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TV good, movies bad?
November 1, 2005 1:17 PM   Subscribe

TV shows that are better than the original movies. I don't agree with everything here (I liked Highlander!), but it's an interesting list. I agree with Buffy definitely.
posted by braun_richard (47 comments total)

 
Better than the original movie, well, maybe not better. Different and good in their own ways. Yeah, I suppose Buffy definitely counts as better, but M.A.S.H.?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:27 PM on November 1, 2005


I think the only one I really disagree with here is the Pink Panther. Seriously, those cartoons are supposed to be better than the Peter Sellers masterpieces?
posted by unreason at 1:38 PM on November 1, 2005


They missed out Stargate SG-1, which is so much better than "Stargate", the movie.
posted by Mwongozi at 1:40 PM on November 1, 2005


I think you're seriously underestimating the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Donald Sutherland? Paul Reubens? Dylan McKay? Hilary Swank? Rutger Hauer? David Arquette? It's an all-star cast!
posted by loquax at 1:41 PM on November 1, 2005


M*A*S*H????? No way. A truly great film, and a truly decent to good to very bad television show. No contest.
posted by kosem at 1:42 PM on November 1, 2005


They missed out Stargate SG-1, which is so much better than "Stargate", the movie.

Definitely. Although I'm geeky enough to regard them both as inferior copies of the Doctor Who episode "Pyramids of Mars". :)
posted by unreason at 1:42 PM on November 1, 2005


Alien Nation, most definitely.
posted by ed at 1:46 PM on November 1, 2005


unreason writes "Seriously, those cartoons are supposed to be better than the Peter Sellers masterpieces?"

I've gotta agree with the author that the movies are tedious. They haven't aged well.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:48 PM on November 1, 2005


The Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series was infinitely better than the prequel movies it was based upon.

As was the Roughnecks series based on the Starship Troopers movie.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:49 PM on November 1, 2005


If M*A*S*H had ended when Colonel Blake's plane crashed, it would've been one of the all-time greatest shows ever.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:49 PM on November 1, 2005


Yeah. The commentors did a better job than the blogger. And I'm going to stand up to be pilloried, but the Buffy TV show is something that I never got into. I know that it gets internet love, but the movie was decent and Gellar's a hamfisted tool (even back on her All My Children days).
posted by klangklangston at 1:50 PM on November 1, 2005


Oh, and I used to watch Weird Science all the time because it came on at 10:30 That weird nether hour) before Duckman, which was awesome (and the last time that Jason Alexander should have ever been the star of a show).
posted by klangklangston at 1:51 PM on November 1, 2005


Kolchak. Without a doubt.
posted by veedubya at 1:52 PM on November 1, 2005


reading this article is like reading the bizarro superman comic books. With the exception of Buffy, everything on there is a classic example of a tv show that doesn't live up to the expectations of its legendary movie.

It's nice to see that any crack addict can get a website.

I mean, seriously, the odd couple tv show is one of the worst pieces of sitcom tripe I've ever seen.
posted by shmegegge at 1:54 PM on November 1, 2005


veedubya and schmegegge: you're both wrong.
posted by braun_richard at 1:57 PM on November 1, 2005


Wrong on highlander, IMO. I mean, Sean Connery plays an arab for gods sake.
posted by puke & cry at 2:01 PM on November 1, 2005 [1 favorite]


or a spaniard. Not sure which one.
posted by puke & cry at 2:01 PM on November 1, 2005 [1 favorite]


I'm originally from Egypt, I merely said that I came by way of Spain. Now get off the boat!
posted by PurplePorpoise at 2:04 PM on November 1, 2005


RAMIREZ!!!11111!!!
posted by Divine_Wino at 2:04 PM on November 1, 2005


braun_richard, you're wrong, I'm not wrong. But I forgive you.
posted by veedubya at 2:12 PM on November 1, 2005


After Connor has called Ramirez a "haggis":

Ramirez: Haggis? What is haggis?
Connor MacLeod: Sheep's stomach, stuffed with meat and barley.
Ramirez: And what do you do with it?
Connor MacLeod: You eat it.
Ramirez: How revolting!

Damn I love that movie. Guilty pleasure? Maybe but I own it proudly.
posted by ktoad at 2:13 PM on November 1, 2005


but M.A.S.H.?

Although the movie was good, you can't argue with the viewers - the 11th season finale was the most watched TV episode in history
posted by CynicalKnight at 2:13 PM on November 1, 2005


I mean, Sean Connery plays an arab for gods sake....or a spaniard. Not sure which one.

I think Connery's character was supposed to be like a thousand years old or something. I think by that age you're allowed to pick your ethinicity if you like.
posted by wavespy at 2:18 PM on November 1, 2005


veeddubya: I loved the Night Stalker TV series (the first one, not the terrible new version) when I was a kid, but the movies (and they were made for TV movies) were excellent. The TV series just wasn't as good as the two movies were.
posted by braun_richard at 2:18 PM on November 1, 2005


The Ghost and Mrs! Muir. Logans Run! Planet of the Apes! Classics ALL!

Just kidding, and yes, I guess I just outed myself in terms of my age.
posted by slatternus at 2:20 PM on November 1, 2005


No way that smug, so-pleased-with-itself TV version of M.A.S.H was even remotely in the same league as Altman's movie. And what a cast it has. Sutherland, Gould, Duvall, etc, etc. Who cares how many dorks watched the last episode
posted by mojohand at 3:00 PM on November 1, 2005


Top 5 Movies From TV Shows

Wikipedia lists of movies made into TV shows and TV shows made into movies.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:00 PM on November 1, 2005


From Kirkaracha's link:
Beetlejuice was good, but not as good as the movie.
Fame was a pretty solid TV show.
The rest pretty well suck.
posted by klangklangston at 3:09 PM on November 1, 2005


Wait wait wait... the Pink Panther movie came FIRST??!

This demolishes my entire worldview.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:15 PM on November 1, 2005


I don't agree with this FPP.
posted by Citizen Premier at 3:17 PM on November 1, 2005


Count me with the #2-5 are wrong crowd.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:43 PM on November 1, 2005


Buffy the movie did not suck because of the cast, it sucked because of the direction and watering down of the original script. Buffy the TV show had some of the best writing in TV (seasons 2 - 5), great characters, and despite SMG, some excellent acting.

I'll agree with the Odd Couple, but the rest of the list is meh. M*A*S*H the movie versus the TV series, it's apples vs. oranges. Pink Panther is just wrong. And Highlander - well that movie sucked so bad that I couldn't make myself watch the TV series. Now Stargate SG1 so eclipsed the movie it's ridiculous. It fulfilled the promise of the first half of the movie without sinking into the major suckitude that the second half of the movie slid into. The well-written evolution of the characters on SG1 have kept me hanging on season after season.
posted by Ber at 4:10 PM on November 1, 2005


Wait wait wait... the Pink Panther movie came FIRST??!

This demolishes my entire worldview.


It must be a substantial change considering your old worldview was apparently the UNDERSIDE of a ROCK.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:22 PM on November 1, 2005


buffy the vampire slayer! love!

the movie was funny and cute. which isn't creative with a kick-ass-female-lead. making it serious and scary and realistic (well, for vampires) is much better.
posted by ackeber at 5:37 PM on November 1, 2005


The Odd Couple?

sorry, that was the end of my reading. Noticed the image, saw it was number 2 and that was it. The movie is brilliant. Don't even get me started on M*A*S*H, which was a fine show but the movie was brilliant.

Aaaag. The Pink Panther. Shoot the author of this list. Just shoot them.

Full disclosure: I have never seen Buffy.
posted by fluffycreature at 6:16 PM on November 1, 2005


Lost in Space, Beverly Hillbillies, Charlie's Angels, Mod Squad, Lost in Space, Aladdin, McHale's Navy ... did I mention Lost in Space? Yeah, Lost in Space.
posted by kafziel at 7:54 PM on November 1, 2005


Personally, I'd put M*A*S*H on top, but it, like others, was based on the original source, not meant to replicate it so I find a comparison between them, although amusing, to be nothing more than just that. I don't think one is necessarily better than the other, but in this category both share excellence.

I agree with others about the ommission of Clone Wars. Far better to my taste, than any of the Star Wars movies. Having seen the DVD of the first set of episodes, and hearing that the writing wasn't done by Lucas, I am not surprised.

I hear there is supposed to be a live action Star Wars television show. I imagine dialogue abou it will mirror such hotly debated topics as Star Trek versus Star Wars, Battlestar Galatica (the original) versus Starlost, my computer versus your computer (take your pick of Mac, Linux, Windows, Amiga, TRS80, C64, etc., down through the ages as it were), and of course, any number of musical debates such as Oasis versus Blur and Pavement versus Weezer.

Could never get into either of the Buffy's though I've tried.

These days I find myself admiring British television far more than the majority of American based entertainment, save Adult Swim (much of it based on earlier sources of course) and some independent television, but such things are, or course, subjective.

It also touches on the whole adaptation debate. Transforming one thing in a particular medium or format, into another. Being Halloween, I just saw the Shining (the Kubrick) version, which I understand, King hated. Having seen the version King liked, and read the novel, the movie is best for me.
posted by juiceCake at 9:40 PM on November 1, 2005


Agree on Highlander -- Adrian Paul just blazes from the small screen, can actualy do a Scottish accent, and the series had real tone. Mixed on Pink Panther; the first one or two films were brilliant, but the rot set in; not even a genius like Sellers can rescue a bad Blake Edwards attempt at stretching out a money-spinner. Disagree heartily on MASH, while the film ran out its welcome by suddenly being about a football game for no readily discernable reason, it doesn't go to hell as badly as the series did once they all started cuddling each other; god, Maj. Houlihan was ghastly as a sympathetic character. Agree on Buffy; and there's not even any point in comparing the Odd Couple film with the series; they're both excellent at being what they are, which is somewhat different things..
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:16 PM on November 1, 2005


while the film ran out its welcome by suddenly being about a football game for no readily discernable reason

My thoughts exactly. M*A*S*H (the movie) was an absolute masterpiece if you remove the football game from it. Did Altman ever say why he made such a choice?
posted by psmealey at 3:41 AM on November 2, 2005


What about movies that because decent TV that became bad TV?

Highlander -> Highlander -> The Raven
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:34 AM on November 2, 2005


Stargate the TV series is better than the movie because I can switch it off, and it didn't cost me £5 GBP.

Surely "Happy Days" is just "Grease, the series" - or is that only in my head?
posted by magpie68 at 7:57 AM on November 2, 2005


What Movies do well:
Movie theater experience creates fewer distractions; immerses us in another world.
More money means better acting, better writing, better editing, better locations, better sets and costumes.
2 hour time limit means a tight script.

What TV does better:
Weekly show allows us plenty of time to get familiar with characters.
Faster turn around means more topical stories.
15 to 20 hour story arc allows for more complicated plotting.

So if you fall in love with a character, a TV show will give you more substance. If you fall in love with a plotline, TV will be able to flesh it out. But if you love movies for the total overall effect, TV will merely water it down and lessen the impact.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:22 AM on November 2, 2005


My thoughts exactly. M*A*S*H (the movie) was an absolute masterpiece if you remove the football game from it. Did Altman ever say why he made such a choice?

The football game was taken directly from the book. Altman was just following the source material.
posted by Ber at 9:02 AM on November 2, 2005


the Night Stalker TV series (the first one, not the terrible new version)

Oh come on, how can you hate on a show that uses (this is a spoiler, I guess) the Happy Tree Friends as a characterization device?

I've caught a few episodes and they may or may not stand up to the old show (which I've never seen) but they've seemed fairly compelling in atmosphere, if a little predictable in plot. For people who like that sort of thing, in other words, it seems like exactly the sort of the thing they'd like.
posted by kindall at 9:03 AM on November 2, 2005


No way in hell Buffy is better in TV form. The show sucked all the quirky kickassness from the concept that the Swanson/Sutherland/Perry trifecta gave it. Paul Reubens was the icing on the cake. The show had no soul.
posted by Malachi Constant at 9:53 AM on November 2, 2005


You can't honestly think roughnecks was better then the starship troopers movie! Roughnecks was good, but didn't it remove the whole satire angle? You realise they're space fascists right?

It's the same thing that happened with Judge Dread, When he was created it was all about a totalitarian dictatorship, a one-party state ruled by police which, judging by the state of mega-city one, hadn't done much to raise the standard of living. So the central hero is this brutal totalitarian policeman, willing badly maim you and stick you in a cell to rot for something like jaywalking or grafitti.

Over the years he does the same things (busting people for importing sugar which, in the future, is illegal) but gradually he is seen as the peoples' hero. Very stalinesque.
posted by lowest.common.denominator at 6:48 AM on November 3, 2005


You can't honestly think roughnecks was better then the starship troopers movie!

The movie was good; it was a bad movie made good by its satire. The cartoon was better because it didn't start out bad, as the movie did.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:13 AM on November 3, 2005


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