Remakes vs originals

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Full House and Fuller House

Full House premiered on ABC in 1987. It went on to have seven subsequent seasons, until its finale aired in May 1995. The show tells the story of Danny Tanner and his three daughters – DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle. The show follows the arrival of their cool, fun Uncle Jesse and comedian best friend of Danny, Joey, to the family following the death of Pam Tanner, Danny’s wife and the girls’ mother, in a drunk driving accident.

What made the show so popular among audiences? Viewers could have fallen in love with any number of things. From the swoony Uncle Jesse to the crazy antics of the three Tanner daughters- DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle- there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Regardless of all the things there are to enjoy about the program, however, the thing that kept most people watching was the vast amount of love and the emphasis on family dynamic, as well as watching the bonding of people becoming a family. In 2016, a spin-off of the series, cleverly named Fuller House, premiered on Netflix.

The sitcom continues the story of the family through the eyes of DJ, the oldest Tanner daughter, as she copes with the loss of her husband, who was killed on call as a firefighter, and raising her three boys- Jackson, Max, and Tommy- without their father. This is the first, and perhaps, most obvious parallel between the new and the old shows. In the original, the three men responsible for raising the girls were quite the opposite of their counterparts- Danny was a neat freak, the epitome of an overprotective father trying desperately to connect with his daughters in an attempt to seem cool. Jesse was the bachelor and biker who grew into the stable family man once he met Rebecca, his future wife. Joey was the comedian, a true artist, whose antics and impressions always kept the audience laughing. In the new, DJ is clearly the epitome of her father- a widower just trying to stay connected with her boys as they grow up. Stephanie fills the role of cool aunt whose character takes a serious curve when she enters a committed relationship and begins trying to have a baby. Finally, Kimmy Gibbler, DJ’s best friend and the girls’ odd childhood neighbor, is the equivalence of Joey, always being the comic release through her quirky, out-of-box commentary.

The constant character similarities are only scratching the surface of the constant references to the original show. From bringing back old characters and romances, to certain set pieces, such as the blue couch that is ever present in both the old and the remodeled Tanner house, the past is everywhere and helps the show to adopt the humorous, light-hearted atmosphere created in Full House. One of the criticisms of Fuller House, in fact, is that millennial who never watched the original series cannot understand the Netflix original series because of the numerous allusions to the past.

Although it is no doubt a blast from the past, and despite criticisms that the show may be so close to the original, any original Full House fan will love the spin-off. It is the ultimate dream of any hardcore fan who wishes to reconnect with a character they lost so long ago, and find out what they are like in the modern day.

Charmed (1998) and Charmed (2018)

Charmed, a series that premiered in 1998, revolved around three sisters known as the Charmed Ones with magical powers. In October of 2018 on CW, a new series by the same name premiered. The new Charmed features a diverse cast, a magical plotline that pays homage to its namesake, and important issues in society today.

The Charmed revival is well done- or, as well done as television revivals can be. The show definitely has the same humerous tone and magical mishaps as the original, and while viewers do not need to have watched its inspiration, those who do will love the subtle references to it. Most obvious is the sisters names; The original Charmed Ones were named Prue, Piper, and Phoebe Halliwell. When one sister died, a fourth was introduced named Paige, and it was revealed that their mother purposely gave all her daughters names beginning with the letter “P”. In reference to them, the sisters in the revival are named Maggie, Mel, and Macy Vera. Anyone who loved the original Charmed probably also loved the Halliwell’s Victorian manor, and will be happy to see a similar home belonging to the Veras in the revival. Both sets of sisters also possess a book of shadows filled with spells to defeat the evil they will face daily as witches.

It seems that both shows take place in the same universe, as both the Halliwell’s and the Vera’s spell books were started by their oldest magical ancestor, Melinda Warren. If the two families share an ancestor, they should be related, and this is where the new series falls short. The Veras never mention the Halliwells, and their mother is quite obviously not Paige, Piper, or Phoebe. Fans of the Halliwell sisters are expected to forget about their existence while watching the new show The original Charmed series ends by revealing that all three of the remaining sisters had children- would it really be so hard to continue the revival with their children? Viewers hoping to be reunited with the Halliwells will be disappointed.

However unfortunate that may be, the show almost makes up for it with its diverse cast and modern take on its namesake. The Veras are three Latina sisters, one of which is a member of the LGBT community, as is her on-again off-again girlfriend, Detective Niko Hamada. The sisters and their late mother are also feminists, as Mel was shown rallying for women’s rights in the first episode. Jokes about social media and politics are also thrown into the shows dialogue, adding a relatable element that the original Charmed missed. All in all, the Charmed revival is promising. Though it is lacking the ties to the original series that long time fans would like to see, it follows the basic ideas and humorous tone of the older series. The Vera sisters make subtle references to the Halliwells, but at the same time the shows are obviously not headed in the same path. Whether you watched the original Charmed series or not, you should definitely check out the revival.

Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

I watched the original ​Mamma Mia ​(2008) for only one reason: my friend was dragging me to the theater to see the revival. Though I am a huge fan of musicals, I could not sit through this movie. I turned it off after about an hour. I enjoyed the music, but found the acting to be subpar and the movie to be boring. Obviously, I dreaded seeing the revival the next day.

Whether it’s the soundtrack that makes you want to get up and dance, the romance, or the loveable characters, something about ​Mamma Mia​ has attracted viewers for years, as a movie and as a Broadway musical. Naturally, people were thrilled to hear that a second would be made, ​Mamma Mia:​ ​Here We Go Again​ (2018). ​

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again​ was a pleasant surprise. Though revivals are usually attributed to be failed attempts in recapturing the audience’s love of the original, Mamma Mia didn’t even compare to its continuation. The movie was enjoyable, the soundtrack just as good, and the acting was infinitely better than before.

When it comes to its connection to the first, ​Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again​ picked up soon after the last left off. In the original movie, a young girl Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is about to get married and wants to invite her father to the wedding, but she doesn’t know who he is. By scouring through her mother, Donna’s (Meryl Streep) old diaries, she has found three men who could possibly be her father. Because she doesn’t know which one is her father, she invites them all to the wedding. At the end of the movie, she realizes that the identity of her biological father does not matter and considers all three of them as her dads. ​

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again​ reveals that Donna has died and in order to cope with the loss, Sophie is determined to open the hotel her mother always dreamed about. Sophie’s journey toward the hotel’s grand opening is interspersed with clips of Donna when she was young, showcasing her rebellious and free spirit and complicated love life.

All of the original cast of ​Mamma Mia ​make an appearance, including Sophie’s ‘dads’ Harry (Colin Firth), Sam (Pierce Brosnan), and Bill (Stellan Skarsgard) and Donna’s best friends Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski).

In addition to familiar faces, ​Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again ​features some new cast members as well. Cher plays the role of Donna’s mother, Ruby, who was mentioned in the first movie but never made an appearance. Lily James is a younger version of Donna, back when she first got pregnant with Sophie.

Mamma Mia’s ​soundtrack featured songs by the band ABBA, and fans will be happy to hear many of them reprised in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. ​Most important is that “Mamma Mia!”, the song that inspired the name of the movie, can be heard in the sequel. Many other familiar ABBA songs make a comeback as well, such as “Waterloo” and “Dancing Queen”.

​Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again​ had a more interesting plot and better acting than the first, and even payed homage to the original in every possible way. No matter your opinion on the original ​Mamma Mia​, you should give the revival a chance.

Oceans’s 11 and Ocean’s 8

Ocean’s 11​, having debuted in 2001, is about Danny Ocean (George Clooney), who has dedicated his life to crime. He plans to rob a chain of casinos in Las Vegas. Though primarily in it for the money, the man who owns all three casinos is also dating Ocean’s ex wife, who he wants back in his life. Ocean assembles a crew of himself and 11 men to pull of the heist. These men include an acrobat, racers, a pick pocket, a hacker, a man who specializes in explosives, and more. ​Ocean’s 11​ is definitely worth watching, and is one of my favorite movies, with its impressive cast (including actors such as George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Matt Damon), meticulous pot, and surprising twist towards the end. After the premire of the movie, three sequels were made; Ocean’s 12, Ocean’s 13​, and, over a decade later, ​Ocean’s 8​.

Ocean’s 12​ (2004) and ​13​ (2007) are not horrible, but they aren’t very good either. Both plots are somewhat hard to follow, so they don’t even compare to Ocean’s 11. ​However, Ocean’s 8​ is an attention grabber. Though the movie differs from its predecessor in many ways, the most noticeable is that it doesn’t star George Clooney like the others do. Similar to the 2016 Ghostbusters remake, ​Ocean’s 8​ has an all female cast. Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, Danny’s sister, after his death. The movie also stars Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina, Mindy Kaling, and Sarah Paulson.

Besides an interesting plot and again well-known cast, ​Ocean’s 8​ is similar to Ocean’s 11​ in many ways. Most prominent is the plan. Danny Ocean takes every possible variable into consideration when robbing the casinos, leading to many of his men going undercover, using explosives, and hijacking security cameras. In true Ocean fashion, Debbie Ocean does the same. In order to steal the Touissant, a five pound diamond necklace worth millions that has been in a vault for years, they have to convince its carriers to take it out of the vault. To do this, they recruit a famous fashion designer (Helena Bonham Carter) and help her find a very well known client (Anne Hathaway) to wear the necklace. For this to work, the actress needs an event to wear the necklace to, which is revealed to be the Met Gala. Obviously, the Ocean siblings both plan their heists meticulously and never take the easy way out. ​Ocean’s 8​ also features cameo appearances of two members of Danny Ocean’s gang and several references to Danny himself. Both movies also have a surprising twist at the end that you will never see coming.

Ocean’s 11​ was an elaborate and entertaining movie, and ​Ocean’s 8​ is ground breaking as a continuation or on its own. Either way, both are thoroughly enjoyable and you should give the Ocean’s franchise a try.

The Incredibles

Having premiered in 2004, many teens today remember The Incredibles fondly as a favorite childhood movie. You can imagine the excitement when the announcement was made that after fourteen years, a sequel would be made. The Incredibles, also known as the Parrs, are a family of superheroes in a world where they are considered a nuisance. Mr. Incredible has increased strength, his wife Elastigirl can stretch her body infinitely, and their three children can become invisible, burst into flames, and run supernaturally fast respectively. In the first movie, the family is faced with Syndrone, a villain seeking revenge after Mr. Incredible brushed him off as a child when he claimed to be his number one fan. In 2018, The Incredibles 2 came out and excited many childhood fans. While The Incredibles was not a bad movie, the sequel was much better. It seems as though the creators kept in mind that a huge amount of the viewers would be teenagers, as the plot of the sequel is definitely more complicated than that of the original. In The Incredibles 2, Helen Parr, or Elastigirl, is offered a job saving the world, something the heroes usually have to keep a secret to protect themselves from hate. Since she is away all day protecting humanity, her husband Bob, or Mr. Incredible, is left as a stay-at-home dad. Bob is certainly more accustomed to saving the planet than taking care of his kids. While he struggles with the children, Elastigirl is fighting a villain known only as the Screenslaver. The Screenslaver uses special goggles to hypnotize heroes and force them to enact their evil agenda. The plot thickens when the Screenslaver is revealed to be a character the audience thought they could trust. The Incredibles 2 also focuses on the blossoming powers of baby Jack Jack The Incredibles 2 is a great sequel, and much better than its predecessor, in many ways. The movie features the same characters and almost all of the original voice actors, causing a nostalgia in older fans. It also picks up immediately after the first movie ends, which makes for a smooth transition and plenty of time for a third movie. If you loved The Incredibles as a kid, you may love it even more now that the sequel has been made.

The Grinch

The 2018 remake of the 1996 movie The Grinch surprised me. The recreation has the same simple storyline and appeal to children. The main way the new movie differs from the original is in the tone; many viewers of the 2018 The Grinch found the movie to be sad. The original movie was humorous. The ending may have tugged on a few heartstring as the Grinch learns compassion, but that was just about it in terms of emotional depth. However, in the new The Grinch, the Grinch earns the viewer’s sympathy throughout the movie. Any fans of the original The Grinch should check out the revival.