Why is Nothing Original Anymore?

We all say we’re sick of it, so why do we keep seeing it, and why is nothing original anymore?

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. And Terminator 5 comes out this year.

  2. What was that animated movie he kept showing clips of towards the end. It looked frickin’ GORGEOUS!

  3. If its not broken, why fix it? And originality for the sake of originality is not a good thing.

    Besides, we’ve long since reached a point where its simply been done. Give me your most creative and original idea possible, guess what? Its BEEN. DONE.

    In some form, in some way, its all been done already. Accept it.

    In the end, do we still enjoy the movies? That’s whats important.

  4. Basically the reason for this is the same as the “Flappy Bird and pasta sauce” episode of Game Theory, which tallks about how the “diffusions of innovations theory” fits into this. Why are movies and video games flooded with remakes and sequels? People are obviously bored of them so why do they keep making money? The answer is that original content takes a lot more effort to establish an audience than an old IP. Old IP’s already have fans, and those fans will bring it’s attention to new people.

    “What if I’m the only one who sees / buys it?” The consumers thinks. “I won’t have anything to talk about. They won’t understand”.

    People want to belong. People want to see the things their friends, and family, and their favorite media creators and celebrities are talking about. So for a new IP to gain traction it needs “early adopters” to encourage people to jump on the bandwagon, because people feel insecure seeing things that other people aren’t seeing.

    Maybe the solution is instead of seeing all the same media our friends are seeing we should bring our friends to see the original media we want to see, but aren’t sure we’ll like. That’s in large part how shows like Gravity falls and the Walking Dead gained traction. And the worst thing that can happen is that both you and your friend will hate it, and you can bond over your mutual distasted for the movie or show.

  5. Err… You didn’t make Melancholy seem good at all. You actually did an amazing job of making it sound like exactly the kind of pretentious “art” tripe that I despise. And you didn’t need to say much more than “Smurfs movie” to inform me THAT one is going to suck. The Smurfs were never good at the best of time, and live action movies out of animated shows never work. The animation itself is why we watched them. Manhattan isn’t.

    We watch remakes and reboots and re-imaginings because a lot of the alternatives suck like a black hole.

  6. I don’t really have a problem with sequels or remakes existing. The nice thing about them is that people that don’t like (or haven’t heard of) the original stuff can potentially like the new stuff, some people can enjoy both and those that only like the original stuff can just stick with that. I really don’t think that bad sequels or remakes in any way damages what’s already good (even though many people seem to act like they do).

  7. I agree with most of what you say, but it is very important to note that there’s a fine line between “original ideas” (Gravity) and “pretentious BS” (based on the summaries I’ve read: Tree of Life). Is it too much to ask for an idea to be both original (meaning no connection to existing characters or “universes”) and fun? Then again we’ve had a few in the past few years or so: Gravity, Cabin in the Woods, Book of Eli, Slumdog etc.

  8. If it’s going to be original, it needs a good actor I like.
    If I like the actor, I’m willing to give it a chance.

  9. For me and movies, as long it’s a good comedy or has good action, it doesn’t matter to me if stuff is original. You’re right about not growing up with some of the remakes, Doug. For example, when the Star Wars prequels, including the third one, came out I was just shy of being a teenager so I could not see it. Therefore, this upcoming Star Wars movie will be the first one that I have EVER seen in the theaters! That alone is exciting to me. This discussion was really interesting.

  10. Adaptations and Reboots arent even the real problem for me… they always exsisted and they always will. And there will be good and bad ones…
    What really annoys me… is when a surprise hit instantly has to be turned into a triology… like Taken. A Movie i surprisingly enjoyed… and now I realized, that they made 2 more parts of a story, that was actually finished after one and had no buisness to be dragged out.
    An right there, we’re at the Matrix Triology… one of the biggest issues with it is, that it was technically a cash in after a surprise hit. And not (like Star Wars) planned to be a Triology… An then, to make things worse, the movies dont get better with every published piece, but decline…
    That Hollywood cant look at a surprise hit, enjoy it and then move on to similar creative concepts, but has to melk the shit out of everything, is the real prove for lack of creativity…

  11. ManWithGoodTaste

    Rebooting an old IP is much cheaper than creating a new one, since there’s no need of registering anything.

    There, explained.

  12. Doug, I have a suggestion. Why not do one of these 2nd week episodes on the idea of comeuppance, and how it applies to comedy. It’s an idea you’ve touched on in your Tom and Jerry reviews. Take looney tunes for example. The villains or foils may have ill intent towards Bugs, but somehow Bugs can torture them in ways only a sociopath would even think of and he still seems like the hero. Why is that? On the other hand look at Daffy. He’s usually the foil and he gets top billing in his own cartoons. What about newer characters? I can’t stand Family Guy because Peter Griffith is too much of a jerk. Let me clarify, it’s not that he’s too stupid or annoying, ( though he is). Being a jerk is the deal breaker for me. I have the same problem with most “adult” cartoons” and Teen Titans Go. I just don’t understand what writers are thinking even creating these unlikable characters. Is everyone else just more forgiving then I am, or has inconsiderate and selfish become the new funny.

  13. Lol Melancholia, hated that movie, i mean the 1st and 2nd part of the movie doesn’t join at all, as if I was watching 2 movies placed back to back.

    The main character is far too annoying to like.

    and at the start of the movie I think the director forgot he was doing a movie and not a collection of wallpapers. it made the 1st scene of spaceballs seem like ludicrous speed.

  14. One of the largest reason is that any original movie will get ripped apart by internet critics, It better for them to do what they know will make money than something original that will get the same as badmouthed.

  15. Can you talk about the MTV series Good Vibes?

    On a side note, I mention this all before, why do you review a classic horror like this one I’ve finally found after all these years after just seeing a few scenes of it and never knowing how it ended. It’s called Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama. You might like it. Maybe.

    Also what do think of these TV series shows called:
    John Doe
    Forever Knight
    The Misfits (British Show)
    Misfits of Science (Movie and series)
    and The Zeta Project
    (I think some of these shows are like Sonic the Hedgehog a.k.a. Sonic Sat a.m. They all have incomplete ending.)

    P.S. Is there anyway you can review the Japanese versions of Ironman, Wolverine, X-men and Blade? I’d also really like to hear what you think about the FX series Archer and Chozen.

    P.S.S. And I never found out if you were going talk more about the Disney Afternoon shows Gummi Bears, Chip N Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Talespin(even the hour uncut movie special I found about it) and Darkwing Duck. Also you never answer my question, If you hate the Goof Troop song: “Gotta Be Gettin’ Goofy” then does that mean you hate The Darkwing Duck Rap?

    https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=aT33uhX4P7I
    https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=AtrqJm9UBII
    https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=xHeQpFNhnzc
    https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=44diDIvz8mo
    https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=cjjUv4p9yTM

  16. The issue I always had with this argument is:

    It is not that Hollywood is out of original ideas, it is just that their original ideas are based off of old material.

    Guardians of the Galaxy: Yeah, it is a comic, but who read it? No the general public. Not mainstream audiences. Was the Guardians of the Galaxy movie based word for word off of the comic? No. “True-fans” complain that Star Lord wasn’t the “real” Star Lord.

    What about The Lego Movie? It is Legos, but was its plot taken from a book or a well known source? NO. The Lego Movie IS AN ORIGINAL MOVIE.

    Just because something is using older materials doesn’t mean it isn’t original.

  17. I don’t fully agree with the whole ‘guys who grew up with the material will work hard to make it good’ statement. There have been occasions where that simply wasn’t the case. Take the first TMNT movie, made by a bunch of professional filmmakers who went into the project wanting to create a good story, but since TMNT was still relatively new, it’s unlikely that the people who made it were fans or were young enough to appreciate the series very much, but they did their research, both cartoon and comics, see what would work and what wouldn’t, combined elements from both and created a damn good movie. 2nd and (especially) 3rd movies are different stories entirely.

    Then we have the Bayformers series, yeah, we know Bay himself was never a fan and he admitted it, but what about the writers? They say they grew up watching the original show but their take on it was unbelievably stupid. They didn’t care about adapting Transformers into a film series as much as they cared about simply seeing the transformers and the action on the big screen. To them, it was an excuse to put something and go ‘WOAAAH!!! YEAAAAAH!!’ but give no substance, and the original show did have some substance, enough that you can actually expand upon much more to create even more substance.

    We also have Terminator 3, Johnathon Mostow, the director, claims he wanted to make a Terminator movie that he as a fan wanted to see and what we got was a train wreck of useless plot devices, lousy comedy, and mostly predictable outcomes.

    • Actually that’s not correct.Tthe first TMNT movie started as an indie film being made by fans of the comics on a shoe string budget, before it was eventually picked by New Lines. Because oddly enough no studio wanted to make a turtles film, saying it was just to silly a concept.

      The sequel however was made by Hollywood producers and it shows big time.

      • I didn’t find anything that confirms weather or not the writers of the movie were hardcore fans but even if that was the case, they didn’t write the movie with blind fanboyism blinding them from creating a quality film, at least considering the subject matter. The other movies were merely financial investments.

        Point is, fanboy or not, the best film adaptations are ones that are written by people with a good sense of professionalism and understand how to adapt, not by investors or geeks.

  18. I’m sorry critic but I think you’ve got it backward.
    The reason comic book movies are doing well because they have been continuous. Cap, Spidey, and Batman have been in the media since TV was born, and it’s only through continued exposure that we’ve reached the point the 40 year old’s making movies know and care about them

    Unfortunately something like Smurfs, the Chipmunks, Turtles, and various others end up turning out like crap either because they are so new the people in Hollywood have no attachment to them, because they have been sitting on the shelf for 30+ years, so everyone has forgotten everything about then besides the name, or because they only a cult hit when they were on, so people have very vague memories of them.
    The reason the Charlie Brown movie will do well is because the movies get played every single holiday, so Charlie Brown is still being exposed so everyone.

    This the same reason good anime movies are impossible for Hollywood to make right now. The people working there know nothing about them aside from the name.

  19. I don’t care if I know something. If they announce a movie based on something I like, weather I’ll watch it or not will be determined by who the writers, directors, and actors are. I don’t indulge in pathetic geek and nerd culture such as ‘hate-watching’.

  20. I need to see Song of the sea! i NEED!

  21. I don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I remember before seeing the Lego Movie I saw the trailers for it and first I thought it was a simple kids movie But after seeing it I knew immediately that more love and appreciation the writers, producers, and the director had for lego than what creators of Transformers put fourth. I love watching movies like Grand Budapest Hotel, Warhorse and Frozen because of there original premise, storytelling, having more dynamic characterizations as well as establishing the relationships between characters, both visual and artistic designs and knowing when humor and drama moments are appropriate to show.

  22. Spot on, Doug! This is a very intelligent outlook on today’s movies. Perfect analyzation!

  23. I Believe I now know why I would prefer Adventure Time as my favorite show as oppose to South Park not in terms of originality but rather segueing humor and drama smoothly. South Park has the outrageous comedic moments and has hallmark drama elements but because there such polar opposites it feels too jumble for me to be fully invested when ever something intense or dramatic happens. Because of this I feel theres no middle ground on how they do comedic dramas because the episodes themselves doesn’t know weather they want to be full head on drama or be a satirical drama and none of the ideas become truly cohesive. At least for me personally. And with Adventure Time it has the better grasp of the two knows how to balance the funny moments and sad moments more polished and well thought out.

  24. Even though South Park is still one of my Favorite shows of all time I do sometimes dread whenever they do serious moments at times and not to say Adventure Time can have serious moments but they can handle it better do them smoothly.

  25. I guess I do sometimes prefer channels like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network more so than Fox. Not to say Fox has no new shows to offer but rarely present shows that do deserve to have longer run (i.e Sleepy Hollow)

  26. I still can’t believe another animated sitcom is going to added in the Animation Domination Block on Fox. I checked it out online it’s titled “Bordertown” and after seeing the trailer I think I have a hunch what it is going to be. It’s Simpsons, its Family Guy, its American Dad, Cleveland Show, Bob’s Burgers, It’s those kind of shows and I am sick to death of those shows. I don’t need to see another one again in my lifetime. You can go back and watch “Malcolm in the Middle” that has a similar premise to those shows.

  27. I am finish with those shows, it’s been awhile for me since I’ve gotten out of the loop of watching these kinds of shows and at least the first three of these shows I mentioned were enjoyable for me to watch. At least both Family Guy and American Dad had different humor styles compared to later animated shows on the block. There is no reason that BorderTown should be a comedic family Sitcom.

  28. Atleast you mentioned that there are original movies just not as well known. And that´s just impossible to change unless every single person rethink when they go to see movies. And remember there are only a few million people who cares about “good movies” most people just want to waste 2 hours. Reason Alvin and the Chipmunks get´s so much box office is becuse people feel safe to see it with there kids. You showed clips from The Birdman, that´s good. Then there are Nightcrawler, Gone Girl and many more I don´t remember. So you can´t say there are´t original idea´s. Only that they don´t get as reconized as they could be. (like you also said) And that´s one thing. You never go and try to see this original movies? Why? Don´t you have time? Do you only watch block buster movies? Now I barely have money to go and see the comic book movies so I can´t afford to see movies like The Fox Catcher but atleast I know about them. And one thing. Every movie is based on a book or script of some sort. Like a teacher to me said. Every idea have already been used.

  29. I never imagined that the Lego movie being nominated to be honest. It had a lot of work put to it, so it by all means proved to be worth a viewing or more, plus the “Cuz everything is awesome” song just wouldn’t leave my head and the kid and his father part was pretty nice touch all in all. But it didn’t feel like it was “awesome” in my book. Fun and quirky, yes. But once the movie was over it was over I guess. How does grading criteria’s for movie work anyway?

    I’ve made sure to stay away from the new Alvin and the chipmunks thanks to all that’s been said and seen in the end. I do remember it restarted the spedup voices fad for the umpteenth time for a while though.

    Big hero 6 was ok, and I have not watched Guardians of the Galaxy yet.
    I must also bring my myself to watch more Gravity Falls episodes, that show is hilarious.

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