It’s not like every past season of television has been rife with originality. But with the upcoming premieres of NBC’s Taken and CBS’s Training Day next month, it’s clear that the repurposing of existing intellectual property is all but the default move these days when it comes to creating new television shows. Now, as discussed last week, this isn’t always an inherently terrible thing: the Netflix reboot of One Day At A Time found a way to take an existing show and find something new to say within its original premise. Hell, one of the best shows of the 21st century did exactly this: the re-imagined Battlestar: Galactica still stands out as one of the very best the medium has to offer, and Hannibal took audiences to places that the original films never dared dream.
But fuckin’ Taken? Unless this is somehow a radical recon in which Bryan Mills is somehow now the host of a prank show (complete with catchphrase “You’ve been TAKEN for a ride!”, which always inspires a hearty laugh from all involved), this is another example of trying to stretch a ninety-minute movie over five seasons simply due to name recognition.
Still … if this is the way television is going, why can’t we hear at Pajiba profit from it? So we’re gonna be helpful, Hollywood, and pitch you a bunch of “new” television shows. You don’t have to wine and/or dine us. You don’t need your assistant to call our assistants. (Our “assistants” are just us using different voices, anyways.) If remaking popular films is the new way to get a show greenlit, here are some suggestions for you.
The Property: Turner and Hooch
The Proposed Network: Animal Planet
The Proposed Stars: Fred Savage, cute ass puppies
The Proposed Re-Imagining: OK, first of all, that insanely sad ending featured in the film? We’re cutting that right out. This is just dogs solving crime, with a skeptical Fred Savage slowly coming around on Hooch’s unusual ways of catching bad guys. The twist? Instead of one Hooch, there are like a doze, and they are all of course adorable, and in the season finale form a Voltron-esque Super Puppy that takes down the season’s big bad. This is the show we need in 2017.
The Property: Gone With The Wind
The Proposed Network: The Weather Channel
The Proposed Star: Chris Hardwick
The Proposed Re-Imagining: This is less of a drama about the antebellum South and more of a talk show in which Hardwick interviews people that just lost their homes due to tornados.
The Property: 12 Angry Men
The Proposed Network: Reddit
The Proposed Stars: Anonymous dudebros
The Proposed Re-Imagining: We here at Pajiba announce that another non-white male has landed the lead in a comic book film, and simply watch the threads unfold in real time.
The Property: Burlesque
The Proposed Network: NBC
The Proposed Stars: RuPaul, Hailee Steinfeld
The Proposed Re-Imagining: Think Smash, but intentionally campy, with RuPaul taking over for Cher and Steinfeld for Christina Aguilera. You’re welcome.
The Property: WALL·E
The Proposed Network: SyFy
The Proposed Stars: The voices of Bill Hader, Alan Tudyk, Ben Schwartz, Reese Witherspoon
The Proposed Re-Imagining: A robot ordered by Donald Trump to build the wall between the United States and Mexico falls in love with an advance model commissioned by Vincente Fox to find evidence of intelligence north of the border.
The Property: Night At the Museum
The Proposed Network: Freeform
The Proposed Star: Sutton Foster
The Proposed Re-Imagining: Each time to the sun goes down, struggling dancer-turned-security guard Michelle Flowers teaches the Vaganova method to the various figures that come to life. She forms a special bond with a solider from Instabul (not Constantinople).
The Property: Sideways
The Proposed Network: Hulu
The Proposed Stars: Matthew Rhys, Matthew Goode
The Proposed Re-Imagining: OK, fine, this is just The Wine Show, which already exists, but I really want more episodes of The Wine Show like yesterday, please.
The Property: Apocalypse Now
The Proposed Network: The real world
The Proposed Stars: Congress, Vladmir Putin, your neighbor that voted for Jill Stein because all candidates are the same
The Proposed Re-Imagining: We fight off our collective depression and try to get out of bed and stop whatever the hell’s coming our way.