Tell me a story

2 Mar

I complained the other day about Hollywood’s trend of remaking current foreign films and TV shows and doing remakes of (slightly) older American films and TV shows (especially annoying when you are any age of adult and can remember the original like it was yesterday because it was).

This seemed to contradict a stray thought I had later that day in which I was remembering mourning the passing of television shows and film series I had loved (esp. Deep Space Nine, Angel, and Harry Potter) and how I comforted myself with the knowledge that “something new will come along I will love, it always does.”

“New”, of course, is relative. It can be argued there are no truly “new” stories to tell, but I think it depends on what you mean by “new.” If stories are stripped down to their archetypal bones, then no, there probably aren’t any new stories out there, but there are plenty of new ways to tell the same archetypal story. Make your Odysseus a female character in the modern day instead of a male. Pile this culture/era/sub-culture’s baggage atop the archetype instead of that culture/era/sub-culture’s baggage–no one will recognize the story archetype without a lot of wincing, and it becomes fresh again.

Likewise, easily recognizable tropes or characters can be made fresh again with a fresh angle to them. Set the (yet another) vampire story in the American south, or have the vampire share a flat with a werewolf and a ghost. Give your formerly-Victorian characters cell phones and sophisticated 21st-century adversaries to test their skills against.

That said, there IS such a thing as trope-fatigue. And making your “adaptations” too thinly-disguised by your “variations” to be fresh enough.

Sometimes, what I really want is to curl up and revisit the same story told the same way I remember it. Sometimes, what I really want is a story trope/archetype/kink that’s deep in my bones told in a way so different from what I’ve heard before I don’t recognize it at first. Sometimes I want a film/show that was done forty years ago, and not too well, to be given a decent (and fresh) treatment.

But I rarely want to see the same story told in just a slightly tweaked way ten years or one year after I saw it before.web statistics

14 Responses to “Tell me a story”

  1. kore_on_lj March 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    I heard scuttlebutt yesterday Whedon might remake Firefly, but that might just be nothing.

  2. kore_on_lj March 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    I heard scuttlebutt yesterday Whedon might remake Firefly, but that might just be nothing.

  3. neshaffer March 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Sometimes remakes are fair when the original never got a fair shake, but I have to say the concept behind Firefly seemed odd to me from the get-go.

  4. neshaffer March 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Sometimes remakes are fair when the original never got a fair shake, but I have to say the concept behind Firefly seemed odd to me from the get-go.

  5. ponygirl2000 March 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    I think the true test is if you have something new to say about an old story and are passionate about telling it. Cashing in on a trend feels tired instantly.

  6. ponygirl2000 March 2, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    I think the true test is if you have something new to say about an old story and are passionate about telling it. Cashing in on a trend feels tired instantly.

  7. neshaffer March 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    That’s about it, in a nutshell.
    ; )

  8. neshaffer March 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    That’s about it, in a nutshell.

    ; )

  9. a2zmom March 3, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    I so agree with you.
    However, it also seems when there is something original out there, it rarely gets a chance to find its wings. So many TV shows that I thought were truly different and imaginative have crashed and burned. It seems like most pople only want the same old tired crap.

  10. a2zmom March 3, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    I so agree with you.

    However, it also seems when there is something original out there, it rarely gets a chance to find its wings. So many TV shows that I thought were truly different and imaginative have crashed and burned. It seems like most pople only want the same old tired crap.

  11. neshaffer March 3, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    I think it’s another symptom of the same mentality that just regurgitates another version of the same tired old ‘hit.”
    “I’ll give you 13 episodes, if it’s not raking them in, you’re dust.”
    You can see why experimental TV forms like straight-to-iTunes is becoming a lure for creative souls.

  12. neshaffer March 3, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    I think it’s another symptom of the same mentality that just regurgitates another version of the same tired old ‘hit.”

    “I’ll give you 13 episodes, if it’s not raking them in, you’re dust.”

    You can see why experimental TV forms like straight-to-iTunes is becoming a lure for creative souls.

  13. etrangere March 3, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    I wanna read the story about female!Odysseus…

  14. etrangere March 3, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    I wanna read the story about female!Odysseus…

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