Monday, October 3, 2011

TV Show Spinoffs

When a movie is relatively successful, people will do anything to squeeze that extra buck out of it. We have seen sequels, equally unwanted trilogies, creepy dolls and possibly even a book series with the movie poster thrown on the cover. However, one that is hard to ignore is unsuccessful television series based on popular films. Most recently, Matt Damon and Emily Blunts forbidden romance from The Adjustment Bureau is being made into a TV series for Syfy while it's barely been put onto the shelves. Usually when I turn onto Syfy, I either see Battlestar Galactica reruns or original movies where badly animated alligators eat models tanning on the beach. For such a popular movie, I am surprised that they are taking the remake this route and not going for a network station.
This brings up other bad TV spinoffs, usually not even making it past the first season before it gets cancelled. My favorite that I found was one I hadn't heard of before, a spinoff of Ferris Buellers Day off that ran for one season in 1990. They completely break the fourth wall when they introduce Charlie Schlatter as an annoyed Ferris Bueller complaining about the movie based on his life. He even goes so far as to take a chainsaw to a cardboard cutout of Matthew Broderick (below).
Other notably short lived series would be Fast Times based on the famous Fast Times at Ridgemont High (although it did stem Patrick Dempseys career) and the 1976 Delta House based on the cult classic, Animal House. Without the raunchy humor, drug references and foul language that made the movie so popular, the small screen version that was fit for TV audiences did not last long (it also didn't help that they rewrote Belushi's character and introduced his younger brother, Blotto). It is usually the recasting that dooms these series to their single season, as well as the fact that movies are made to follow that one story line and are resolved for the audience's sake at the end of the movie, the series tend to drag them out. I have talked about how the content varies from British to American screens, but the same goes for movies and television. Without the safety of a rating to back up more adult themes, television shows are handicapped by their time slots and broadcast channels. Reasons that shows fail is because they can't show what they want at 8 PM on a saturday when the kids might still be up.

No comments:

Post a Comment