Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, January 30, 2015

Open Letter to the Girl Ghostbusters Hate Brigade

Dear Fanboys,

I must address this letter directly to the fellas, as the voices calling loudly out against the upcoming new version of the 1980s fantasy comedy Ghostbusters are male and their big reason for objecting is due to an all female cast made up of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.

So, boys, I have to start this off by saying if your beef was about Hollywood once again going for the safe setting in movie making by greenlighting yet another remake/reboot/reimaging of a well established classic, I would be agreeing with you. Unfortunately, we're back in "He-Man Woman Haters Club" territory here, as one of the more polite protests raised is that this all-woman casting is a way of "pandering" to a certain audience:

Now, it would be all too easy for both you and I to point out the fact that there's  an equal number of women who were fans of the original movie(who appreciated Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts just as much as Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd there) as men are assumed to be, as well as the sad sexism being showcased with this pop culture kerfuffle.

 Instead, I'm going to do something that many of you wouldn't do for a woman in any case; respect your intelligence by offering a reasonable solution to your movie fan dilemma. Don't think of this new Ghostbusters as a remake or a reboot; think of it as a revival. You know, like a Broadway play such as Chicago or You Can't Take It With You, and I have a pretty good example in mind to show you what I mean.

Neil Simon's The Odd Couple began life as a stage play back in 1965 and become a major motion picture starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in 1968, earning a few Oscar nominations in the bargain.

The success of the film lead to it being adapted into a long running TV sitcom with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, which is almost better known in some circles than the original film. The show was so popular a made-for-TV reunion movie was made in 1993, over a decade after the series was aired.

 Since then, The Odd Couple has been brought back to pop culture life in several ways, with Neil Simon releasing an all-female version of the play, an African-American themed sitcom called The New Odd Couple that ran for a brief time in 1982 and at one point, even a Saturday morning cartoon called "The Oddball Couple."

No joke, it had a sloppy dog and a finicky cat as the Oscar and Felix characters(they were named Fleabag and Spiffy) and I do remember watching this as a kid, knowing it was connected to the sitcom version at the very least:

How does The Odd Couple's persistence relate here? Well, another new version of TOC is due to air this February with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lemmon as the leads. Why is this show returning to the airwaves, creative laziness or mere nostaglia, you may ask?

Actually, I think it's simply due to the fact that the basic character set-up works so well. Two polar opposites find themselves in a similar situation and team up to help each other figure out what to do and where to go with their new lives. Even if Neil Simon isn't directly involved, the frame work is still in place.

 This premise is strong enough on it's own that it can and has had different takes on it's main characters(gender, race and even species) without any problems relating to general audiences. Sure, some versions didn't last as along as others but good laughs were always to be found in any fresh rendition of TOC. The upcoming new series might even be worth watching,too:

Now, let's look at the set-up for Ghostbusters; a group of smart yet off beat individuals pool their special skills together to not only make a profit but to save humanity from supernatural menaces.  With a basic game plan like that, how could something like changing the gender of the leading characters be such a problem?

I know plenty of you fellas are not crazy about female comedians to begin with and only tolerate woman warriors in the sci-fi/fantasy realm if they're "hot" but come on, guys, this is the time to play like grown-ups in the modern era, not pout like the stereotypical nerd boys that I know you can't stand to be thought of as. 

If the fine example that The Odd Couple has set forth  in terms of creative flexibility is not enough for you, consider this: Bill Murray is totally on board with this deal and if the word of Dr. Peter Venkman is not good enough for you, then you aren't true fans of the film in the first place. Don't be afraid to cross the streams, guys, you might be surprised at how much fresh franchise goodness awaits you.


Lady T and the rest of the folks already in line for the new Ghostbusters flick:

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