The Greatest American Hero is so awful... so being rebooted

greatest american hero

Perhaps the biggest nostalgia FAIL of my life was The Greatest American Hero on DVD. I loved this show so much back when I was barely potty trained. You know, the age when can’t tell the 1960s Batman TV show isn’t a serious drama.

When the DVD first came out, I was so excited to rush home and start binge watching. Then, somewhere in the middle of the pilot, I got distracted. Maybe the phone rang, maybe the cat threw up, maybe the there was a squiggly little floaty thing in my eye. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but any of these things would have been a thousand times more interesting. I wandered off and never returned.

But not everyone has given up on The Greatest American Hero

Believe it or not, Fox wants it back on the air. Details are pretty much non-existent at this point—other than the writer, Rodney Rothman, who is no stranger to nostalgia-fueled projects. He penned the hit 22 Jump Street and the flop Grudge Match (you know, the Stallone vs. De Niro boxing thing).

Even if the original hasn’t stood the test of time either as a show or even as a parody of itself, it’s not hard to see what Fox sees in the concept. Superheroes are bigger than ever, and visual effects are cheap enough now to really have some slapstick fun with an indestructible flying doofus.

Hmm… A likeable, super-powered slacker and his gruff FBI handler… Could be the next Chuck. All they need is Adam Baldwin for the old Robert Culp role, and I’m in.

So what’s your biggest nostalgia fail? Ever tried to revisit an old childhood fave only to discover childhood you must have been suffering from a severe brain injury?

UPDATE: Wow, the entire pilot of the original series is on YouTube. See how long you can take it. It’s a minute fifty-eight seconds before you even get to the first line dialogue.


TV Show: The Greatest American Hero

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  • Nixon, etc.

    4.54Why are the two schoolteachers TALKING SO LOUD AT EACH OTHER?(Related thing: I’m more embarrassed by my adult(ish) self. I’ll see a Seinfeld rerun and barely be able to sit through it. What about it did I think was soooooooooooo overwhelmingly funny? Don’t even get me started on Cheers; that trainwreck is unwatchable.)

  • BMW

    1) Shows had about 8 more minutes to fill per hour back then, so there was way more filler.2) The licensed music has all be removed, thus several scenes that were supposed to be songs aiding in the telling of the story have been destroyed and replaced by people doing things to the most boring music ever recorded.3) Avengers and the Dark Knight have fucking spoiled us.

  • conDomDeluise

    @Nixon, etc. Seinfeld is still hilarious and will be so when archaeologists all dig up our old dinosaur bones.

  • conDomDeluise

    And in a slightly different category of nostalgia fail. For years I was haunted by a scene from a movie I only saw the end of. A boy comes down stairs and his mom is eating some green gloop and then these big hairy monsters start to eat her. Needless to say it destroyed most of my childhood. A few decades later I found out it was from Trolls 2 which turns out is just an awful awful movie and turns out not scary. Also I was equally scared of (and checked under my bed for years) Earnest Scared Stupid when the kid looks under the bed and there is nothing there but then THE TROLL IS IN THE BED GET OUT!! Though I’ve seen that one again and it’s still scary.

  • Claire

    I can hear the rebooted theme song now:Believe it or not, They’ve brought back this dreckI never thought I could possibly see -ee-eeRun out of ideas? We’ve got old ones to spare.How could this be?I guess William Katt was just free.

  • Ambignostic

    I found an old VHS episode of The Electric Company, and was deeply disappointed at how unwatchable it was.

  • DrShitferbrains