Thanks to Netflix Canada for posting this tweet a few months ago:
I had a discussion a few weeks ago while sitting around the boob tube and posed this very question since it has vexed me for so long. I wanted to make this into a blog post, but couldn’t nail it down to a single show. Trust me, this was no easy decision.
Then it came to me: Fantasy Island. And before you say anything, no, I am not talking about the one with Ricardo Montalban. I’m talking about the remake done in 1998. This is one of the very few shows that not only did a good job of making a remake, but it surpassed the predecessor, in my humble opinion.
What made this one different? The biggest plus? I’ll tell you: Malcolm McDowell as Mr. Rourke. This version on the 1970’s/80’s classic show gave it an edge that I think the show needed. In this version, the wishes have consequences. Not simply that your life would change thusly, but that someone else might lose out because of your actions/inactions. And some of those consequences were pretty dark. It really made you think about the consequences.
The other really cool thing: Malcolm McDowell wears all black, versus Ricardo Montalban’s all-white suit. Simple, but it does set a certain tone.
Unfortunately, this series only lasted 13 episodes. It was even nominated for a Prime-Time Emmy but ABC cancelled it just the same. I even tried to locate a short video to show his version, but I couldn’t find one.
So, in answer to the original question: Bring back the remake of Fantasy Island with the “Dark” Mr. Rourke. But in so stating this answer, it poses more questions:
1. If you were to do this series again, who would you have play Mr. Rourke?
2. If there was a series you’d want to resurrect, what would it be?
PS: I must give an honorary mention to “Cupid”, a show that was released around the same time as “Fantasy Island” starring Jeremy Piven. That was a great role for him. Big fan of both of these actors so I needed to give props to both of them. Again, tried to find a good video of him delivering my favourite line from the show, but no dice. Will let you know if I find one.