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In A Fight Between…
By Philip Schweier
February 3, 2021 - 13:52

In our youngest days as comic fans, we all did it: “In a fight between _____ and _____, who would win?” Sometimes it was characters with similar powers, such as Namor the Sub-Mariner vs. Aquaman. Sometimes it was between two characters of similar strength, like the Hulk vs. the Thing. It’s a fun little exercise for our own amusement.

Later, my friends and I began dream casting our favorite movies. If they did a re-make of __________, who would play our beloved characters?

The cast of the original Battlestar Galactica
Then it began to happen. Christopher Reeve replaced George Reeves as Superman. Michael Keaton took over for Adam West. Usually, such remakes were successful simply due to advancements in movie magic, but just as often, they fell flat. Despite its less sophisticated filmmaking techniques, the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) far outshines its needless 2005 remake.

Suddenly, all that fantasizing we indulged in wasn’t so fun anymore. Hollywood started following through, reviving fondly remembered franchises, often with little regard for what made the source material successful in the first place.

Television has become a battlefield littered with episodes of regurgitated shows, most of them dismal failures. Occasionally, there’s the odd Star Trek: The Next Generation or Battlestar Galactica, that surpass their predecessors. But for every one of those, there are 10 other shows that crash and burn.

Edward Woodward, the original Equalizer
CBS TV has revived a handful of classic series in recent years: Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver and Magnum, P.I. Another revival on the horizon is The Equalizer, starring Queen Latifah.

The original mid-1980s TV series starred Edward Woodward as a former intelligence operative. He spent 88 episodes helping every day people with nowhere to turn, fending off stalkers, blackmailers and sometimes professional assassins. Two feature films starring Denzel Washington were released in 2014 and 2018.

The new version – scheduled to debut after the Super Bowl on February 7 – has upset many fans of the original series, manifesting in animosity on social media.

I’m a member of the Equalizer Appreciation Group on Facebook. A fellow member recently posted a photo of Queen Latifah and invited others to share their thoughts. Unfortunately, he was inundated with anger, bitterness and resentment. An admin for the group respectively asked the original poster if he would consider removing the post, in the interest of settling things down. The OP agreed.

Queen Latifah, Equalizer 2021
I find such a situation regrettable. The general public has not yet seen a single episode of this show, yet people are rushing to judgment. Such uninformed opinions have as much merit as the material they disdain.

Over the years, I’ve come across several people who are quick to judge a series (TV or movie) without ever seeing a single episode. They condemn it for its content, its star or its production value without ANY first-hand knowledge whatsoever. There’s a term for this behaviour: contempt prior to investigation.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical of the new Battlestar Galactica, and happy to be proven wrong. As for other shows, such as Hawaii Five-0 or MacGyver, I was never fans of the original series. But if others enjoy one version more than the other, so be it. Why should I waste my time raining on their parade?

In an argument between someone who has seen only one version of a series, and someone who has explored other variations, who is likely to better informed? Until you have adequate information to form a legitimate opinion, perhaps the best thing to do is to keep quiet, and keep an open mind.

Let people enjoy things.

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