The last anyone saw of the iconic, pioneering and ground-breaking Canadian CGI series “Reboot” was back in 2001. That was with the 4th season, which was also released as two straight to video movies, ending its run that began in 1994. Unfortunately, the Canadian studio Mainframe Entertainment eventually lost most of their talent, before being purchased by RainMaker Entertainment, prompting the plan to bring back the beloved IP.
They Could Have Simply Continued The Original Series
That original series ended on an unresolved cliff-hanger with a savage incarnation of the virus Megabyte taking over the Principle office, out for revenge. Since then, fans have waited and speculated for years if the beloved series about life inside of the computer would ever return, let alone conclude properly.
Finally after many false starts, far too many for fans to bear, Netflix will release an all-new and seemingly unrelated “Reboot” series on March 30th.
Here is the trailer:
They Seem To Have Forgotten the “Reboot”
Assuming you watched the promo, did you notice anything missing? Maybe a lack of actual recognizable Reboot? Well, you’re not alone, it’s been down-voted at a startling ratio of 12 to 1! Even the official Facebook page went ahead and censored the backlash in the comments. Needless to say, the comments have been fierce.
The Last Thing Anyone Expected Was Live Action
So this is now appearing to be in the same realm of fiasco as the 2016’s “Ghostbusters” reboot’s frosty reception. Both Reboot and Ghostbusters do share a common thread, that they both seemingly take something that was absolutely beloved and tried to put a new spin on it, but without seeming to fully grasp the central appeal or magic of the original.
To be fair, part of that appeal is that it was a product of its time, in being pioneering, culturally relevant and in tune with pop culture.
As Bob Would Say: “This Is Bad. This Is VERY Bad.”
Again, the new Reboot series is not out yet, and this speculation and worry is completely based on available information and the trailer… but the bad omens are there. Hopefully it actually manages to turn out to be good, defying expectations. Absolutely no one wants a bad show to come of it, especially a bad Reboot show.
The issues non-misogynist fans had with the all-female Ghostbusters, for comparison’s sake, wasn’t the all female cast. Rather, it was poor one-dimensional characters and storytelling, as well as crass jokes that didn’t grasp the sarcastic and witty nature of the original. The original was definitely lightning in a bottle and hard to replicate.
Judging by the new Reboot’s trailer and info available, it seems this re-imaging is even further removed. Ghostbusters at least retained the core dynamics. Reboot on the other-hand had core principles that are completely absent from what we have seen thus far, in everything from style to plot…
The World of Reboot Has Rules
1. In Reboot proper, we never ever see the Users! They are a complete mystery for the in-game population of binomes and sprites. The new show is focused on actual users in the form of human teenagers against another user (the hacker). In Reboot, the user is only represented in Game Cubes, as the antagonist that must be beaten.
2. Reboot is about the world inside of a computer, from games to viruses, etc… we should never ever see the “real world”. Reboot had hackers, and they were not dudes in hoodies in the real world.
Basically, this is not Reboot, this is Tron or Code Lyoko. Reboot was grounded in reality by being inside of a computer, it was not about teens zapping themselves into a computer.
This is Not The Supercomputer…
Honestly, it feels like a filler device to not actually have to CGI animate anything. In the ’90s, when it took hours to render single frames, they never resorted to this tactic (granted first season’s “Medusa Bug” episode was a plot device to limit animation used at the time. Basically Hex turns all of Mainframe to stone, and Bob is unaffected, but it worked, since it was plot driven!
3. Reboot is all about spoofing pop culture. The amount of cultural references in the original Reboot were in its deep DNA. Movies from Austin Powers to Evil Dead and Star Wars were directly parodied. Star Trek was there, James Bond was there (“Firewall” is one of the greatest Reboot show moments of all time) and so on. The new trailer is completely devoid of this in any form.
If the similarly beloved “Samurai Jack” could return for a final 4th season, a whopping 13 years later, to resolve everything, why didn’t Reboot do the same?
A final note is that many are often quick to dismiss the graphics of the original 1994-2001 series, despite the monumental improvements between seasons and its unique style. Sadly, the new show’s animation somehow appears more primitive in 2018! It just doesn’t look as detailed (the original had a crazy amount of small details that made all the difference) and looks far too generic, or perhaps even a touch sterile. Reboot is all about personality.
While there is much reason to be alarmed, thankfully the jury is still out. Still, let’s just end by quoting the common catch phrase of the original series: “This is bad, this is very bad!”