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October 24, 2014

The Five: Shows that are better than the movie

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 1st 2005 4:05PM

Jack Klugman and Tony Randall - The Odd CoupleThere aren't many TV shows made from movies that are actually better than the movie version. I'm not talking about TV shows that they made a big-screen version of (like X-Files or Charlie's Angels), I'm talking about a big screen flick that came first, and then they made the TV series. There aren't many that are better (and there are several that are worse: Ferris Bueller, My Big Fat Greek Life, War of the Worlds, to name a few), but I've come up with five I think are better. What's on your list? 

  1. Buffy, The Vampire Slayer: This is a no-brainer as #1, right? The movie is entertaining in it's own right, but Joss Whedon really ran with it when he brought it to TV.
  2. The Odd Couple: Sure, the movie version is very entertaining, but while Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon played Oscar and Felix very well, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall were Oscar and Felix. Once they got past the odd, stagey first season of the show (no studio audience), this became laugh out loud funny, very smart, very New York City. Can't wait til it comes to DVD.
  3. Highlander: God, did the movie suck. But when it came to TV, it provided a practically endless supply of plots for the character, and the villains/love interests for MacLeod were always interesting. Killing off Richie has to rank up there as being one of the stupidest decisions in TV history, but still, this was way better than the movie (any of the movies, actually).
  4. M*A*S*H: Sure, a very good movie, but the show had more time to really dig into the war and get into the heads of the characters more. Did it get a little preachy towards the end? Maybe, but this was uncommonly well-written and very well-cast, whether you're talking about the Henry Blake/Trapper John years or the Col. Potter/B.J. Hunnicut years.
  5. The Pink Panther: OK, OK, I'm stretching things here. I understand that. But same title, character based on the title animation. I loved this show, and while a couple of the Pink Panther flicks are funny, I find most of them to be rather tedious.

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