Web This Site

Sunday, February 19, 2006

TV shows on the big screen

March 31, 2004

Even movie moguls can’t resist a good 70s TV show. And who can blame them?

Polyester bell-bottoms, feathered hair, and the use of “groovy” to describe just about everything are periodic pieces of pop culture too bizarre to ignore.

The latest attempt to recycle episodic TV onto the big screen comes in the form of detectives Starsky and Hutch. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson take on the roles of the styling sleuths. And believe it or not, Snoop Dogg rounds out the cast.

Starsky and Hutch
isn’t the only 70s TV show being preserved for posterity at the cinema. Paramount is developing The Love Boat, a “broadly comic reinvention” of the popular TV series, according to Variety. Well, I guess it would have to be a “reinvention” in order to work on the big screen. (Hmm...I wonder if Charro is still available?)

Then there’s The Dukes of Hazzard and I Dream of Jeannie. Both TV shows are being made into feature films. Rumors abound that Jessica Simpson is being considered to play both Daisy Duke and Jeannie.

Should TV stay on the small screen? Do the movie adaptations tarnish the sacredness of the original series? Nah. I don’t think so. So what if Drew Barrymore can’t hold a candle to Farrah Fawcett. I’m betting at least some of the masses that saw the silly Charlie’s Angels movies tuned into the original series to see what they’d missed.

There are some shows that would have been great movies. But, sadly they never were. JAG, with its talented cast, could have tackled the timely subject of war crimes. Another gem I’d always hoped to see at the theater was Magnum, P.I. But no such luck. And Tom Selleck is obviously too old to reprise the role now.

Then, there are some shows I hope are never turned into movies. Can you imagine The Golden Girls, The Jeffersons or Cheers holding your attention for two hours? Nope. Me either.

Sometimes, TV shows translate into fantastic films. The Fugitive and Maverick come to mind. But most often, the movie versions are parodies. Remember the mind-numbing Brady Bunch and Flintstones films?

As more and more TV shows make their way to a theater near you, don’t expect a rehash of the classic shows. If you do, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Enjoy these films for what they are: comic spoofs.

If nothing else, they may make you relive some of your childhood memories. A time when your dream was to drive a red and white Ford Torino and to know someone as groovy as Huggy Bear.

Originally published 3/31/04 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


Copyright 2007 Tube Talk