Fred Allen once said, “imitation is the sincerest form of television.” So is recycling; TV is famous for reviving hits from the past: Mission: Impossible, Burke’s Law, The Six Million Dollar Woman, and many others. The latest will be Hawaii Five-O, the series that made “Book ’em, Dano” a catch-phrase in the ’60’s (and a sign of true hipness if you can use it today). This iteration will be filled with eye candy hunting crime in Paradise (and maybe turning up President Obama’s birth certificate), cashing in on the success of NCIS and hopes of baby-boomer nostalgia. (But now that Mercury is ending production, what will the next Steve McGarret drive?) The biggest problem is that the new ones rarely live up to the reputation of the first. That’s largely because time has tinted the recollection with the mists of nostalgia; the shows were rarely as good as we remember them.
What vintage TV series would you like to see revived?
I would like to see The West Wing brought back to see how the Santos administration did.