I would like for someone – anyone, really – in Hollywood to stand up and tell the truth. Just come right out with it.
“Y’all,” I’d like to hear them say. “We have slap dab run out of ideas in Hollywood.” Well, they probably wouldn’t say it with a Southern accent, but you get the point.
Hollywood doesn’t seem to be happy unless it’s remaking a movie or rebooting an old TV show.
The latest example to become a burr in my saddle is the remake of “The Grinch.” Or should I say the second remake of “The Grinch.”
Every Who down in Whoville knows the 1966 original – with Boris Karloff as the narrator – was the best version. The animation was great and it had the best music. (“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” was sung by a man named Thurl Ravenscoft. Here’s your Christmas trivia: What is Thurl Ravenscoft better known for?)
Then in 2000, they made a live-action version of “The Grinch,” starring Jim Carrey, which I didn’t watch anymore than I watched when ABC tried to make a TV show out of the greatest movie ever, “Casablanca.”
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Casablanca” are as close to perfection as you can get. Why would anyone in their right mind think they can make a better version? And with David Soul, who was either Starsky or Hutch, but I can’t remember which, in the iconic Bogey role.
It’s because Hollywood has officially run out of ideas.
One of the movies at the theaters right now is “A Star is Born.” It’s the fourth version of the same movie, made with Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and now, Lady Gaga. Do we really need four versions of the same movie? Wouldn’t we all be better entertained with something new and original?
Among the most popular movies these days are based on Marvel comics. It seems four out of five movies are about comic book characters, which I suppose is OK if you really, really, really like comic books, but I don’t. So if Hollywood expects me to pop for $20-plus for tickets, popcorn and a drink, it had better come up with some new ideas.
But television is the worst offender here. The TV schedule is littered with shows that debuted years ago, ran their course and got cancelled. But some executive somewhere decided the American people just couldn’t live without another version of “MacGyver.”
I occasionally watch the new version of “Hawaii Five-0.” But I pretend it is a different show that just happens to have characters with the same name. Nothing about the current Steve McGarrett reminds me at all of the iconic character created in the 60s and 70s by Jack Lord.
And then there are reboots of “Will & Grace,” “Murphy Brown,” “American Idol” and “The X-Files,” just to name a few. Every time I turn on my television, I have to check the calendar and makes sure it’s not 1994.
I don’t ask for much. But I do want to something original when I turn on the TV.
By the way, here’s the answer to the trivia question: Thurl Ravenscroft is better knows as the voice of Tony the Tiger of Frosted Flakes fame. You can thank me later for the fact that you’ll hear Tony the Tiger singing that song from now on.
And let’s face it, you just won’t have that kind of star power in the remake.