Since the entertainment industry is showing no signs of slowing down its interest in the coveted “existing IP”, it’s time for us to start recreating classic movies and shows in ways that actually make sense. If network needs to restart a classic similar The Wonder Years, would not it be more interesting to do so from a different perspective? It’s the thought process behind ABC’s upcoming restart of the series that now follows the experience of a black family in Montgomery, Alabama, in the late ’60s.
Like the original series, the show is told from an adult male perspective that reflects on his childhood. However, Daniel Stern, who told the life of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) from 12 to 17 years in the original series, replaces Don Cheadle handles voice-over tasks and comments on Dean Williams (Elisha Williams) growing pain. That perspective is key to the series’ creator and executive producer Saladin K. Patterson said on the show’s Television Critics Association press tour panel today.
“We really want to take this opportunity to show a part of black middle-class life that had not been seen before,” Patterson said. “Usually, when you talk about the late ’60s, it’s about the struggle in the civil rights movement and similar things that are very valid and also part of our history.”
“The difference between now and the late 90s, early 2000s does not seem to be as different as when the original came out and you looked from ’88 to ’68. And that’s why we really drew to hold on to the universe –The Wonder Years‘universe – and sticking to the original time and really looking at this black middle class perspective during that time because we’ve not really seen it represented on TV and movies before. “
The Wonder Years premieres on September 22nd.