Yes, the moment you may or may not have been waiting for since 1991 is almost here: 21 Jump Street, the overly sincere, denim heavy, painfully ‘80s TV series about baby-faced cops going undercover in high schools, blowin’ up the spot and teaching everyone about morals or whatever, has been updated and turned into a movie that’s being released this weekend!
The series, which aired from 1987 to 1991, served as a launching pad for the career of one of today’s greatest actors: Peter DeLuise. (Johnny Depp may have also been on the show.) The weird premise and casting of a pre-mega fame DeLuise are, I guess, what keep 21 Jump Street alive in our collective memory all of these years later. (Although, I don’t think that this new movie is necessarily intended for people who were fans of the series or who were even alive during its run.)
Even though the whole “film based on old TV show” genre is ultimately the result of laziness, unoriginality, and rooted in the simple fact that that our memories and feelings of nostalgia can be exploited for profit, the release of 21 Jump Street means that series that existed in the ‘90s are starting to make their way to the big screen and that’s kind of exciting. So if this is where we’re headed, someone might as well start adapting the following shows.
James Bond Jr.
Year(s) of Original Run: 1991
The Show’s Movie-worthy Premise: Ian Fleming’s suave, martini-drinking, Aston Martin-driving, British super spy James Bond apparently has a nephew, also named James Bond, who was given the “junior” suffix (which totally makes sense) and who, like his uncle, is a spy or something despite being a teenager.
Young Bond attends Warfield Academy, his roommate is I.Q. (grandson of Q), and when meeting someone new, he’ll introduce himself as “Bond, James Bond. Junior,” making the process unnecessarily long. According to the theme song of this animated show, “no one can stop him, but SCUM always tries. Young Bond cuts through each web of spies” so he’s kind of a badass.
Similar Adaptations: The Flintstones (1994), The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000)
Three-word Movie Pitch: “James Bond Junior.” (It sells itself.)
Year(s) of Original Run: 1987-1995
The Show’s Movie-worthy Premise: Set in a postcard version of San Francisco, an anal-retentive widower is raising his three young daughters with the help of his sexy, Greek brother-in-law and creepy, stand-up comic friend. They all live in one house, hence the fullness referenced in the show’s title, and they all have early ‘90s haircuts (mullets, high ponytails, etc.).
Similar Adaptations: The Brady Bunch Movie (1995), A Very Brady Sequel (1996)
Three-word Movie Pitch: “John Stamos cameo.”
Year(s) of Original Run: 1989-1993
The Show’s Movie-worthy Premise: “Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped in to the quantum leap accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own, and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so, Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap, will be the leap home.”
Similar Adaptations: Lost in Space (1998)
Three-word Movie Pitch: “Leapin’ in bodies.”
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Year(s) of Original Run: 1987-1994
The Show’s Movie-worthy Premise: In the 24th century, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) boldly explores space with a crew that includes a Klingon, an android, a teenager, and a guy with a beard. He says, “engage” whenever he wants his galaxy class spaceship to move forward and “tea, earl grey, hot” whenever he wants some hot earl grey tea.
Similar Adaptations: Star Trek (2009)
Three-word Movie Pitch: “Reboot this shit.”
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?/ Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?
Years(s) of Original Run: 1991-1995 (“Where in the World…”); 1994-1999 (“Where on Earth…”)
The Show’s Movie Worthy Premise: Where in the World is a game show and Where on Earth is animated, both are based on a popular ‘90s computer game about a notorious lady thief who loves red trenchcoats and red hats and who will take you for a ride on a slow boat to China. Think a movie adaptation is a crazy idea? It’s not, according to Jennifer Lopez.
Similar Adaptations: Inspector Gadget (1999)
Three-word Movie Pitch: “Hit it Rockapella.”
So many films based on TV shows fail at the box office, yet they continue to be made, suggesting that studios have tons of money to burn when it comes to this genre.
With this in mind and feasibility obviously not being a factor, which ‘90s shows would you not be totally opposed to seeing on the big screen?