This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Re-makes, Re-tellings, and Repeats

Have you noticed that re-makes, re-tellings and repeats seem to be a trend? If it was done well the first time why would you try to make a better version? Is it even possible? Bad 70’s TV shows have been made into movies and were those movies any better? The only movie I can think that may have surpassed the original show would be 21 Jump Street and that is in large part due to Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s chemistry. Charlie’s Angels, my favorite campy TV show is being re-made with the third set of angels.  How successful does the first re-make need to be to make a re-make of a re-make?

It seems to be pretty normal for a great story to be re-told in a more modern manner. Jane Austen’s books have been re-told a great number of times. From the movie Clueless to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane’s stories are re-invented into fantastic new tales and genres quite frequently. Does anyone every get tired of all of these re-tellings and classic re-mixes? I’ll admit, unless the original title is quoted I usually miss the tie-in and just enjoy or hate the new story on its own merits. Maybe I’m not the most sophisticated reader/watcher…


In the past couple of years fairy-tale re-tellings and re-imaginings have gotten to be very popular in fiction. Do I like them? I have read a couple that have been well done and now that I’m looking back on them I think it’s because they didn’t stick to the story verbatim. As I mentioned above, I was able to forget it was a re-make and lose myself in the story.  I’ve also read a few that didn’t win me over because they stuck too close to the original and didn’t improve upon it. Should they have left well enough alone?  I know, that’s kind of harsh, but why re-create something that was done so well in the first place? It’s like on American Idol when someone chooses to sing a Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston song and they just weren’t as good as the original. Doesn’t the judge tell them that they were taking a huge risk? Yes! I believe the same thing applies to iconic stories like Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, etc. I do give them points for trying though.

Why can’t originality become a trend? That’s kind of sad isn’t it? Our world has so many talented, creative, and clever individuals who want to be noticed for their own originality. I want to help them rise to the top! Let me just finish this one last fairy-tale re-make…


Do you agree or disagree with my opinion on re-makes?

If you’ve read a re-telling that you think is just fabulous, please share! I love a good recommendation, as long as it’s not a re-telling of Star Wars or something….

Until next Sunday!



10 thoughts on “This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Re-makes, Re-tellings, and Repeats

  1. This is such an interesting topic! I didn’t realize retellings were a thing until a couple years ago, when I got into blogging, found out about Cinder and then so much more retellings that I ended up loving. I have to admit that, yes, retellings do have to bring something more to the table, to be inspired, but different from the original, to find that uniqueness to a story we know so well, to succeed in captivating me 🙂

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    1. You just made my point very concisely! In the end creativity is what wins me over. If the retelling made its own journey and just used the elements from the original story I will like it so much more than a story that used all of the elements and had no originality. Thanks Marie!


  2. I think retellings are really tough thing to pull off. The best ones, in my opinion, stay true to the original feel of the story while adding enough new elements to make it stand on its own. I’ve read a few retellings, but haven’t really been blown away by any off the top of my head..

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    1. I have read a few and so far they’ve been pretty underwhelming with only a couple exceptions. CJ Redwine does a good job of taking the basic premise of a fairy tale and turning it into a brand new story. I probably wouldn’t have known it was a re-telling if she hadn’t mentioned it in an interview. Lol.

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  3. I think a good remake ends up being original. For instance, at first I wasn’t sure about Disney remaking all their animated films into live action. But I liked how the live-action Beauty and the Beast focuses on all kinds of love, not just romantic love. And I liked how Maleficent turned into a thoughtful exploration of redemption. Good remakes don’t rehash the original, but add to our understanding of it.

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    1. I don’t disagree with that point at all. Disney has done a great job with their live action films for the most part. I wish some re-makes had never been tried like The Dukes of Hazard. Did that really need to be re-made? I think we’d all agree that if something is done well, it is done right. My wish is that originality becomes a trend. There are so many excellent writers, film producers, etc. that can and do create fresh new stories that should be celebrated. I only wonder how long this trend will go on?


  4. susankietzman

    Hi Deb,

    I sometimes think there are no new stories to tell.
    Stories about love, war, treachery, jealousy, adventure, beauty, etc. have been told – and continue to be told. What makes the story new is the author’s spin on it.
    And yes, I realize this is a slightly different spin on your remake question!

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