originality is impossible, originality is trivial.
Pure, undiluted originality is practically impossible, of course. Everything is based on something else. But to me it feels like norm, when he constantly criticises, say, the empty platitiudes and slogans and soupy lines of babylon 5, is indeed demanding every new movie and series to be some groundbreaking, genre-busting lump of pure newness, with no old forms re-used at all. He says, no, it's okay to redo things, as long as it's done cleverly, and B5 and Billy Elliot and Connections just do it clumsily. I don't know what he does consider clever, though. Maybe all the stuff I like really is crap, though. I don't know.
Anyway, for the contrasting side, if you do set your standards low enough, of course practically any creative act produces something new. We routinely speak sentences that have never in human history been spoken before. Ho freakin' hum.
So what is it to be original? Where is the sensible place to set the threshold? It's not even clear that more tradition-breakingness is monotonically related to (at least my notion) of artistic merit. Intentionally binding your hands into the conventional forms of the day and still making fantastic art seems even more impressive somehow.