We are drowning in a sea of reboots, reruns, and recycled stories on television and movie screens for the same reason dying people supposedly see their lives flash before their eyes. The story is ending. Despite living through arguably the greatest era of storytelling technology in history, we have no new stories to tell ourselves.
Now this is not entirely true. I’ve found the occasional fresh new story. Station 11 is an example, a lovely recent TV show, but rather tellingly, set in a post-apocalyptic world where for some reason the survivors perform budget Shakespeare reboot productions in a slightly nicer Mad Max world (really? the world ended and Shakespeare is still the source of the most interesting stories you can tell yourself?).
Yep: really. Anyone who’s ever seen a good production of a Shakespeare play — budget or otherwise — can confirm. Possibly the most powerful evening of art I have ever experienced was a performance of Measure for Measure, by a small company of actors on a bare stage surrounded by folding chairs. (Also, FYI: new performances of a play are not “reboots.”)
Also, w/r/t this: “Despite living through arguably the greatest era of storytelling technology in history, we have no new stories to tell ourselves” — replace “Despite” with “Because we are” and the sentence makes an important point.