A 'Jetsons' Live-Action Series Could Offer Up Some Serious Social Satire
Since 1962, kids have been growing up watching George, Jane, Judy, and Elroy Jetson living their best lives in a suburban future. Not bad for a show that originally ran for just one season (The Jetsons didn't return for more new episodes until the '80s). According to TVLine, a live-action Jetsons series is in the works from Warner Bros., and if it makes it to TV, it could offer up the social satire and escapism the world needs right now. Family Guy executive producer Gary Ganetti is attached to the series as a potential showrunner, and director Robert Zemeckis is set to serve as an executive producer.
The original version of The Jetsons presented a blissful vision of the future in a virtual utopia known as Orbit City. There were jet packs and flying cars, and no one needed to cook because every house was a smart house. At the same time, the cartoon found humor in lampooning the social dynamics of the '60s. While the series was set during a time when every home had their own robot maid, the family values and comedy it presented was exceptionally modern. The Jetsons were the perfect '60s nuclear family on the surface, with a mother who loved spending money and a husband who went off to work at a comfy desk job each day. It wasn't the most progressive vision of gender dynamics, but there was some wonderfully sly humor tucked away in the show's depiction of "ideal" family life.
For all of its technology-infused gags and space-based antics, The Jetsons reflected life in the '60s for a family audience. It only makes sense that an updated version would tackle a new, more complicated vision of what future perfection means. Today's idea of what makes a family is far more complex than what The Jetsons presented, and when it comes to technology, kids grow up surrounded by it. So what does the world want the future to be now? That's the question this show could have so much fun answering.
Imagining what the world will look like in another 100 years is mind-boggling, and it could also be a wonderful source of humor. Done correctly, an updated Jetson family could reflect the best and worst parts of modern culture in a way that's both innocent and satirical. The live-action comedy has plenty of opportunity to lampoon the smartphone-obsessed world of today by transposing it to an even more advanced tomorrow.
If Warner Bros. can find the right home for The Jetsons, there's no reason it couldn't flourish. One of the reasons why the original has endured for so long is because there's a wholesome timelessness to Orbit City and its inhabitants. There's something deeply comforting about knowing no matter how crazy the world gets, suburbia, with all of its mundane stresses, will persist.
The world is as chaotic as it's ever been right now. That's exactly why it could use another dose of The Jetsons. The show is a wryly funny promise that no matter how much society changes, some things — like navigating the absurdities of married life — never change.