Bleats

The Flintstones Is Getting A Gritty, Adult Reboot And Oh God, Yabba Dabba Don't

Are contemporary audiences really yearning for a post-modern stoneage family?

The constant clamouring hunger for new content without any of the risks of original IP continues with the news that the Flintstones is getting a gritty, adult reboot dealing with contemporary issues of the modern family. Which… hey, isn’t that basically the idea behind Roseanne?

And on the face of it that’s a weird decision, starting with that what demographic of viewer still remembers, much less feels a great fondness for, the golden age of cheap Hanna-Barbera cell animation?

Timeless comedy.

What’s more, for several generations of American youth the Flintstones aren’t a familiar cartoon family lovin’, laughin’ and learnin’ together, and which The Simpsons ripped off blind.

They’re a brand of baby vitamins. And here in Australia they’re not even that.

It’s a similar issue with the beloved Warner Brothers animated characters, in that it seems like something that 40-something studio execs would get excited about rather than contemporary audiences.

It’s great that Don Cheadle’s come on board the inexplicable decision to make another Space Jam movie, and LeBron James makes sense as the new Michael Jordan, but does anyone under thirty still feel any particular identification with Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck, much less Foghorn Leghorn or Yosemite Sam?

And let’s not even open the can of worms that is Pepe Le Pew in the post #metoo era.

Grab ’em by the… well, exactly.

But back to the Flintstones: on the plus side, it’s being done by Elizabeth Banks’ production company and her forthcoming Charlies Angels reboot looks pretty amazing, so that is reason to be cautiously optimistic.

Also, the recent Flintstones comics have been unexpectedly edgy and entertaining, so… maybe this is a story that needs telling, and can only be told with wildly anachronistic hominids co-existing with dinosaurs?

Australians Don't Care About Politics And Who Can Honestly Blame Us?

Uninspiring politicians leave voters uninspired. Why, who'd have thunk it!

It’s super easy to say that politicians just aren’t inspiring today’s voting public, but that doesn’t mean it’s not incorrect. For exhibit A, have a look at our just-complete federal election.

First up, it’s worth noting that the headlines about record numbers of people – especially young people – not voting aren’t quite as apocalyptic as they appear.

It’s more an effect of population growth and post-same sex marriage voter enrolment than it is of people opting out – there are more voters in total, and thus there is a higher number of them not voting.

Turns out you do, young person!

But let’s have a look at what happened.

In the 2016 election Malcolm Turnbull scraped over the line with 76 seats to Labor’s 69 (in the 150-seat lower house), with five independents.

Conversely, in the 2019 election Scott Morrison triumphantly achieved a resounding victory with… um, 77 seats to Labor’s 68 (in the now-151 seat upper house), with six independents. In other words, barely anything changed.

Only a handful of seats changed hands at all, and the government still only has a one seat majority. If a Coalition MP follows the example of Julia Banks and quits, we’re back to a minority government.

Well, there are fewer Tony Abbotts in parliament now, I guess?

And just like most of the pre-election predictions, the vast majority of the post-election analysis seem to be straight up wrong.

If the election was about protecting franking credits, why did wealthy city electorates disproportionately vote Labor and independent? If it was about wage stagnation, why did poor electorates vote Coalition? If it was about coal mining, why did Labor lose seats in Tasmania instead of Queensland, and why did the Greens do so well there?

The one thing which is definitely true is that the Coalition and Labor primary votes went down, as they have done at all recent elections, and the parties that did well were the progressive Greens (whose vote jumped nationally) and the right-wing One Nation/United Australia (whose vote jumped in Queensland).

So what’s the lesson here? It seems to me that it’s that most Australians just don’t care anymore, and that those who do have given up on the major parties.

And if that’s the case… hoo boy, get ready for a lot more political argy-bargy – you know, the stuff that’s putting Australians off politics already – bceause governing by consensus is going to be a tricky old thing.

An ALF Remake Is On The Cards Because Television Just Doesn't Care Anymore

Original ideas for new TV shows? Not until we've recycled every concept from the 80s!

If there’s one thing which recent history has taught us it’s that original ideas are for jerks. Especially when it comes to TV, where coming up with stupid new concepts is nowhere near as easy as going “Hey, people remember Roseanne/Full House/Will & Grace/Twin Peaks, right? How’s about we do that some more?”

And so we’re getting ALF.

Yes, ALF. The sitcom about the alien that eats cats.

That one.

The weird thing about an ALF remake is that it would potentially kinda make sense. Sort of.

The irritatingly zany original series is legendary for ending in 1990 on an inappropriately bleak cliffhanger which was never resolved but strongly implied that the adorable alien – who was just about to leave his Earthly family and return to the safety of his homeworld of Melmac – was about to be imprisoned and presumably vivisected by the authorities.

So the idea of kicking off with the titular Alf newly released from decades of experiments in an undisclosed location would actually make sense. Assuming that a series wanted to mine the comedic possibilities of a traumatised captive adjusting to life in the United States – a place which isn’t exactly super cool with supporting former detainees right at the moment, especially if they’re from somewhere else.

So if nothing else, it would offer up stories RIPPED STRAIGHT FROM THE HEADLINES! Isn’t that right, imprisoned Mexican children?

So, Alf as a gritty exploration of the immigrant experience with a sideline of PTSD? Sounds like a laugh riot! Yo, Willy!

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