Welp. It happened. “American Idol,” the FOX series that supposedly had its big grand final finale after 15 seasons last spring, is officially coming back to TV this spring, this time on ABC. You would think, given my previous loving words about the show and what it meant to me for years and years, that I would be excited by this news. Energized, even. And yet, I’m not. Not. At. All.
Because “American Idol” was supposed to be over. I had made peace with it ending. I was fully ready for it to be a thing of the past, something we could all look back on lovingly. Even though it sucks when something we like on TV ends, if it’s had a long life (like “Idol” did) it can often be for the best. As much as I knew I would miss it, (and trust me, I have) it was time to move on.
But we do not live in an era of moving on. From “Gilmore Girls” to “Twin Peaks” to “Will & Grace,” it seems like all you have to do is say an older, beloved TV series’ name into a mirror three times for it to get revived or rebooted. And while we have yet to see if the “Twin Peaks” and “Will & Grace” revivals work, the “Gilmore Girls” one decidedly didn’t. It’s hard to get back the magic, especially after years of being off the air.
It would appear that “American Idol” has the advantage, given that they’ve only been off the air for a year. But really, “Idol” lost its magic years ago. All you have to do is listen to the “Good Morning America” team announce ABC’s acquisition of “Idol.” They talk all about the album sales and Grammy wins (and of course that Oscar win) without acknowledging that the bulk of that (especially the awards) came from contestants and winners from the earliest seasons.
While the last few seasons of “Idol” still did pretty well in the ratings, the post-“Idol” success rate of its winners and contestants shrunk significantly. Much of that can be blamed on the viewing, voting public, who consistently chose handsome, talented but generic white guys for the “Idol” crown. If ABC thinks that viewership is going to change in just a year and they’re going to start churning out legitimate pop stars again, then they’re clearly not paying attention.
It also doesn’t help their case that two of the “Idol’s” biggest stars have evidently jumped ship, signing on to coach on upcoming seasons of “The Voice.” A traitorous move to be sure, but not entirely surprising given “The Voice’s” popularity and the fact that most people only watch it for the coaches and not the actual contestants. Seriously, try to name a winner of “The Voice.” You can’t, because none of them have done anything.
Right now, all this “American Idol” reboot has going for it is rumors that Katy Perry could join as a judge (despite reportedly turning it down during the show’s original run) and the slightest possibility that the busiest man in the world aka Ryan Seacrest might be able to carve out some time to come back and host the show that made him a star. They will also likely still have a rabid fan base to watch it, but like I said earlier, that fan base is both a gift and a curse.
In conclusion: Am I happy that “American Idol” is officially coming back? Not exactly. Do I think that it will do as well as it did in its heyday on FOX in its new incarnation on ABC? No way. Will I watch it? Yes, of course. Come on. I am only human.
What do you think of the “American Idol” revival news? Do you think it’ll do well? Are you also incredibly upset that not one, not two, not three, but FOUR of the shows on my list of five that deserved to be renewed were unceremoniously cancelled? I feel like we should starts some petitions or something. Help me form a game plan in the comments. And, before you go watch Masterpiece Theater’s fantastic adaptation of “King Charles III” remember…