Of Rebooted Series Done Right And Not

In 2001 a new cartoon, Samurai Jack, hit the airwaves and for four great seasons Jack battled the evil Aku, trying to get back to the past and undo the evil Aku had inflicted on the Earth for centuries.

When season four ended in 2004, Jack was still trapped in a future dominated by Aku and it seemed – as was the case in many TV shows that were cancelled before the story line was completed – we would never learn Jack’s ultimate fate.

But earlier this year Cartoon Network brought back the Samurai for one last 10-episode season and I have to say it was the perfect conclusion that we shouldn’t have had to wait over a decade for.

While the final episode wrapped up the series with perfectly classic Japanese tragedy, I did have one technical issue with the time-delay it took for the tragic event to occur. (No spoilers here, sorry. You’ll have to watch the final episode yourself).

Still, despite that tiny flaw, this was a reboot/return that was executed quite well.

Sadly, I can’t say the same for the recent return to the Twin Peaks series. I understand that with the show being on Showtime now instead of on broadcast television that they can slip in the obligatory sex scene and nudity for the sake of nudity.

But my biggest complaint just four episodes into the reboot is the pacing. Too many extended shots showing nothing – a car driving down a road at night for example and ending every episode with a singer or band performing – have me wondering if they are just filling in time to justify however many episodes they were approved for.

It also seems they are struggling to recapture the magic of the two-year run of the original series from 1990 and 1991 and coming up a little short. I’m wondering how, or even if, they plan on explaining why Michael Ontkean’s Sheriff Harry S. Truman is no longer sheriff but there is a Sheriff Frank Truman (played by Robert Forrester). Or why Dale Cooper has returned after 25 years but hasn’t a clue who he is now that he is back, but seemed to be fully cognisant before his return.

Most series have some bumps and bruises in the first season and many go on to be quite good. But you would expect a show that had two prior seasons under its belt and with most of its original cast back to get off to a better start than this.

I’ll stay with it for a few more weeks, hoping they can get on track. David Duchovny’s brilliant appearance in the show alone is worth that investment (and I hope that wasn’t a one-and-done for him).

But if they keep dragging out scenes and not getting on with the show, about two or three more episodes is all they’ll get.

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