6 TV reboots that are as good as the original

Hawaii Five-0. (Photo supplied)
Hawaii Five-0. (Photo supplied)

Cape Town - If there’s one thing everyone loves to hate, it’s a dud revival of their most treasured TV series of years gone by.

But as these reboots on that you can stream now on internet TV prove, that it is possible for a revival to be just as well received as - and in rare cases, an improvement on - the original series.

Stream them this weekend when you’re craving a hit of nostalgia.

1. Hawaii Five-0 (Showmax)

Based on the long-running series that lit up viewers’ screens from 1968 to 1980, this revival had serious butt-kicking boots to fill. Steve McGarrett, the Hawaii native who returns home to bury his father but sticks around to join an elite crime-fighting force on his home turf, is played by Alex O’Loughlin, and his New Jersey buddy Danny Williams is played by Scott Caan. The reboot scored big with critics for using the original theme song at both the beginning and the end of each episode, and for staying true to the high-octane, action-packed atmosphere of the original series. Seasons 1 to 5 of Hawaii Five-0 are on Showmax.

2. Will & Grace (DStv Now)

One of the best-loved sitcoms of the late 90s and early 00s is back after an 11-year hiatus, and everything’s exactly the same as before. No, really. The reboot has even held on to the laugh track, which might take today’s TV viewers a while to get used to. Will, Grace, Jack and Karen look exactly the same as they did the last time we saw them, their personalities are as we remember (Karen’s a wealthy drunk, Jack’s effete and narcissistic, Will’s smart and cool-headed, Grace is charmingly shallow despite her best efforts) and their circumstances are similar (though Will and Grace are both newly divorced). But this time around, they’re older, living in an entirely different USA, where they now represent the middle-aged liberal elite who are struggling to hold onto their ideals in the era of Trump. Critics say that this is the show America needs more than ever before - but on top of that, it’s also a lot of indulgent fun to watch. 

3. Macgyver (DStv Now)

The mullet’s gone and Mac’s made some friends! It might sound like the biggest action hero of the 80s has made too radical a transformation in this revival, but don’t worry - he’s still saving the world using his lovably nerdy knack for science and memory of random facts. And he’s pretty good at fighting off baddies with whatever tools are at hand. The original series might have been widely mocked, and wasn’t necessarily great TV, even in the 80s, but, as critics say, part of the reason it was so beloved was because MacGyver wasn’t your typical action hero. While nerd-as-hero might be a more common device today, the nostalgia factor with this reboot is huge. Stream latest episodes on DStv Now.

4. Queer Eye (Netflix)

This version of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which ran from 2003 to 2009, is “aiming for acceptance”, whereas the original was “fighting for tolerance”. The new generation of experts known as the Fab Five transform men across Atlanta from slobs to babes - or at least, to more civilised, fashion-forward, “self-actualised” versions of themselves. Everyone loves baby-faced Antoni, the resident diet guru, and we’ve got a particular soft spot for Jonathan the hairstylist, who’s always got a witty quip up the sleeve of his slim-cut shirt. Whether you have Queer Eye on in the background as a bright, breezy soundtrack to your daily business (like this critic from the New Yorker) or sit down with a glass of wine to enjoy it as your guilty pleasure, it’ll hit the spot.

5. Star Trek: Discovery (Netflix)

This reboot is the first one on this list that is truly different from the original series (which ran from 1966 to 1969). IndieWire calls Discovery “the most exciting and daring take on the [Trek] franchise”, and though it takes place in the original Star Trek universe (not the one created by JJ Abrams in the 2009 film), it is the first Trek instalment to focus on a single character instead of an ensemble cast. Sonequa Martin-Green stars as First Officer Michael Burnham, and she’s probably the show’s greatest triumph - along with its “top tier” effects and cinematography.

6. The Tick (Amazon Prime)

The first incarnation of The Tick was short-lived but garnered a loyal fan base, running from 2001 to 2002. Both the original and the reboot are available to stream on Amazon Prime. The Tick is a blue superhero living in The City - he’s got super-strength, of course, and mad skillz. Plus, as he explains to his sidekick, “When Destiny speaks, she speaks to me.” The Tick has never really been about The Tick, though - it’s actually about his sidekick, the nerdy accountant called Arthur, who, in this reboot, has mental health issues and a tragic backstory. This is one of the most frivolous, fun superhero series on internet TV at the moment - and though fans of the original will miss The Tick’s battle cry of “Spoooooooooon!”, they’ll love the quirky tone and the essential chemistry between Peter Serafinowicz as The Tick and Griffin Newman as Arthur.