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TV Wasteland: They’re Remaking What?!

NBC Announces a new, shitty Romancing the Stone series

By Rob Vaux     September 04, 2011

 

I hate to keep kicking NBC, but they make it so easy. Case in point: this week, they greenlit a TV version of Romancing the Stone: following romance novelist turned adventuress Joan Wilder as she continues to traipse around the world with dashing rogue Jack T. Colton. If the very notion makes you want to put Colton’s pump-action shotgun in your mouth, you’re not alone. The original film was an absolute delight, but the sequel proved underwhelming and the prospect of repeating the same basic formula week after week – especially without the irreplaceable chemistry of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner – is flat-out depressing. Gerard Butler and Katharine Hiegl were floated as possible replacements for a movie remake… which should demonstrate just how far out of touch the people behind this are. Shawn Levy is rumored to direct the pilot, and while we haven’t seen Real Steel yet, the guy who delivered Steve Martin’s version of The Pink Panther doesn’t exactly fill one with confidence.
We shouldn’t be surprised of course. NBC seems to possess this awe-inspiring combination of desperation and unoriginality that results in badly conceived remake after badly conceived remake. Knight Rider... The Bionic Woman… the Wonder Woman remake that may never legally see the light of day… it’s a grim resume. This latest revelation suggests that – as bad as things get – you still can’t teach an old peacock new tricks. Stay tuned: I’m sure they’ve got a hip new remake of The Cosby Show in the works.
In the meantime, this week features a bunch of season finales, including True Blood, Futurama and Torchwood: Miracle Day. Check it out.
 
Monday
Death Valley (MTV, 10:30 PM EDT)
The new girl goes out on patrol for the first time, and some fresh-faced young high-schoolers decide to kill them some zombies. Just another day in Burbank…
Star Trek: First Contact (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
The Borg Queen: sexiest Star Trek character ever? “Without a doubt,” says I. (Incidentally, this caps off an entire day of Star Trek movies on Cinemax: starting at 8:15 AM and moving through the six “classic crew” movies before finishing off with this one.)
Avatar (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
The game-changer is back. This is me, not snarking.
Beyond Re-Animator (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
The soup gets pretty thin by the time this third entry in the Re-Animator franchise rolls around. Luckily, Jeffrey Combs is always a hoot as the maniacal Dr. Herbert West.
Layer Cake (IFC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Fans of Kick-Ass and the surprisingly great X-Men: First Class should tune in to this terrific crime caper about an amiable drug dealer (Daniel Craig) in over his head. All three films share the same director, Matthew Vaughn.
Underworld: Evolution and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT)
You’d think that if Syfy were going to broadcast parts 2 and 3 of the Underworld franchise, they’d at least broadcast part 1 alongside it. Or do they not have the rights?
Most of the Monday regulars (including Syfy’s line-up of Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Alphas) are off for the Labor Day holiday.
Tuesday
Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Cinemax, 7:45 PM EDT and 10:00 PM EDT)
The disturbing trend of airing Part 2 and Part 3 without Part 1 continues. I smell a conspiracy…
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (FX, 7:30 PM EDT)
FX wants to assure everyone that the surprise ending here is the Deadpool one. Not sure why they wanted us to know, since it removes the whole point of a surprise ending, but what are you going to do?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Disney, 8:30 PM EDT)
I think Johnny Depp falls on the wrong line of the creepy/sympathetic line here. He’s just too sympathetic.
Strange Days (FMC, 9:30 PM EDT)
FMC uses this apocalyptic sci-fi thriller as a programming staple for a reason: it rocks!
Megamind (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
Will Ferrell delivers one of his most endearing characters: a hapless supervillain who suddenly gets everything he ever wanted and finds he can’t stand it.
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
The cupboard must be pretty bare over on Syfy, because they’re rerunning this less than a day later.
Thir13en Ghosts (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
F. Murray Abraham, Tony Shalhoub and Embeth Davidtz do some glorious slum work in a guilty-pleasure remake of the infamous William Castle ghost story.
The Scorpion King (Starz, 7:25 PM EDT)
Is it me, or has The Rock lost an awful lot of weight?
Also, TCM is airing a truly great pair of films noir tonight: Out of the Past and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. They’re not genre, but they definitely rock the house.
Wednesday
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
The show travels to Seaview Terrace, home of Dark Shadows, where some real life spirits have apparently taken up residence.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (FX, 7:30 PM EDT)
This one has the “Wolverine goes to Japan” ending, so you can choose which version you’d like to put on your DVR and then forget about.
Hard Candy (IFC, 9:30 PM EDT)
Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson deliver career-high performances in a twisted story about an online predator and his supposed victim who turns out to be a lot more dangerous than he thinks.
1408 (TNT, 10:00 PM EDT)
This earnest adaptation of the Stephen King short story starts out strong, and then slowly fades as the concept runs out of places to go.
Thursday
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
Michael needs to take extreme measures in order to clear his name, even as Larry shows up demanding help. Stupid mooches.
Futurama (Comedy, 10:00 PM EDT)
To close out the season, Futurama delivers its finale in multiple different animation styles.  A little gimmicky, though I’m sure they’ll find some way to surreptitiously acknowledge the fact.
Wilfred (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
The first season ends with Ryan finally summoning the nerve to blow off Wilfred’s advice. Nice job on your inaugural run, boys. Smoke a doobie on us.
Wyvern (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
A dragon attacks a remote Alaska town. Insert Sarah Palin joke here.
Ice Road Terror (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
You know what’s cooler than ice roads? Ice roads with rampaging dinosaurs!
Batman Begins (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Do you know why Christopher Nolan is so awesome? Swing on over to Cinemax and see.
Catwoman (Cinemax, 8:15 PM EDT)
Told you.
Alien Resurrection (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
The Alien franchise comes to an ignominious close… though, like Alien 3 before it, this film has some very good elements mixed in with all the bad.
American Psycho (IFC, 9:00 PM EDT)
Dueling Christian Bale performances tonight, with this effort going head-to-head with the Caped Crusader on AMC. Batman Begins is better, but Bale’s gleeful turn here is not to be missed.
Piranha (Showtime, 9:30 PM EDT)
3D carnivorous fish vs. Elizabeth Shue = a little slice of heaven.
Also, are you ready for some football? The NFL season kicks off tonight. Go Niners/Vikings/anybody playing the Cowboys!
Friday
ThunderCats (Cartoon, 8:30 PM EDT)
A notorious sword collector sets his sights on the Sword of Omens… and I’m guessing the ’Cats do not dig his vibes.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Outbreak, quarantine and delightful romantic interludes… tonight’s episode promises all these things and more.
Torchwood: Miracle Day (Starz, 10:00 PM EDT)
Torchwood takes on the Three Families in the season finale, and not everyone will make it to the closing credits. Or so we are assured.
King Arthur (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Anyone interested in seeing Clive Owen in full-bore Shouty Man mode – or Kiera Knightley wearing something strappy – ought to tune in.
The Shining (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
Looks like Halloween is starting early over on the BBC.
The Book of Eli (Cinemax, 8:00 PM EDT)
I think we can all agree that it’s best just to stay the hell out of Denzel Washington’s way, yes?
Sin City (IFC, 7:30 PM EDT)
It is possible to be too loyal to a source. We’ll see if the long-delayed sequel can improve matters.
Saturday
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
With Amy trapped in an alien hospital, it’s up to the Doctor and Rory to spring her. You can read all about it on our satellite blog, Confessions of a Neowhovian, over yonder: http://www.neowhovian.com/.
Independence Day (Cinemax, 6:30 PM EDT)
Can I just take this moment and urge everyone to get off Will Smith’s back? The state of his marriage is nobody’s goddamn business.
Yeti (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
A college football team crashes in the Himalayas, where a number of them are devoured by the Abominable Snowman. Seriously folks, I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.
Jabberwock (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
This is an all-new horror show from Syfy. Any resemblance to Lewis Carroll is purely coincidental.
Sunday
True Blood (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
The fourth season ends with Sookie taking on Marnie on Samhain and the producers promising to kill off some big names. Also, I firmly maintain that Jason will turn into a panther.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
The future of this franchise remains up in the air, but the second entry does far better than its reputation suggests.
Carrie (IFC, 8:45 PM EDT)
Religious fanaticism, pig’s blood, undead arms reaching up from the hoary, worm-ridden grave… this is just how the Michelle Bachmann campaign got started!

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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doublec 9/4/2011 4:15:32 PM

Making a point of telling us you're not snarking is snarking. Give it a rest.

JarrodSarafin 9/4/2011 5:33:06 PM

But NBC deserves it. I have to agree with Rob here...They make it so easy for us genre fans to use them as punching bags. Hell, all the primetime networks do but NBC moreso. CBS doesn't even try for our attention and ABC cancels all their attempts so early we hardly care. But NBC makes this big push and then they throw it all away so they deserve it, IMO. I won't even count the amount of time wasted on the Wonder Woman pilot, Knight Rider show, Bionic Woman show, etc...It would be better if they were like CBS and didn't even try for genre fans. At least, so many watchers (and writers) wouldn't waste so many hours investing before being let down.

doublec 9/4/2011 7:38:39 PM

Oh, I agree about NBC totally. Rob's snarking comment was his umpty-umph cheap shot at Avatar, which he considers to be undeserving of it's acclaim. It is somewhat overrated, but it is the highest-grossing film of all time whether he likes it or not.

hanso 9/4/2011 8:24:06 PM

I'm just glad Entourage is finally over this week.  Now I don' t have to waste 30 mins of my life on it no more and I can use it on more meaningful things like chatting with Jarrod.

redhairs99 9/4/2011 9:15:50 PM

Hanso, why so cold with Entourage?  True, I've never really gotten why Vince is such a "star," but I love the show.  It's like Seinfeld in that I don't really care for the main character, but I watch because all the supporting characters keep me coming back.

And, yes, Avatard is over-rated.  Sure it looked great in 3D and advanced the technology by leaps and bounds, but I just didn't give a damn about the characters or their plight.  That and the reason for the humans wanting to invade Pandora was to get "unobtainium"?  Really?  I think I tuned out after I heard that.  Anyway, good movie but it's not something I've watched more than once nor have I wanted to see it again.

And X-Men First Class was better than Origins Wolverine and X3 but I'd hardly call it great.

FerretJohn 9/4/2011 11:34:06 PM

Usually anything Rob Vaux pans I'll tend to go see aaannnnd I see no reason to change the trend.  TV series based on Romancing the Stone?  They do it right just might work.  Once again, wait for more than "Announcing plans to develop" before we start jumping the snark.

TheMovieGuy28 9/5/2011 12:12:08 AM

They CANT remake Romancing the Stone!!!! That was like one of my favorite kid "grown-up" movies, you guys know what I mean, like how The Hunt for Red October was the sh*t but not exactly for a 9 year old kid. I friggin used to playtime adventure as Jack Colton

 

NBC NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

TheMovieGuy28 9/5/2011 12:13:43 AM

And yes, everyone needs to just stay the eff out of DenzEli's way

hanso 9/5/2011 5:51:56 AM

 Red, I really liked Entourage when it started and been a fan since day one.  However, I thought as it went it on it started getting worse.  I really hate this last season and I'm only watching it cause it's the last one, if they had announce that the show had two seasons after this I would've dropped it.  I hate the Ari storyline and I hope he ends up with Dana but it looks like he's going back to his wife.  Lame.  The Vince storyline is completely pointless, who cares is all I can say about that.  Eric makes me want to punch myself in the balls.  Enough about Sloane damnit!  Turtle opening up a restaurant? Zzzzzzzzz.  Drama with his stuff was semi interesting but knowing this is the last season it was obvious when they went to strike they would win.  So that's basically why I'm glad its over, I have found the last season to suck and be completely forgettable.

phantomx69 9/5/2011 6:14:12 AM

nbc makes there money off of usa network shows, nbc's best shows are on usa.. but  romanceing the stone was one of my faves, it could be good never know!!!  nbc should remake some of there older shows that ppl have forgotten that could be new and fresh,  how about a new  sword of justice, or   t.h.e. cat! these would be cool!!!!

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