The Netflix series Wednesday has become a hit for the streamer. Much of this stems from Jenna Ortega’s inspired turn as the title character. Thanks to her, the venerable Addams Family franchise has gained new life for a new generation of fans.
There are, however, a number of other classic fantasy TV series that could prove very fruitful if someone were to do a Wednesday-style reboot. While some of them might focus on teenage characters, others might just provide a more humorous and ironic take on the show as it was envisioned when it originally aired.
The Munsters (1964-1966)
Stream on Peacock
Along with the Addams Family, the Munsters are one of the most iconic and recognizable sitcom families. While they’ve had their fair share of reboots – including a recent movie – it would also be fun to see them get the Wednesday treatment.
In particular, audiences would no doubt like to spend more time with Marilyn (the “normal” family member) or even werewolf boy Eddie. Such a streak could go in several directions, however, and it would be fascinating to see how the Munsters fare in the world of 21st century social media.
Stream on the Roku Channel
Bewitched is often cited as one of the best sitcoms in the form’s history. With its story of a witch who marries a mortal – and the many hijinks it causes – it was quirky and fun, and its main character, Samantha, had an undeniable charm.
Although the series has been reimagined several times, there is still a lot of potential. In particular, it would be fun to see Samantha’s younger years, when she was still trying to figure out what to do with her powers (not to mention dealing with her mother, Endora, arguably one of the original series’ best characters). ) .
I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970)
Stream to Prime Video
There have been a number of sitcoms with strange premises, but few are as unusual as I Dream of Jeannie. As the title suggests, it centers on a genius and his handler, an astronaut living in 1960s America. It’s a fun and quirky series, and it’s one that’s ripe for a reboot of the genre. Wednesday.
While the original was the sort of bright, twinkling series so common in the 1960s, a new version could take the story in new directions. In particular, it might give Jeannie a bit more backstory, showing some of her earlier life before she arrived in 20th (or 21st) century America.
Hercules: The Legendary Voyages (1995-1999)
Stream to Prime Video
Of all the tales of classical mythology, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys is one of the best. It is, in some ways, the pinnacle of 1990s television, with its focus on the title hero, his various travels, and his dangerous relationship with the goddess Hera.
A reboot can take many routes. More convincingly, it could re-imagine the original series as a sort of coming-of-age story with a new cast, one that explores the darker, more sinister edge of ancient mythos in more detail without, well, sure, missing the sense of humor that is key to Wednesday’s appeal and was also a recurring point on the original show.
Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990)
Broadcast on Paramount+
During the 1980s, Beauty and the Beast was notable for breathing new life into the classic story. In particular, it added layers of grim romance and gritty crime drama, and it featured a particularly strong performance from Ron Perlman as the beast, Vincent.
Since it’s already been rebooted once, a newer version would have to take some creative risks. However, there’s no doubt that it would be fascinating for viewers to get a deeper look at Vincent and his backstory, especially if the creators could bring Ron Perlman back.
Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001)
Stream to Apple TV+
Along with Hercules, Xena: Warrior Princess was a beloved show of the 1990s, largely due to the charismatic and dynamic presence of Lucy Lawless as the formidable lead character. Even more than Hercules, he leaned on the camp component of his story.
A reboot could definitely get Lawless the role, and he could dig deeper into Greek myths and other more sinister stories. Or, alternatively, it could subvert audience expectations by casting a younger actress and giving the show a bit more caustic bite (one can easily imagine someone like the always tongue-in-cheek Aubrey Plaza in the role).
Dark Shadows (1966-1971)
Stream to Prime Video
Dark Shadows remains one of the weirdest and most compelling series of the 1960s. Somehow it manages to weave together various elements, including soap opera and gothic romance, with plenty of supernatural material. .
Like other properties, it’s had a long afterlife — including a Tim Burton film version — but that’s precisely what makes it an ideal choice for a remake. Considering it was hugely popular with teens during its original ratings, it’s easy to see a remake in this vein being incredibly popular.
Not available to stream
In addition to their big-budget feature films, Disney has long been known for their outlandish feature films, they’re also known for their surprisingly intricate Saturday morning cartoons. One of the best of these was Aladdin, which followed the new adventures of the main character and his friends.
It’s a series that would do pretty well with a reboot in the style of Wednesday, especially since the studio has already given a reboot to other classic cartoons (like Ducktales). Plus, he could delve into some of the darker, more sinister material that only appeared periodically in the original series.
Gilligan’s Island (1964-1967)
Stream to Prime Video
In some ways, Gilligan’s Island is one of the best (and weirdest) sitcoms of the 1960s. With its story of a group of castaways on a desert island, it often strained credulity, but those are precisely its fantastical elements that have made it such a beloved part of the television landscape.
A revamped version of this particular story could easily succeed if it included younger versions of beloved characters. Likewise, it could reshape the narrative so that, like Wednesday, it becomes much more mysterious, giving it additional narrative interest.
Diffusion on crackle
Dinotopia’s concept is certainly unique, centering on a land where dinosaurs and humans interact and mingle. However, since dinosaurs are such a popular part of popular culture, a new series could definitely tap into this phenomenon.
Equally important, it could very easily bring in the teenage element that is one of the most endearing parts of Wednesday. Given the remarkable advances in CGI technology – and the increased budgets imposed by TV shows – this concept could be very rewarding for the studio willing to take it on.