Bring Back Captain Planet
It’s been 31 years since Captain Planet and the Planeteers was on TV. It was somewhat influential to my upbringing. My childhood self had awareness that the planet could use some help and there was actually something people could do about it.
Now that I have a kiddo of my own, I’m wondering what it would be like if you revamped this for today. Some rough thoughts in no particular order:
- Just make the whole thing about climate change.
- Jeff Goldblum is still working and is crazy enough to agree to reprise his role as an enormous rat-based villain. (Maybe he’s anti-vax and so wasn’t vaccinated against the Great Rat Pandemic).
- Whoopi Goldberg could still rock Gaia with her eyes closed.
- The show should probably focus more on actual non-fiction issues than the original show. Maybe for a slightly older audience. But it could demonstrate the issues of the day the way The Magic School Bus demonstrates science.
- We’ve come full circle enough that Captain Planet can keep the green mullet.
- Greta Thunberg as Gaia’s assistant? She could just play herself.
- The relevance for today is kind of shocking. The planet is in even more danger now. And while the original show was backed by data, there’s so much more of it to draw on for climate change. You could do a whole episode on how recycling doesn’t work as well as we think or a two parter on carbon capture.
- Ma-Ti with the Power of Heart needs a revamp along the lines of Karamo from Queer Eye. On Queer Eye the guy who originally did “Soul” never knew what his role was so he would reorganize your CD collection. Modern Queer Eye figured out that the role is to make people cry. I don’t know what Heart does, but Ma-Ti needs some work.
- In at least one episode they have to save the day without needing to call Captain Planet just to prove that we have agency without relying on magic (Captain Planet was inside us all along).
- The Planeteers all need awesome vehicles so the show can sell a load of toys. Proceeds donated to help fight climate change.
- The original show tried to dumb things down for kids by focusing on specific villains doing specific bad to the environment (Jeff Goldblum is dumping toxic waste again). I think for modern sensibilities we could get a lot more systemic. How is the deck stacked against the Planeteers? As You’re Wrong About would say: it was capitalism all along.
I could go on forever. Let’s inspire the next generation. The Power is Yours!