Arts, Interrupted Podcast: Reboot, Reuse, Recycle

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 12:04pm

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If you’ve been paying attention to the trends in movies and television over these past few years, you may have noticed a lot of familiarity in what’s being released. This isn’t just your imagination. Big studios — especially Disney — have depended heavily on redoing previously released content. 

In many cases, these reboots are made solely for the purpose of turning a profit. When a movie has done well and has made a significant impression, it only makes sense to redo it with updated technology to make a shinier, more refined product to cater to younger generations. Unfortunately, these reboots, sequels, and spinoffs, for the most part, tend to range from “just okay” to “totally unwatchable.”

Every once in a while, these reboots turn out pretty well. A recent example is the new Disney Channel series, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, a current reimagining of the immensely successful High School Musical franchise. Max and Sam were lucky enough to chat with Joe Serafini, a musical theater student at Michigan and one of the stars of the show. They were able to get some behind the scenes insight into how it feels to be a part of such an iconic and beloved franchise. Joe’s character on the show is especially making waves due to how his character openly interacts with gender and sexuality.

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Rarely does a reboot successfully tap into the collective nostalgia of the original. Yet, it is not a coincidence that certain reboots, sequels, and spinoffs have done well in the past. In this week’s episode, we broke down the recipe of a good remake. We reviewed our personal favorites and why they worked, as well as some bad examples. The model for a perfect reboot, sequel, or spinoff is one that builds off of its predecessor while remaining original in its artistic integrity.

In many cases, audiences are protective of their favorite movies and tv shows; they want them to be left untouched. For cult classics, many loyal viewers would be outraged to see any additions to their favorite franchises. There are many storylines, however, that would benefit from new content in their lineage. The team discussed promising opportunities for reboots, spinoffs, and sequels, touching on the movies and films we hope to manifest in the future.

We would like to give a big thanks to Joe Serafini for taking the time to discuss his work with us. As usual, this episode was brought to you by executive producer Sam Small, content producers Emily Ohl, Max Rosenzweig, Martha Starkel, and Avin Katyal, audio producers Will Pederson and Ben Schrier, audio engineer Spencer Harris, and music by Brad Gurwin. Thanks for listening, and be sure to tune in next week when we dive into all things Tik Tok.