Forget ‘Big Brother’, these shows are far more worthy of a reboot
Familiarity has long been the magic ingredient for reviving tired audiences – but where sequels used to be the favourite, we now live in a world of revivals
Tuesday 2 August 2022 By Kat Brown
News that Big Brother and Gladiators – both big British shows that became global franchises – will be rebooted in 2023 comes hot on the heels of many old favourites that have either hit our screens already (Queer as Folk, Fresh Prince, And Just Like That…, Gossip Girl) or are in development (Proud Family, True Blood, Frasier, Bewitched).
The best reboots work by taking what worked the first time around and making something entirely new and relevant for today’s world: look at Queer Eye, whose new cast became international icons.
While it feels as though almost every show you can think of has had a reboot, there’s still room for more. Here are six shows we think are worthy.
The O.C. (2003-2007)
Blazing a trail in the early 2000s with its concept of mostly rich, all-beautiful young people enduring sardonic existential crises, The O.C. is ripe for revival. You can see its legacy in the Iron Man films, but it has room to grow on TV ¬– as do Peter Gallagher’s magnificent eyebrows. We see Marissa and co skipping between Little Beach House Malibu, Holloway House and Soho House West Hollywood as regularly as they skip into each other’s beds.
My So-Called Life (1994-1995)
The story of a sheltered teen widening her horizons electrified other sheltered teens, not least due to the insane chemistry between its leads, Claire Danes and Jared Leto, and Wilson Cruz and A.J. Langer (the latter now the Countess of Devon, just FYI). A classic that inspired Skins, Sex Education and Euphoria, it deserves new life.
Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)
Bryan Fuller’s comic drama about a pie maker with a gift for resurrection was in its stride when the writers’ strike of 2007 to 2008 led to a death that even Ned (Lee Pace) couldn’t solve. A visually beautiful, funny, bittersweet story about finding joy in the moment – even when that moment is dipped in grief. We need that now.
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip (2006-2007)
Interest in dramas going behind the scenes at TV shows has only risen since Aaron Sorkin’s starry Studio 60 blasted into view. A seriously good show, it only faltered when NBC chose to back the cheaper 30 Rock. Given the success of The Newsreader and The Morning Show, it’s time to give it a full run.
Ugly Betty (2006-2010)
Dated attitudes to transition aside, Silvio Horta’s sensationally sharp, funny show about fashion magazine fish-out-of-water Betty (America Ferrera) is timeless. Cancelled after four seasons, its influence is felt in shows such as Jane The Virgin. Horta’s death in 2020 paused reboot ideas, which are worth revisiting.
Pimp My Ride (2004-2007)
Upcycling has never been sexier – just check Instagram, or Queer Eye. We’re also due a backlash to minimalism, and it didn’t get more maximalist than MTV’s car makeover show, where Xzibit would oversee someone’s ancient set of wheels fulfilling their destiny as, for example, a motorised badminton court. Bring back these dreams. Electric vehicles only, of course.