In March 2013, Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter to fund a Veronica Mars movie. At the time, a full two months before the fourth season of Arrested Development would hit Netflix, they had no way of knowing just how successful it would be. There was also no way to predict that the feature film they wanted to make would help to usher in a trend that would come to dominate Hollywood.
In the years since Bell and the rest of the Veronica Mars cast reprised their roles for the fan-funded feature film, a number of TV shows have not only been revived, but rebooted or remade as well. It's a trend that's frankly gotten wildly out of hand. It's true that certain reboots and revivals have been successful, whether on a critical level (lookin' at you One Day at a Time) or a commercial level (Roseanne prior to its cancellation for its star's racist tweets), but that doesn't necessarily mean we should make more of them at the expense of original ideas. So, on the heels of Tuesday's announcement that Veronica Mars will likely soon be returning once more — this time as a limited series on Hulu — I propose a moratorium; after helping to usher in the revival trend, Veronica Mars should also be the show to put a stop to it.
With this new string of episodes, which will see Bell reprising her role as the titular sleuth and Thomas returning to write his heroine's next chapter, we've essentially come full circle. Off the top of my head I cannot think of another series that has been revived twice in this fashion; something like Unforgettable, which was canceled twice by CBS and then eventually picked up by A&E does not count. Meanwhile, shows like Arrested Development and Will & Grace were renewed for additional seasons in the traditional sense. This Veronica Mars revival — which comes more than four years after the film hit theaters and 11 years after the show was canceled by The CW — is simply too much.
Having said that, I actually admit to being among the Veronica Mars fans who were excited when news of this revival broke — there were several witnesses to this — but I also know I'm being hypocritical. Every time a new revival or reboot is announced, I groan because it feels like another piece of the world I love is disappearing, like an iceberg breaking off into the ocean as a result of climate change. And while I did not groan when this new Veronica Mars revival was announced, I would have been perfectly fine if the film had been the end of Veronica's on-screen story (since the release of the movie, two books have been released that have continued her journey on the page). I never needed more than what I'd already felt lucky to have received.
But this issue also goes beyond Veronica Mars and the fact it's been revived twice. We've gotten so comfortable with the idea of reboots and revivals that originality sometimes feels like a thing of the past. Sometimes it even feels like it's a mistake to have original ideas instead of new takes on existing properties. Sure, the built-in audience that comes with those projects is a nice perk that looks good to TV executives, especially since the TV landscape continues to expand and breed fierce competition for viewers' attention. But as a fan of TV, not just someone whose job it is to cover it, I believe it's well past time that we return our focus to telling new stories, not just rehashing old ones. If we don't nip this in the bud now, we're likely to find ourselves going in circles, eating our own tails like the snake of an ouroboros, forever.