Friday, August 28, 2009

St. Elmo's Fire

We just wrote about remaking our favorite 80s movies... but this is just too much. Apparently St. Elmo's Fire is being remade - nay, "re-envisioned" - as a TV show. No really.

Joel Schumacher, who co-wrote and directed the original film, is teaming up with Dan Bucatinsky, Jamie Tarses, and Topher Grace to bring this "new" show to ABC. Luckily they're not trying to completely recreate the movie (because that would totally not work). Rather they're just using the film as inspiration to recreate "the feeling of bonding with your friends who become your surrogate family."

Instead of the original seven characters, there will be six recent grads - three girls and three guys - sort of like a post-grad Friends. Bucatinksy, said "I feel it is time to re-create Friends in the hour-long genre and feel like this is the perfect opportunity". (Also, Tarses developed Friends as an NBC exec).
Of course, there already are a few shows out there that have tried to mimic the Friends-phenomenon with quirky ensemble casts of buddies... like How I Met Your Mother, the geeky The Big Bang Theory or the CW's new Melrose Place remake. (Not to mention the fact that there was already a sitcom about recent graduates this year called Roommates. It lasted a whole two months before it was cancelled.)

Of course, this begs the question: if it's not going to be like the original St. Elmo's Fire, then why even call it "St. Elmo's Fire"? Maybe because they're just trying to capitalize off of an already-established favorite (by copying another already-established favorite) instead of trying to come up with an original idea for a change? Yeah, that's probably it.

But how successful is it really going to be if the people who didn't like the movie are put off by the concept and end up not giving the show a try, the people who loved the movie are put off by the watered-down and half-assed attempt at a "reframing", and the people who don't remember or don't care about the movie will assume that the show isn't for them?

Even if you put all of that aside, the biggest problem is that the best part of St. Elmo's Fire wasn't really the storyline, but the cast... and it will definitely be hard to recreate that kind of chemistry again without a group like the Brat Pack. So why even bother?

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