One of the strangest trends in movies for the past several years has been to turn television shows of days gone by into big screen extravaganzas. For the most part, I do not see them as being over successful. Probably, the most profitable venture into this phenomenon has been the Star Trek series. This is primarily because there was a built-in audience of fans who wanted to see the further voyages of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and company. However, several other television shows have attempted to cross over and most have failed.
The Flintstones tried twice with live-action versions of the classic cartoon. While the first movie was relatively entertaining, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas was a disaster. It featured a ridiculous looking computer generated version of the Great Gazoo (voiced by Alan Cummings). Even Ann-Margaret (reprising her role as Ann-Margrock from the original series) could not save the movie. Perhaps the Jetsons live-action movie (which has been in pre-production for about 5 years) will do better. Or maybe it is better to leave animated series as they are…. animated.
Several classic television comedies have also tried to become big screen movies. The Beverly Hillbillies, Leave It to Beaver, and Bewitched to name a few. Does anyone even remember them? Nicole Kidman attempted to portray Samantha in a movie whose plot was a convoluted mess. Beaver tried to be a movie centered around plot devices audiences could watch on TVLand reruns that were considerably better (for example, Beaver stuck in the giant coffee cup on top of a giant billboard). I think I have seen The Beverly Hillbillies once and remember NOT laughing at the hicks trying to integrate themselves into Beverly Hills life.
This summer audiences will be delight in two television comedies coming to the big screen. Sex and the City will star Sarah Jessica Parker and the rest of the cast of the original series. Get Smart brings the tremendous Steve Carell to the iconic role of Maxwell Smart, agent 86 of CONTROL.