Give the Boot to Reboots

When the original version of the sitcom Roseanne ended, Dan Connor was dead. His wife, Roseanne, revealed in the finale that what viewers had been watching on the program, which ran from 1988 to 1997, was actually based on a book about her family she had been writing. While the characters in the book were real, writer Roseanne admitted she had taken many liberties with events and incidents that had occurred. For example, the Connors had not won the lottery. Nor had Roseanne and Jackie’s mother come out as a lesbian; instead, it was Jackie who was a lesbian, which made more sense. On the other hand, Dan’s heart attack death was true. But the reveal that the program was derived from Rosanne’s writing should not have been a surprise to dedicated fans of the show as references to her desire to write had been made throughout the show’s 200+ episodes. Dan even had intended, perhaps begun, to create a small work space for her in the basement.

When the original version of Will & Grace ended, we had jumped into the future. Will Truman and Grace Adler had endured an 18-year estrangement, the result of their marriages interfering with their relationship. But they are older and wiser now. Will and Vince’s son and Grace and Leo’s daughter meet at their college’s “move-in” weekend where they develop a healthier relationship than that of Will and Grace. Meanwhile, once-wealthy Karen is broke and, in a surprise twist, Jack inherits the late Beverley Leslie’s wealth. The two perennial best frenemies are living together. When Will’s son Ben and Grace’s daughter Laila marry, Will and Grace realize that perhaps the purpose of their entire rocky relationship had always been to get their offspring together to share the relationship Will and Grace could never have.

I, personally, was satisfied with the conclusions of both Roseanne and Will & Grace.

I, however, discover years later, we had been lied to by Roseanne and Will & Grace’s producers and networks; reboots of these classic comedies were announced in which their original conclusions would be disregarded. Dan Connor miraculously would be alive. Will and Grace still would be living in their childless, tempestuous, immature fag-fag hag relationship.

I loved Roseanne. I loved Will & Grace. Loved. Past tense. But I don’t need to be played the fool by network executives and producers who prioritize cashing in on an unhappy America wanting “the good old days.” I don’t enjoy being manipulated by these same broadcast big shots who hope to make a lot of money off America’s stupidity.  I am disappointed that these same lazy, unimaginative media morons cannot create new, original, worthwhile comedy programs. And I don’t respect their lack of respect for these sacred cows of comedy. I am not happy and I am not watching these reboots of former favorite sitcoms.

A reboot of Murphy Brown, another favorite from the past, is in the pipeline. I won’t be watching it either.  A running joke on that show was Murphy’s inability to retain receptionists. I long list of celebrities appeared in cameo roles as her frustrated, frightened, incompetent, belittled assistants. I can’t imagine producers dropping that gimmick in the reboot. I wonder how the powers that be will bastardize that entertaining idea. But I won’t be watching to find out. I won’t see which deceased stars of film, TV, music, politics, and sports appear as Murphy’s temporary receptionists as holograms.  It would be ratings gold; in the first episode of the reboot, Nat “King Cole and daughter Natalie could sing Unforgettable as they fight over a receptionist desk stapler. I can see the promos touting the appearances of other dead celebrities now: “Guest starring this week on Murphy Brown, Whitney Houston.” Or Mohammed Ali. Or Mary Tyler Moore. Or Prince. Or Princess Di. Or Barbra Bush. Or Robin Williams. Or Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher together. Or Dan Conner.

I won’t be watching. I’ll be doing something else, something more important. Maybe washing my hair. Perhaps watching original, innovative programming on Netflix or Amazon. Or possibly writing my own sitcom.

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