It has become a common practice of television networks and film studios to reboot old series and movies in an attempt to appeal to a younger audience. There are times in which the reboot is actually better than the original and then there are times in which rebooting a series or movie turns into an insult. Basically, in order for a reboot to work, there have to be elements that allow the audience to connect to the original idea and brand while presenting subtle changes in nuance that give it more of an edge and appeal.
The new MTV version of Fear Factor introduces its executive producer, Ludacris, as the host of the show. The idea is to tap into the star appeal that the rap star has gained as a mainstay in the Fast & Furious franchise.
One of the appeals of the original version of the show was Joe Rogan. Rogan was a real tough guy, which gave the show an edge. As a former MMA fighter, people knew Rogan was tough and could probably do every one of the stunts that they show was demanding of its contestants. The presence of Rogan also served as a motivator to the contestant to have as much heart as possible when competing.
With the MTV version, Ludacris may be associated with action and danger, but as an actor. The type of edge that Rogan brought to the show cannot be manufactured, it is an organic appeal to the genuine respect that society has for those people who push themselves beyond the brink. With all of that being said, the MTV version has its own appeal and it speaks to a different audience than the original show.
MTV has refocused its brand to one that is centered on celebrating youth, and the idea behind the reboot is to put power in the hands of youth to directly confront their greatest fears, proving that anything is possible when you believe in yourself. However, much of the outright gruesome, grotesque and truly dangerous stunts will be absent from the presentation. The executives of the network revealed that they are looking for something more lighthearted and fare — something that is customer-created for a new generation of youth that is anxious to see their dreams come true.
There are some who would argue that this is the last thing that this generation needs. We have seen situations such as Pittsburgh Steelers DE, James Harrison, refused to allow his sons to receive participation trophies. He perspective is that he did not want his kids being rewarded for something they did not earn. To him, showing up was not winning, and you get trophies for winning. While that may seem a little harsh, there are many people who feel that life is made too easy for this next generation, and they will not have the skills to cope with real life issues when the time comes.
Whether you are a fan of the original version, or you choose the more lighthearted version presented by MTV, Fear Factor is back, at least for now.