Fall Television Resurrects Everything

I had recently joked on my own blog that this fall is the return of everything.

I didn’t know that all of these jokes would come true.

The following are just the TV shows that are based on something else: a film, another TV show, something that’s already aired, already been enjoyed, and is now being brought back from the dead in an attempt to cash in on nostalgia value.

Hey, if Michael Bay can do it with Ninja Turtles and Transformers, why can’t television? And in an age where TV has already brought back Rush Hour as a show, why not?

 Lethal Weapon (Weds night, Fall, 2017)

All right, hold on. When I wrote that post “The Return of everything,” I didn’t think that I would be that predictive. Stop it already. First Rush Hour, now this?


No, seriously, was this inspired by the Rush Hour TV show? You know, “If CBS can make Y crappy movie into an ok TV show, we can do it with better original material?”

For the record, while I grew up with the Lethal Weapon films, has anyone watched them recently? Sure, they almost started the genre of “opposite personality syndrome” in cop shows (I don’t recall it in DragNet, The FBI Story, The Untouchables, The Naked City, or Hill Street Blues), but wow, those films do not hold up as well. Far too shallow, and far, far too superseded by movies that came after them and did it better.

But now it’s Damon Wayans as Murtaugh? Remind me, is he trying to get a career as a serious actor? Because “insane cop / bad comedian cop” doesn’t sound like a show I want to see.

But I’ll give it a try. The ad makes this look more impressive than the original films. This time they want to make Riggs a former Navy SEAL, and they want Murtaugh to have recently had a heart attack.

Pros: There’s a lot of room for improvement on the originals.

Cons: There’s also a lot they can do terribly, terribly wrong.

Training Day (CBS)

Guys, when I joked that this was the return of everything? IT WASN’T A SUGGESTION.

On the one hand, I never liked the premise of the original. Yes, I’ve heard that Denzel was awesome in the film, but… Denzel? Bad guy? Yes, he was the bad guy in The Siege (sorry, post 9-11, Bruce Willis it the hero of that one).

This … I don’t know, I might be able to get behind it. It’ll be nice to see Katrina Law as someone other than part of the League of Assassins (she’s a side character, honest. She’s there).

It’s also nice to see Bill Paxton as something other than being horribly misused on Agents of SHIELD. Okay, he was gleefully chewing the scenery there … and looks like he might have a bit of fun here as well. It actually seems less like he’s corrupt and more like he’s a burnout who doesn’t care what happens to his career. Personally, I think blowing up a drug lab and stealing their money would probably be more useful than arresting them, but I could be wrong.

The Exorcist (Friday Nights, Fall)

Yes. Really. What the hell? No pun intended. Training DayLethal Weapon, now this. Can we cram in a few more decades to reboot material from?

I’m not sure what’s stranger: That this is actually a series, or that Geena Davis is in it.  Yes, the mother is Geena Davis. I don’t recall the film that much — was the mother such a big role that they got movie-quality star power for it?  Or is Geena Davis not doing that well in this point of her career?

They want to make this a psychological thriller, following two priests tackling one case of demonic possession. There’s Father new priest of Chicago, all shiny and new and “progressive,” and probably screwed.

The other is … sigh … “a modern-day Templar Knight, an orphan raised since childhood by the Vatican to wage war against its enemies. Father Marcus is everything Father Tomas is not: relentless, abrasive and utterly consumed by his sacred mission.”

While I have no problem with that, there are so many ways to spin that as a negative that I’m almost certain they’re going to make the “Templar” look like an utter nutcase by the end of the day. Perhaps the start of the day.

And “it’s the house”? Yeah. Sure. Thanks. I think I heard this movie was called The Amityville Horror. The original incident of The Exorcist (yes, based on a true story) had a little boy playing with occult crap that ended up playing with him.

Pros? If William Peter Blatty — author of the original book — is involved, this should be awesome. We should be seeing the entire process of what it takes to get an exorcism performed in this day and age: MRIs, psychologists, every expert scientist in every field should come on the show, run tests, and come up with alternate solutions for what’s wrong with … whoever this child is, I guess. And then the fun part of every episode is how absolutely, horribly wrong they really are. BWAHAHAHAAHAHA

Cons: If they make this another stupid horror show like The Following or like what they’ve done to Sleepy Hollow, I’ll throw rocks at the screen.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show…. 

Yes, this is happening…

Do I even need to say any more about this?

Didn’t think so.

Let’s move on.

Prison Break

I guess Wentwood Miller and Dominic Purcell made an impression on The Flash. So much so that they’re getting their own show.

24: Legacy

I am so conflicted about this one. On the one  hand: YES, MORE 24, BWAHAHAHAHA


Anyway, again, another terrorist attack is coming to United States soil. After killing an Osama knockoff, the Rangers from the mission have been targeted by not-Osama’s followers. With the help of Eowyn (Miranda Otto, “Lord of the Rings”), one of our rangers is going to strike back. Here, Eowyn is “a brilliant and ambitious intelligence officer who has stepped down from her post as National Director of CTU to support her husband (Jimmy Smits) in his campaign for President of the United States.”

Dear Hollyweird, while I appreciate you bringing back one of my favorite shows, could you please read a book or something and make a tv show out of that? And not for premium cable?

Cons: Our lead looks like a kid. He could be the brother of Jax from Berlanti’s Arrow-verse. He’s supposed to be an officer, with a wife and family? What happened to the veteran gunman? Oh yes, and least I forget, WHERE’S JACK BAUER? … oh, wait, he’s producing.

Pros: It’s more 24, with several solid actors, even some bit players. I will accept this offering of 24, as long as they get around to bringing back Jack at a later date.

 MacGyver (CBS)

Oh come on. MacGyver? Why … what …

No, really? MacGyver? Where’s Richard Dean Anderson? Where’s Bruce McGill? Where’s Dana Elcar? (okay, I think Elcar is dead, but still, the others are alive). Where’s the mullet? Someone get this kid a hair cut!

Okay, granted, in a world where Burn Notice lasted for years, we should have all seen this coming.

Also, he’s apparently still not comfortable with guns, but high explosives aren’t a problem.

Tune in tomorrow for some of the new programs that are actually….new.

And while you’re waiting for all this to come out, you can kill some time with my novel Honor at Stake. Heh.

And … enjoy.

About Declan Finn

Declan Finn is the author of Honor at Stake, an urban fantasy novel, nominated for Best Horror in the first annual Dragon Awards. He has also written The Pius Trilogy, an attempt to take Dan Brown to the woodshed in his own medium -- soon to be republished by Silver Empire Press. Finn has also written "Codename: Winterborn," an SF espionage thriller, and it's follow-up, "Codename: Winterborn." And "It was Only on Stun!" and "Set To Kill" are murder mysteries at a science fiction convention.
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2 Responses to Fall Television Resurrects Everything

  1. dancingcrane says:

    This is why I don’t watch much TV. Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Grimm and bits and pieces of other SF/Fantasy as I have the time and/or want to be social. 99% of broadcast and cable don’t even get a look. The TV is actually used mainly for movies and really excellent anime series.

    Got “Honor”. I’ve got to catch up, so behind on my reading! Another reason to not watch.


  2. Wait, so this isn’t a remake of MacGyver, it’s a sequel?

    I’m less interested now that I’ve seen the preview. It’s like MacGyver had a son, and he’s a slightly more stable, but no less egotistical, version of the Lex Luthor from BvS. The Richard Dean Anderson version was a quiet guy who didn’t show off, like he almost didn’t get that other people didn’t think like he did and didn’t consider himself special. He was a Sherlock Holmes for gadgetry, without any need to insult other people for being slow.


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