"How did anyone think that was a good idea?"

TV shows and movies are made by a large number of people collaborating, so there are usually some checks and balances on really bad ideas percolating to the big or little screen. What are some of the things done in TV and Movies that you can’t believe they managed to think were a good idea? I’m not talking about things like replacing an actor because the original one left or things that were just executed badly, I’m looking for things that are so bad it seems like everyone would realize it would flop but for some reason it happened anyway.

For example, one of the attempted spinoffs from the Babylon 5 TV show Legend Of The Rangers came up with a really bizarre-looking idea for a fire control on a spaceship, where the gunner would be suspended in midair and would control the guns by punching and kicking at enemy ships. It was a weird, goofy-looking, grossly impractical setup, and I just don’t see how anyone thought hovering kung fu spareship fighting complete with screaming was going to come off looking good to an audience, even back in the early 2000s. Here’s a clip of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZapAjjTDbh4 , digging up this clip for another thread is what prompted me to post this one.

My Mother The Car. Probably the most inconceivable, absurd, POS to ever sail across the public airwaves

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.

Counterpoint: Sharknado

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.

I think some times the decision makers are not thinking in terms of what they like, but in terms of what they imagine some strawman audience would like. Much of the TV industry at the top is coastal urban educated upper-middle class people making shows for the rest of America, so you can imagine there is often a disconnect.

But as to your example of the marionette kung-fu fighter, well, that is just one aspect of show rather than the whole story. I can only imagine a late night creative session going off the rails - “What if they have a cat with laser beam eyes? Or OR OR a guy (giggle) who hangs by wires and uses kung fu moves to fight spaceships! THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! No, really guys. We have to do that!”

See, that is what makes it hard. If quality was the only indicator of success, this would be a lot easier.

“Whatever flips your Bic” (Dick Martin)

The Madonna Guy Ritchie remake of Swept Away. The original is about a rich lady and a sailor who get marooned on an island and he beats and rapes her until she falls in love with him. It is probably one of the most sexist movies ever made, and is only thought of as a classic because it is supposed to be an allegory of marxist class conflict.
How they thought a remake would be appropriate after the fall of the USSR and the introduction of feminism is mystifying.

Exactly. For every George Lucas ca. 1976 there’s an Ed Wood ca. 1958.

Jesus that was painful

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.

How about a remake of “What Women Want” told from the other side?

I present “What Men Want.”

In 1993, ABC gave Paula Poundstone her own variety show. It aired on Saturday nights (mistake 1.) Unfortunately, I can’t find a clip of it, so you’ll have to settle for this review of Epsiode 2.

There was no Episode 3.

Who Greenlighted Hogan’s Heros?

You say this because you’re not Canadian and never saw The Trouble With Tracy.

I saw the first episode, which was very uneven. The problem most of the show was ad-libbed, which meant a lot just fell flat.

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?

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.

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 there was a whole SNL skit “selling” a book full of Caddyshack quotes so you could pretend you’d seen it.

I’ll check it out.