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Okay, I know you all are sick of Hollywood’s penchant for remaking everything. (I’ve read your comments.) And I’m sure today’s news that Will Smith is going to star in a movie version of It Takes a Thief will fill you with the same despair I feel. (Did Smith learn nothing from the last time he played roguish 1960s TV character originally played by a white guy named Robert, in the much-reviled 1999 version of Wild Wild West? And not to knock the idea of non-traditional casting in remakes of shows originally cast with white stars, but in execution, the poor track record of films like Wild Wild West and Cedric the Entertainer’s Honeymooners doesn’t bode well for Thief or Ice Cube’s forthcoming Welcome Back, Kotter.)

Still, I’m not opposed to the idea of remakes in principle. Some of them over the past several years have actually been very good. It helps if you start with a property that’s not well-remembered or well-beloved or is slightly cheesy: Think Brian De Palma’s Untouchables, the Stiller/Wilson/Snoop Dogg Starsky & Hutch, or Sci-Fi’s Battlestar Galactica. If you do start with a property that’s a classic or that’s fondly remembered, treat it with near-complete irreverence — Clueless (a better version of Jane Austen’s Emma than Gwyneth Paltrow’s faithful adaptation), De Palma’s Mission: Impossible, The Brady Bunch Movie, Harrison Ford’s The Fugitive, or the 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead.

Given those criteria, aren’t there some oldies you’d like to see remade? I’m surprised that there haven’t been more female-driven TV remakes; Police Woman would work well, or Square Pegs, or my colleague Michael Slezak’s fave, Profiler. Some good shows that died quick deaths the first time, like Profit or EZ Streets, might deserve another chance too. Any other suggestions?

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