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Five TV shows better than their original movies

Spike It's not all '80s in the life of a '80s blogger. Sometimes I'm forced to make hard, life-changing decisions and commit them to print. And so I spend hours and days agonizing over analytical pieces like the piece that ran in today's St. Petersburg Times ... about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Oh sure, the only thing stuck in the '80s about Buffy was the episode where Sarah Michelle Gellar actually says the words: "Can you say 'Stuck in the '80s'?" (Yes, I can. Daily, in fact.) But I love the show anyway. Perhaps only because "Spike" acts like Billy Idol. So please enjoy today's first blog item -- there's a sprinkling of '80s-ness to it -- with a grain of salt ... and preferably a wooden stake.

Buffy fans, here’s some news you can sink your fangs into: Your favorite TV show about the undead is about to get new life — on the big screen. A new movie version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer seems destined to take shape soon with plenty of Hollywood biggies taking meetings and pitching scripts.

But wait. The creator of the TV show, Joss Whedon, is reportedly not on board for the film version, which is seen as more of a “restart” than a reunion. (Somewhere Sarah Michelle Gellar’s agent is sobbing.)

So that means no Angel, Spike, Giles, Xander or Willow either?!? What in the Hellmouth is going on? Talk about driving a stake through the hearts of fans who have been Buffy-less for six years since 2003, when the cult TV show went off the air.

Plus, consider how truly evil the original Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie was. Again, no Joss Whedon involvement. See a bad omen?


(1997-2003): The 1992 big screen version starred Kristy Swanson and Donald Sutherland and bears little resemblance to the TV series it spawned. Meanwhile, the TV show was included in Time magazine’s list of 100 best shows of all time.

(1978-79; 1983-86): John Houseman, who co-starred in both the movie and show as the prickly law school professor Kingsfield, highlights the show that was resurrected on Showtime after being considered too good for network TV.

3. M*A*S*H (1972-1983): Robert Altman’s 1970 film is indeed a classic, but you can’t picture the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital without Alan Alda playing Hawkeye. Plus, the series finale remains the most-watched episode in TV history.

4. IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT: (1988-1995): The only thing disappointing about the 1967 movie, which won five Academy Awards, is that it left us wanting more. And the TV show was so good, star Carroll O’Connor was able to step out of his Archie Bunker shadow.

5. STARGATE SG-1 (1997-2008): Though it ran only on the Showtime and Sci-Fi cable networks, Richard Dean Anderson and company didn’t have to work too hard to eclipse the 1994 stinker that starred Kurt Russell, James Spader and you-know-who from The Crying Game.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:46pm]


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