Why Do Movie Remakes of Classic Television Series Mock instead of Honor?

As a nostalgic movie and television lover, I am dismayed by the modern notion of taking classic television series and turning them into movies that mock the original.  Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are the current master marauder murderers of a classic original television series with the release of their horrible version of “Dark Shadows” — but this modern movie remaking trend started earlier in 1991 with “The Addams Family” retread of the television series.

Where once The Addams Family was quirky and odd on television, in the movie they suddenly became ridiculous and cloying in their satiric mocking of the original series.  Instead of honoring the relationships of the people, “The Addams Family: The Movie” instead chose to make fun of the characters and “send them up” for a modern audience piqued by the familiar and family-friendly terms of the original television series.

Then, in 1995, we had the atrocious “Brady Bunch Movie” that took the mocking of the original television series to an even higher, and more insulting level, than The Addams Family film.  Why are these moviemakers so frightened of goodness and wholesomeness in the original characters and settings?  What is the point of taking something moral and making fun of it with the shamelessness of a “modern sensibility?”

2004 brought us another rotten apple “comedy” — “Starsky & Hutch” — that bellyflopped at the box office as a movie send-up of the original television series.  The original show was a great experience and it had humor and meaning — while the movie remake was flaccid and dull and unfunny in every way.  If you don’t understand something — or if you can’t appreciate Art — the easiest thing to do is to take the pathway of the lowest common denominator and make fun of it to get an unearned and uncomfortable laugh.

Now we have the unfortunate “Dark Shadows” sendup of the original, classic, television show. These “movie remakes” are never honorable upgrades — they’re merely ghosts of the greatness of the original, Artful light, that now “inspires” a tepid and shallow remaking of something that never needed to be reborn in the first place.

4 comments

  • One would think that writers have run out of ideas and yet independent film studio releases tell us otherwise. This new movie looks horrendous.

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    • Yes, horrendous! The original Dark Shadows was mesmerizing and creepy in an appropriate horror-fantasy way. The remake is just cheap — but that’s been the trend with Depp/Burton movies as of late — “Alice in Wonderland” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” are just pale remakes of better movies.

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  • Lillian Boyington

    It’s kinda like “I don’t want to see him/her now. I want to remember them as they wanted to be.”
    If they’re gone, they’re gone. Don’t try to resurrect them. If you do, find TVLand. You’ll have better results.
    I’ve never watched the re-makes. Your above stated revilement of a pathetic attempt to make classic into contemporary underscores my conviction.

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