Thursday, August 16, 2018

The one reboot I want to see

The reboot craze continues. There’s talk of ALF returning (thank God!) along with FACTS OF LIFE (dear God!). 24 may get a prequel. I guess the MAD ABOUT YOU reboot won’t happen, but as you all know there’s talk of FRASIER possibly returning to the airwaves.

Networks are basically admitting they can’t develop anything new. So I figure, since every show from television’s past is suddenly being considered for a revival, what about the series that began originally with a 49 share? Obviously America was in love with that show.

So I think one of the networks should do a reboot of AfterMASH. Let us finally get that show right.

First off, casting.  We need to go a year or two younger.   Liam Hemsworth for Klinger. Will Poulter for Colonel Potter. And we need to go diverse so Michael B. Jordan for Father Mulcahy. Roz Chao, who played Klinger’s young Korean wife, hasn’t aged a day in thirty years so she can still keep her role.

The show was originally set in a Veteran’s Hospital. What a goldmine for comedy that was! For the reboot we set it in the infirmary of a luxury cruise ship. That way we can work in a little LOVE BOAT action.

The show is still set in 1953 right after the Korean War (we must preserve the dignity of the franchise) but all the patients are in their 20’s and hot. The Korean War was brutal and only the handsome survived.

To ensure that the dialogue reflects the comic attitude and style of today, only Millennials will write the show. I may come by once or twice to explain what the Korean War was.

The stories will be more upbeat. Prosthetics is an area for comedy that bewilderingly was not covered the first time. Same with shock treatments.

Keep the haunting AfterMASH theme but just have KISS re-record it.

Whattaya think?

AfterMASH could be the reboot to end all reboots.

Literally.

37 comments :

CRL said...

Colonel Potter should be played by ALF.

E. Yarber said...

We don't need to lose the war backdrop entirely, but lets put it in perspective. Say the characters all met each other in the opening night audience of FROM HERE TO ETERNITY. Then you'll only have to explain Frank Sinatra to your writers instead of that Korean thing. You could even have a Very Special Episode where they learn George Reeves' part was cut down.

Greg said...

See, I thought prosthetics were covered the first time, weren't they? Wasn't there a storyline with a black soldier who couldn't get used to his prosthetic leg? As I recall, Father Mulcahy figured out that it was because the prosthetic was Caucasian-flesh-toned. He painted it brown and the problem was solved. Am I making this up? If I am, sign me up for the reboot! Clearly, I'm a natural. (I don't think I'm making it up.)

Steve Bailey said...

Why did you "jazz up" your podcast theme song? I liked the old-radio-style version better.

VP81955 said...

You'll have to work in appropriate 1953 cultural references (since I know you're such a stickler for authenticity). Things like "Still find it weird say the words 'Milwaukee Braves" or "Saw that 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' the other day. That Monroe is hot, but she's no [choose previous era's star of your choice]."

Baylink said...

What do I think?

"Gimme back my LEG!"

:-)

But you raise *one* question that's of interest to me:

I got no particular problem with colorblind casting. But if you recast a reboot (as opposed to a remake) of something like this, is it reasonable to change the color of a character?

Peter said...

First up, rest in peace to Aretha Franklin, a true legend and icon. I imagine you played a lot of her songs as a DJ.

On today's topic, now you can add Designing Women to the list of sitcom revivals.

Networks might as well go the whole hog and revive all the shitty sitcoms too. How about Small Wonder, the godawful show about the family with a robot daughter? Or a sequel to Joanie Loves Chachi called Chachi Loves Trumpy, based on Scott Baio's bromance with Putin's butler?
And isn't it time for a Saved by the Bell reunion? Dustin Diamond's gotta eat!

By the way, Ken, I recently saw one of the best films of the summer. Teen Titans Go to the Movies. No, I'm not kidding. It's hilarious and a joy from start to finish. I've never seen the TV show but I liked the trailer and I thought it would make a nice change from all the CGI explosions. It's pure unadulterated fun. Lots of jokes and even the songs are funny.

It's a shame it's not done better at the box office because it's a lot more entertaining than most of the bloated movies released this summer. I had more of a good time in this film's 90 minutes than Avengers' 150 minutes.

I won't spoil it but the joke just before the end credits roll is gold.

Eduardo Jencarelli said...

[i]The show is still set in 1953 right after the Korean War (we must preserve the dignity of the franchise) but all the patients are in their 20’s and hot. The Korean War was brutal and only the handsome survived.[/i]

If handsome is the order of the day, you might as well try for a crossover and do a sequel to Michael Bay's PEARL HARBOR. Not a single ugly face on that film, doctor, nurse, patient or otherwise.

Gary said...

Liam Hemsworth huh? Any role for Miley Cyrus Ken ;)

Gary said...

You will have to add one current sitcom requirement. Colonel Potter must have two small grandchildren, who both talk like a 40 year-old nightclub comedian.

Sheila said...

I was go thru the references used by wiki for 'Frasier' and many blogs of yours from here have been used.

Link : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frasier

So that means one of your reader is a wiki editor (is that the term?) who keeps updating the page as and when you give new info.

Ben K. said...

Any medical show made today must feature a doctor who's BRILLIANT but TROUBLED IN A UNIQUE WAY and who DOESN'T PLAY BY THE RULES. He's always on the VERGE OF GETTING FIRED by bureaucrats who don't understand him, but his BRILLIANT LIFE-SAVING SURGERY or LAST-MINUTE DIAGNOSIS toward the end of every episode makes him a hero in the eyes of his GROUCHY MENTOR and the BEAUTIFUL FEMALE DOCTOR AND/OR NURSE WHO LOVES HIM. There are also B-PLOTS about the other doctors' professional and personal lives, which we only care about because they're VERY GOOD-LOOKING.

In other words, you can reboot AfterMASH, but you'd need a minor star whose movie career is over to play Hawkeye with PTSD, along with cast of young actors who could have paid their way through medical school by working as underwear models.

Jahn ghalt said...

Baylink beat me to it, so I'll change it up:

"Hey! My leg came off your hand!"

VP81955 said...

Saw "Crazy Rich Asians" last night -- very enjoyable. I hope it not only gives more opportunities to Asian actors, writers, etc. ("diversity" too often is described as solely a black-white issue), but helps to jump-start the romantic comedy. And unlike nearly all romcoms of recent years, there's very little raunch (though there are a few four-letter words and suggestive scenes).

Peter said...

Gary

I agree, though that's not a new thing. I love John Hughes films but one flaw is that he too often wrote child characters as annoyingly precocious.

In the same way that I don't like comedies that rely on lazy pop culture references, I don't like comedies in which we're supposed to find it hilarious that a 9 year old talks like a cynical old adult. In the wrong hands, Frederick in Frasier could have been obnoxiously precocious who just talks like his father, but the writers knew to make him a believable kid.

That's why I avoided The Boss Baby because the trailer indicated that all the humour was derived from a toddler having Alec Baldwin's voice and talking about things like how much he loves sushi.

Stan Eisen said...

"Keep the haunting AfterMASH theme but just have KISS re-record it."

I get the joke and all, but still, KISS? They were an irrelevant reference before MASH even left the air. And I say this as a fan.

Loosehead said...

Ken said: "AfterMASH could be the reboot to end all reboots.

Literally."

Dave says: We can only hope.

Unknown said...

a remake of Car 54, where are you?
Oh, GPS says you are at a starbucks, can you pick us up some lattes?

Donald Benson said...

There was a Car 54 movie some years back. Likewise reboot movies of McHale's Navy, Sgt. Bilko, Beverly Hillbillies, Lost in Space, Get Smart, Bewitched, Man From Uncle ...

Hey! How about a movie version of MASH?

Donald Benson said...

Still say AfterMASH was a good and valid idea that missed its moment. Just as MASH was a vehicle for commenting on the then-current Vietnam War, AfterMASH could have been a vehicle for commenting on vets' issues in the post-Vietnam era. The thing was, MASH itself outlasted the war, and by the time AfterMASH appeared nobody seemed to want to deal with vets except as political pawns or as Rambo.

E. Yarber said...

I'm sure I'm the only person with FROM HERE TO ETERNITY locked into the brain after my feeble wheeze earlier, but let me unburden myself for a moment. While Eli Wallach was the studio's first choice for Maggio, Harvey Lembeck was also considered ahead of Frankie, raising the possibility of an alternate-reality Barbella squeaking "Gee, Sarge..." to Burt Lancaster. Meanwhile Ava was in Africa on the set of MOGAMBO, where John Ford unsuccessfully tried to talk her out of an abortion after she became pregnant by one of the crew members. Who needs movies when the off-screen stuff is even steamier?

In local news, I took the Blue Bus to Venice this morning and noticed that Steve Railsback and Richard Rush are hosting a showing of THE STUNT MAN at the Aero tonight.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I think if you were going to reboot AfterMASH they should make it more authentic. That is, one of the problems I had with M*A*S*H-TOS was that they applied 70's mores to 50's characters. AfterMASH was set in 1953 therefore, it would be more relevant, especially in today's political climate, if 50's people acted as if they were actually in the 50's. The men would all be womanizers. Except it wouldn't seem sexist to them because that's how everyone behaved. The women would put up with it because that's life. And of course the men could have all the affairs they wanted, yet the women they slept with would be considered sluts. You could still have an extremely diverse cast and they could all work well together in the context of the hospital, but they couldn't sit together at the diner right next door. You could also have some homosexual characters, but they would have to be "in the closet" to avoid being found out. Plus, there would have to be a lot more smokers. There was surprisingly little smoking in M*A*S*H. I've seen old magazine ads that said, "More doctors smoke 'brand-X' than any other cigarette." Finally, gas mileage be damned! Where's the comedy in all that you may ask? It could make for wonderful satire. As with other period pieces the fact that those characters are oblivious to all these things because its normal to them it absurd in and of itself. It could also highlight the fact that despite superficial differences the world hasn't really changed that much in sixty-five years.
M.B.

powers said...

I am still eagerly awaiting a My Mother the car reboot.

This time mom/auto is a feminist leader in the cause.

J Lee said...

To ensure that the dialogue reflects the comic attitude and style of today, only Millennials will write the show. I may come by once or twice to explain what the Korean War was.

Nah -- Just do what "Happy Days" did by its final 6-7 seasons and not give a damn about trying to be period authentic and just let all the cast and surroundings look contemporary, so the show can relate to today's younger viewers (so, nurses with pink hair; 10x the sexual innuendo of the original MASH; Klinger messing things up on the computer and Col. Potter always having problems with the apps on his cellphone....)

Peter said...

20 years from now, no one will be asking for a revival of GIRLS.

Full time narcissist Lena Dunham has apparently posted three nude selfies to mark nine months since she had a hysterectomy. Err.....what?

Terrence Moss said...

they CAN develop new, they just WON'T because a creative business has fully devolved into just another business.

Barret said...

A reboot of ALF? Oh, I loved that show. Granted, I was four years old at the time.

Kaleberg said...

Has anyone considered that maybe that this is it? All the funny plots and characters have been discovered and made into books, plays, movies or television shows. This could be it: comedy peaked twenty years ago and it's been all downhill from then. After all, there are only so many ways to set up a story and only so many ways to make someone laugh. Comedy writers are being destroyed by their own success. The hilarity mines are exhausted. The ore of humor no longer yields the same rich laughter it once did. Perhaps it's time to start preserving our natural sources of hilarity in hopes of leaving something jocular for future generations.

E. Yarber said...

A Cheesecake Factory waiter (and this is just fact, nothing against the CF or waiters) once told me, "All the stories have been told. What's left now is for us to just reassemble the pieces." Like writing is one of those sets of refrigerator magnets with words you scramble into poetry.

But as long as the world keeps changing, new stories are created to be told.

Tommy Raiko said...

Whenever someone talks about the idea of all the stories having been told, I am reminded of Willa Cather's lines from O! Pioneers: "There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years." -- and she wrote that over a century ago. And stories still are told.

Tammy said...

Peter: the flaw I hate the most in John Hughes films is the casual sexual assaults, like Bender under the desk in The Breakfast Club, or the infamous scene in Pretty in Pink with the passed out girlfriend. I loved these movies as a teen, it was only a few years later that it dawned on me how awful those scenes were.

Tommy Raiko: that's such a beautiful quote, thanks for sharing! And as long as we're going back, more than 2000 years ago someone already observed that "what has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecc. 1:9).

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Agree with E. Yarber. Some stories are timeless - YES, MINISTER has barely dated at all since its creation c. 1980 because the themes Antony Jay (who knew a lot about large organizations and management) and Jonathan Lynn chose will always be with us. Some date because the world changes - I don't think the *basis* of FRIENDS - six 20-somethings clubbing together to make their way in the world as adults - has dated *at all*, but the many gay jokes sure have. Also, bear in mind that the sitcoms we talk about from the 1950s are the *survivors*. Lots of things we watched then aren't talked about today because oh, my god - try watching an episode of I DREAM OF JEANNIE or THE DONNA REED SHOW and tell me they're still funny.

wg

Tommy Raiko said...

Tammy: On the topic of the disturbing aspects of John Hughes films, Molly Ringwald wrote a New Yorker piece recently about re-watching and reassessing those movies from her modern perspective. It's worth looking for; it really is a thoughtful, thought-provoking piece...

Tammy said...

Tommy: thanks for the link - very interesting, though somewhat depressing, especially the actress who played Caroline. But I'm glad this is being discussed now.

E. Yarber said...

I try not to mention people I have worked for, but have to give Jonathan Lynn a special mention for actually asking his agent to convey his regrets to me for having to read a particularly awful script that was submitted to him.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

E. Yarber: Through the kind offices of a mutual friend, I got to meet Antony Jay some months before he died; I think it was the last interview he ever gave. He was extraordinarily gracious and enormously smart. I'm not surprised that his co-writer would be the same.

Btw, Jay told me that having had the idea (he was also author of MANAMAGEMENT AND MACHIAVELLI, so had been studying large organizations for a long time) he first approached John Cleese to co-write it with him. Cleese was I think still tied up with FAWLTY TOWERS, and declined, and then Jay found Lynn (I forget the details, but can look up my notes if you want them). My impression was that Jay thought he'd had a lucky escape because Cleese would have turned YM into a vehicle for himself and his particular talents, whereas the show Jay and Lynn wrote is an ensemble piece with a very different (and to my taste much more interesting) tone.

wg

Buttermilk Sky said...

The culture has moved...on? There's a FRASIER where he and Niles support a political candidate until he claims to be a UFO abductee. Now in 2018 there's a Florida Congressional candidate who says three big blond aliens took her on their ship -- and Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera has been endorsed by the Miami Herald. (Do I need to mention which party she belongs to?) I don't envy anyone trying to write comedy today.