Your Favorite Childhood Shows Most In Need of a Gritty Reboot

Imagine everything you ever loved but edgier.

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No series is safe from Hollywood's all-encompassing quest to reboot everything. No book is too beloved, no movie too iconic, no comic too perfect – everything will be rebooted, and most of it will be gritty.

With that in mind, there are some series we grew up with that could benefit from a gritty reboot because all these gritty reboots are pandering to someone and that someone is me. Also to any Hollywood fat cats reading: all of these ideas are mine. If you like them, please contact me, and I will write them. If you steal them, I have a lot of lawyers at my disposal.*

*I don't. Please don't steal them.

The Magic School Bus

the magic school bus ms frizzle hot

We open in New York City. It's a wasteland. A lone red flag flaps in the wind – it reads MAGA 2028. Donald Trump has just finished his third term as president. He's been unanimously re-elected for a fourth. Education is illegal. Science is illegal. We pan across the lifeless destruction, descending into the sewer system, weaving through tunnels until we reach…

A rubble-laden enclave. Something lies dormant beneath a pile of concrete. Dim headlights turn on, shooting across the dark sewer from beneath the rubble. BEEP BEEP. Seatbelts everyone! Yes, this is The Magic School Bus, and former teacher Ms. Frizzle resides in these sewers as the last defender of knowledge, rescuing war orphans and training them in the lost arts of math, science, and literature. Now equipped with a classroom-sized cabal of child soldiers, a massive weapons arsenal, and of course The Magic School Bus, Ms. Frizzle must lead the charge against America's dictatorial regime.

Jimmy Neutron

jimmy neutron

11-year-old boy genius Jimmy Neutron is used to his inventions going awry. He's blown up more robot dogs than most kids could even count. But risk-taking is a necessary evil if you want to be a Nobel Laureate by the time you start high school, and Jimmy Neutron won't let something as innocuous as "danger" get in his way. So when the annual school science fair rolls around, Jimmy unveils his greatest invention yet: an interdimensional particle accelerator with the power to create dark matter.

Except this time things don't just go wrong. They go really wrong. Jimmy's new invention malfunctions, opening up a portal to the Netherworld that swallows his whole school and everyone in it, save for himself and his intellectually challenged classmate Carl. Now if they want to save their school, Jimmy and Carl must journey into the bowels of a dark hellscape unlike anything known to man. Unfathomable monsters lie in wait inside the Netherworld, and the wacky gadgets invented by an 11-year-old brain might not be enough to save Jimmy and Carl's lives from the clutches of death.

Rocket Power

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The Southern Californian beach town of Ocean Shores might seem like paradise to outsiders, but to the young teenagers who live there, it's just like everywhere else – boring. This is the story of four such teenagers – Otto, Reggie, Squid, and Twister – who spend their time skating on the pier, experimenting with drugs, and just straight chillin'.

Otto's dad Raymundo thinks Otto has the skills to go pro if he'd just get serious, but Otto just wants to hang out and have fun. That is until his friend Twister ODs on ludes, giving Otto the kick in the butt he needs to start taking life seriously. So when one of the major skate brands announces a sponsored competition, Otto sets his sights on winning in hopes of getting noticed. But old habits die hard, and Twister's death causes rifts among their remaining crew. Can Otto get it together enough to win sponsorship and jump-start his career, or will he fall back into a life of drugs?


caillou cancer

In this heart-wrenching drama about love, death, innocence, and imagination, a family struggles with the realization that their four-year-old son Caillou has cancer.

As his parents brace themselves for the loss of their child, Caillou descends into a world of his own imagination. Willing his toys to life, Caillou and his stuffed pals embark on a mystical journey with the goal of defeating the evil Grim Reaper...all from his very own backyard! But to Caillou's surprise, the Grim Reaper turns out to be not so evil after all. And as Caillou comes to befriend him, so too does he come to accept his inevitable death.

The Wild Thornberrys

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Eliza Thornberry has the awesome power to talk to animals. This is especially cool because she lives in the middle of the jungle with her lunatic "wildlife documentarian" father Nigel. Other young girls have the friendship of children their own age; Eliza's best friend is a chimp named Darwin.

But Eliza's whole world turns upside down when a group of wealthy hunters on safari kill Darwin in cold blood. Fueled by an insatiable lust for vengeance, Eliza will do anything in her power to get back at the hunters who killed her friend. Considering she can talk to animals, that's a whole lot. But the hunters won't become the hunted so easily, and soon Eliza finds herself as the de facto leader of an animal army rising up against the wealthy human elite. Who will win? Man or beast?

Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at

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