Bringing back “ALF” is something TV execs were known to joke about in the past, notes THR, whenever they were accused of scraping the bottom of the barrel for reboots. We’re reviving shows X, Y, and Z, they’d say — and if all of those work out, “ALF.”
You can see why they’d find that funny. Imagine demand being great enough to justify a reboot, 30 years later, of a sitcom aimed at people who thought “Full House” was too intellectually demanding.
Yet here we are. In the darkest timeline after all.
ALF may be making a return to TV. A reboot of the popular ’80s alien sitcom is being explored by Warner Bros TV, Deadline has learned.
The original series, written by Murray Chapman, centers on a small, furry, arrogant extraterrestrial from the planet Melmac who’s taken in by an average American family.
He’s furry, he’s sassy, he’s from outer space. One hundred and two episodes were wrung from that premise in the show’s original run.
But not enough. Not enough.
One theory of topsy-turvy present-day America is that at some point we all crossed over from reality into a virtual reality that gets inexorably worse, day by day. Reading this paragraph from “Variety,” I can now confirm that that’s true:
One idea that has reportedly been discussed for the reboot would involve ALF emerging from Area 51–where he has been held captive since the original series finale–and observing how much the world has changed since that time.
It’s going to be nonstop “President Trump” jokes at the start, an irresistible peg for a creature transported from the late 1980s to 2018. And here’s the hook: ALF will be pro-Trump. I’d bet on it. The audience for this show will for obvious reasons skew older, much like Trump’s own base, so respect will have to be paid. And being pro-Trump in an ocean of anti-Trump entertainment would be true to the character. He’s not just a cat-eating alien, he’s a cat-eating alien with ‘tude. No one tells this talking sock what to think.
I bet it’ll do fine in the ratings. The guy behind it, who (I learned today) created the show, wrote it, directed it, produced it, and voiced/puppeteered the character of ALF, has been pushing a reboot for ages, hoping to restore the ol’ gravy train. With “Full House” and “Roseanne” (sorry, “The Conners”!) suddenly back on TV and all manner of other 80s pop-culture detritus repopularized, there must be a market for it. I understand the appeal too, sort of. I have cable, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, and increasingly the sheer volume of TV options overwhelms me and leads me to retreat into nightly baseball games and “Impractical Jokers” reruns. When you can’t keep up with even a fraction of the quality material on television, you turn to old familiars. “ALF” is old and very, very familiar.
And as various people noted today, the old TV-exec joke about the bottom of the reboot barrel is untrue. It can get worse than “ALF,” and it likely will. This is coming and we should all start preparing for it mentally.