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  #51  
Old 03-14-2020, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
Doctor Dolittle, the 1998 movie starring Eddie Murphy as Dr. Dolittle.

All I really remember from the movie is that it was a compendium of toilet humor and butt jokes. The Wikipedia article for the movie says it was "received warmly by audiences who praised its humor and thematic profundity. It has become a cult classic in recent years due to Murphy's performance, despite receiving mixed reviews from film critics upon release." Sorry, I don't see that.

I thought it stank because it was just a bunch of crude humor. It had essentially no connection whatsoever with the Doctor Dolittle of the Hugh Lofting books, beyond being a doctor who could talk to animals. The characterization was utterly unrelated to the Doctor of the Lofting stories; the regular cast of the Doctors animals wasn't there (no Polynesia, Jip, Gub-Gub, or any of the others); and it was set on contemporary San Francisco.

Time Magazine agreed with me. In their annual list of "Top Ten (and one worst)" of everything in the year, they gave it the distinction of being the worst movie.
It also made a lot of money. Sounds like a good idea to me.
  #52  
Old 03-14-2020, 04:36 AM
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My Mother The Car. Probably the most inconceivable, absurd, POS to ever sail across the public airwaves
God help me, I can remember every word of the theme song.

My first thought when I saw the thread title was casting Seth Rogan as the Green Hornet.

Last edited by TonySinclair; 03-14-2020 at 04:37 AM.
  #53  
Old 03-14-2020, 04:58 AM
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For every show that makes it on the air, there are literally hundreds of pilots that are written, cast, and filmed, and don't make it.
Hundreds? Literally? Cite?

It is my understanding (from wiki) that about one in four pilots become a series.
  #54  
Old 03-14-2020, 07:27 AM
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Coupling was a comedy written by Steven Moffat that ran for 4 series and 28 episodes in Britain. There are several entertaining and innovative episodes.

NBC thought it would be great to Americanize the show, shorten the scripts and censor the jokes. Coupling lasted barely a month.
And when it failed did the blame go to the bad acting? The bad production? No. The writing was blamed!

What next, blame the failure of a Shakespeare adaption on the author?
  #55  
Old 03-14-2020, 09:00 AM
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Missed the edit window, but for my nomination, I pick The Greatest American Hero. Years ago there was a bit of a revival in interest in the show, and one of the cable networks (maybe SyFy?) ran a marathon of all the episodes. I tuned in to a few thinking it might be fun in a kitschy, "so bad it's good" kind of way. It wasn't. It basically just felt like a bad 1980s cop show that happened to include a superhero.
... and yet it had not one, not two, but three seasons on TV....
  #56  
Old 03-14-2020, 11:39 AM
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Hundreds? Literally? Cite?

It is my understanding (from wiki) that about one in four pilots become a series.
You'll see lots of numbers, which also vary over time. Here's an article from 2018:

Quote:
500: The average number of pitches heard by network and studio execs each summer
70: The average number of pilot scripts ordered each fall
20: The average number of pilot episodes ordered each January
5 – 12: The average number of series each network orders each May
Those numbers are somewhat misleading. Obviously each network can't order 12 from a total of 20. Those earlier lines should be per network as well. But pitches are normally made to several networks so there's overlap in the 500 number. Classic Hollywood accounting.

An Entertainment Weekly article from 2014 puts the pilot number at 90.

There's been a trend toward fewer pilots in recent years. It's ridiculously expensive to round up 70-90 casts and crews and throw away 80-90% of them. The networks would rather work with proven talent. Big name showrunners don't need to audition; they get automatic orders.
  #57  
Old 03-14-2020, 11:50 AM
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Here' a British contribution. For all that Spike Milligan is (rightly) revered, there's a lot of tumbleweed rolling through his resume.

Curry And Chips:

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Set on a factory floor of 'Lillicrap Ltd', it starred a blacked up Spike Milligan as an Irishman named Kevin O'Grady of Pakistani heritage.......The series was written by Till Death Us Do Part writer Johnny Speight, but based on an idea by Milligan. The programme was cancelled for its use of crude and racist humour.......Screenonline says of the show, ".....too much of its humour relied on the use of crude racial abuse and Milligan's caricatured performance as the charmlessly-nicknamed 'Paki Paddy'."
I regret to say that full episodes can be found on Youtube. It lasted six episodes, which is five better then another Milligan vehicle, The Melting Pot:

Quote:
Milligan played Mr. Van Gogh (in brownface) alongside John Bird as Mr. Rembrandt, father and son illegal Asian immigrants who are first seen being rowed ashore in England, having been told that the beach is in fact Piccadilly Circus.....[the cast] include a black Yorkshireman, a Chinese cockney and a Scottish Arab.
j
  #58  
Old 03-14-2020, 12:03 PM
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FYI Stuart Saves His Family is another exception: it was directed by Harold Ramis, who also did Groundhog Day and Caddyshack. It's worth your attention. It has heart and depth behind the comedy.
I saw it in the theater and did not think there was a laugh in it. The trailer was funnier.
  #59  
Old 03-14-2020, 12:50 PM
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Pink Lady, a variety show from 1980. Let's count the errors here
--Variety shows are virtually DOA and hoplessly unhip by this time
--Lead artists are virtually unknown in the U.S.
--The director hates the show
--And oh yeah, the lead artists don't speak English. At all.
--Disco music, at least a year too late.
  #60  
Old 03-14-2020, 02:29 PM
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I saw it in the theater and did not think there was a laugh in it. The trailer was funnier.
I don't think it was a comedy, per se. It was a dramedy I would say. It's definitely not the Coneheads.

I am a fan.
  #61  
Old 03-14-2020, 05:41 PM
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Since someone brought up the Doctor Dolittle movie from 1998 with Eddie Murphy I have to mention that The Cat in the Hat movie from 2003 starring Mike Myers is probably the worst movie i have ever seen. Crude and vulgar, just about everything Dr. Seuss's books are not.

Last edited by dorvann; 03-14-2020 at 05:41 PM.
  #62  
Old 03-14-2020, 05:49 PM
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yeah the cat in the hat movie killed off what goodwill Carrey's grinch had left that DR.S's widow
refused to let any of the planned live-action movies continue (universal was going to make a franchise out of them).... in fact, it even helped kill off the cat in the hat PBS kids show ....
  #63  
Old 03-14-2020, 06:17 PM
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The one I think of is Seventh Son. Who in the hell thought that putting Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore together in a non-comedy movie after The Big Lebowski was a great idea?! That was pretty much an open invitation to MST3K the shit out of it until you lost interest. Seriously, the movie was shit, and I really hope someone got fired because of it.

Oh, and not to derail the thread, but I kind of liked Cat in the Hat. The problem wasn't the movie itself; it was the marketing. It definitely wasn't for kids, but I think of it like an offbeat comedy like Bubble Boy or Death to Smoochy, both of which I loved, and at the time, I was a big fan of pretty much the entire cast.
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Last edited by Linty Fresh; 03-14-2020 at 06:18 PM.
  #64  
Old 03-16-2020, 08:40 AM
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I doubt 44 episodes would be concidered a "flop." (And I wouldn't concider GAH "bad" so much as "good.")
I loved the show growing up. Same with Hogan's Heroes. There may be an issue looking at some of these shows as to who the target audience was. Younger viewers may find these shows more entertaining than older viewers as they don't get caught up in the flaws.
  #65  
Old 03-16-2020, 08:52 AM
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Since someone brought up the Doctor Dolittle movie from 1998 with Eddie Murphy I have to mention that The Cat in the Hat movie from 2003 starring Mike Myers is probably the worst movie i have ever seen. Crude and vulgar, just about everything Dr. Seuss's books are not.
I purged that movie from my memory. Quite literally.

I was watching it on TV one day, and had an overwhelming feeling of deja vu. I couldn't tell you what would happen next, but every scene I knew I had seen before. I finally realized I had seen it in the theaters, but I couldn't tell you how a scene would turn out if you put a gun to my head.

Some time later, I was watching TV and stumbled across the move, and started watching it. I had an overwhelming feeling of deja vu. I couldn't tell you what would happen next, but every scene I knew I had seen before. I finally realized I had seen it on TV, and remembered the previous experience. I still couldn't tell you what was going to happen next despite having seen it twice.

Now, as a fan of bad movies, I have seen a lot of bad movies. Really bad movies. But nothing like this has ever happened before.

The Cat in the Hat. The one time my brain took a stand and just said "no."
  #66  
Old 03-16-2020, 02:37 PM
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My Mother The Car. Probably the most inconceivable, absurd, POS to ever sail across the public airwaves
I'd say "It's About Time" sucked about as hard as MMTC. One reason to appreciate MMTC is that, without it, there would have been no SCTV parody of it (Tibor's Tractor) on the Soviet takeover episode of Network 90, Season 2.
  #67  
Old 03-16-2020, 04:22 PM
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surprised nobody mentioned You're in the picture show with Jackie Gleason. Lasted 1 week in 1961.

Details here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You%27re_in_the_Picture
  #68  
Old 03-16-2020, 04:49 PM
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Coupling was a comedy written by Steven Moffat that ran for 4 series and 28 episodes in Britain. There are several entertaining and innovative episodes.

NBC thought it would be great to Americanize the show, shorten the scripts and censor the jokes. Coupling lasted barely a month.
Ironically, Coupling is basically a UK version of Friends. They copied the formula, and Brisishized it.

So making an American copy of a British copy of an American show was bound to fail. You're Xeroxing a Xerox.
  #69  
Old 03-16-2020, 05:01 PM
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Ironically, Coupling is basically a UK version of Friends. They copied the formula, and Brisishized it.

So making an American copy of a British copy of an American show was bound to fail. You're Xeroxing a Xerox.
Yes, and soon the Super Karate Monkey Death Car parked in their space.
  #70  
Old 03-16-2020, 07:09 PM
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I'd say "It's About Time" sucked about as hard as MMTC. One reason to appreciate MMTC is that, without it, there would have been no SCTV parody of it (Tibor's Tractor) on the Soviet takeover episode of Network 90, Season 2.






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  #71  
Old 03-16-2020, 08:07 PM
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Hey, Greatest American Hero had a good theme song and Connie Sellecca.
I've watched some episodes lately and while not exactly quality, are tolerable.

Brian
And I think the premise is fine
  #72  
Old 03-16-2020, 11:53 PM
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I haven't actually seen an episode of My Mother the Car, but just as counterpoint was the premise really that much more absurd than say Mr. Ed, or Bewitched?
At least Mr. Ed was an animate creature that theoretically could have a mind.

The true creepiness of My Mother the Car was sitting inside your mother and tweaking bits of her anatomy to make her drive around.
  #73  
Old 03-17-2020, 05:11 AM
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I'd say "It's About Time" sucked about as hard as MMTC. ..
I enjoyed It's About Time.
SPOILER:

When I was 6.

And wasn't allowed to watch TV.

I can still sing the theme ("It's about time. It's about space. It's about two men in the strangest place." (Those lyrics sites that give the wrong lyrics lie).
  #74  
Old 03-17-2020, 05:15 AM
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Doctor Dolittle, the 1998 movie starring Eddie Murphy as Dr. Dolittle.

All I really remember from the movie is that it was a compendium of toilet humor and butt jokes. The Wikipedia article for the movie says it was "received warmly by audiences who praised its humor and thematic profundity. It has become a cult classic in recent years due to Murphy's performance, despite receiving mixed reviews from film critics upon release." Sorry, I don't see that.
Wikipedia is a compendium of toilet humor and butt jokes, received warmly by audiences who praise its humor and thematic profundity. Also, that particular article has been modified over the years....
  #75  
Old 03-17-2020, 07:09 AM
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God help me, I can remember every word of the theme song.
I've got an even more embarrassing memory: watching the series premier in 1965 (the first scene, where he's looking around a used car lot and hears his mother's voice calling out to him). I was six years old, so it didn't seem (quite) as stupid as it does now.

As for the theme song, this is without googling/youtubing:

A nineteen twenty eight Porter
That's my mother dear
She helps me through everything I do
And I'm so glad she's here


Ah, the wasted brain cells.
  #76  
Old 03-17-2020, 07:26 AM
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surprised nobody mentioned You're in the picture show with Jackie Gleason. Lasted 1 week in 1961.
Reading what the game show was originally supposed to be about I can see why people thought it would be a good idea. You're in the Picture sounds much more interesting to me than Name That Tune, but the ladder lasted for a number of years as a show. The premise was fine it was apparently the execution that was lacking.
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  #77  
Old 03-17-2020, 10:22 AM
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Most SNL movies, simply because most SNL skits can't be spun out into a full film and still remain amusing, and that should be obvious. For every Blues Brothers there's an It's Pat, for every Coneheads there's a Night at the Roxbury, for every Wayne's World there's a The Ladies Man or Stuart Saves His Family. And Blues Brothers 2000 was sad for reasons unrelated to it being an SNL movie.
I beg to differ. The Coneheads movie was one of the most disappointing pieces of crap ever made. Certain concepts need a studio audience. It would have been like making an All in the Family movie.
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  #78  
Old 03-17-2020, 10:53 AM
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Most SNL movies, simply because most SNL skits can't be spun out into a full film and still remain amusing, and that should be obvious. For every Blues Brothers there's an It's Pat, for every Coneheads there's a Night at the Roxbury, for every Wayne's World there's a The Ladies Man or Stuart Saves His Family. And Blues Brothers 2000 was sad for reasons unrelated to it being an SNL movie.
I beg to differ. The Coneheads movie was one of the most disappointing pieces of crap ever made. Certain concepts need a studio audience. It would have been like making an All in the Family movie.
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  #79  
Old 03-17-2020, 11:07 AM
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Turn-On. While one can understand the reasoning behind coming up with a clone of Laugh-In, but it was clearly rushed and filled with unfunny sexual jokes. It was cancelled literally before the first episode finished, and stations just shut it off half way, with west coast stations not running it at all.


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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions
Ironically, Coupling is basically a UK version of Friends. They copied the formula, and Brisishized it.
"This is not an American sitcom!" But the show was nothing like Friends, except superficially. It was almost entirely about sexual relationships and wasn't coy about it, and, of course, was far funnier. In addition, it innovated the sitcom form with shows that, for instance, showed two parallel stories at once on a split screen ("Split") or played with time ("The Girl with Two Breasts," which showed a conversation from one character's point of view, then rewound back to one with the other character's.)

But the point of the show in the UK was to be open about sex. It candidly discussed porn, masturbation, voyeurism, erectile dysfunction ("The Melty Man Cometh"), threesomes, and much else. There was no way network censors was going to allow it in the US.
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  #80  
Old 03-17-2020, 02:02 PM
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Monkeybone (2001)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8WDX7p9FoE
  #81  
Old 03-17-2020, 02:56 PM
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surprised nobody mentioned You're in the picture show with Jackie Gleason. Lasted 1 week in 1961.

Details here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You%27re_in_the_Picture
That has to be the only time that's ever happened -- the first episode is broadcast, and the second episode is an apology for the first episode.
  #82  
Old 03-17-2020, 06:22 PM
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I'm not sure why everyone's dumping on Coneheads. As far as movies go, it's OK but not great. For SNL movies I have seen, I would rank it as a 5 with It's Pat at 0 as the worst and Blues Brothers and Wayne's World at 10 as the best.

Last edited by dorvann; 03-17-2020 at 06:22 PM.
  #83  
Old 03-17-2020, 06:58 PM
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I pick The Greatest American Hero. Years ago there was a bit of a revival in interest in the show, and one of the cable networks (maybe SyFy?) ran a marathon of all the episodes. I tuned in to a few thinking it might be fun in a kitschy, "so bad it's good" kind of way. It wasn't. It basically just felt like a bad 1980s cop show that happened to include a superhero.
Operation: Spoilsport, though.
  #84  
Old 03-18-2020, 12:04 AM
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Hey, Greatest American Hero had a good theme song...
Nope, you are plain ol' objectively, empirically, peer-reviewed EL WRONGO, on that.

That theme, without question, was the most horrendously, viley, stomach-turningly, god-awful, pedestrian piece of diluted wussiness, like, EVAAAARRRR. Holy god.

(to briefly derail) I say empirical, because, well, here:

Look at what's happened to me
I can't believe it myself
Suddenly I'm up on top of the world
It should have been somebody else
Believe it or not, I'm walkin' on air
I never thought I could feel so free-hee-heeeee!!!!
Flyin' away OOOOONNNN a wing and a prayer
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it's just meeeeeeee....
Just like the light of a new day
It hit me from out of the blue
Breaking me out of the spell I was in
Making all of my wishes come true...


Or you be the judge. Yeah? Feel like punching a wall, yet?


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Neither compare to the stupidity of a sitcom with Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun as main characters. Their neighbors are a Jewish couple!!!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heil_Honey_I%27m_Home!
I guess I'll be the outlier and say I rolled with Adolf quite fine, here. Domestic fascism at its finest.

No love for Manimal / Man From Atlantis?

One of my favourite shows to trash on when I was kid lasted for nine episodes back in '79...... SUPERTRAIN! . Truly awesome link.

Maybe the 2nd or 3rd best series from '72 - Me and the Chimp .
  #85  
Old 03-19-2020, 01:42 PM
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I'm pretty convinced they made that whole movie just to include that last line in the trailer.
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  #86  
Old 03-19-2020, 03:35 PM
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This thread has been fun, even if it didn't really hit what I was hoping for - I was looking more for single things that could easily be fixed (in my example, you could just cut out the gunner entirely and do regular 'spaceship in combat' scenes. Seeing the 'whoa that's bad' movies and shows is fun though, even if a lot of them seem more like no one realized they were a bad idea until it was too late to change them (like the coneheads movie).
  #87  
Old 03-20-2020, 08:49 AM
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.....
Pink Lady, a variety show from 1980. Let's count the errors here
--Variety shows are virtually DOA and hoplessly unhip by this time
--Lead artists are virtually unknown in the U.S.
--The director hates the show
--And oh yeah, the lead artists don't speak English. At all.
I came here to mention this one. Incredibly uncomfortable to watch.

Here's a breakdown of everything which went wrong:
https://tv.avclub.com/lost-in-transl...eff-1798286202

Last edited by LLCoolL; 03-20-2020 at 08:53 AM.
  #88  
Old 03-20-2020, 09:18 AM
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There’s a distinction, I think, between offbeat premises that just didn’t work, like Coneheads, as opposed to ideas that were stupid from the get-go (like a Hitler sitcom). If a screenwriter came to me and said, “Hey, let’s make a movie about two stoners who go back in time in a magic phone booth and kidnap Napoleon and Beethoven, so they can pass a history class”, I’d have shot it down as nonsense. Which is why I’m not a millionaire Hollywood producer, because Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure was a funny movie that was positively received by critics, and made a nice chunk of money.
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  #89  
Old 03-20-2020, 10:28 AM
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There’s a distinction, I think, between offbeat premises that just didn’t work, like Coneheads, as opposed to ideas that were stupid from the get-go (like a Hitler sitcom).
JoJo Rabbit, a movie about a kid with a fanciful imaginary Hitler as his friend, won "Best Picture" in the Academy Awards, Critic's Choice, Golden Derby, Golden Globes, Hollywood Critics, and Producer's Guild of America awards. So I don't agree with the idea that "Silly Hitler" is such a bad concept that it should be dismissed out of hand, which seems to be what you're saying, it's possible to make an award winning movie with that basic idea. Same thing with a series like "My Mother the Car" - that show flopped, but Mr. Ed with a similar premise (talking horse instead of car) was a big success, and Knight Rider later on did quite well with a talking horse (with tech instead of spirits), and there tere were also very successful movies with sentient (though non-talking) cars like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Herbie series.

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If a screenwriter came to me and said, “Hey, let’s make a movie about two stoners who go back in time in a magic phone booth and kidnap Napoleon and Beethoven, so they can pass a history class”, I’d have shot it down as nonsense.
I think that shooting down a movie based on the fact that a one sentence summary sounds silly is just foolish. A huge number of very successful movies, especially comedies and kid's movies, have a real one sentence summary that sounds like 'nonsense', and even more can have an absurd summary made. For that matter, lots of movies and TV shows have premises that are stupid or sound stupid and still make a great (even award winning) film/show once they're actually executed.
  #90  
Old 03-20-2020, 10:45 AM
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Knight Rider later on did quite well with a talking horse
I must have missed that episode.
  #91  
Old 03-20-2020, 10:48 AM
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Reading this, I am sure that with a little imagination you could propose a movie/TV show for any of the above in a way that seems to be a practical show; but it all depends on the writing (and direction) IMHO. I mean, propose a film in the Batman series (a proven moneymaker), utilizing a several major stars and villains from the Batman universe that hadn't appeared yet, and you have no trouble selling it...and you get Batman and Robin.

Or try to pitch "It's about class divisions played out on a golf course, but it's a wacky comedy with gophers and Bill Murray", which sounds like a non-starter but you end up with Caddyshack.

It's not in the proposal; it's all in the writing and direction.

IMHO as always; YMMV.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:11 PM
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I must have missed that episode.
lol that's a good editing mistake (I reordered that sentence), it would definitely have been a different show if KITT had been a horse.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:14 PM
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Considering how it was reviled as the epitome of television idiocy, Gilligan's Island somehow found an afterlife in syndication and has become culturally iconic. The boundary between entertainingly lighthearted farce and just plain stupidity is a difficult one to find.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:18 PM
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lol that's a good editing mistake (I reordered that sentence), it would definitely have been a different show if KITT had been a horse.
Now I'm picturing a SF show set on a backwater frontier planet ala' Firefly with a cowboy hero whose horse is an AI robot.

Last edited by Lumpy; 03-20-2020 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:39 PM
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You mean Bravestarr?
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...ion/Bravestarr
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Old 03-20-2020, 01:36 PM
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Well, since it's (mostly) based on "Stalag-17", an Academy Award winning picture, based on a successful Broadway play, that was proposed as a TV series a few years earlier, it makes a bit more sense. The translation to comedy certainly stands out as an interesting choice.
And it's actually pretty good.
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Old 03-20-2020, 01:59 PM
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You'll see lots of numbers, which also vary over time. Here's an article from 2018:



..
So, yeah, once it get to actually filming the pilot, a good number get on the air. But LOTS of pitches are done.
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Old 03-20-2020, 02:04 PM
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I'd say "It's About Time" sucked about as hard as MMTC. One reason to appreciate MMTC is that, without it, there would have been no SCTV parody of it (Tibor's Tractor) on the Soviet takeover episode of Network 90, Season 2.
IIRC the premise was originally that the astronauts were living back in Caveman times, but switched rapidly to the cavemen living in modern times.

I remember the theme song- that, at least, was pretty good.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsJhBn0I9U4
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Old 03-20-2020, 02:27 PM
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Now I'm picturing a SF show set on a backwater frontier planet ala' Firefly with a cowboy hero whose horse is an AI robot.
Hmmm... Westworld has AI horses, and the AI humans are showing signs of independence, so if their ratings drop they could always turn into a Knight Rider ripoff...
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Old 03-20-2020, 03:19 PM
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Well, since it's (mostly) based on "Stalag-17", an Academy Award winning picture, based on a successful Broadway play, that was proposed as a TV series a few years earlier, it makes a bit more sense. The translation to comedy certainly stands out as an interesting choice.
Stalag-17 was somewhat a comedy to begin with.
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