I’m not going to pretend I’ve never written a super long post before. I have. And here comes another one. If it helps, it’s not about politics. It’s about something much more important. Ghost fighting. Enjoy.
I’ve been busy lately, but a quick scan of social media (who am I kidding… I check it ALL FUCKING DAY) tells me that there are people unhappy with the notion of women taking over the roles in the new Ghostbuster’s film. And I get it. And I also don’t get it. Let me explain:
I get it because I’m a fanboy. I love stuff: movies, TV, comics, music, comedy, etc. And, like a lot of people from my generation, I am well marinated in the religion of nostalgia. I remember seeing Star Wars in the theater and later in life “discovering” Mr. Show. And, yes, I also remember seeing Ghostbusters. These and a thousand other things from my childhood and youth are precious to me. So when these things are re-made or re-imagined I get a little tickle of dread about what’s going to happen to my favorite things. Often, these versions are inferior. But nearly as often they are pretty fucking great. And anyway, I don’t own this stuff. Also, I’m a grown fucking man with a daughter in college, I have debt, grey hair coming in and it’s more than a little embarrassing to get bent out of shape about things which are, basically, created for children. But still… I get it.
But here’s where I don’t get it. At all. Not all remakes/reboots are created equal. This is especially true when it comes to this new Ghostbusters. Full disclosure: my friend Katie Dippold wrote/is writing this film. And she’s a certified fucking treasure. But even if I didn’t know her, I’d know her work (MAD tv, Parks and Recreation, The Heat) and I’d know that the script is in great comedy hands.
This is also true when you consider Paul Feig’s work and the work of the four brilliant women cast in these roles. On paper, this thing looks to me like it’s going to be a winner. But even that isn’t the point. The point is this isn’t just a cheap reboot. This isn’t a lazy studio giving us a slightly louder version of something we’re familiar with instead of innovating. This is an incredibly brave and subversive re-imagining of some great material and it’s long overdue.
Look, I have no idea how this movie is going turn out. No one does. I’m a realist who has some knowledge of how the Hollywood sausage is made. Anybody who’s spent a little time in this business knows that just because you throw talent at something, doesn’t mean it will come together exactly like you hope. Movies, TV shows and the theatre are mercurial beasts. Lots of things have to go very right in order for them to be great. The best you can do is engage the talents of the best folks you can find and hope magic happens. As far as I can tell, this production has done this in spades. So I am incredibly excited to see what these folks come up with. And I think you should be too.
But, in case this seemed too long and you wandered in the middle, I shall summarize:
1) You don’t own Ghostbusters or Star Wars or anything you went to see when you were twelve. You just don’t.
2) Even if you hate re-boots, you really have to admit that this isn’t a lazy one. This idea is interesting, subversive and everything that a comedy should be.
3) If you say that you won’t see a new Ghostbusters film because it has been re-imagined with women in the key creative roles, then you are a fucking dipshit. A mouth breathing goon. A relic. So grow up.
That is all.
Brian Bradley is a television writer who has written for MAD TV, Happy Endings and Scrubs. He’s the co-creator of the hit storytelling show 5 Truths and a Lie and his most prized possession is his Porkins Bust that he acquired at San Diego Comic Con 2014.
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