Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tis the season--for remakes

If you’ve ever thought of putting pen to paper, you’ve probably heard it said before; there’s nothing new under the sun. Trying to come up with an original idea in fiction is a fruitless pursuit. Anything you come up with has been done to death.

Case in point: TV movies. Just how many remakes or variations of It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle of 34th Street can they make? How many are we viewers willing to watch?

And then there are Christmas carols. I happen to be one of those people who could listen to carols year round. I love them. Some more than others to be sure. Some are exhausting; like Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer. I’m not a big fan of Jingle Bells either. But there are many others I could hear over and over again.

With Christmas carols, as in movies remakes, much of it depends on the interpretation of the subject matter. Who is better suited to sing Blue Christmas than Elvis himself? I think all others who throw their hats in the ring should be shot. This includes the latest songstress whose version was released this week. Okay, maybe not shot. I don’t want to endorse violence. How about a firm reprimand or coal in her stocking?

Everyone who’s ever won a recording contract has tried their hand at White Christmas, Winter Wonderland, I’ll be Home for Christmas. I happen to prefer Joe Nichols version of the last one and nobody can do Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy as well as Travis Tritt.

I suppose imitation is the highest form of flattery. Frank Capra and Elvis should be pleased their work has endured all these years. Maybe they are even more pleased to know there are some things you just can’t improve upon.

Even though there are no original ideas to be found, let us keep working to make the interpretation of our stories original. After all, no one can tell your story the way you can. Just like no one can belt out Blue Christmas like Elvis, nor should they try.

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