TV Series to Revive or Reinvent

Last fall Netflix announced they were reviving the cult TV show Arrested Development. I know a lot of regular readers here loved that show. (It’s on my “to watch” list – I’ve yet to see it) So here’s the question. If Netflix (or even other streaming companies like Hulu or Apple) where to revive an old TV show which shows should they revive? To be fair we’ll say revived with the original cast and continuing on as if were a continuation of the original or a complete reinvention like the recent Battlestar Galactica was to the old 70’s show.

Here’s my list:

1. Twin Peaks – an incredibly innovative and influential show that arguably changed TV forever after. It brought us the style of shows like Fringe or X-Files but arguably also a lot of the shows on the CW network and quirky dramas and even comedies. Some might argue that even the recent golden age of TV could be traced to Lynch’s masterpiece. Unfortunately during the second season Lynch left for a while to film Wild at Heart and the show got away from him. ABC didn’t help by rescheduling it on a Saturday night in the days before DVRs.

Lynch, when he came back, revitalized it with an incredible cliff hanger that left half the cast potentially dead or possessed. When Lynch did a follow-up originally intended to be a made for TV movie it was darker than the show and was a prequel rather than a sequel. I’d argue it remains one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen.

In the original series the hero, Agent Dale Cooper, sees a future vision of himself in the mysterious “black lodge.” It’s about the right time to film that future Cooper.

The only question is whether Lynch could restrain himself enough to do it. His recent films have been a return to his more artistic and impressionist roots. What made Twin Peaks so appealing was the mysterious and dreamlike within our world.

2. Pushing Daisies – an other show arguably highly influenced by Twin Peaks. I loved this show. It is a tale about a young pie maker to can bring people back from the dead. He saves one woman who he falls in love with. However when he touches anyone he brought back from the dead again they die again. So he can’t touch the woman he’s in love with. The show starred broadway¬†Kristin Chenoweth¬†as the waitress at the pie shop in love with the main protagonist.

The show ended far too early and the creative staff went to try and salvage NBC’s Heroes (which they were unable to do). Even if they couldn’t do a full show, just a mini-series would be great.

3. Faulty Towers – some might see this as blasphemy. However the original series was only six episodes written by Cleese and his then wife. After several years Cleese and his wife were divorced and did an other six episode run four years later. Why not revisit them divorced and retired? Honestly, I think it would work.

4. Deadwood – OK, I know this couldn’t happen given where all the actors are. But I can dream they actually finished the show.

22 thoughts on “TV Series to Revive or Reinvent

  1. Well, it kind of reached a head. But id love to see more Quantum Leap….oh, and a third season of Im Alan Partridge and maybe a new last season of 3rd Rock From The Sun (cos the actual last season kinda sucked…which i blame on Will Forte. His rule as writer and the shows decline cant be coincidence).

  2. I miss Flight of the Conchords, but other than that I think most of my favorite shows were on the air for a long time and ran their course. Sometimes shows out stay their welcome.

    I’m a big fan of Arrested Development, but I actually don’t want to see it come back and be a shadow of its former self. It had three great seasons and the finale was amazing. The shows are so complex and layered with jokes on multiple layers that they stand up on repeated viewing. It’s the rare comedy where you can discover jokes that you missed the first time.

    I personally wouldn’t want the memory of Twin Peaks tarnished by any reinvention either. Even if Lynch was involved it wouldn’t quite be the same.

  3. I kind of like the ending of Quantum Leap even though a lot of people didn’t. Apparently they didn’t know if they were going to be renewed or not. I like the angel like (God?) figure who meets Sam in the bar and how Al got back with his one true love and never got into his self-destructive behavior.

    Flight of the Conchords I miss too. But I understand why they stopped.

  4. My list is of shows I loved but no one else watched:

    1. Push, Nevada (brillant series – the book they released for free online after it was cancelled detailed where the show would have gone. It was crazy awesome.)

    2. John Doe (great cliffhanger)

    3. Nowhere Man (very trippy, hurt by UPN’s decision to go all sitcom all the time in their second year)

    4. The Invisible Man (Sci-Fi channel version – final episode set up a great new status quo)

    5. Dark Angel (James Cameron had some good ideas here, though the second season seemed to dumb things down a bit).

  5. For Pushing Daisies fans, I highly recommend Wonderfalls. It only lasted a few episodes on the air before being cancelled, and its first season went to DVD. It’s got the same producer, Tim Minear, and some of the same actors as Pushing Dasies. Similarly quirky as well. Still, as fun as it was I wouldn’t necessarily want to see it revived or rebooted, along with lots of other shows from the last decade or two. I’d rather have seen Firefly get a good four season run, but I don’t know if I’d want to see it come back now, if that makes any sense.

  6. Dark Angel never really gelled for me. Something was just off and I never could put my finger on what. It always just felt “fake” somehow.

  7. I want Angel back.

    My son said The Tick, and I’d have to agree with him. That one went away much too quickly.

  8. Oooo. Yeah. The Tick was fantastic. I’d rewatched it all about a year ago. Fantastic show. It was criminal it never caught an audience. I’d think it’d be much helped by how cheap computer effects have gotten the past years as well.

  9. Rubicon would be my #1. I know it had some issues, but I loved every character on that show and thought Spengler (sp?) and Ingram (?) were two of the best characters of that TV season. It had a lot of places it could have gone after the finale as well. What makes it worse is realizing that they cancelled it while renewing The Killing which was a total crapfest.

  10. How could I forget Rubicon the tragically cut short series.

    Yeah, that Dark Shadows isn’t anything like I expected. Much more Adams Family than I was expecting.

  11. Rubicon would be my second choice.
    Angel would be third–how was that ending a real conclusion? They start a massive battle and then the show ends?
    Buffy would be fourth, if just to see the girls in action in Europe. But I think Buffy at least ended at a good place. It started with her moving to Sunnydale, and it ended, seven years later, with her leaving Sunnydale. And most of the conflicts were resolved.

  12. I think the ending from Angel works quite well, actually. Very much in keeping with the spirit of the series as a whole.

  13. I haven’t actually made it through the end of Angel. I recently watched Buffy all on dvd, then moved on to Angel, and this last season just seems like such a dud. The lawyers were the worst part of the whole show, and now they made Angel into one? Boring! But I do want to finish it to see how the whole series ends.

  14. See now I very much enjoyed the whole notion of Angel and friends co-opting, but also being co-opted by Wolfram & Hart. The violence can’t get you, but the bureaucracy will. Plus it provided a way to change up the formulas for the episodes.

  15. Sorry for the spoiler, Susan M.

    I do recommend watching it to the end. I actually ended up like Angel better than Buffy despite the ending.

    And Wm, I see where you’re coming from on the Angel ending. It did kind of fit. And Angel had five full seasons, so it’s not like Firefly or Rubicon, where we were deprived of not only a conclusion but also a great deal of content.

  16. I wrote a long piece on Angel’s series finale back when it ended and posted it on a messageboard (and maybe one other place — I thought here, but couldn’t find it). Anyway, I managed to track it down and cleaned it up and have posted it to my personal blog: The fitting series finale of Angel.

    And I actually ended up liking Angel better than Buffy in part because of the ending (although Buffy’s highs were better than Angel’s).

    Note: major spoilers. Everything is spoiled.

  17. I loved Pushing Daisies, I loved Twin Peaks, and I loved Arrested Development. Once Upon A Time fills a bit of the gap for Pushing Daisies, Better Off Ted and Community filled/fills a bit of the gap left by Arrested Development. The first 7 episodes of Twin Peaks still stands unmatched. I really hate to get wrapped up in any series like I did Pushing Daisies because I know that my favorites will soon be squashed like a grape.

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