old comfort

Like many people, I’ve rolled my eyes and sighed whenever I hear some studio announce that they’re going to reboot some beloved franchise from decades ago.  Or, you know that standalone movie from twenty years ago that had a satisfying ending?  Here’s the sequel you never asked for.  I groan and nod along as people who know more of the industry explain that movies are expensive things to make, so if people already know about this superhero or whatever, you don’t have to spend as much on marketing so there’s a better chance the movie will make big bucks.  And while people will complain that Hollywood keeps remaking the same four movies and demand something new, Hollywood will keep remaking those movies because they know how to make money from them and new things risk losing money.

For the longest time, I felt that I – obviously – was in the “Give us new stories!” camp.  It seems every few years I hear about a reboot of one of my favorite shows from back in my late teens, early twenties.  And even though some of the original people are involved, I wince.  Because one of the reasons I loved that show so much was because it was different from the other shows at the time.  So that newness ship has sailed.  A reboot would either be likely just a nostalgia sequel, or one of these, “We know you enjoyed all these things from the original show, so we’re going to do something completely different now.” Statistically, the odds of the lightning still being in the bottle are slim. 

But recently, I’ve noticed that I’m getting a bit stuck in my ways.  I still watch new movies, or read new books, but it seems I’m finding fewer gems.  Is the new stuff just not as good as the old, are my views on what I enjoy fossilizing, or as I grow and mature as a person and writer, am I getting more critical?  Are there movies that I would have absolutely loved ten years ago, but now I just shrug and say they’re okay?  Or is life just difficult now?  Like, do I want to watch this acclaimed new movie about the Holocaust, or get some ice cream and just sit back and watch Zootopia for the eighth time?  And the answer is … I don’t know, and likely never will.  Which is annoying, but – I’ll admit – a bit of a comfort.

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