Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Worst of the Worst: TV Shows Based On Movies

TV shows based on films always seemed to me like a lazy way of attempting to piggyback off of a popular film with the assumption that if the audience liked X movie then it would only make sense that they would want to see it in half hour increments. While some shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or M*A*S*H proved that there was more stories to tell than the running time of a film could allow, other shows just felt like TV execs were throwing out ideas and hoping that they'd stick with TV audiences based on their recognition of the film alone. Consider the following to be some examples:

Uncle Buck

I actually remember being excited to see Uncle Buck when I found out it was going to be a TV show as a kid. However then I watched it and the soul crushing realization hit me that John Candy was no where to be seen. Obviously Candy portrayed the eccentric, lovable, curmudgeonly Uncle Buck so well that attempting to spin it off with anyone that wasn't John Candy was doomed for total and utter failure. Also it's not reassuring that there's a nod at a well known scene during the opening credits, almost as if the network was nudging the viewer and going, "Heeey, remember that scene where he uses the shovel to make a giant pancake"?

Fast Times

Fast Times at Ridgemont High was a funny 80's coming of age comedy that looked at actual teen problems without sugar coating them. So it makes sense that a sanitized TV version that eliminated all the talk about sex and drug use wouldn't fare so well, right? To make matters even worse the only actors from the original ensemble that decided to come back were Mr. Vargas and Mr. Hand. Bummer...

Ferris Bueller

It's probably not a good sign when within less than a minute into a new series the main character puts a chainsaw through the likeness of the original character that was the sole reason why most folks tuned in at all. While Ferris on the big screen seemed like a rascally scamp, small screen Ferris was pretty much a d-bag of the highest order.

Police Academy: The Series

On paper Police Academy probably seemed like a no brainer. I mean the films had already gone everywhere but space and there was even a cartoon. Unfortunately the live action version came a good 3 years after the last straight to rental film had come out, well past our societies brief 80's love affair with bumbling slapstick police officer antics. Combine that with the fact that only Michael Winslow appeared in it, along with a more PC watered down version of the films and its no surprise that there was no season 2.

Benji, Zax & The Alien Prince

In the 70's Benji was like an updated version of Lassie. Running around being cute, making friends and helping people was pretty much his MO. It seems like a Benji TV show would have made perfect sense right? Well instead of making a standard TV show about a lovable mutt getting into hijinks someone thought it would be a good idea to include an alien prince and...oh what the hell a robot, I mean kids love robots right!? What you see above was the strange result...


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