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When Should You Reboot A Show? – Op-Ed Piece


 

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Introduction

Hey readers,

Here is an article about reboots. I can tell you right now, reboots are tricky. We also included a writing prompt and writing tip here too.

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Writing Prompt





Write about a time you realised you were mistaken.








 
 

Writing Tip


Love your story


You might have a list of story ideas waiting to be fleshed out. You probably thought of one while you were just sitting around reading this blog, but there’s likely one you’re most passionate about. That is the one that you think of the most. When you are having lunch, this story pops into your head. When you are at dinner, this story somehow shows up. When you are not eating, this story makes a surprise visit in your head. Start with that story. Many authors do their best writing when they’re deeply invested in their characters and plot. Love your story, cause that passion can spill over into your work without you even realizing it.

 
 

When Should You Reboot A Show? – Op-Ed Piece


Writing is a job best done with a clean slate so that the thoughts and ideas you have can later connect, forming a larger piece of art for the audience to enjoy. These connections, which may be odd and out of place outside of the story, are welcomed because of the universe they inhabit. The more you add to a story, whether it be a character or plotline or setting, the more you need to connect so that you don’t lose the people and have them wondering, “This isn’t practical” People are fine going on the ride, but you gotta get them on the ride first. What happens if you try to paint over this painting you created? What if you wish to change the original image so that the symbolism and meaning can be altered? What happens if you want to change the painting altogether? You don’t want to change an eyelash or two. No, you want to change the whole damn portrait that you spent a year on. Can you do this to your work of art? Should you do it? And why the hell am I using “painting” as a metaphor here?


Part of the charm of a story is the fluidness it gives us all. For some reason, in its own twisted way, we accept the reality we are given. Does a boy wizard going to school really make sense? Probably not. Does a man obsessing over a whale seem reasonable to us? Not really. How about a bunch of talking animals? Not at all. Yet, we go with this because the story allows us in enough to say, “Okay. I like what you created. I will go for the ride.” Then it is up to the storyteller to continue to make stories that go along with this trust they created with the audience.

I don’t like reboots. In fact, I don’t like to write stories that could be rebooted. I feel the project is so exhaustive and fruitless that I would rather just write a whole new story from the beginning—one that influences the project I am rebooting, but enough to be its own. I don’t want people to read my work and see something else in it; I want them to see the art for itself. Which, of course, begs to question at what point is the reboot its own original show? How far do you have to take the characters or themes or plotlines until the actors and the actions appear novel, in concept and execution? I don’t have an answer here.


Reboots are very popular because some shows and other forms of media are too damn popular to let them go to waste. Someone can make a lot of money off of it, so someone somewhere will hire a writer and tell them to make something of it. They don’t care if it is the best; they just want enough to be able to sell it, since who are we kidding here? There are some properties that people will line up to buy. These properties, or works of art, have their own cult following and are beloved by those who know them. I have said this before, but those forms of art, whether a song, a painting, or a book, are invaluable because they matter to people. That song is played each morning when someone wakes up. That painting hangs in the office of every blogger. That book is read by every woman on the beach. There is a connection we feel to these things. We, to put it in layman terms, like them. We like listening to that song. We like looking at that painting. We like reading that book. We don’t go back because we are told to, or because it gets us any bonus points with our friends and family. No, that art is great enough that after the media frenzy, the artist’s are done with it, and their novelty has worn off. We still like them for what they are. Some things can be pushed upon us until we can’t think of anything else, but that doesn’t mean we will go back to that thing, whether it is a song, or painting, or book, after the promotion.

Now, there is a show that got this question of reboots going into my writing mind; Two and A Half Men. The best sitcom of the 2000s. My god, is that correct? Wow, that may be the case. Anyway, I am not going to give you a rundown of the whole freaking show, but here is the general idea. It is an updated version of “The Odd Couple” with a kid. And if you don’t know what “The Odd Couple” is, then look it up. That show had an unusual occurrence happen during it, and something that I never heard of for any other popular sitcom, before it or after it. The off-screen fighting between the shows’ most popular star, Charlie Sheen, and producer Chuck Lorre, led to the show having changes within the actual universe created. They couldn’t keep it in the locker room or between teammates. No. They both publicly hated each other, and I can’t recall a show that was labeled the best of its kind when on the air have that problem.


By killing off Charlie’s Sheen character, who coincidentally was called Charlie, they all but ruined the chance of the show ending normally. It didn’t even get a Seinfeld ending; that was just out there, but also creative. They killed off one of the men and the most popular character, and they didn’t think that anybody would notice. Yeah, the Patriots thought they would be fine without Brady as their quarterback too. It turns out that a world that preaches equality and opportunity is kind of full of shit since we go to certain events for only one guy on a team or show. Everyone is equal, aside from those people who we all would pay for to see their art.


Let’s be real for a second; the show is still hailed as a great show when it was going right. When people bring up the show, they bring up the Charlie Sheen years built on his comedic timing and a few other things I appreciated.

I do feel the show was not well-written but properly formatted.


  • It had the chemistry between John Cryer and Charlie Sheen.

  • Angus T. Jones was Jake, the kid who was a nice change of pace for a sitcom. Most sitcoms don’t even have kids.

  • Berta, the housemaid, was very funny.

  • The mom of the two brothers added a nice dimension to the show in that she was ruthless to anybody she encountered

  • The wife of John Cryer’s character was an absolute bitch of a character, while her husband was extremely funny.

Yeah, we all tuned in because of the big-name that Charlie Sheen had, but there was a lot of good going on with the show besides him. From that perspective, you can see why Chuck Lorre thought he could move on from Charlie Sheen.


Side note here: One of the best moments in the show, and a personal favorite of mine, was when Charlie, the bachelor who would do anything to get laid, is getting threatened by a sadist since the night before he performed a satanic ritual, in which he was only interested in because of sex, not the spiritual ramifications. Then as the woman is scolding Charlie and he is defenseless, who walks in but his mother? The sadist is even afraid of Charlie’s mom, and he is off the hook. That is very funny, and I compliment whoever wrote that scene. It was great. If I wrote that scene, I’d be pretty proud of myself.


This gets me to my original question. When do you reboot a show? Cause it will happen with Two and A Half Men, you can count on that. There will be a reunion or something. Someone will pay the actors enough money to sit around and talk about the show for the fans to overreact to it.

But a reboot? That is something very different. And this show, as I mentioned, ended so…. Strange. Most probably think it ended when Charlie was killed in order for Chuck Lorre to get Charlie Sheen off the show. And yes, I admit that I left the show then too. Remember what I said about Brady leaving the Patriots. You can’t just get rid of your star player and expect everything to be fine.


Is it right to reboot it so that the character that they killed off, unceremoniously, by the way, can go off and live a happy life? Or maybe the show should stay as is. Screw Chuck Lorre and Charlie Sheen. They both messed up and couldn’t understand their situation, so they don’t get another chance. I get that opinion.


What would I do? Would I reboot it? I…. I don’t know. If I am writing up a few episodes for this show, I need to have a few things. First off, a sober Charlie Sheen and sorry, Chuck Lorre, but people want Charlie and not Chuck, so I’d ask for Chuck to not be there, or at the very least, not get in my way or annoy the star. Are people going to watch the show if Charlie Sheen is in it, or because Chuck Lorre is producing it? Do I even need to answer that? The last thing I need is for those to jackasses to be at each other’s throats when I try to figure out how the hell to end a series that they both blew up.


I don’t know what I would write about exactly. I mean concerning plot points, but I can say this. I’d erase what happened after Charlie Sheen left the show. That was all a dream or something. I am giving the people what they want, which is his character, to find happiness. In fact, that is what the key to the reboot would be; give the two and a half men the happy lives they have been trying to get all along. Although the show was never promoted as such, it is really about a dysfunctional family. There is only one person that Charlie’s character loved, and I mean, that he actually cared for during the show’s run, that he wasn’t trying to manipulate but truly help. No, not his many girlfriends or even his brother. I am talking about Jake, his nephew. If I were writing a reboot, Charlie’s love for his nephew is the key to the whole thing. Jake is the only person that Charlie, the character that everyone loves, loved. If I could capture that, then I would be hopeful that I could write a half-decent reboot. I’d make it short and sweet. Give the characters a happy ending because that is all anyone who watched the show wants.


It would be pretty funny to have the reboot have a Newhart type of ending, where Charlie wakes up in bed and explains to John Cryer of this weird dream that he had.


What the hell do I care, really? It’s not. I am going to have anything to do with it anyway.

 
 

Ending

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About The Blogger

Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. His favorite writers are Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. He enjoys reading up on history, watching comedies, and playing video games, when he is not writing down a few notes for his next piece. He started this blog out of his love for literature and hopes that the reader shares that same passion.

 

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