Well new season means new reboots. The television industry has deemed that their current flavor of the month, and there seems to be no stopping it. The latest network to throw their dusty retro trucker cap into the ring is CBS with their “Revival” of Murphy Brown. As with previous reboot/revival news I quickly eye rolled myself into a blinding headache after reading it and contemplated my life choices; BUT the good news is we actually have a pretty decent one here. I know I was shocked too.
The original show, which ran from 1988 to 1998 on CBS, centered on the fictional news show FYI and all the characters that worked within the studio. At it’s center was FYI’s star anchor and all around kick ass broad – Murphy Brown (Candice Bergin) dishing out truths with a no-fucks-given attitude and I’m happy to report the reboot is no different.
The first episode opens on election night 2016, with Murphy napping on the couch when she’s awakened by the results. The dreaded results. Cutting to several months later, we’re quickly introduced to the FYI regulars Frank (Joe Regalbuto) and Corky (Faith Ford) – who we find out are recently retired, as well as Murphy’s now very grown son Avery who has followed in his mother’s footsteps to become an investigative journalist. Awww.
Prompted by the world unfolding around her Murphy is determined to return to television news, and of course wants to bring her old FYI-ers with her. Luckily for us this includes their former harried producer Miles (Grant Shaud) as well, who we find out hasn’t had an easy run since bidding farewell to Murphy and the gang, and just like that the band is back together!
What Did I Think?
Despite a few groan worthy moments in the first few minutes, the transition from 1998 to 2018 is seamless. The writing, while not as biting as the original, is still pretty damn good and I can only hope will get better as writers settle in and find their groove. As a whole though I was content with where these characters ended up, and how they’ve progressed over the years – they all seemed true and honest which I feel is key.
Massive points must be given to the cast since bringing back iconic characters such as these and making it look effortless is no easy feat – but damn they nailed it. If I didn’t know the year, I would have sworn we were still in season 10.
Watching a great reboot/revival (fuck’s sake guys just pick a name will you!?!?) such as Murphy Brown just shines a light on just how bad ABC’s reboot/revival really was from both the acting and writing standpoint. (And yes, I’m sure The Connors will be just as bad!)
While I’ll never truly love a r/r (I’m sticking with this now) as much as the original, and would still rather see networks put their money on original content – I’d happily watch the Murphy In the Morning crew every week even if it is sans Charles Kimbrough’s fabulous Jim Dial, who sadly chose not to take part in the show.
Murphy Brown airs Thursday at 9:30/8:30c on CBS