My Childhood Has Been Ruined!

My Childhood Has Been Ruined!

I highly doubt that.

For some reason, whenever an old or obscure property gets a shot at being renewed and reintroduced to a new audience, there’s always a very vocal minority proclaiming that their childhood has been “ruined”. These people act as if it’s a mortal sin to even attempt to do anything new with an old franchise that they grew up with. The phrase “My childhood has been ruined!” has almost become an official slogan for nerd rage.

What exactly is bringing about this nerd rage motto this time around? Four words: Teenage. Mutant. Ninja. Turtles. Well, to be fair, it may have more to do with two other words: Michael. Bay. (And by the way, he’s not even directing.) The Ninja Turtles first appeared all the way back in 1984 in comic book form. The version that most of us grew up with, the first animated series, debuted back in 1987 and this version is probably what comes to mind first when anyone mentions the Turtles. The first live action feature length adaptation followed the debut of the wildly popular series in 1990. The first film also has a special place in the heart of many people who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s. And now the Ninja Turtles are back in the spotlight 30 years later as the Michael Bay produced (again, not directed) live action film is due out for release in August. As of now, the combination of the Turtles, Bay, and a trailer with mixed reviews is causing of thousands of fans the cry about their childhood being “ruined”.

Think about that phrase for just a moment. “My childhood has been ruined.” So, was time travel invented and I just missed it? Did somebody create a working TARDIS, travel back in time to when you were a child and went out of their way to ruin your life? Listen, whether you like a new adaptation of the Turtles or not, there’s absolutely nothing it can do to ruin your childhood. Your childhood already happened. It already shaped you. And nothing can change that. I guarantee that your childhood is 100% intact. If you grew up in the late 80’s or early 90’s, and you loved the Ninja Turtles, then you had a glorious childhood. The series was going strong, the first two live action films were fun to watch and there were more toys than you knew what to do with. (My parents’ wallets are probably still hurting from supporting my childhood Ninja Turtle habit.) Nothing can ruin the fact that the Turtles brought your childhood happiness, not even a Michael Bay produced film.

Why do people cry about having something ruined? Is it because it’s not what they grew up with? Is it because the memory of them watching it is so dear to them that they get overprotective? Or is it because people don’t want to confront the fact that the property they grew up watching just isn’t as good as they thought it was? The answer is yes to all. Like with many other things, people are just resistant to change. Remember when Daniel Craig was named James Bond? There was a huge outcry about the series was going to be ruined. And now look at him, the Bond films are more popular than ever and Craig is arguably best James Bond. Remember when the last Battlestar Galactica series was announced? And they said that Starbuck was going to be played by a woman? Nerds and geeks alike lost their minds and cursed the series before they even saw it. And how did that turn out? It was a hit!

Franchises are organic and they grow and evolve. If they became completely static, they would die. If the film and TV industries don’t at least try to do something new with franchises, they’ll disappear forever. And believe it or not, TV and film studios never try to set out to ruin anything. They want their properties to be a success too. All studios want to do is find something that people like, and try to get as many people, in a constantly changing audience, to watch. Does every attempt work? No. However, that doesn’t mean that studios should stop trying. For example, “Batman & Robin” killed the franchise in the late 90’s. Imagine if they had stopped trying. We would have never seen “The Dark Knight”. Why would the Ninja Turtles franchise be any different?

Listen folks, nothing can touch your childhood. Remakes can work and sometimes they’re necessary. They keep franchises and properties alive. I would rather have some form of the Ninja Turtles in theaters than none at all. Calm down give the remake/reboot/ adaptation a chance. By the way, the movie hasn’t even been released yet! For all we know, it could be amazing. Wait for the film to be released, and if it’s terrible, then by all means, feel free to complain about it. However, this nerd would prefer if we stopped overreacting about how everything new is an attack on your childhood. Instead, look back on those memories with fondness and just be glad that a new generation has a chance to enjoy the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles like you did.