Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh, Rachael Taylor Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh, Rachael Taylor

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Question: I was wondering what your take is on all the griping and complaining people do about the recent reboots and remakes of classic TV series lately, especially in light of the recent cancellation of Charlie's Angels. I find most of the complaints about plots, writing, acting, story lines, etc., laughable, especially in light of the series most of us are talking about. Most of the shows so far that have been rebooted (Charlie's Angels, Knight Rider, Bionic Woman) and some of the others that have been either done or have been in consideration were not Masterpiece Theater to begin with. The plots and acting in the originals, if I recall, most of the time were as thin as a gallon of chicken broth made from one chicken wing. So why are the reboots held to a higher standard? — Tom

Matt Roush: Maybe Syfy's Battlestar Galactica ruined it for everyone by showing the possibilities of a grand re-imagining of a cheesy original. But truth is, it isn't really about expectations where most of these reboots are concerned. In the best-case scenario, we're merely hoping for a show that won't ruin the nostalgic affection we might still harbor for the junk TV of our youth. (Depending on when you grew up. Case in point, when I heard years ago that Lost in Space was being remade as a movie, I got excited. Then I saw it.) The problem here is that when we first hear about a remake, much of our instant reaction (often reinforced by the eventual product) is as cynical as the lazy programming strategies that turn to these brand-name titles to try to prop up a schedule. As always on TV, it's about the execution, and while it's true that most of these "classic" properties are easy to mock — as they often were even back in their day — the fact that they have any cultural resonance at all means there's something that can get lost in the translation. And when the result is something as poorly cast and amateurishly produced as the Charlie's Angels redo — which potentially could have enjoyed a bounce the way the feature films did — then there's no mercy in the reviews or in the ratings.

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