Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Making New Cheese Out Of Old Cheese
I don’t believe it.
They’re bringing back Knight Rider.
Re-made, re-cast and possibly retro-fitted, Michael Knight and his camp Kit car are already gearing up to turbo-boost back onto our TV screens sometime this Autumn.
And I feel nothing but dismay.
Some things are just best left alone.
Most of the TV shows from the eighties being a case in point.
Although I have fond memories of Knight Rider, The A-Team and Airwolf et al, they are time-locked into a small, blessedly sealed, period of my teenage years and that is where I’d prefer them to remain.
My teenage years weren’t great. I was shy, geeky and nerdy and not particularly a success with the ladies. I lived most of the time in my head, my imagination fuelled by the shows above, my morals and political outlook to a degree informed by the heroes who machine gunned their way to justice and democracy for all. In my innocence I bought unthinkingly into the American way.
Yes folks. I wanted to be Michael Knight. I wanted to be David Hasselhoff.
Oh the shame. And I’d rather not have to relive it.
Well, to be honest, I never wanted to actually be Michael / David. But I did covet the car. I coveted the car in a big way. Yes, I wanted a car that looked butch but was, at heart, gay... Though that gayness is only apparent in retrospect. At the time it wasn’t so obvious. Kit was, well, just Kit. Just as C3PO was just C3PO (and not a metallic version of Charles Hawtrey – which he plainly is).
Looking back on it it’s plain to see why I was such a messed up teen.
But that aside, I’m just sick of this regurgitation of the eighties. It’s lazy. Nostalgia is nice when it is infrequent but not as a permanent mindset. And nostalgia certainly isn’t an art form worth spending money on.
But plainly I’m wrong.
Some TV money man somewhere obviously feels Knight Rider is good for a few bucks more. So they’re wheeling it back out of the scrap yard only this time without the Hoff.
Which surely is a bit like having The A-Team without Mr T?
Or Star Trek without Shatner?
That last point wasn’t argued so well but even so...
It’s just not going to be the same. It’s like – having mentioned Hawtrey above – trying to remake the Carry On films. It cannot be done. Sure you can emulate all the physical / visible ingredients. But what you can’t recreate is the original time frame. Nostalgia just cannot be contemporized.
Now, maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe they will inject a whole new ethos into it. New blood into old wine skins, etc, or whatever the saying is. But why bother when you can buy the originals of every bloody series from the eighties on Amazon?
I mean, can people not write anything new anymore?
What are they going to remake next?
Street Hawk (remember that anyone)?
Whizz Kids (anybody)?
Geez. CHiPs. Please, please don’t get me started on Eric Estrada...