Now that Netflix has announced a new incarnation of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (which I think we all knew was coming after the success of She-Ra and the I’m Totally Not Just Here To Sell He-Man Toys To Girls) it’s time to get down to tackling the important questions in life: what other old shows desperately need a Netflix reincarnation. We need to tackle this important issue quickly, too – because if we don’t, we may never be able to cash-in on this generation’s nostalgia wave!
So let’s get straight down to it. We’ll begin with…
5. Count Duckula
Few cartoons can get away with sticking a vampiric resurrection and a giant pentagram right there in their title sequences, but Count Duckula did just that because Eighties Britain kicked arse.
The adventures of a vegetarian vampire who happens to be a duck with a lisp is a perfect framework for modern storytelling. Count Duckula was always seeking fame and adoration, so he’s absolutely the right protagonist for a show that deals with how people who crave fame in the modern world. He’s basically a character from the past that was written for the future.
There’s even the in-built humour of a vampire trying to make it in the world of social media. Would he even show up on photos? Can he make it as a social media influencer if he crumbles to dust at the sight of the Sun? How will he cope with press attention since he’s a member of an outcast group that everyone is afraid of? This stuff practically writes itself. Netflix, get on it!
4. The Flintstones
Now I know what you’re thinking: how could they possibly top this classic? Well, they probably couldn’t and that’s why I’d love to see Netflix give it a remake in a new style. Maintain the stone age aspect; maintain the weird modern technology given a stone age vibe; and maintain the family show dynamic, but do it with the style and flair of Pixar.
Now I’m not just saying “let’s make a 3D animation of The Flintstones” because to be honest, that would just end up looking like a PS2 era game and we’ve all seen the PS2 era Flintstones games and they suck. What I’m saying is, use the humour and deeper, multi-level storytelling that Pixar employs, to make a modern Flintstones that makes you binge watch the entire series without even realising it.
But mainly, I just want some new Flintstones cartoons because the old ones were great and I need to see some more, please.
3. The Munsters
There was a reboot of The Munsters kicking around a few years ago but that seems to have died off so it’s the perfect time for Netflix to pick this franchise up. Give it the dark and gritty style of a Marvel Netflix show but couple it with the comedy of The Good Place and we are onto a winner here.
At its core, The Munsters is a family drama about a blue collar working family trying to make ends meet while also being, obviously, hideous monsters from a bunch of horror films. In this time of social justice battles and identity politics, The Munsters could be an excellent means of taking apart what it means to be an outcast; while also poking fun at both sides of those arguments in a lighthearted and wholesome way.
Also, I think we all really, really need to see a new family drama-comedy based around a Frankenstein’s Monster and a vampire trying to raise a family in a busy modern town. Would they have to deal with idiots from YouTube constantly trying to catch them on film for likes? We need to know!
If you’re not from the UK, you may not know about Knightmare. It’s basically the most sadistic game show ever aimed at children, with nobody managing to win in the entire first series. It mixes bluescreen, actors improvising, dungeons and dragons and played on the emerging love of computer games in the 1980s. Naturally, it kicked so much arse that everyone who watched it when it was first aired in 1987 still has the bruises.
A modern version would likely use Virtual Reality to immerse the entire team of contestants, rather than having one unlucky schmuck wander around a big, bluescreen room with a bucket on their head while their friends shouted at them (seriously, the show was far better than it sounds).
By incorporating live motion capture technology (you know, the kind of thing that you take for granted from your Snapchat filters) it would be possible to bring this show right up to date without losing a lot of its old charm.
Naturally, it would have to remain as bastard hard as ever. If the first series of the reboot doesn’t end with the entire roster of contestants being eaten by a monster, it just wouldn’t be Knightmare. We need to see people suffer in our medieval fantasy game shows!
1. Dennis The Menace
Now I know what you’re thinking: which Dennis are we talking about? That’s why this is the perfect, number one choice for a Netflix reboot. Back in 1959, Americans were treated to a TV show version of the American comic strip Dennis the Menace. It featured the antics of a trouble-making child called Dennis, who menaced his neighbours. It was enough of a hit to run for several years.
Meanwhile, over in the UK, British children were being entertained by a comic strip in The Beano called Dennis The Menace. It featured the antics of a British child called Dennis, who terrorised his neighbourhood in ways that would shock the American Dennis. British Dennis is an utter bastard who makes American Dennis seem like a loveable scamp who’s just acting out because he’s had a little too much sugar. British Dennis is a monster.
That’s why the Netflix reboot needs to have both the American Dennis and the British Dennis meet. One of them has moved into the neighbourhood of the other and the show will focus on their attempts to out-do one-another so they can be crowned The True Menace of the town.
Think Home Alone‘s traps, only on a much wider scale as the entire town gets sucked into their no-holds-barred grudge match. It’s Dennis versus Dennis in a Menacing Match to the death. Who will win? Tune in when Netflix pick up the series (we can live in hope!).
Zoë Kirk-Robinson is a cartoonist and comedian who writes every day because she thinks it keeps her sane. Her latest book, All Over the House: Book Three, is out now.