There are ways to adapt films for television. FX did the unthinkable by taking the Coen brothers’ iconic thriller Fargo and churning out not one but two exceptional seasons. The same goes for NBC’s cruelly ignored Hannibal, which the network was forced to toss aside last year after audiences were all but devoured.
But then you get lazy attempts like Fox’s Minority Report, MTV’s Scream, or CBS’ double whammy of Limitless and Rush Hour, and you start to realize that maybe some things are best left for the silver screen. Audiences seem to get that — as most, if not all, of those shows saw sluggish returns — but the networks remain blind.
Case in point: Fox’s upcoming season includes television adaptations for William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, Richard Donner’s Lethal Weapon, and, yes, a revival of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Granted, that last inclusion is more of a fun one-off, but the other two are prime examples of why this trend should stop as soon as possible.
See for yourself…
Even Geena Davis looks bored. Can you blame her? Not only have we seen four failed attempts to recapture the 1973 original under the Exorcist banner, but we’ve also been subjected to at least two dozen knock-offs over the past few decades. There’s absolutely nothing new or interesting in this trailer that makes you go, “Oh, that’s a cool spin.” Just more of the same.
While Damon Wayans is admittedly inspired casting, it’s hard to rally around a reboot of a series that had a beginning, a middle, an end, and an epilogue. What made Shane Black’s story work was the magic of its cast and the novelty of a new anti-hero like Riggs. This looks like a paint-by-numbers knock off and makes Dennis and Mac’s “sequels” feel canon by comparison.
Here’s hoping Rocky Horror changes our mind. Update: No, no it doesn’t.