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July 22, 2014

Why Rebooting 'Alias' is a Bad Idea

by Allison Waldman, posted May 28th 2010 11:24AM
alias_cast_jennifer_garner_abcIt's only been five years since ABC canceled the Jennifer Garner star-making vehicle 'Alias,' and yet insider sources claim ABC is ready to reboot 'Alias' as a possible replacement for 'Lost.' Really, are they serious?

Sure, there's a connection between the two shows in that J.J. Abrams created (or co-created) both series, but currently J.J. is busy with a new fall 2010 show on NBC called 'Undercover,' so he may not be ready to jump into a new 'Alias' at this time.

Hopefully, this is a premature idea by ABC that won't leave the launching pad because it's both premature and wrongheaded. Here's three reasons why:

1. That cast will not be duplicated, especially Jennifer Garner: One of the main reasons for the success of 'Alias' was the emergence of Jennifer Garner. She was a hot, new commodity, and there's nothing quite as exciting as a brand new star blasting onto the scene. Jennifer Garner was both gorgeous to look at and watch in action, but she was also a wonderful actress who brought depth to the character of Sydney Bristow.

'Alias' also had an amazing supporting cast, including Bradley Cooper and Michael Vartan, both of whom are leading men now, as well as Victor Garber and Ron Rifkin, who gave the show an air of authority that gave Abrams' fanciful mythology heft and importance. All things considered, ABC will not get that kind of cast again. Lightning doesn't strike twice and the new 'Alias' cast won't measure up to the original.

2. Too many shows have imitated it since:
'Alias' was an original. Oh, yes, there had been shows like it before, like 'La Femme Nikita' or 'The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.,' but nothing quite the same. 'Alias' came across as a fresh take on espionage for television. However, since it premiered in 2001, there have been other shows that are 'Alias'-like. 'Chuck,' for example, follows a normal guy who gets recruited into the spy game. 'Nikita' is coming back as a reboot, too, as much influenced by the Luc Besson film as Abrams' 'Alias.'

And J.J.'s new NBC show, 'Undercovers,' really could be a sequel to 'Alias,' if you picked up the story of married spies Sydney and Michael semi-retired and lured back into active service. When I saw the trailer to 'Undercovers,' 'Alias' came to mind.

3. We need fresh shows, not reboots: The networks and production companies really owe it to the public to stop resurrecting the past and create new programming. It's one thing to give 'Hawaii Five-O' a reboot. That show's been off the air for four decades.

But even if you can buy a new version of that show, it's a lot harder to envision why 'Alias' should be remade five years after it went off the air. Can't the creative folks in show business come up with new programs without leaning on the past so extensively?

Another problem with reboots is that the same issues that fell the original series can occur again. With 'Alias,' the Rambaldi mythology, the time shifts, the multiple personas of the principals ... it all became too much. There's no guarantee that a new 'Alias' wouldn't come up with problems just as gnarly.

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Joe

I wish somebody told J.J. Abrams that rebooting "Star Trek" was a bad idea.

May 31 2010 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
xf999

Screw Alias and Lost, bring back Firefly!

May 31 2010 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C.Warren

That's what happens when you have the 25 and under executives who have no idea what creativity is. This "new" generation has no creative thought, no adventure and they copycat in order to produce anything.

Find the ol' guys and let them come up with something. I bet they will surprise you.

May 31 2010 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dana

I'd pretty much abandoned the major networks after I got cable, for which I was later sorry because there were some amazing shows which I did later become hooked on once they were shown on TNT. I didn't get into Alias until the last two or three seasons, but I loved the show and I loved Sydney Bristow. I taped many episodes and rented others, but seeing the final episode was too heartbreaking. True, Sydney and Vaughn had a happy ending, but a good number of the major players got killed off in the final episode. Still, one of these days, I will buy the entire series. I agree that the show should not be resurrected. Time moves on, people move on and all good things eventually come to an end.

May 31 2010 at 5:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

Alias was a fantastic show for the first three seasons, but it was horrible, horrible, horrible after he left (seasons 4 and 5, up until the finale). It would be quite difficult to re-do this series without the Abrams' touch and the original writing duo of Kurtzman and Orci. For what it's worth, I loved the Rambaldi myth-arc; it elevated the show into something that was far more cohesive and frankly, interesting, than other such series ("24").

May 31 2010 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

I didn't get into Alias the first time and I agree it's just too soon for a reboot for this series just my opinion.

May 31 2010 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
theresa avera

this was the best weekly movie. the last session was very disappointing. the cast was fantastic. the ramballidi things was just weird. jennifer garner was fresh, physical and every
womens alter ego. it was just fun to watch!

May 31 2010 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrea

We need a sequel or a spin-off (maybe a movie?) not a remake. And Rambaldi plot was awesome, that's what I loved the most!!!

May 29 2010 at 3:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordy

I agree. Alias was over after Lena Olin was introduced. The Ramaldi storyline was a rabbit hole that never made any real sense. I saw the finale, but I bailed long before it aired.

May 28 2010 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
metz

Not to mention the fact that Alias was played out after season 2. The remaining seasons were crap that even the introduction of Lena Olin couldn't fix. Exactly how many times did characters either come back from the dead or escape from CIA custody? The driving factor behind the plot in later seasons was "How stupid can we make person x?" ...

It was a train wreck that steadily lost viewers until it was killed.

May 28 2010 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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