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“Why I’m not going to watch a remake of the First Wives Club”

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Susan Devaney
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Enough of the TV and film reboots, remakes and revivals already. Hollywood, you need to come up with some original ideas

There is a moment in First Wives Club that I often think of. It’s the final scene where Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton sing… just for the sheer joy of it. Out of the blue, while all wearing impeccable white outfits, they revisit their rehearsed dance routine from yesteryear as if they’re students back in college again. 

Enter: messy moves, dancing on chairs and clunky vocals belting out Leslie’s Gore’s “to say and do whatever I please” and “no, no, you don’t own me”.

Then, in sync, they throw on their coats and dance together along the cobbled streets of New York City while wagging one finger in the air. In that moment many a woman sees herself in their girl-group musical number, believing she can say and do anything she wants. 

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The brilliant women of the First Wives Club, without thinking, may have swung into an old dance routine with aplomb – but that doesn’t mean everything has to be revisited.

Over the past several months, we’ve been met with many TV and film studios announcing reboots, remakes and revivals from another decade. And the latest to be added to the seemingly never-ending list? A First Wives Club TV reboot in 2019. Is the cast line-up (so far) of high calibre? Sure, who doesn’t love comedian Michelle Buteau? And is the writer top notch, too? Absolutely. Tracy Oliver already proved her worth with box-office hit, Girls Trip

But why can’t we leave these TV shows and films where they belong? In the moment they were made.

From where I sit, all I can see being played out are old classics being reworked to suit a more diverse and inclusively aware audience of today. I’m completely on board with creating more diverse and inclusive material for the screen (I desperately need and want it). But don’t insult us, the audience, by playing it safe with reworks of well-loved stories with a modern update. 

I want something bigger, better – I want to feel the excitement for something entirely shiny and new. 

According to IndieWire, there are currently 52 remakes in the works. That’s 52 reworked and reimagined hits from our youth. Does Hollywood actually think we just want to see the same old stories rehashed over and over again? Literary classics like Little Women? Of course. But not one of the best shows on children’s TV, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Or the magical ladies of Charmed.

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And then there’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In recent weeks there has been chatter of a reboot – 21 years after the pilot aired. Details remain scarce but who could possibly fill the slaying shoes of Sarah Michelle Gellar?

Not forgetting, the Babysitter’s Club, She-Ra, Sister Sister, Alf and Charlie’s Angels (but to name a few more). 

Do we really want a reboot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

The arts industry is known for being creative, forward-thinking and full of imaginative hustlers. But, above all, it brings originality to the table. By announcing one remake after another, the industry is insulting its craft and everyone involved in it – especially the audience.

It’s of no secret that the industry is notoriously difficult for people to get a foot into – even more so to actually get a film or TV show made. Writers, producers, directors and actors know only too well how much hustling is involved in trying to get a project from studio to screen. It can take many, many years. Producing a reboot is a cheap shot at making a quick buck.

I can’t deny that sometimes it works. Case in point: Will & Grace. The 10-episode series – featuring Debra Messing (Grace), Eric McCormack (Will), Sean Hayes (Jack) and Megan Mullally (Karen) once again – has stuck to its winning first-time formula, proving to be a hit second time around, leading to chatter of another season.

But, a remake of the First Wives Club for TV? I’m over and out.

Go on, Hollywood. Give me what I want: a diverse, inclusive and utterly captivating original up on screen. One to make the women of this generation believe she can do and say anything she wants. 

Images: Getty / Rex Features 

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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