We’ve seen more film-to-TV adaptations than we can shake a stick at over the years (also, where did you get that stick? You’ll put your eye out!) And in the vast majority of cases, these adaptations have been big ol’ turds. Sorry to use such crass language, but there you have it. Sometimes, though (but very rarely), the small-screen version surpasses its source material, the universe implodes, and we’re left with a frighteningly unsettling singularity. Here are five television shows that are even better than the films they were based on.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Not nearly as many people remember the 1992 big screen version of Buffy as they do love the television series that came five years later, and for good reason. The film was lighter in tone, but ultimately far more forgettable (although Pee-Wee Herman as a one-armed vampire that just won’t hurry up and die already is pretty high on my list of hilarious moments that shouldn’t be hilarious). A Buffy remake was planned for 2012 without any involvement whatsoever from Joss Whedon, but alas, it was canned and the internet was saved from collectively dying of rage-induced heart attacks for another day.
The MTV version of the classic ’80s comedy is much more violent and contains 100 percent less penis from a background extra. I kind of think that automatically qualifies it for this list.
Do you love time travel, Jimmy? Paradoxes and timelines and Brad Pitt in terrible wigs? Well, 12 Monkeys may have slipped past your radar, but the TV version is alive and well over on SyFy, starring Aaron Stanford of X2 and the dreadful Hills Have Eyes remake. If you need any reason to watch the 12 Monkeys TV show, know that Stanford plays a “chrononaut”, and I guarantee you can’t dream up a job title cooler than that one (don’t test me, though, I’ll probably just relent and say you win. But seriously, how rad is that?)
Following in the footsteps of the other enviro-friendly cartoon Captain Planet, Toxic Crusaders was actually surprisingly charming, and infinitely less nightmare-inducing than the original Troma classic, The Toxic Avenger. It also featured a villain named Polluto, which might be the laziest name for a villain in cartoon history.
The movie version of Fargo was dope as all hell, don’t get me wrong. I mean, I still firmly believe every single film should involve Steve Buscemi and a wood chipper in SOME capacity, but apparently ideas like that get you branded a “WEIRDO” or whatever. In any case, the television adaptation managed to improve on a Coen Brothers flick in a number of ways, not the least of which being the act of slapping Martin Freeman with a wacky Minnesotan accent. Now can we get MORGAN Freeman to don the same accent?
Which movie would make a terrible TV show? Let me know on Twitter!