When Boob Tube Meets Silver Screen – 5 films that could probably “cut it” on the small screen

This past Friday, IGN Entertainment released THIS trailer, to promote an upcoming television series, based on the popular, and EXTREMELY profitable, Harry Potter book and film franchise . . .

Of course, if you recall, this past Friday was also April Fools’ Day.  And the above – trailer for the new FX series, The Aurors, set to premiere this summer, ended up being a FAKE (not to mention a Big Fat F-YOU to Wizard Lovers, EVERYWHERE)!

And yet, you have to admit, if a series like this actually DID air on FX, there’s a good chance it would be fairly successful.  After all, The Aurors, has all the ingredients for a television ratings darling, including:

(1) an allegiance to the Harry Potter brand, and the massive geek-chic cult following that comes along with it;

“When I wave my magic wand, millions of dollars in advertising revenue will appear, right before your VERY EYES!”

(2) a savvy nod to the world’s current obsession with All Things Supernatural;

(3) action adventure; and

Might I suggest some prune juice, Harry.  I hear it helps with your . . . condition.

(4) that Crime Procedural Mumbo Jumbo, which tends to bore the STUFFING out of me, but seems to be genuinely popular among most of the American viewing public (as evidenced by the success of the 85,000 versions of Law and Order and CSI currently clogging our television sets).

Don’t shoot!  I swear, I didn’t mean it!

This got me to thinking about other popular films that have the potential to make the transition from the Big Screen to Your Screen.   And so, without further adieu, here are my top five picks (in no particular order) for movies I’d like to see take that oh-so-dangerous small-screen leap  .  . .

1) Inception

I don’t think I’ve ever had as many in-depth, and complicated, conversations about a film, as I have had about this psychological action thriller.  The idea of being able to enter people’s dreams, and by doing so, altering their perception of reality, is just so inherently intriguing and ripe for discussion.  And for a television show revolving around a crack team of insanely attractive and ridiculously well-dressed, “dream engineers” — hired to basically control people’s minds from the inside-out — the possibilities are literally endless.  

Episodes can revolve around a different “dream hijacking” each week, or can slowly unravel an extensive “dream heist” throughout the course of the season.  Of course, at the show’s core would be the brilliant, but deeply troubled, Dream Makers, each of whom has their own extensive backstory, as well as specific, but complicated, rationalizations for choosing this, admittedly morally ambiguous, career path.

Speaking of morally ambiguous career paths . . .

2) The Town

Back in September, I fell in love with a film about a small town called Charlestown, Massachusetts, where children were raised to be bank robbers, con artists, and criminals, with the same intensity and efficiency that other towns invest in growing bankers, doctors, and lawyers.  Everybody loves a “brooding bad boy with a good heart” (especially when he takes his shirt off often).  And The Town had a whole cast of both Brooding Bad Boys and Hard-Nosed, but still hot, Cops to love.  Most notably, it had THIS GUY . . .

Oh, yeah!  That’s Ben Affleck!  And, upon seeing this picture, I totally took back, all those jokes I made about that awful Gigli movie.  Because THIS guy could ABSOLUTELY kick my ass!  Let’s find  a “kinder, gentler” picture.   Shall we?

That’s better!

And THIS guy . . .

A television series based on The Town would boast an extremely unique location, the likes of which has never before been depicted on television.  It would also undoubtedly feature a cast of scorching hot twenty and early-thirty somethings, each with their own idiosyncrasies, family dramas, romantic subplots etc.  And of course, the crime capers depicted in each episode would put the ones in those Ocean’s Eleven movies to SHAME!

Speaking of Ocean’s Eleven (and one of it’s stars, i.e. Matt Damon) . . .

3) The Adjustment Bureau

Ever wonder if the Universe has a specific plan in store for you?  The Adjustment Bureau was a romantic drama / action flick that dealt with the question of “fate” and “circumstance” in a way that  absolutely caters to the self-absorbed and egocentric world in which we live. 

Yes, Joe and Jane Average Citizen, SOMEONE “up there” has BIG PLANS for YOU . .  . and for your life.  In fact, you can find those plans in a BOOK, filled with multi-colored SQUIGGLY LINES that resemble those mazes they put on the back of Happy Meals at McDonalds.  (Those of you who saw the movie, know what I mean by this . . .)

Not only that, the world is crawling with Cute Men in Funny Little Hats who’s LIFE’S MISSION is to make sure that YOU reach your destiny . . .

And there’s a good chance that one of those “Cute Men in Funny Little Hats” probably looks a lot like Roger Sterling from Mad Men.

Because all of us like to believe we were put on this earth for a “reason,” and because we all find the idea of Cute Men in Funny Little Hats chasing us around the City all day, monitoring our every move, oddly appealing (or mildly creepy, whichever you prefer), a television series revolving around the titular Adjustment Bureau would likely be a fun-filled hour of escapist fantasy for the masses.

  Like the Inception series suggested above, The Adjustment Bureau series would work well as either a serial drama, in which a different “guest star’s” fate was adjusted each week, or a long-running storyline, in which the future of a particularly Important Person (like the politician Matt Damon played in the film) is systematically modified in every episode to achieve a specific goal. 

High concept mind benders, philosophical discussions, and crime capers aren’t your thing?  Fear not!  I have two more prospective television series ideas that might be more to your liking . . .

4) Adventureland

This past summer, I rented this fun coming-of-adulthood “period piece” (The film took place in 1987.)  about a recent-college grad, (played by The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg) who, without any immediate prospects for his future, was forced to take a summer job at a small-town amusement park.  Working the “ring toss” with Jesse, was none other than Twilight’s Kristen Stewart (playing a character who kind of, but not exactly, resembled Bella Swan), and 2010’s Sexiest Man Alive, himself, Ryan Reynolds . . .

Yes, I DO find every excuse to put pictures of hot, half-naked men in my blog.  Thank you for noticing!

In addition to having an all-star cast of up-and-coming actors, intriguing characters, and some stellar script writing to its credit, Adventureland boasted a refreshingly fun sense of time and place. 

As an 80’s baby, who spent most of the decade clad in Care Bears underwear, I’ve always been a bit jealous of those folks who actually got to experience this admittedly awesome decade as teenagers, and early 20-somethings.  From the killer music, to the amazing made-for-teen movies (John Hughes anyone?), to the care free days spent making out and getting high behind the Tilt-a-Whirl at your local theme park, the 80’s just seems like it was a great time to “come of age.”

An Adventureland television series would allow us to do just that!  Along with its “youngish” (and indubitably attractive), cast of characters, viewers could “travel back in time” each week, and experience the slings and arrows of early adulthood, all while enjoying a kickass soundtrack, drinking some cheap beer, and riding that old broken down Ferris Wheel for the 25,000th time . . .

5) Scream

At first blush, this one might seem like an odd choice for a television series.  After all, half of the fun of watching horror movies, like Scream, is seeing the characters get killed off, one-by-one, in increasingly gruesome (not to mention, patently ridiculous) ways, while trying to figure out who the killer is, right?  So, how does that translate to an entire season of small screen viewing, you ask?   And I say, how does it NOT?

“Do you like SCARY movies television shows?”

Think about it.  What is the BIGGEST, MOST SHOCKING, thing that can ever happen to your favorite television drama?  The one thing that’s CERTAIN to get ratings buzz for your favorite program, and ensure that EVERYBODY will be talking about what they saw the next day . . .  Of course, I’m referring to the DEATH OF A MAIN CHARACTER.  On most shows, this Major Television Viewing Event only happens about once or twice every season (typically, around sweeps week). 

But imagine the fun and excitement of MAIN CHARACTER DEATHS (along with “fun” Celebrity Guest Star Cameo Deaths”) occurring EVERY SINGLE WEEK!  Nobody is safe!  Everyone is a suspect!  And everyone is at risk! 

The “killer’s identity” would presumably be revealed in the Season Finale.   Or, perhaps, the mystery could be carried over into subsequent seasons, with new cast members regularly replacing the “old dead” onces.  Sure, it’s a gimic!  But look how long they’ve taken to reveal that darn MOTHER on How I Met Your Mother? 

OK . . . just keep smiling and pretend you actually know who “The Mother” is . . .

 If they can do it, so can WE!

So, there you have it folks, five sure-fire television success stories, based on five popular films.  So, which movies would YOU most like to see transition to the small screen?

[www.juliekushner.com]

6 Comments

Filed under movies, Television Show Ideas

6 responses to “When Boob Tube Meets Silver Screen – 5 films that could probably “cut it” on the small screen

  1. Deborah

    I think a Scream TV show would be awesome. I love the movies and I’m excited for the fourth one. Your suggestions for how it would be done reminds of Harper’s Island. I absolutely loved the show; even though it was only one season. They had at least one murder each week and on the finale the killers were revealed. Murder-Mystery will always be interesting.

    • Hi Deborah! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I’m super excited for the next installment of Scream too! I really hope it lives up to expectations. Because, with Kevin Williamson writing (He also pens The Vampire Diaries.) I think it has the opportunity to be just as good as the first film in the series, which I still think is the best one. 🙂

      You know, a friend of mine was a big fan of Harper’s Island too. And, now that you mention it, the premise for that show does sound sort of similar to the one I was suggesting. Of course, I really like the idea of the drama centering around high school students, like the first Scream film did.

      I don’t know. I just have a thing for teen dramas. The proms, the parties, the weekend getaways – all of these scenarios are just RIPE for murder and mayhem! 🙂 Plus, I think Scream’s dark sense of humor would translate well to the small screen.

      Who knows? Maybe we will both get our wish, and this series will actually become a reality!

  2. Cayla

    Hey! I check your blog every day. It’s by far one of my favorites because I think we like the same types of tv shows. I love all your ideas especially the scream one because it’s true they never kill off the main characters. (although vampire diaries is suppose to off 3, makes me nervous!) I would watch all these shows! And yes, the maps of our lives in Adjustment Bureau do look like the mazes on the backs of happy meals, LOL 😄

    • Awww, thanks so much, Cayla! You are SO SWEET! I’m so honored that you read my little blog regularly. (Now, I feel guilty for not updating it more often!)

      Also, clearly, you have SPECTACULAR taste in television and movies! 😉 And you are absolutely right. The Vampire Diaries is one of the few series that is not afraid to kill off its main characters, on a regular basis.

      Hmmmm . . . three major characters deaths in the remainder of this season, huh? Now, I’m very curious. I wonder if This Week’s Death counted toward that total, or if the offed character wasn’t considered “major” enough for inclusion in this list?

      All I know, is they better not kill DAMON! (Not that they would!) 🙂

  3. imaginarymen

    I’d watch “Inception” and “The Town” and probably “The Adjustment Bureau”!

    It reminds me of “3o Rock” when Jack said “I don’t sleep on planes. I don’t want to be incepted” ;-0

    • Hey, three out of five, ain’t bad, right? 😉 Maybe we should start our own network, and call it Fangirl TV! 🙂

      LOL re: the 30 Rock comment! It kind of reminds me of the Inception Gag they ran in this past year’s Oscars, where Anne and Franco “went into Alec Baldwin’s dreams, for hosting tips.” Come to think of it, Baldwin was probably the funniest part of this year’s Oscars . . .

      Hmmmm . . . Maybe they should have stuck around his head longer, and got more “tips” . . .

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