Opinion: Reboots are not worth it
As a huge fan of The Office, I think a reboot is a terrible idea.
Recently, there has been talk on television and social media about a reboot for the show. I know why people think it’s a good idea: this show was extremely popular and still has one of the most loyal fanbases. Thanks to Netflix and to Comedy Central’s ongoing marathons, new Dunder Mifflin hopefuls pop up every day.
But has the sequel ever been as good as the original?
In The Office specifically, the finale was amazing. It was complete, it filled every gap, and it left viewers satisfied after nine years. The documentary came out, Jim and Pam moved to Austin, Ryan and Kelly ran off to who knows where, Angela and Dwight got married, Dwight became the manager, everything ended up working. What more could the audience want?
In this instance, not only would a reboot be impractical, it would also be lackluster. Speaking to the impracticality, everyone lives in so many different places that filming all of their characters together for a series (as opposed to some kind of reunion special) would make no sense, especially because the documentary clearly came out already. Also, a lot of what made The Office great was the writing staff. Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, Michael Schur and Paul Lieberstein were some heavy hitters and the majority of the most memorable lines and episodes were from them. The same cast with different people behind it would probably be good still but not the same. Something would be missing.
But The Office is just one example. I think the real issue is in the idea of reboots. We are in kind of a reboot culture right now, where some of the most popular shows are ones that have come back. Absolutely, some of them do work. I think it’s interesting to bring a show back when the political climate or social climate has changed in such a way that would change the response it receives. The majority of them, however, are back for no reason.
Film and television has always been an industry that represents our society at its best. We look to entertainment media to make the first step in exemplifying progression in society. Movies and TV inspire social change and represent who we are, in a sense, as a society. We look at a show like Splitting Up Together, for example, to convince ourselves that we have redefined relationships and happiness — or at least expanded our definition.
So then, what do reboots do? They put us at somewhat of a standstill. Television is so timely and has the power to really tell the story of our society in that present day. Unless the reboot can change the perspectives of the audience or somehow use new societal values to change their story, it wastes the power that TV has.
I love Jim and Pam as much as the next person, but they quit their jobs at Dunder Mifflin. It’s time we move on too.