Posted by: pop-break | April 4, 2013

Pop-Ed: Kickstart Our Hearts – Shows We’d Pay to See Made into Movies

the gang looks at their favorite shows they’d bring to the silver screen …

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In the wake of Veronica Mars scoring millions of dollars to fund an original film, we asked the staff of Pop-Break what television series they would put their hard-earned money behind to see a big screen adaptation.

Bobby Olivier: Say what you will about my testicular fortitude, but I would pay to see a Friends movie. So many plot lines could use an update: How many times have Rachel and Ross broken up again since the “I didn’t get on the plane” moment? Has Monica already warped the minds of her and Chandler’s twins into two little clean freaks? Does Joey still like pizza? Did any hip-hop stars remix Phoebe’s classic “Smelly Cat?” I’d like to see how the gang is doing and so would the rest of white, middle-class America.

Maybe send the cast on a cruise, they get stuck on an island, they get into fights but then realize how much they miss spending all their time together. And kill off a minor character just for kicks. Gunther, sorry bud.

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Lauren Stern: If there was one canceled or off-the-air television series that I would donate my money into the funding of a movie, it would hands down, no-questions-asked be Alias. The drama, which was an ABC series for five seasons, will always be remembered as the only role Jennifer Garner literally kicked ass in. But for me, it is known as my favorite television show of all time and the one show I’d practically do anything to see some sort of revival.

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Like Veronica Mars and Boy Meets World, Alias left us with the notion that there’s more we either haven’t seen or need to see. Since it’s end in 2005, fans have been dying to know how Sydney and Vaughn raised their children, and whether or not they became part of the C.I.A. We were especially posed to wonder if this was the case for their daughter Isabelle, who was last seen completing a test that once marked Sydney’s innate skills to be an ideal agent. After this we were all kind of hoping an Alias 2 would manifest and be just as awesome as the first, but Abrams nor any mainstream network would not oblige. Maybe now that it worked for Veronica Mars, someone can give an Alias kickstarter a try?? One can only hope!

Alias obviously left us with some sequel-worthy material, but there’s also some personal reasons why I would basically pay an arm and a leg for a movie. Alias holds my fondest memories with my older cousin Valerie, who from that point on has been known as my television sage (She’s responsible for my love for LOST, How I Met Your Mother, Friends, and The Newsroom). When we were younger, I used to pack my sleeping bags and head on over to her house, where her and I would watch the show on VHS tapes. On holidays, we used to lock ourselves in her room and watch episodes until dinner was ready; then watch more after we quickly scarfed down our food. Alias was the first of many things that strengthened our relationship and nothing would excite me more than to take her to go see a film sequel. I’d even pay for the popcorn, not only as a thank you for introducing me to Alias but also because I’m a fantastic cousin.

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Michael Dworkis: Sliders was a show that featured both Jerry and Charlie O’Connell in this multiverse-tripping series. It has a clever plot, when a young scientist discovers a way to jump between alternate realities, insane hijinx ensues. What first becomes a fun adventure joined by others, quickly turns into numerous life-or-death situations, and the inevitable inclusion of alien conquerors. After so much travel, finding their home, “Earth-Prime” as it is called, becomes an adventure and quest in itself.

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The five season show wound up so convoluted and confusing. The constant shuffling of main characters was among the issues that its own demise. Disputes between actors, producers, FOX, and the Sci-Fi (now Syfy) channel wound up hurting it more than helping it.

I would love to see Sliders return as a feature-length film, perhaps correcting and re-establishing some sort of base continuity. There came a point where viewers did not even know which characters were the “real” or “alternate-universe” ones. I would like to see the original cast, especially John Rhys-Davies, whose witty cynical banter was an element the show lost (and never recovered from) when he was written out. The last season ended with such confusion and made no sense whatsoever. It was as if the writers thought that having such a bewildering ending would encourage fans to protest and demand the return.

That failed. Miserably.

Gee, now that I think about it, maybe Sliders is not that good of an idea after all. How about a new MacGuyver? Yeah? Paperclips, matches, and a ball of yarn!

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Ann Hale: While I absolutely adore Joss Whedon and everything he does, I am not going to say Buffy or Firefly. Firefly had Serenity and, while Id kill to see another Buffy movie, there was a season 8 in comic book form.

Carnivale

As obscure as it may be, I would spend my money to see HBO’s Carnivale made into a movie. If you didn’t watch the show, you’re not alone. Carnivale was one of those awesome shows that no one watched. It only lasted two seasons and just as it got really fricken good, they cancelled it.
Carnivale is about a group of, well, carnival folk who have special powers. Ben (Nick Stahl), an escaped convict rescued by the carnival, has the power to heal but in order to heal, something else has to die.

Meanwhile, there is a preacher across the country who has something evil in him that is connected to the good in Ben. Everything the carnival does and everywhere they go revolves around this connection.

The show had this great cast with Clancy Brown, Adrienne Barbeau, Nick Stahl, Clea Duvall and Michael J. Anderson from Twin Peaks. Something fantastic was coming, I just know it. Season 2 ended with this giant climax and there was no resolution. I’d pay just about anything to see how that ended.

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Luke Kalamar: If I had to choose a cancelled TV series to become a movie, it would probably be NBC’s Heroes which aired from 2006-2010. I was a pretty huge fan of this show when it was on TV and was a devout supporter of it all the way through, despite the fact that its quality steadily dropped following Season 1. The viewership dropped with it too but I kept watching. There’s actually a little graph on Wikipedia that shows the viewer numbers consistently dropping following the Season 2 premiere. As funny as I find that picture, it’s sad that a show that had such a massive following in the first season couldn’t retain a lot of its fans.

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People point to a lot of reasons to why the show ended up failing in the long run. Too many storylines were introduced without an ending or real point, people kept popping up with similar powers, events were getting reused, there was no real focus, etc. Ask anyone and they’ll give you a different answer. For me, a lot of it had to do with what I viewed as big promises where the show dropped the ball. One example is Season 3 with the first half titled “Villains,” where it was teased that sides would be drawn and we’d have one group of good people and one group of bad people. This excited me because I was both hoping for all of these separate and unique characters to come together finally, and for a sort of Avengers/Justice League and Brotherhood of Evil type of thing. Did we get that? Nope. Most people who were “good” or “evil” quickly abandoned those titles and a lot of the characters stayed separate. Some weren’t even in the same continent and had nothing to do with each other!

Another example is how there was never really a grand fight scene that should go with a premise like this. People with crazy powers like super strength and lightning projection? Let’s let them fight it out in one giant epic brawl! The only moment I could really point to where this was a massive possibility was the Season 3 finale “An Invisible Thread.” At the end of this episode, brothers Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) and Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) fight consistent villain Sylar (Zachary Quinto). Instead of getting a lightning fueled flying superhero brawl, we got flashing lights behind a close door. Seriously! Everything happened behind a freaking door, and we only got to see the aftermath. Total, total bullshit.

How can a movie change this? Well, first off a movie gets a much bigger budget! Perhaps the reason we never got the fighting intensity I know fans craved was because NBC simply wouldn’t shell out the cash to make it happen. If a movie version of Heroes got made, this could actually happen. Secondly, the show ended so abruptly that I’m sure plans were made to add much more in later on. A movie will allow these plotlines to come into play and wrap up any loose ends. Plus, with the huge success of The Avengers, we might get that superhero vs. super villain team up that I wanted so badly but never came into fruition. With the massive popularity of superhero films now, there isn’t really a better time to do this. So someone make it happen!

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Justin Matchick: The problem with choosing a show to revive in movie form is that I’m not sure I’d even want to see the shows I love have a movie. LOST and The Sopranos, while both had controversial endings, have already ended the way their creators wanted them to. Any movies would most likely be grasping at straws for relevant story lines and ultimately leave fans disappointed. Twin Peaks had a disturbing cliffhanger of an ending, but follow up movie Fire Walk with Me shows that David Lynch would rather leave fans with more questions than answers, so I don’t think another movie would work at all. Cowboy BeBop has also already had a post-finale movie made in Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, but the series already works so perfectly that adding to the BeBop universe at this point would be superfluous. Series creator Shinichiro Watanabe has hinted at a desire to make a follow up series, but as it stands BeBop is a series that needs no revival. In the end, I think I’d rather let sleeping shows lie and not fund any possible movie projects rather than potentially get my hopes up for what will ultimately be a disappointing film.

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Daniel Cohen: Believe it or not, there was a time when MTV had some incredible programming. Beavis & Butt-Head. The Head. Celebrity Deathmatch. But by far their crowning achievement was the short lived Sifl & Olly — two sock puppets that had a talk show. I can best describe Sifl & Olly like this: One of their segments is called ‘Calls From the Public,’ in which they try and help their weird-as-all-hell callers, who have even weirder problems. One of the callers asks the duo, ‘Why am I so short,’ which they respond, ‘Have you tried standing up?’ The caller does it, says ‘thank you,’ and hangs up. That was Sifl & Olly, folks. But Sifl & Olly weren’t even the best characters on the show. That honor belonged to Chester, their offbeat cereal loving announcer who could never introduce the duo properly as he was stuck in a state of mind only he could understand.

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I could go on and on and on about how great this show is, but let’s get to the matter at hand. To be honest, I’m not sure a film could fit with the Sifl & Olly format, but the idea of these two guys headlining a movie makes me chuckle just thinking about it. I would need to see all the Sifl & Olly staples such as Precious Roy, Olly’s mom, the fork, and it would absolutely have to be a musical, as their random songs were truly the heart of the show. If given the opportunity, I know creators Liam Lynch and Matt Crocco could think of something really clever, because a Sifl & Olly movie would absolutely be crescent fresh.

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Kelly Duncan: There are a ridiculous amount of TV shows that I would love to see given new life on the big or small screen.

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However, a large majority of my favorites were wrapped up nice and tidy at the end. For me, the one I would like to see come back the most , preferably in movie form is, Freaks and Geeks. When the series ended I was left with a major sense of “… what the?” There’s the obvious reason to bring it back, the cast is stellar and at this point, all of Hollywood knows it. I would absolutely want Vicki Appleby (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Cindy (Natasha Melnick) and Maureen (Kayla Ewell) to all see what a little hottie, Sam Weir (John Francis Daley) turned out to be. I have to know if Daniel (James Franco) ever left that game of Dungeons and Dragons or if he became King of the Geeks. When Nick (Jason Segel) embraced the disco revolution with Sara (Lizzy Caplan) I almost fell over, but was happy for him. I’d like to see if they had a happily ever after. Are Kim Kelly (Busy Philipps) and Lindsay (Linda Cardellini) still epitomizing the love/hate relationship that so many women know all too well? And I seriously hope that little Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr), one of my most favorite characters of all time either steals the love of Alan’s life or becomes his boss and manages to torture him just a little bit. That kid was a real ass.

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Lisa Pikaard: In the wake of the Kickstarter madness surrounding Veronica Mars, I instantly couldn’t help but jump for you at the slightest hope building in my chest that Joss Whedon might just bring about the return of any one of his shows. Could I pick just one that I wish he would revive that I would be more than happy to donate my hard earned money to? Buffy? Angel? No; I choose Dollhouse.

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While it only lasted two seasons, the concept is so eerily possible in our modern age, I would love to know what happened after the entire population was taken out of its doll state. I feel almost as though Dollhouse is a televised, modernization of Orwell’s 1984. It plays on our fears of what technology could one day do and how the world could potentially get out of control because of that technology. The series was just starting to hit its stride when it was cancelled and the storyline was just getting interesting. Dolls fighting back.It may sound lame, but it was about mind control, technology, government overstepping its bounds, and many of our very natural fears. So many sci-fi movies try to capture this idea but take it too far, too abstract, too foreign. Whedon has the touch of creating a world that is so similar to our own that the boundaries seem to blur. That is what makes Whedon a genius and I a fan.

Fortunately, (well not for them) most of the actors and actresses who had primary roles on the series are not currently committed to too many other projects. Whedon, on the other hand, is committed to the Marvel universe at the moment but I’m still holding out hope! I don’t know that I could see Sarah Michelle Gellar kicking vampire ass anymore, David Boreanaz taking a break from Bones, or any of the other necessary actors and actresses returning to their 1990’s roles, but Dollhouse was a bit more recent. Of course I would rejoice to see more of my favorite actor, Nathan Fillion and more Serenity/ Firefly but, in fact, I would much rather know what Whedon had in store for Echo and the crazy remains of the imperfect world that the series finale left us in. I want to know what our potential future may turn out like from the genius mind of Joss Whedon.

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Bill Bodkin: Spaced was, without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest sitcom ever produced. Yes, that sounds like pure hyperbole, but I believe it was every fiber of my being.

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Starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and directed by Edgar Wright, the show ran two seasons and documented the relationship between bitter wannabe comic book artist Tim Bisley and aspiring writer Daisy Steiner, who rent an inexpensive apartment under the pretense that they’re a couple. It’s the perfect blend of a will they/won’t they romantic comedy, pop/video game/comic culture and cinematic aesthetics. In essence, perfection. The series did end nicely with Tim and Daisy realizing their feelings for each other but I want more damn it! When interviewed about the series Pegg has admitted he has the characters’ lives planned out …and I want to see it.

Spaced would not work as a big screen film, but it work beautifully as a one-two hour Christmas special. The Christmas special is a tried and true British TV staple and is often a very special episode — look at any Doctor Who Christmas episodes, or even The Office Christmas special. They’re special episodes and I think for a show like Spaced to return, it would have to be made a special event.

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  1. […] the gang looks at their favorite shows they’d bring to the silver screen … […]


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