If you're a child of the '80s, you should probably come to terms with the fact that every beloved televison memory of yours is eventually going to be dragged screaming into the present day and bastardized for younger audiences. We've already seen two Transformers movies and a G.I. Joe adaptation, and a slew of other 1980s properties are reportedly in the works, proving that not only is Hollywood creatively bankrupt, they're dumber than ever. Or maybe I'm the only one who shudders at the idea of a Snorks feature film.
Undaunted, Hair Balls is using the occasion of this week's release of the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen DVD to look at some likely candidates for big-screen revision. And if you find yourself getting bent out of shape, try to remember that most of these were originally created as vehicles for existing toy lines, so it isn't like creative integrity was ever an issue.
Name: Jem and the Holograms
How it Was Pitched to Executives: [Barbie + Marvel Comics' Dazzler] / Rio album cover "artist" Patrick Nagel
The Plot -- In 30 Words or Less: The alter-ego of Starlight Music owner Jerrica Benton, Jem gets into various G-rated hijinx each week while contending with their bitter rivals, the Misfits. No, not those Misfits.
How Could They Possibly Update it For Sophisticated Modern Audiences? Hannah Montana pretty much exhausted the whole "secret singer identity" thing -- without giving Jem credit, I might add. Let Hillary Duff play Jem and just follow her around with a camera as she constantly surprises Miley Cyrus and tries to kick her ass.
How it Was Pitched to Executives: Take Superman's origin story, throw in some He-Man style mythology, and -- just because it's the `80s and we're coked out of our eyeballs -- let's make 'em all cats.
The Plot -- In 30 Words or Less: Youthful leader Lion-O leads a feline phalanx in battle against the mutated armies of the dread Mumm-Ra for the mystic Eye of Thundera. Also, his sword is basically a penis.
How Could They Possibly Update it For Sophisticated Modern Audiences? I know it's been "in development" as a CGI feature for the last five years or so, but there's no escaping the furry fetish aspect of this show, so just run with it. Make the world's first big budget action/porno and lure all the fur freaks into their local theaters, where they'll be sitting ducks for the subsequent napalm strikes.
Name: My Little Pony
How it Was Pitched to Executives: Chicks dig horses, so it would follow that little chicks would dig little horses.
The Plot -- In 30 Words or Less: Multicolored ponies frolic and cavort in a magical land where no one is ever rendered into glue or turned into McRibs.
How Could They Possibly Update it For Sophisticated Modern Audiences? Maybe a darker take on the franchise, where the Ponies go to Washington state and get revenge on those guys who ran the horse-sex farm. Although honestly I doubt you're ever going to beat Robot Chicken's "Apocalypse Ponies."
How it Was Pitched to Executives: Big robots combine to make...an even bigger robot.
The Plot -- In 30 Words or Less: Five robots -- or is it twenty? -- in the form of lions -- or are they cars? -- what the hell is going on?
How Could They Possibly Update it For Sophisticated Modern Audiences? I think in the post-Michael Bay Transformers era you're only option is to have a crossover where all the robots fight each other until Megan Fox's clothes fall off.
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Name: M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand)
How it Was Pitched to Executives: G.I. Joe meets The Transformers and has sex with Silver Spoons.
The Plot -- In 30 Words or Less: Single dad Matt Trakker leads secret task force against the evil V.E.N.O.M., and -- because son Scott is constantly in harm's way -- probably the P.T.A. and C.P.S. as well.
How Could They Possibly Update it For Sophisticated Modern Audiences? Make it a sequel to that other Mask; in the final battle, Rocky Dennis could shock Miles Mayhem by revealing that his "mask" is actually his hideously deformed face.
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