Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Remaking '70s television

The Muppet Show has had a reboot no longer a vaudeville show it is now a late night talk show hosts by Miss Piggy. The show is mainly behind the scenes focusing on the lives and interrelationships between all of the Muppet favourites. Think The Muppet Show meets 30 Rock meets Late Show with David Letterman.

Ironically although no longer vaudeville, complete with Gonzo’s burlesque chickens, the new format is a lot more bawdy. The innuendo is ever present, there is no double-entendre, it is just single-entendre, plain and simple.

But it makes for an interesting premise, reformatting popular family shows from the 1970’s. The characters can change a bit, their voices can change a lot but the true fans will love it anyway.

Here are some suggestions:

Happy Days

Go back to the pilot episode when the elder brother Chuck goes upstairs, instead of him inexplicably disappearing he comes back down for breakfast the next morning. The new series has all the same episodes, major themes and in your face moralising, except Chuck is there to occasionally punch his little brother in the arm or fart in his face when he gets too obnoxious, bucko!

Also the character of Arthur “The Fonze” Fonzarelli is recast so the actor looks remotely the right age to have dropped out/been expelled from high school  only a couple of years  (not a couple of decades) prior to Ralph, Potsie and the Cunninghams starting high school.

Diff’rent Strokes

The story of orphaned black boys from Harlem being fostered by a wealthy old white man and his daughter living in a luxury Manhattan apartment, by today’s standards was racist and elitist.

Keeping with this exploitative “fish out of water” culture shock, let’s keep the wealthy white family. In the remake though have them take in some orphaned refugees and just for funsies - make them Muslim.

Oh the fun and hijinks, the audience can be smashed around the head with overt morals of acceptance, love and a sense of family like in the original. The catch phrases.

To build in the bawdiness, following The Muppet Show’s lead, the elder boy and the rich man’s daughter start flirting, once they are both of age. The sexual tension, the religious taboo.

Whachoo talkin’ about Mohammad?

The Brady Bunch

The remake of this family classic is simple, the storylines of the show could follow the real lives of the original cast. Don’t worry the innuendo will be ever present!

·         Mike – the father – comes out as gay.
·         Carol and Greg – step mother and eldest step son – have a clandestine relationship
·         Greg and Marcia – two eldest step siblings – hook up
·         Peter and Jan - two middle step siblings – hook up
·         Bobby and Cindy - two youngest step siblings – hook up
·         Greg – eldest son – always gets high
·         Marcia – eldest daughter – prostitutes herself for cocaine, before appearing on any reality television show that will have her.
·         Jan – middle daughter – despite her awkwardness and generally being disliked turns out to be the only one with real talent as a theatrical actor and exhibited painter. The family sponge off of her earnings. Mike’s architecture was never going to get the family through the GFC.
·         Cindy – youngest daughter – becomes an animal rights activist having witnessed the cruelty endured by Tiger (dog), Fluffy (the cat, who like Chuck Conningham mysteriously disappeared in the pilot episode) and Greg’s white rabbit )that he ruthlessly trade for a baseball mitt and a picture of Rachel Welch)
·         Alice – the housekeeper – is actually a god-bothering spinster bringing the moral element to such a debauched household and subversively trying to convert all of the family
·         Bobby – youngest son – chops off his finger in a backyard project mishap before being converted to religion by Alice and writing Jesus-y scripts

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