Thoughts on Living in a World of Remakes

“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 1:9

Those words were written thoughts of years ago but they are very poignant even today.  The Teacher (most believe was King Solomon) wrote those words reflecting on his life and the culture of that time.  It could also be applied to the culture of today very easily.  There are many things that translate to this era and time period.

One of those things that has been on my mind of recent has been the prevalence of society to embrace remakes.  You turn on the TV or you go to a movie theater and you are hard pressed to not see a remake or a reboot.  It is everywhere.  Granted, this is not a new phenomenon.  I will say that it has become more prevalent in the last few years.

Why is this so?  There’s probably several reasons.  One, Hollywood is about making money.  These franchises that are getting remade are ones that have made a lot of money in the past and executives probably believe that they can continue to make money.  Two, we as a society are rooted in nostalgia.  Each generation has our shows and movies that we loved growing up and we want to connect with those times again.  So as each generation grows into adulthood, we see “new” versions of classic (to them) forms of their childhood favorites.  Three, coming up with new ideas is hard.  It’s a lot easier to recycle old ideas than is to come up with original ideas (especially when you’re in the business of making money like Hollywood is).

I know some people love remakes and some people hate remakes.  Where do I tend to fall?  I tend to be somewhere in the middle.  I think there are some good remakes.  Most of those tend to be ones that honor the spirit of the original and can also tell a good story.  However, the majority of remakes aren’t that.  Many of them do not honor the spirit of the original.  They also don’t tell a compelling story.  Some are just bad ripoffs or they are just carbon copies and are simply made to try and make money (in some cases successfully and in some cases not).

Because we are made in the image of God, we have a desire to create.  Stories are a part of that.  There are elements in all stories that run as a thread throughout.  I do think that having a prevalence of remakes and reboots isn’t as good as having a prevalence of more original stories.  So when there is a movie or TV show that isn’t a remake or reboot, I try and make a point to watch it.  It may be good.  It may not be good.  But if there is that support for more original content then maybe there might be more of it made so that it isn’t all remakes and reboots.

The Teacher spoke very insightfully of his time and culture.  He also spoke very insightfully of ours as well.