I don’t know why we had such a strong prejudice against TV shows. Things are changing now, but at one point movie stars won’t take up any TV roles. There was this veiled division between movies and TV shows which has been transcended on both the sides. There have been innumerable movies that have inspired equally, and in some cases better, pieces of art on TV. The advantage that the smaller boxes have is that of elaboration and deliberation. They are at liberty to interpret the underlying themes and the panoply tenets edified in the movies with patience and enormous amounts of time. This has further embellished the image and reflection of the movies in our heads, for which we are eternally grateful. Below is a list compiled cataloging some of the best TV shows inspired from movies. Happy reading!
The plot is almost the same as the movie. Brian Finch, played by Jake McDroman, gets acquainted to NZT-48, a neurotic drug that enhances his human capabilities and makes him discern the world like never before. He gets into trouble with people over the applications of the drug in his daily life. The treat for the movie fans is obviously the recurring appearance of Bradley Cooper on the show. The charismatic actor’s mere face lights up the screen and the series definitely gains from it. Apart from the usual atmosphere of paranoia and motley of flashbacks, ‘Limitless’ doesn’t have much to offer. Running for a single season, it still managed to do well and be popular amongst the fans.
11. Abbot and Costello
Well this is a classic. The old timers surely got it right with this one. I actually got to know about the pair through Dennis Villenauelle’s 2016 sci-fi film ‘Arrival’. And since then there has been no looking back. The show has the unique distinction of being the first of its kind to have its own radio show, movie, and even publications in major papers. The charismatic duo’s tried and tested burlesque routines sure lit up the screens, sans the melodious music interludes and overtures. It is also fascinating the way it was shot. Whenever the duo had something funny, the team would record it and then use it in different scenes to go with the context. Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite comedians are also my favorite ones. Give it a try!
10. Planet of the Apes
Quite simply, ‘Planet of the Apes’ revolutionized television and inspired one of the boldest and sensationalized extraditions of all time (see: Argo). The intricate and finely done costume and make-up certainly was a first ever seen, and naturally blew away the audience’s minds. The film itself has seen a better and sharper recreation on celluloid, which has further bred to be a massively successful franchise. John Chambers became the mastermind and facilitator and connived one of the greatest showcase of his talents the world had ever seen.
9. How To Marry a Millionaire
The criticism morphing the now deceased Marylin Monroe’s cinematic career is baffling to say the least. True, she wasn’t a blessed thespian like a Meryl Streep, but frankly, who is? She did well within her restrictions and I think we ought to appreciate it. ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’ is one of the best comedies I have seen from the past. The subtle touch of adult stuff from the blessed women augments its appeal. It was successfully transitioned on the small screen as well, running for two seasons coming to an unexpected and abrupt halt. The new idea, like every other of its kind, was met with mixed reactions. Some praised the bold and brazen shrouded comedy, some condemned it as being a mere semblance of the movie. Either ways, it shined!
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I didn’t quite understand the motive behind this unflinchingly bad replica of one of the greatest spy movies ever made. Lasting just one season, ‘Serpico’ was uninspired and unimaginative. It tried too hard to be like its movie predecessor and therein started its sorrowful demise. The protracted showcasing of Frank Serpico’s courageous acts were to an extent watchable. After all, the show was made from ‘Serpico’ the film. In spite of all the hatred and bad-mouthing, I would advise the die hard fans of the movie to give it a shot. It might just work for you!
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7. The Never Ending Story
Every kid growing up in the 90’s has been a witness to ‘The Never Ending Story’. Made in times when people still preferred adult comedies and action thrillers, Wolfgang Peterson dared and showed the world why he is distinctively a revered jewel. His first English-language film was a big hit, both commercially and critically. It inspired an anime series of the same name that still runs even today, again proving why Peterson’s original was so much influential.
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6. Pink Panther
One of the greatest TV shows created, ‘Pink Panther’ is indubitably the most popular as well. The iconic theme song and background score is compelling and moving in ineffable ways. One of my personal favorites as well, the titular character is a pink panther, who is a valiant cat with pink fur and the protocol of an aristocrat. He gets into hitches but nattily endeavours to make the best of it. He also battles baddies of all shapes and sizes. It blissfully proves how a child’s inclinations and imagination can’t be encumbered by society’s distorted burden of civilization. A true master piece that needs no prompting to catch your reverie, go and watch it.
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5. 12 Monkeys
The aforementioned film quickly became a benchmark for sci-fi films of posterity with it’s stylish narrative and non-linear imagery. A TV show of the same name released in 2015, starring Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull, part of a brilliant ensemble. The plot-line is the same as the film, with not many proponents deviating from the breath-taking original. The essence of the maiden feature is maintained with utmost devotion and sincerity, culminating in it being universally acclaimed by critics. I would say a slight drawback would be its unfounded intentions of being distinctively different from the originals, which could put its immediate future in danger.
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4. The Odd Couple
Felix and Oscar’s heart-warming and charming tale found the perfect vessel in Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon, when CBS green lit the project in 2015. While nowhere near the original film, the TV show did manage to carve out a niche for itself, developing into a mildly successful sit-com. The time that it got allowed the writers to play with the characters and give us hilariously funny anecdotes, expertly weaving them with the tone of the film. While it’s commendable that it tries to be itself, it lacks the originals’ charm and guile. Watchable though, if you looking to pass some time.
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3. 10 Things I hate About You
The film starring Heath Ledger was soulful and thought-provoking. And frankly speaking, the TV show trumped its counterpart in almost everything. What is baffling though, is the fact that it ran just for one year despite being overtly showered with loves and praises, from both the critics and the audience. The half-hour series returns to Padua High, where newcomers Kat and Bianca Stratford attempt to navigate the popular crowd and the opposite sex while dealing with their overprotective dad. Kat is a strong-willed, confident kid with an eye toward her post-high-school life, while the only concern Bianca seems to have is how popular she becomes. But smooth sailing it won’t be for the pair, especially in the company of head cheerleader Chastity, love-struck nerds like Cameron and the school’s mysterious bad boy, Patrick. I hope someone picks it up for a second season.
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Though not illustrious as his brother, Jonathan is not lesser in genius and vision. Also serving as the creator and the executive producer for the show, he took it upon himself to make sure his dream project had a grand opening. He made grandeur seem like an understatement. ‘The original’ became the second most watched episode in the history of HBO, sending people into a frenzy, that sustained till the end. The sci-fi show definitely was a highlight of 2016, and much praise has to be directed towards Nolan. The stunning visuals, the unprecedented plot, and the deft handling of a revered genre makes this one of the best TV shows to be adapted from a movie.
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‘Fargo’ is a black comedy cum crime show inspired from the 1996 Coen Brothers film of the same name. The show is kind of an anthology series with each season focussing on different setting, cast, and story. Albeit the nature of anthology, all the seasons have some sort of connection to the titular film. The quality of the show isn’t too far away from the source film. With the Coen Brothers serving as executive producer and written mostly by Noah Hawley, ‘Fargo’ manages to captivate the audience with its superb control over the criminal slips of ordinary people, the clever use of the setting and wicked humor.
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