Friday, March 14, 2008

Veronica Mars, 90210

I used to rail against the idea of remakes until the frakkin' greatness that is "Battlestar Galactica" proved you could re-imagine a concept and make it superior to the original. So I'm slightly less ornery to the idea of a remake than I might have been in my old age.

But...

Then I read zap2it.com's report that writer/producer Rob Thomas ("Veronica Mars") has been approached to do a remake of "Beverly Hills, 90210." Geez, of all the shows to consider reviving? How many "90210" clones, such as "One Tree Hill" and "Gossip Girl" are on the air even now? Why is this necessary?

There is a certain cheese factor to the original, and perhaps it deserves its place among the DVD shelves, where one can enjoy the extra bells and whistles that probably include a Tori Spelling running commentary. But in a time when TV as a whole is fighting keep an audience with something other than reality TV, why rehash a worn-out old series that didn't even leave the airwaves all that long ago?

This isn't "BSG," where the storytelling lends itself to post-9/11 style conflicts and paranoia through dark character development. This is freakin' "90210," for Philo T. Farnsworth's sake. Even in Thomas' hands, what new insight can a remake give us?

Perhaps ironically, Thomas is in the midst of working on a remake right now - a retelling of his old series "Cupid," which ran on ABC several years ago for less than one season. As much as I loved the original "Cupid" - one of the most brilliant concepts ever to air, featuring a terrific performance by Jeremy Piven (track down the DVDs if they exist) - it's time for TV to look at new things.

Speaking of remakes, Jason Smilovic, who helped bring the "Bionic Woman" remake to the small screen this season, is close to selling a new series to NBC that would combine "The Bourne Identity" and "Jekyll and Hyde" that would star Christian Slater.

And speaking of "BSG," you need to watch "The Late Show With David Letterman" Wednesday night, where the cast will be presenting the Top 10 List.

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: When HBO does a miniseries, it usually does it very well, giving us things like "Band of Brothers" and the like over the years. Sunday night, the newest offering is a bio-miniseries on the life of John Adams, based upon the popular biography available in bookstores. Starring the likes of Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson and others, "John Adams" (HBO, Sun., 8 p.m.) looks to be another winner.

"The Return of Jezebel James" (Fox, 8 p.m.) makes its debut tonight. Critics have been a bit iffy with it, but I'll take a chance on anything with Lauren Ambrose. It's created by "Gilmore Girls" showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino.

"Torchwood" (BBC America, Sat., 9 p.m.) is all new and continues to feature Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman).

On Sunday, "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Aliens In America" are both new on the CW, beginning at 8 p.m.

Finally, if you missed it the first time around, AMC is rerunning the brilliant "Breaking Bad" (AMC, Sun., 10 p.m.), featuring an Emmy-worthy Bryan Cranston as a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer who takes to making crystal meth as a means to support his family.

3 comments:

zodin2008 said...

As someone who very much enjoyed the original "90210", put in the hands of someone like Rob Thomas, it could be a perfect hybrid of 90210 and "Veronica Mars" which could make it a pretty good show. Who knows? I trust Thomas.

As for "Cupid", there are not in fact DVD's of the series which is incredibly frustrating as I would really like to see those episodes, having missed them the first time around.

And considering all the bad shows, why not let Thomas bring back something good? Of course, Piven is a bit busy winning Emmys on "Entourage" but I bet the sexy Paula Marshall would at least be available!

As for Jason Smilovic, I am not sure how much of his brain power was involved with "Friday night Lights" or was it Jason Katims? Someone has to answer for that steaming debacle otherwise known as the "Bionic Woman" remake.

The truth is, Michelle Ryan was so historically awful, unappealing, boring, and downright horrible in her acting, that maybe had they just had Katee Sackhoff in the lead role, the show may have been better.

Maybe Michelle should stick to acting in England where some people think she can act.

I absolutely loathe David Letterman and think his show is historically unfunny, but I will record Wednesday if the BSG cast is going to be on.

Paul said...

I want to see "John Adams." Let me know what that's available to us non-premium channel cable watchers.

Phillip Ramati said...

Hey Paul,

I checked HBO's Web site, and it doesn't look as if you can download the episodes. My advice, check with a friend to see if they can record it for you, or wait for the DVD.