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Author Topic: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!  (Read 375 times)

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Online stethacantus

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They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« on: June 10, 2020, 11:12:56 AM »

Let's discuss the dreaded reboot. I am not talking about the sort of reboot where a long cancelled series is revived with a new cast and an alternative canon than the first series, like with Battlestar Galatica, but when a television series you had been watching returns for another season and it has been altered to the point of being unrecognizable.  All but a couple of original cast members are gone,  replaced with an  entire new cast. Or the setting is suddenly changed. Or there is an entirely new premise to the series. Or all of the above. There could be several reasons why a producer felt the need to "retool" a series, none of which matters to you. It is no longer your favorite series, even if it still has the same name.

The one that still irks me is Martial Law, the action series starring Samo Hung as a Hong Kong police detective who has transferred to the LAPD in order to track down his nemesis,  the crime lord Lee Hei. It was created by producer Carlton Cuse and Hong Kong director Stanley Tong, and aired on Saturday nights as a lead in to Walker: Texas Ranger. Despite being a hit, CBS decided to fire Cuse for insisting on spending extra money on the action scenes, and replace him with producers  Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin. The new producers decided they wanted a completely different show. Every cast member but Sammo, Kelly Hu and Arsenio Hall were fired. ( Reportedly those were the three cast members CBS refused to allow Goldberg and Rabkin to fire. ) Gretchen Egolf was brought in to be an entirely new character, a tough as nails SWAT leader who is reassigned as Sammo's new police chief, initially to reign in Sammo for being too much of a maverick.  Recurring cast members were fired, getting rid of such characters as Lee Hei and Sammo's girlfriend. The first episode of the second season opened with a new credit sequence,  and the Mike Post theme music replaced with a brand new theme. Inexplicably Sammo, Kelly and Arsenio are working in a different precinct with a radically different futuristic set. Almost everything established in the first season was ignored. 

Worst of all, Goldberg and Rabkin didn't even bother to resolve the season ending cliffhanger from the previous season, where Sammo and Lee Hai fall out of a helicopter they were fighting in, Kelly Hu still being held by kidnappers,  and Captain Winship lying on the ground dying after being shot. One character casually mentions to Sammo that he survived falling from a helicopter,  and later someone else mentions that the missing characters are alive, but either retired or transferred to another precinct.  The sudden disappearance of Sammo's girlfriend was never explained,  and it wasn't until many episodes later Sammo casually mentioned that Lee Hai was dead. A brand new set of writers were brought in who increasingly made the series more and more ridiculous,  with Sammo battling a Hydra/S.P.E.C.T.R.E. like criminal organization by the end of the season. Reportedly none of the cast members were interested in doing a third season unless all of the second season script writers were fired, which ultimately resulted in CBS cancelling the hit series. 


Anyone else have their own reboot horror story to share?


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2020, 11:21:40 AM »
As a big fan of Transformers, I've come to terms with reboots so many times it barely phases me anymore. Sometimes you get a Beast Wars, or a Transformers Prime. Other times you get an Energon trilogy, or a Robots in Disguise. (The less said about the Bay movies, the better.) And inexplicably, Rescue Bots remains the longest-running Transformers series, still chugging along as far as I know. I have high hopes for the upcoming Netflix series.

The moral to the story is that if you hold out long enough, and if the reboot was meant to be, eventually someone comes along and gets it right. (See Also: Ninja Turtles.)


Online stethacantus

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 11:47:43 AM »
As a big fan of Transformers, I've come to terms with reboots so many times it barely phases me anymore. Sometimes you get a Beast Wars, or a Transformers Prime. Other times you get an Energon trilogy, or a Robots in Disguise. (The less said about the Bay movies, the better.) And inexplicably, Rescue Bots remains the longest-running Transformers series, still chugging along as far as I know. I have high hopes for the upcoming Netflix series.

The moral to the story is that if you hold out long enough, and if the reboot was meant to be, eventually someone comes along and gets it right. (See Also: Ninja Turtles.)

Those examples could not exactly be called reboots, ( I would throw Batman and The X-Men into that category as well, ) but more of an example of the rights to a cartoon character being passed from one producer to another. The producers may not own the characters,  but they own any elements created for the series which whoever gets the rights to the characters next can't legally use, even if the show is being made for the same network.  I was thinking more about a continuing series being rebooted.  Like what happened with the U.S. Men Behaving Badly . On the one hand the series was a reboot of a British series. On the other hand only Rob Schneider returned for the second season as it was rebooted into a completely different sitcom.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 12:43:25 PM »
Scrubs is one where they did the big switcheroo and it sort of worked, I've always wondered if they gave it another season would it have gotten better?  The chemistry and dynamic of the show was not the same so it probably would not have improved.

It does stink if you were caught off guard and ended up watching a switched up show.  I've avoided shows that everyone said I should watch until they were over and then started on them, just to make sure I don't get sucked into something that ends up going down the crapper.   I'll never watch the JJ versions of Star Trek, so none of that has "ruined" anything for me other than knowing about the stuff I've seen and read that makes me know I would not like what they did in those movies.

I have gotten sucked into good shows that were cancelled, leaving big cliffhangers, but I'm still glad I watched them.




Offline ScottotD

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 08:27:51 PM »
Wait, the production company destroyed the original tapes, recalled it from commercial sale, stole copies from people's homes and removed memories of watching it?

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Offline Russoguru

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 10:23:27 PM »
Wait, the production company destroyed the original tapes, recalled it from commercial sale, stole copies from people's homes and removed memories of watching it?
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Your point of view is completely valid and well-taken Scott, but I kind of see where Stethacantus is coming from.


Offline RoninFox

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2020, 04:51:17 AM »
I do remember being annoyed when Batman The Animated Series transitioned to Batman Superman Adventures. It was definitely a case where we were supposed to view them as one continuity, but the change was extreme.

In order to bring the animation style and character design into keeping with the newer Superman series they redesigned several characters, and the only one that came out looking improved was Scarecrow and maybe Penguin becoming more human and less Burton-inspired monster. Riddler only had cameos from here, but he looked bizzare and offputting in all the wrong ways. Joker's face got simplified and drained of color. Batman himself looked more or less like a smooth block of wood instead of a human in a suit.

They also time-jumped so they could get a more grown up Dick Greyson as Nightwing (an actual good addition) but also a too-young seeming Tim Drake as the new Robin. Dick as Robin in the early seasons was going to college. The Tim Drake version looked like he was still in middle school.

It was also one of the first cartoons I can remember watching as a kid that had some character development, and it got erased in two characters. Catwoman transitioned from villain to anti-hero to hero and Harley Quinn got moments showing she was growing more independent and might break away from Joker entirely on her arc. Then the transition came and Catwoman was back to being a thief and Harley was back being the doormat.
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Online stethacantus

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2020, 11:30:27 AM »
Wait, the production company destroyed the original tapes, recalled it from commercial sale, stole copies from people's homes and removed memories of watching it?

Those monsters!

I am not exactly sure what that is in reference to as no one mentioned any series being erased,  but will assume there is some confusion over the legal rights to licences characters.  Let's use Batman as an example, which is owned by DC Comics, who are in turn owned by Warner Bros. The first to license the character was Columbia Pictures for two separate movie serials.  The terms of which stated a set period when Columbia could not only use  Batman and any other material from the comic books, but would have Batman exclusively without any other studio releasing their own competing Batman serial. DC still owned Batman a s anything else created for the comic book. But Columbia owned the copyright on the serials, and owned anything original written by Columbia for the serial.  Columbia invented the Batcave, so technically they owned it instead of DC., and could stop any other studio from giving Batman a cave as a lair. Or the would have been able to do if they hadn't ceeded the cave to DC, who up to that point had a barn on Wayne Manor as  Batman's lair. DC liked the idea of a batcave so much that they added it to the comic book, and when Columbia didn't object to DC using it for over a decade, Columbia lost the rights to the batcave. William Dozier ( or one of his writers  ) invented the batpoles for the Adam West series, and the estate still owns them. If DC or anyone else wants to use  batpoles then they need to get permission from the Dozier estate,  which is why they rarely appeared outside of the Adam West series. Those are examples of elements owned by the production companies and not DC. Other elements would included the design of the Batmobile ( if different than the car as drawn in the comic book ), costume variations that are different than the comic book, any characters created exclusively for a movie or series, any original dialogue,  any original story or back story,  and even the style each character is animated. For example,  if DC wanted to draw a Batman comic book in the style of Batman The Animated Series, they would first need to negotiate with it's production company. This also means that if the production company that made the Batman The Animated Series  was different than the one that made Batman/Superman Adventures,  they couldn't use anything from the previous series that didn't originate in the DC comics, or face a possible copyright infringement lawsuit. That would include any character development that was unique to the previous series.  But I am sure the writers at Batman Superman Adventures didn't want to be constrained by the canon of the previous series anyway.

 


Offline RoninFox

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2020, 12:52:43 PM »
Wait, the production company destroyed the original tapes, recalled it from commercial sale, stole copies from people's homes and removed memories of watching it?

Those monsters!

I am not exactly sure what that is in reference to as no one mentioned any series being erased,  but will assume there is some confusion over the legal rights to licences characters.  Let's use Batman as an example, which is owned by DC Comics, who are in turn owned by Warner Bros. The first to license the character was Columbia Pictures for two separate movie serials.  The terms of which stated a set period when Columbia could not only use  Batman and any other material from the comic books, but would have Batman exclusively without any other studio releasing their own competing Batman serial. DC still owned Batman a s anything else created for the comic book. But Columbia owned the copyright on the serials, and owned anything original written by Columbia for the serial.  Columbia invented the Batcave, so technically they owned it instead of DC., and could stop any other studio from giving Batman a cave as a lair. Or the would have been able to do if they hadn't ceeded the cave to DC, who up to that point had a barn on Wayne Manor as  Batman's lair. DC liked the idea of a batcave so much that they added it to the comic book, and when Columbia didn't object to DC using it for over a decade, Columbia lost the rights to the batcave. William Dozier ( or one of his writers  ) invented the batpoles for the Adam West series, and the estate still owns them. If DC or anyone else wants to use  batpoles then they need to get permission from the Dozier estate,  which is why they rarely appeared outside of the Adam West series. Those are examples of elements owned by the production companies and not DC. Other elements would included the design of the Batmobile ( if different than the car as drawn in the comic book ), costume variations that are different than the comic book, any characters created exclusively for a movie or series, any original dialogue,  any original story or back story,  and even the style each character is animated. For example,  if DC wanted to draw a Batman comic book in the style of Batman The Animated Series, they would first need to negotiate with it's production company. This also means that if the production company that made the Batman The Animated Series  was different than the one that made Batman/Superman Adventures,  they couldn't use anything from the previous series that didn't originate in the DC comics, or face a possible copyright infringement lawsuit. That would include any character development that was unique to the previous series.  But I am sure the writers at Batman Superman Adventures didn't want to be constrained by the canon of the previous series anyway.

I believe there was no negotiation in the time between Batman TAS and Batman Superman Adventures. It was the same animation company, same producers, same creative team, and when sold on DVD and Blu-Ray they are treated as a single complete series. The continuity used threaded through the related Batman and Superman cartoons and continued through Justice League/Justice League Unlimited and Batman Beyond. The changes were made because they started producing a Superman cartoon after several years of Batman's success and wanted them to be more aesthetically similar.

As to what Scott is saying, he is implying that a reboot cannot ruin anything, because the original still exists. This is a discussion we've had a lot, talking about remakes and reboots of classic shows and movies.

The examples you are citing as bothering you are in the soft-reboot area, just like my Batman example, when an existing run of a show is changed drastically in mid-production. That does bother me a lot more than a bad stand-alone reboot/remake which I can ignore. If I didn't like the new Battlestar Galactica, it wouldn't take up much space in my head. (I actually loved it though.)

Overall I got over the change in Batman. A few things continued to irk me, but the core of the show was still good, and they even produced a couple of my favorite episodes, like Over the Edge.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 04:20:09 PM by RoninFox »
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Online stethacantus

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2020, 08:23:27 PM »

I believe there was no negotiation in the time between Batman TAS and Batman Superman Adventures. It was the same animation company, same producers, same creative team, and when sold on DVD and Blu-Ray they are treated as a single complete series. The continuity used threaded through the related Batman and Superman cartoons and continued through Justice League/Justice League Unlimited and Batman Beyond. The changes were made because they started producing a Superman cartoon after several years of Batman's success and wanted them to be more aesthetically similar.


Usually a change like that is due to the cartoon being produced by two different studios. However, according to IMDb, Warner Bros. is taking sole credit for the productions of all the Batman and Superman cartoons. That doesn't mean they actually produced the cartoons. Warner Bros. closed their animation studios back in the early 60s, and have been outsourcing their animation ever since. Which would explain why there would even be a style difference between the original Batman series and the Superman series. This was most likely due to whatever foreign  studio actually animates the cartoons.  They probably had one doing Batman and chose a different one for Superman. Still, it would not explain why there would be a difference in the canon if Warner Bros. holds the copyright for both series. Therefore it must come down to the writers, who simply cant give a shit about continuity. You got dozens of writers contributing scripts, each with their own idea of what direction the series should go. I noticed one of the writers contributing the most scripts to The New Batman/Superman Adventures was Steve Gerber. You ask him if any of the other writers at Marvel gave a f&%k about the continuity he crafted for Howard the Duck. ( Well, you cant, as he passed away a few years ago. ) And quite frankly, Gerber didn't really give a crap about continuity of characters he wrote for at Marvel, specifically She-Hulk which was drastically different than the original run when he wrote it. One of the writers handed in a Batman script that clashed with the continuity of previous Batman episodes, and no one at Warner Bros. gave a crap.


As to what Scott is saying, he is implying that a reboot cannot ruin anything, because the original still exists. This is a discussion we've had a lot, talking about remakes and reboots of classic shows and movies.


The difference here is that most reboots resurrect  a cancelled series. What I am talking about is an ongoing series that is rebooted midstream and presented as the same continuity.


The examples you are citing as bothering you are in the soft-reboot area, just like my Batman example, when an existing run of a show is changed drastically in mid-production. That does bother me a lot more than a bad stand-alone reboot/remake which I can ignore. If I didn't like the new Battlestar Galactica, it wouldn't take up much space in my head. (I actually loved it though.)

I would not call that a soft reboot. They would call this "retooling" a series back in the day. But retooling usually made only minor changes. Such as replacing Shelley Long with Kirstie Alley on Cheers. Sure it was a different era of that series, but it was very close to being the same series. But when they retool a series to the point where it is basically a spinoff, then you are talking about a mid series reboot. Speaking of Battlestar Galactica, the original series did get a reboot mid run. It was called Galactica 1980. But at leas they had the decency to promote the show as a spinoff series instead of claiming it was the second season. You don't feel so bad that most of the original cast is gone  if you think of it as a spin off.

They didn't have that decency with Bob, Bob Newhart's follow up sitcom to Newhart. The first season took place at a comic book company with an eccentric staff. The second season Bob was in a new town working for a greeting card company, and the only cast members from the first season to return were his wife an daughter. And while the first season was very funny, the second season sucked. Cancelled after five episodes aired, with CBS refusing to air the final three episodes produced. Now that is what I am talking about.

BTW, not all mid series  rebooting is bad. Black Adder rebooted every season, but was brilliant and funny throughout the series.


Offline RoninFox

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2020, 06:10:32 AM »

I believe there was no negotiation in the time between Batman TAS and Batman Superman Adventures. It was the same animation company, same producers, same creative team, and when sold on DVD and Blu-Ray they are treated as a single complete series. The continuity used threaded through the related Batman and Superman cartoons and continued through Justice League/Justice League Unlimited and Batman Beyond. The changes were made because they started producing a Superman cartoon after several years of Batman's success and wanted them to be more aesthetically similar.


Usually a change like that is due to the cartoon being produced by two different studios. However, according to IMDb, Warner Bros. is taking sole credit for the productions of all the Batman and Superman cartoons. That doesn't mean they actually produced the cartoons. Warner Bros. closed their animation studios back in the early 60s, and have been outsourcing their animation ever since. Which would explain why there would even be a style difference between the original Batman series and the Superman series. This was most likely due to whatever foreign  studio actually animates the cartoons.  They probably had one doing Batman and chose a different one for Superman. Still, it would not explain why there would be a difference in the canon if Warner Bros. holds the copyright for both series. Therefore it must come down to the writers, who simply cant give a shit about continuity. You got dozens of writers contributing scripts, each with their own idea of what direction the series should go. I noticed one of the writers contributing the most scripts to The New Batman/Superman Adventures was Steve Gerber. You ask him if any of the other writers at Marvel gave a f&%k about the continuity he crafted for Howard the Duck. ( Well, you cant, as he passed away a few years ago. ) And quite frankly, Gerber didn't really give a crap about continuity of characters he wrote for at Marvel, specifically She-Hulk which was drastically different than the original run when he wrote it. One of the writers handed in a Batman script that clashed with the continuity of previous Batman episodes, and no one at Warner Bros. gave a crap.

Again, this was the same people involved.

Bruce Timm was the primary creative force behind all these shows I believe. If there was a major difference it was that Bruce had more influence by the time Superman and the following series were being developed and produced. The style for the Batman series started influenced by a combination of several comics and the Tim Burton movies. The Superman series came later and was influenced by a combination of the Christopher Reeve films, comics, and a lot of the 1940s Fleicher Studios shorts. When they wanted to do a crossover movie, and then package the shows together as a one hour block, they decided the styles were too different to look right on the same screen, so the Batman styles were changed. It wasn't a matter of new writers not giving a crap, it was them getting ambitious with the universe they were creating, but in my eyes making a couple mis-steps.

There wasn't a difference in the canon. It is all considered part of the "DCAU".
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Online stethacantus

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Re: They Ruined My Favorite Show With A REBOOT!
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2020, 04:28:35 PM »


Again, this was the same people involved.

Bruce Timm was the primary creative force behind all these shows I believe. If there was a major difference it was that Bruce had more influence by the time Superman and the following series were being developed and produced. The style for the Batman series started influenced by a combination of several comics and the Tim Burton movies. The Superman series came later and was influenced by a combination of the Christopher Reeve films, comics, and a lot of the 1940s Fleicher Studios shorts. When they wanted to do a crossover movie, and then package the shows together as a one hour block, they decided the styles were too different to look right on the same screen, so the Batman styles were changed. It wasn't a matter of new writers not giving a crap, it was them getting ambitious with the universe they were creating, but in my eyes making a couple mis-steps.

There wasn't a difference in the canon. It is all considered part of the "DCAU".

One possibility that is being overlooked is studio interference. Is it possible the transformation of Catwoman into a hero was because Warner Bros. wanted it due to the upcoming Catwoman movie with Michelle Pfeiffer, and then once the Catwoman movie was cancelled they allowed Timm to have creative control over the Catwoman character again? 

As for redesigning the Batman series to fit in with Superman, it is more likely the result of having a different animation team ( Korean animation studio ) working on The New Batman / Superman Adventures than they did with Batman: The Animated Series. Those studios have to train their animators to draw in specific styles unique to each studio, That way when animator A is working on one scene, and animator B on another scene, the character looks the same when both scenes are edited together. I don't see why there would be a big deal in matching the aesthetics of Batman and Superman when both characters would be in two different cities and only occasionally team up.

I could have sworn the series The Batman was also considered part of the DCAU, and that series was definitely a reboot. Actually, DC could pull that off as long as a multiverse still existed in the DCAU.