The Greatest American Hero
November 18, 2018
Part of New Zealand cultural history: The Greatest American Hero (1981-3 +reruns:) Always a brilliant formula, this show.
White American Modern Male (Hinkley) teams up with The State (Bill) to burden the weight of aloof modern career Feminism (Pam) to be a role model for the Next Generation (The Class.) The Modern Male crashes and burns and trips and is hurt and is dusted off but keeps on trying to set an example and be the breadwinner in this difficult modern world. The State keeps on asking more and more from this Atlas, explicitly saying “do it for the kids” and ‘do it for the innocent’ etc. A reluctant Hero keeps on stumbling and muddling through a job that requires him to fly when he can’t. No instructions were handed down, his Bible lost, Hinkley the disposable male keeps on struggling with nobody but the audience to sympathise.
Incredible formula, incredible plotlines, right?
This year, 2018, a pilot was made for ABC which was to be the start of a new reboot series. Unlike many others that did make it (eg Magnum PI, Murphy Brown,..) this one was canned. Why?
If the producers could get it right, this allegory could also work very well for a woman character. Perhaps it will be a journey for the modern woman to find her heroism and take responsibility, to step out of the destructive pattern we were to meet her in…
“…the re-imagining of Greatest American Hero centers on Meera, a 30-year-old Indian-American woman from Cleveland whose talents include tequila drinking, karaoke and not much else. Then some aliens entrust her with a super suit to protect the planet, and the world has never been in more unreliable hands.”- /Film
I have a lot of respect for old Stephen J. Cannell who created the show. If his daughter is true to the vision then her being attached to this revisiting will not blow the opportunity. Let’s not MacGyver this, guys!
Maybe they did? Maybe it was awful. Like the TV pilot for Wonder Woman (2011) the film will eventually leak and we can find out if we dodged a bullet after all.
Image ref. Hannah Simone’s pilot wasn’t enough for a new TV series; Den of Geek