When it comes to childhood classics like Monkey, the pantomimically brilliant and poorly lip-synced, flawed '80s masterpiece, there is only one question you need to ask: can you ever really go back?
News this week that the ABC, TVNZ and Netflix have commissioned a new live-adaptation of the 16th-century fable on which Monkey was based, Journey to the West, was met with a mixture of curiosity, elation and unbridled joy.
Like most reboots which date from a certain era, much of that excitement is driven by nostalgia for the original - such as it was - which followed a teenage priest and the spirits of a monkey, fish and pig on their journey to enlightenment.
That series, titled Saiyuki in Japan, Monkey in English, and Monkey Magic to its fans - strictly speaking, that's the title of the show's theme song - was a staple of Australian childhoods.
Though its late 1990s audience often lay claim to it, in fact it dates back to the early 1980s when 39 of the original 52 episodes were dubbed into English by the BBC and sold internationally.
The series starred Masako Natsume as the priest Tripitaka, Masaaki Sakai as Monkey, Toshiyuki Nishida as Pigsy and Shiro Kishibe as Sandy, the fish spirit.
The BBC's English audio featured actors like David Collings (as Monkey) and Peter Woodthorpe (as Pigsy). Both Collings and Woodthorpe featured in the BBC's radio version of The Lord of the Rings; Woodthorpe notably played Gollum.
The result was daftly (and deftly) comic.
The already inflated action sequences became funnier, the loosely dubbed dialogue borrowed more from pantomime than grown-up drama and the cheap-seeming stylistic touches, a sort of papier-m??ch?? forebear of modern Asian cinema, were compelling to young eyes.
And that's without even getting into the fact that Pigsy (and even Monkey) had a tendency to use the word "poofter" as an insult during fight sequences.
Is it a cultural curiosity of the era? An appalling insult? Something for the politically correct to demand be cut? Or something for the thin-skinned anti-PC'ers to use while they label everyone else a "snowflake"?
Wait, weren't you just planning to watch an old TV classic? When did things get so complicated?
The truth is Monkey, and the affection we have for it, resides within a delicate prism.
And the magic of that is a difficult one to recapture, because many of the gods of our childhood owe their divine status to our innocence at the time as much as anything else.
Our childhood memories are full of unique and curious things, strange and now exotic-seeming things that were once simple and brilliant: the quaint racism buried in Enid Blyton's stories, the cheap but lovable brilliance of The Goodies, reruns of Are You Being Served? and their endless pussy jokes.
It doesn't mean those things have no modern value. Enid Blyton's books are still masterpieces, The Goodies are still gods to middle-aged eyes and Are You Being Served? is still one of the funniest comedies ever made for television.
But each, like childhood memories, must be handled gently. And like the charred remains of Daphne du Maurier's Manderley in Rebecca, can sometime remain properly elusive, no matter how much we long to return.
The reboot of Monkey won't be our Monkey. Nor can it be. But it will be to its audience what Monkey was to us: magic.
The story Recasting the spell: can Monkey find magic the second time around? first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.