Deep breath in……………………Slow exhale out………………..
Okay. Cowboy Bebop is getting a live-action, American TV remake. And before we all lose our collective sh*t and start heading to our suicide booths, I want to address the positives. Believe it or not, I see actual positives.
The first and largest positive is that this isn’t a movie—it’s a TV series. And to the best of my knowledge, I don’t remember an anime getting a TV series adaptation. TV is a whole different monster than movies. With movies, the runtime restriction makes it hard to provide adequate introductions to characters. Sure, WE know who they are, but the rest of the audience is coming in blind. Beloved characters get condensed. Introductions and backstories are rushed. The characters we love become shells, and we resent the movies for that. A TV series has time to slow down and establish characters, you know, like an anime does. Nothing needs to be rushed. A TV series is a huge victory.
Secondly, we don’t know what channel this will be on. If there’s a God, this will land on FXX or AMC. When it comes to HBO, Showtime, and Starz, I believe it could work, but Cowboy Bebop doesn’t fit into those channels. I don’t need full-frontal in Cowboy Bebop (yes, that includes Faye. SUE ME!). But if this lands on one of the four major channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX), it doesn’t have a chance, and we all know it.
Lastly, and I’m not sure if this counts for anything, but Sunrise Inc.—the studio responsible for the OG Cowboy Bebop—is involved. Also, hats off to Variety for reporting the original studio as Sunset Inc. Didn’t get the name or even the time of day right.
Well, those were the positives. Two-and-a-half positives are about two-and-a-half more than I thought. I don’t know how I feel about Christoper Yost. His resumé includes some Marvel cartoons and helming the latest Thor movie. I have no read on the guy, but I’m rooting for him.
But despite all those positives, there is an overwhelming negative.—the cast. Where do you begin when replacing or even replicating Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ed? Not only their character design but their voices? I couldn’t separate Spike Spiegel from Steve Blum with an atomic bomb. It is an ENORMOUS hurdle, and easily the most important undertaking for this show. These people have to be damn near perfect. We need to believe that these are the human iterations of these characters. If we can’t, the show fails before it even begins. At the very least, we know they’ll get Ein right.
I’m taking a different, more tranquil approach to this show. I’m not sure if it’s maturity or the world finally wearing me down. It’s happening. Nothing can stop that. I hope it’s good.