Another in a series of five "whatevers" keyed to a new movie. This week, critic Christy Lemire plays off Friday's release of 'The A-Team' with a list of five more TV shows that should be turned into movies.
LOS ANGELES — The cinematic landscape is littered with terrible movies based on television shows. From "Leave It to Beaver" and "Bewitched" to "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Starsky & Hutch," the vast majority of these adaptations have not exactly been must-sees. And we won't even begin to discuss movies based on "Saturday Night Live" sketches. There simply aren't enough hours in the day.
But with "The A-Team" arriving in theaters this weekend, it's a good time to ponder some other programs that are ready to make that leap:
- "Arrested Development." One of the smartest, funniest, most inventive shows ever, it barely lasted three seasons. Critics loved it, few others watched it. But while there's been talk of bringing the dysfunctional Bluth family to the big screen ever since the series ended in 2006, the project remains up in the air. David Cross, who played Tobias Funke, said he doubted it would happen. Will Arnett, who played Gob Bluth, said at the Fox upfront that the movie would be a go someday, but that a new comedy he's doing with "Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz was delaying production. And Jason Bateman, who was at the center of the family as Michael Bluth, also has said he was optimistic. If anyone knows for sure, we'll be hanging out by the banana stand.
- "The Golden Girls." Even though three of the four stars are no longer with us — Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty and Rue McClanahan — the series' core concept and its mix of brash humor and friendship would seem to be a hit with moviegoers, especially those of a certain age, for whom the pickings are slim at the multiplex. Just think about it: Four older women with distinct personalities, sharing a home in Miami, teasing and sometimes bickering with each other but remaining loyal throughout. The racy jokes that marked the show's sense of humor could be even more daring in film form. It could also be known by its alternate title, "Sex and the City 3."
- "Jeopardy!" There are so many potential benefits here. First, by seeing it repeatedly, you can look like a total smarty pants in front of your friends, who will have no idea you're just memorizing the answers. Ooh! Sing-alongs to the theme song during the Final Jeopardy round. To make it even more interactive, people in the audience could throw fries at the screen whenever Alex Trebek pronounces a word in show-offy, perfect French. And speaking of Trebek, there could be flashbacks attached to various questions, revealing the path he took to game-show greatness. That's never been done before.
- The "Joan Rivers Classics Collection" on QVC. The comedian and "Celebrity Apprentice" winner can talk, as we know from her catchphrase. And she's been peddling her line of jewelry and accessories through the home-shopping channel for about 20 years. Wouldn't it be more fun to see her sell her stuff with all the foul-mouthed candor of her stand-up routine? You could watch her work blue as she tries to sell you a turquoise-colored necklace and matching earrings. And this would be a rare opportunity in which you'd be encouraged to use your cell phone in the theater — 'cause there'd be no way to resist dialing in and making that purchase right NOW!
- "Yule Log." It's a Christmas-morning staple at local television stations across the country: a shot of a piece of wood, burning in a fireplace, for hours on end while traditional carols swell in the background. Now imagine spending Christmas morning watching it on the big screen. It would seem ... warmer somehow, right? Buy a present for yourself, sneak a little eggnog in, maybe even make some new friends. Best of all, you get to escape your in-laws while still enjoying all the comforts of the holiday.