Blast from the past: Revamps on the rise

This past weekend, the highly anticipated live-action version of the Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast” premiered in theaters. For many students at the University of San Diego, this revamp is a blast from the past, causing many to reminisce about their childhood favorites.

While it can be fun to see these classics come back for a new generation, the growing trend in TV and movies these days seems to be rehashing old stories. Although this certainly isn’t a novel idea, as it has been done in the past with films like “The Parent Trap” and shows like “90210,” what seems to stand out is the sheer volume of content that is being repurposed.

Disney in particular seems to be drawing upon this feeling of nostalgia to boost ratings. With recent live-action releases of “Cinderella,” “Maleficent,” “The Jungle Book,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and a “The Little Mermaid” remake in the works, recycling old content seems to be a frequently used strategy for the studio.

Disney isn’t the only one though, as beloved shows from other networks that have been off the air for years are also making a comeback. With shows like “Full House,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “The Muppets” all producing reboots in the last year, it doesn’t seem like this trend is going to die down anytime soon. There are even more shows in talks of coming back, including the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Will & Grace,” and “Fraiser.”

Included in this trend is the uptick in classic movies becoming TV show spin-offs, or vice versa, and older movies getting sequels years later. Although it makes sense to capitalize on a show or movie’s popularity, it means that many plotlines seem tired or overdone.

At times, it can be fun to see old favorites get a new life in present-day. For some fans though, these revamps often leave something to be desired and seem to draw in an old fan base to boost ratings.

Senior Emma Von Tscharner noted that she thinks that only revamps that stay genuine to the original concept are worth engaging with.

“It depends on the movie or TV show,” Von Tscharner said. “I think when it stays true to the original, it’s a little better. I thought ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was really good in that regard. The new ‘Tarzan’ movie didn’t really live up to my expectations though because it didn’t stay true to the original, so I didn’t care for it. But if the producers have good intent and stay true to the values of the original, I don’t have a problem with them recycling the material, and I think it can be worthwhile to see it.”

Even films that stick to the original concept face backlash for tweaking minor things. Beauty and the Beast, for instance, was criticized when it incorporated a gay character in the new film. Some groups protested the film as a result, and certain theaters refused to show it. Despite some fans being upset about tweaks in plotlines of their favorite revamps, as a category in general, they seem to be very successful at the box office and in ratings. Due to this success, it is likely we will see more of our favorite classics being remade in the future. Let’s just hope that the remakes are a nice extension of the original show or movie, instead of a poorly-made revamp aimed to draw at our heart — and purse — strings.

By Dani DeVries, Opinion Editor