'Galaxy Quest' TV Show Is In The Works, But How Have Other TV Shows Based On Movies Fare In The Past?
A new meta TV show is on the way, and you already know the premise: According to Deadline, the 1999 Tim Allen flick Galaxy Quest is getting rebooted as a TV show. According to the report, the screenwriter of the original film, Richard Gordon, will pen the television version as well as executive produce, which hopefully guarantees that the new show will capture the same tone as the original flick even if the story is told through a different medium. It's actually a smart storytelling move, as the original movie is actually a satire of science fiction TV shows: Galaxy Quest tells the story of a cast of actors on a Star Trek-esque TV series who are recruited by real-life aliens to help save their planet. Now the question is, can a real-life Galaxy Quest TV show actually work?
It may make sense why this particular concept would work as a TV show (soooo meta, you guys) but it's still a risky move. We've seen plenty of movie-turned-TV-show comedies fall flat in recent years and though many networks are far more comfortable giving the greenlight to concepts that they know fans already love, it's a true gamble. Galaxy Quest can learn from the failures of these comedic movies-turned-TV-shows and hopefully will make us laugh just as hard when we're watching it on the small screen as in the theater.
Napoleon Dynamite (2012)
Lesson: Don't change what works.
There was a time when you couldn't have a conversation without someone making a Napoleon Dynamite reference. That time ended long before the animated version aired, and, unfortunately, the cartoon version just couldn't capture the magic of Jon Heder's expressionless face as he delivered brilliant one-liners like, "Your mom goes to college." Instead, the animated series was more of a crass version of Recess than the film, and it just didn't work.
Bad Teacher (2014)
Lesson: Bring originality to the table.
The concept of Bad Teacher, based on the 2011 film of the same name, is all in the title. Plenty of shows already captured the badly behaving adult trope, and without a strong story to support it (as seen in the Cameron Diaz film), the show fell flat.
Lesson: Don't kill what made the film cool.
I didn't hate the light sitcom version of Clueless, but the movie it was not. Cher (played by Rachel Blanchard, who replaced Alicia Silverstone) was far more refined and generally less shallow in the TV version — there was no soul-searching venture for this version of Cher to embark on. Yes, this version of Cher was a more traditionally likable protagonist, but what fun is that?
10 Things I Hate About You (2009)
Lesson: Do more than extend the plot.
The ABC Family version of the cult classic was probably doomed from the start based on the high expectations, but it didn't help that the TV show basically just extended the shelf life of the movie by adding in extra obstacles to the romances. Fans were left asking "Where is this show going?" when the answer was... nowhere.
My Big Fat Greek Life (2003)
Lesson: Not every concept can translate to a multi-cam sitcom.
The smash indie hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding was a special kind of film, but recreating the concept as a multi-cam sitcom (think Friends and lots of laugh tracks) cut out some of the more nuanced jokes so prevalent in the original film. The cast was still as good as ever, but it was the format that fell flat.
Delta House (1979)
Lesson: Find the right network.
An Animal House sitcom might have been okay if it weren't for the network censors on ABC. Delta House wasn't allowed to be as crass or rude as its film predecessor, and ultimately it was its downfall.
Here's hoping that the Galaxy Quest film outshines all the films on this list and does what so few comedic adaptations have been able to achieve — a long life filled with lots of audience laughter.
Image: DreamWorks Pictures