Writers Workshop: That’s OK…

One of the prompts for today is "What band or TV show would you like to see reunite?" That’s not an easy question to answer, because it would be practically impossible for it ever to happen. Face it, it would involve bringing people back from the dead in either case.

Many of the bands I remember from my younger days have either disbanded, and many of the members have passed on. Take The Beatles, for example: only Paul and Ringo are still living, John having been murdered in 1980 and George having died in 2001. The closest they got to a reunion was in 1994, when Yoko Ono found a cassette of John playing the piano with three songs he had been working on, and the remaining members of the band got together and turned two of them into Beatles songs, "Free As A Bird" (released on Anthology 1) and "Real Love" (released on Anthology 2). But that’s as far as it went: there was no tour, no full album, and there’s been nothing since.

Or take the band Chicago: three of the original members are no longer with the band, guitarist Terry Kath (died in a firearms accident the week we got married), bassist Pete Cetera (left the band and evidently wants nothing to do with them), and drummer Danny Seraphine (was fired). A fourth, saxophonist Walt Parazaider, has had to retire for health reasons. Frankly, if I want to hear Chicago, I’d just as soon listen to Leonid & Friends, from Russia and Ukraine, who made a name for themselves by doing dead-nuts-on arrangements of Chicago songs and have expanded their repertoire.

As far as TV is concerned, most of the shows whose reunions I would like to see were made back in the ’60’s, and in most cases the actors have passed on. Ron Howard is the only remaining cast member from The Andy Griffith Show, Robert Clary and Kenneth Washington the only ones left from Hogan’s Heroes, Dick Van Dyke and possibly Larry Matthews from The Dick Van Dyke Show, etc. Even if they were to re-cast any of those shows, I and all the other fans of the original shows would be subconsciously comparing the replacement actors to the originals, and the new scripts to the old ones, and finding them wanting.

It occurs to me that we still have the original shows from TV and the music from the original bands. Who needs reunions?

15 thoughts on “Writers Workshop: That’s OK…

  1. I’ve never been particularly fond of “tribute bands”, don’t know exactly why but, when I’ve seen the original, nothing else compares. Given that, seeing Tom Petty back as the head of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is first on my wish list.

    As far as tv shows, some of the “reunites” are pretty ghastly. Yes, life goes on and we all get older but, sometimes seeing cast members years away from their, once better/younger days is something I pass on.

    On a positive note, I am officially going out into the world…mask-less. Wherever allowed, that is.

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    1. Some of the cover bands are pretty good, but not quite up to the same standard. When I first heard Leonid & Friends, I thoiught they sounded more like Chicago than Chicago did (i.e. they sounded more like the Chicago I knew than the actual band did). The TV reboots are pretty much uniformly awful, especially where the producers try to “update” the show, like they did with “Hawaii Five-O,” “Magnum, P.I.” and “MacGyver.” And it was generally agreed that attempting to bring back “Murphy Brown” was a mistake…

      Enjoy the world without a mask!

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  2. I would want to see ABBA and for a TV Show….Frazier where they are talking about a reboot but I hope it will be on a channel I get. The problem is often they may not recapture the magic. I loved Bewitched but they are all dead except for Tabitha and Adam. I would love to see an Ed Sullivan type show…not American Idol and all those ones but the actual Ed Sullivan show. He’s dead too but I bet they could find someone to be the host, without the hunched shoulders and unique speech pattern.

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    1. ABBA might be doable, although I think the marriages fell apart as well as the band. They could easily do a Frasier reboot, minus John Mahoney and probably Eddie.

      As for the variety shows, there is a show called “The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show,” that was running on the Decades network here (and an episode runs on MeTV after the Sunday “Columbo” rerun). I’m not sure that it still is.

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      1. There are rumours ABBA will reunite which would knock me over considering they said they would never do that plus married to each other before. I have watched a few old Ed Sullivan and oved it.

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  3. There are several I would like to see reunite, but it wouldn’t be the same. As you mentioned some of the musicians and actors are no longer with us. Best to enjoy the memories of our faves as they were.

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  4. John,

    All excellent points on why many of our favorites can’t be revived. I thought about using this prompt. I’d love to see the TV series 24 with Keifer Sutherland and cast reunite. They did a reboot a few years ago all new cast and the writers did a fair job but it still wasn’t anywhere as good as when Keifer was Jack Bauer. I loved how they weren’t afraid to make him the guy who got the job done when no one else wanted to do it. Anytime now you watch anything they have women acting like guys and taking out a dozen men twice their size. How unrealistic is that? Even the best trained woman can’t out muscle a man her size or smaller. She may get some good blows in but it’ll be a miracle if she actually wins especially if she’s up against a real man, not a wimped out girlie man. That’s another thing about today’s TV/movie writers they have guys who can’t do anything. Come on! That’s so stupid on so many levels that I want to scream, maybe even do a little neck ringing if I could but I know I don’t have that kind of strength and if the writers are ‘real men’ then I’d be dead meat. I think I’ve rambled and preached enough. Nicely done. Oh yeah, I’m with you on listening to Leonid & Friends – they are fabulous! I really appreciate you sharing them with me.

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