I just saw on tumblr this disturbing bit of reboot news: NBC is apparently planning a half-hour, comedy “sequel” to one of my all-time favorite shows, Remington Steele, according to this.
To which I must respond with an unequivocal NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO NONONONONONO. Also, NO. With this helpful visual aid!
Because I mean seriously. #1, the lack of any female names associated with this project raises red flags with me. The entire point of the original show was gender issues, i.e., Laura trying to thrive in a traditionally male job. And given that the issues in question haven’t improved much in media in the intervening decades, let’s just say my faith in a show team WITHOUT A WOMAN ON IT tackling a storyline about that character’s daughter is not very high.
#2, the original show worked beautifully as an hour-long comedy/drama. It was often very funny, yes, but also often very serious. If you’re going to do a show about the daughter of those two characters trying to follow in her parents’ footsteps, why are you going to fuck it up by turning it into a straight-out comedy? In half an hour, no less? She’s going to be a private detective, right? So are you going to cram much simpler mysteries to solve into 30 minutes? UGH.
#3, the entire NOTION of the show being based on Laura and Steele’s daughter makes me facepalm. Cliche much? So you guys are pretty much stealing a play from Fanfic 101 here?
Okay sure, a serious attempt at a Steele followup would have the considerable problem of trying to compete with its own descendants, the most shining current example of which is of course Castle. I adore the hell out of Castle in no small part because Steele has more than once been cited as its spiritual ancestor, with the whole will-they-won’t-they romantic couple solving crimes dynamic. But that’s the thing–we’ve got Castle now already rather filling this niche. So you’d have to raise the bar.
I think it could be done. Like I said above, it ain’t like gender politics have particularly improved in media representation since then. Look at the whole recurring sexism in SF/F issues we’ve had the last couple of years, the whole “fake geek girl” bullshitfest, and such. Look at the rape threats women get online. Look at the particularly toxic shit women in gaming go through. Gender politics are still here and you could still totally do a current-day adaptation of Steele that would have that same core concept: i.e., Laura Holt needing to prove herself every bit as competent as a man in a traditionally masculine job. Because, yeah, apparently, this message still needs to be heard.
But I’m definitely not seeing that a 30-minute “ha ha wouldn’t it be funny if Laura and Steele’s daughter reopened her parents’ agency and had wackyfun laughytimes?” is the way to do it.
And even aside from that, it’s just not something I want to see. I’d much rather watch Castle. Or hell, the original Remington Steele. That show was pretty awesome.
ETA: And oh yes, for the record? Remington Steele? Direct ancestor of my character Richard/Julian on AetherMUSH, who was in turn the original template for Julian in Valor of the Healer and the forthcoming Vengeance of the Hunter. Pierce Brosnan is also directly responsible for my ongoing affection for J.D. Robb novels (mmmmmm Roarke mmmmmmm) and by extension, black-haired, blue-eyed Irishmen with criminal pasts.
SO I MAY BE A TAD BIASED HERE.