With a new year upon us, thoughts turn to fresh starts and new horizons. However, what will be dramatically different for us in 2013 than in 2012? Most people's lives are likely to stay very similar to how they are now. The trick is to make everything old new again. It's a feat our pop culture seems quite dedicated to, especially as of late.
I refer, of course, to reboots and remakes of television series. In this day and age, we cannot leave well enough alone, or commit just to original ideas. So many television shows are new incarnations of old ones, or based on movies or other material, that it seems like they outnumber the fresh concepts. Sometimes this can be bad, and other times, it's so well done that one can't complain.
Sci-fi seems to be the biggest beneficiary of good remakes. Battlestar Galactica springs to mind as a top notch effort, a show that took a poorly executed concept from decades ago (so I've heard, I haven't actually got around to watching the original), and managed to make it a grand political, religious, war-intensive, philosophical thriller. Interweaving the things that our society hinges on, and seeing them laid bare, with the trappings of B.S. stripped away, it is a true triumph.
Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Stargate also have found new lives, continually updating themselves to stay up with the current trends. The first two of these three had some pretty solid stories in the old days, but the technology just wasn't advanced enough to satisfyingly portray them. Now, not only have the special effects gotten better, but so has the depth and complexity of the tales. Dark sells better these days, and so the optimism gives ways to dystopia.
Next up in this category: Star Wars should soon get a long-awaited, live-action small screen adaptation.
Fantasy is right up there with the sci-fi. Once Upon a Time has shown us what can be done with children's stories when they are reinterpreted with a fresh eye and a creative wit. It helps that it is starting to feel a lot like Lost, which it borrows from almost as heavily as the source material. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, arguably one of the best television shows of all time, has its roots in a crappy film. These are the types of shows that give rebooting a good name.