This just doesn’t seem like a good idea…
I try not to be anti-reboot like many others I know, as some things really do deserve a new idea, a fresh look, or just the chance to being retold for the new generation, but so many projects that involve old franchises falter hard in comparison to the few that truly work. ReBoot is a bit different for me, as a show I grew up with and admired. I watched it grow as well into something different and amazing, so it is no surprise I pushed the program onto as many of my friends that I could and gushed about it with fellow fans. I also didn’t worry too much about rumors of it coming back, as the creators had tried multiple times over the years to do so and continuously fell short due to various problems and roadblocks. I was content with what we had and things the show had accomplished. I thought this gem of the past was safe from backlash and change.
This is where I should talk about the new version of what is coming of something I hold dear, but I think I need another moment to gush. Bear with me.
ReBoot was just different. It had a new look that no one else was doing at the time, a creative world that felt full and explorable with multiple levels—even before the games were introduced—and an array of heroes and villains that were immediately interesting or lovable. As a kid, it made me want to play in their reality. The first two seasons are so different than the others, as it seemed to evolve and change while giving their characters legitimate growth and arcs to build on. The formula was dropped and the stakes were raised heavily for a kids show, which is why so many still remember it to this day. The creators were smart with it, even though they had been restricted a bit as to what they could do and show, but they still managed to put in so much of what they wanted to express. One of my favorite parts is all of the references, everything from X-Files, Evil Dead, and James Bond to Power Rangers and Mad Max, as well as spoofing so many different game genres and concepts. Everything was done with an in-story reason and what comes across as a lot of care. I can’t imagine any other reason so many members of the team would devote this many years to trying to bring the show back if they didn’t love it.
Mainframe Entertainment knew what they wanted to do and tried even when the technology wasn’t quite there, which is why their initial outing when traced back far enough was actually a music video for Dire Straights, “Money for Nothing,” look it up. It was the first cartoon to take advantage of a CGI style, being completely computer-animated, setting itself apart from the pack. The show aired from 1994-2001 and I remember trying to catch every episode on ABC’s Saturday morning lineup. I thought the show simply ended after two seasons, but it had simply been canceled due to Disney buying the network, and while Canada continued receiving the new episodes on time, we had to wait, but Cartoon Network came to the rescue and I was hooked all over again. In total there are four seasons and forty-eight episodes, but some of these were split up movies and the like so it can be a tad confusing. The sad part is that even after all that, it isn’t finished, as the last episode is a cliffhanger, and the multiple attempts to continue the story I mentioned above failed for the most part. I was irked but eventually realized that perhaps, it was for the best.
When I saw the news and image, I actually thought it might be an April Fool’s day joke at first. See, ReBoot: The Guardian Code is a name I had heard before, as it was one of the many attempts at bringing the project back that fell short, as recently as 2014, and I thought that it could be just that—the newest attempt. That wasn’t true, though, as what we are getting turns out to have been in the works in one form or another for close to four years, and what is coming is completely different. The twenty-six episode order that will be arriving on Canada’s YTV will, in their own words be, “an all-new ReBoot universe that will provide a ground-breaking, multi-platform experience for the next generation of ReBoot fans.“ That apparently means live action, and most likely not tied to the old material.
Yes, my initial reaction to all of this was harsh. I was a little blindsided, but seeing that Rainmaker—the company that used to be Mainframe—was still attached in some way did help. Also, there is so much to live up to, and initial reactions are showing how much the idea is hated, but I think they almost have to take it in a completely different direction. Nothing is going to live up to the original, not completely, and although I do wish the property was simply left as is, there are some shows I love that were continuations, retellings, or even reboots of older series. I would have definitely liked for it to have remained in the same world, but maybe a clean slate will help create something new, but just as wonderful. What matters is if the spirit of the original can translate, because sometimes lightning does strike twice. Just because I’m not hopeful doesn’t mean I’m willing to write this new iteration off right away, but this new reboot does have some big hard drives to fill.