Top 5 Sequels/Spin-Offs I Wish Existed

10 Jul

We’ve all got our “what if blah blah existed, wouldn’t it be the best thing ever?” lists.  I present one of mine (what sequels/spin-offs I wish would’ve or still would happen), complete with infographics.

#5: Ruthless People The Musical

The Original: In Ruthless People, a sweet but slightly bitter couple hard-up for cash (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater) kidnap the wife (Bette Midler) of the man (Danny DeVito) who made them poor.  But the guy hates his wife and drags his feet giving them the ransom until he’s accused of her murder.  Misunderstandings, mistaken identities, and hilarity ensue, all ending in a big-ole seaside showdown.

The Proposed Sequel/Spin-Off: Same plot, plus songs by Bette Midler and Mick Jagger.  I’m debating whether it should be updated for the modern age.  I’m leaning toward yes because the movie is the ‘80s-est thing to exist, so the musical should be the 2010s-est thing to exist—heavy use of iPhone, skinny jeans, and pop-culture references, I’m thinking.
Highlights include the hit songs “The Kidnapped and Gettin’ Buff Blues” and “If We Look Like His Parents.”

Why It Would Be Spectacular:  I can’t think of a reason it wouldn’t be spectacular.  Big budget production numbers.  A gigantic cast.  Clever songs.  Sparkling dialogue.

Starring:

  • Christine Baranski as The Kidnappee.  I don’t usually love fat suits, but I think this could be my exception to the rule because Christine Baranski plays bitchy like none other.
  • Scott Bakula as The Kidnappee’s Husband.  He’s a little too charming, but we’re going to update the story, so he’ll be a charming and sleazy insider-trading dude of some kind.
  • Audra McDonald as The Kidnapper Wife. The original was mousy and shy and unexciting but sort of comes out of her shell at the end with the help of Bette Midler.  Audra McDonald can do anything.  ANYTHING.  So at the beginning, she can sing sweet soprano whatevers about being a failed fashion designer, and at the end, after Christine Baranski has done a fashion-show number with her, she can belt out something soulful.  Parfait!
  • David Hyde Pierce as The Kidnapper Husband.  No one’s got a sweet, dopey face and voice like Judge Reinhold, but David Hyde Pierce has a similar sweetness to him.  And because he’s a little older, maybe we can update the story so that this character was a jilted business partner of Scott Bakula…?
  • Patti LuPone as The Detective on the Murder Case.  If we’re casting fantasy musicals, Ima need more divas.
  • Donna Murphy as Scott Bakula’s Mistress Who Has a Ridiculous Blackmail Storyline.   If we’re casting fantasy musicals, Ima need more divas.
  • Ludacris as Donna Murphy’s Boyfriend.  Originally played deliciously dumbly by Bill Pullman, but this character will be a hard gangster who happens to misjudge his own gangsta ability.  I don’t even know if Ludacris is interested in Broadway, but I love the idea too much to let that stand in my way.
  • Craig Bierko as The Serial Killer on the Loose. Them crazy eyes and that raw energy!

#4:  Black Widow 2:  Too Far to Hawaii, Too Close to Home

The Original: Black Widow concerns a low-level FBI type gal (Debra Winger) who catches wind of a lady serial killer (Theresa Russell) but must investigate on her own because it’s the ‘80s so nobody thinks a lady would do something like marry a succession of rich husbands just to kill them.  The two women eventually face off, develop some mutual respect, fool around in Hawaii, and then Debra Winger sends Theresa Russell to prison.

The Proposed Sequel/Spin-Off: In an awesomely crappy ’90s made-for-Lifetime sequel, the FBI gal has been promoted to full-blown agent, and the black widow escapes.  The FBI wants our heroine to investigate, but she is initially hesitant because she has a husband and kids and stuff now, but the intrigue of the case (and the elusive black widow herself) pulls her back in.  They share some delightfully strange cat-and-mouse that could come out of only a ‘90s Lifetime movie, probably involving Suburbans driven into houses, women falling down the stairs, some wife-beating, and plenty of obsessive, obscene phone calls.

Why It Would Be Spectacular:  If you’ve ever seen a ‘90s Lifetime movie, you know exactly why this would be spectacular.  Two ladies facing off in increasingly terrible ways until an inevitably nonsensical climax, probably on a craggy precipice.  Irresistible!

Starring:

  • Valerie Bertinelli as the FBI Agent.  A rambunctious over-actress who could inject some definite charisma into this extravaganza.
  • Gail O’Grady as the Black Widow.  A truly beautiful gal with almost no acting chops.  Tremendously fun!
  • Meredith Baxter as Gail O’Grady’s Flashback Mom.  We need some more crazy up in here!
  • And various and sundry Lifetime alumni in all other roles.

#3: Admiral Janeway’s Home for Wayward Borg

The Original: Captain Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager accidentally gets her crew lost in the Delta Quadrant and works diligently amid countless obstacles to return them home, which takes 7 years instead of the initial calculation of 70 because Janeway is basically the best person ever.

The Proposed Sequel/Spin-Off: When Janeway finally does return, Starfleet promotes her, but she’s got a lot of time on her hands.  What’s a former starship captain to do?  Retire and open a flying school for underprivileged children, especially those who’ve been orphaned by/assimilated by the Borg.

Why It Would Be Spectacular: The thing I love most about Voyager is how mom-ish Janeway is.  I want to see her mom some more people!  There’s also room for plenty of tension, fights, and space exploration.

Starring:

  • Kate Mulgrew as Admiral Janeway.  Nothin’ beats the real thang.  And now that Janeway’s retired, Katie can wear furs as she did on Murder, She Wrote.  YES!  Also, let’s get a bun going again.
  • Ray Walston as Boothby, the on-again-off-again groundskeeper/boxing coach.  This would make what?  His fourth Star Trek series appearance?
  • Ray Wise as Janeway’s main financial backer who drops in to be fatherly once in a while.  He was so gentle and kind on Twin Peaks when he wasn’t being a total creep-o-rama.  And he’s so suave!  I bet he and Kate Mulgrew would have amazing chemistry.
  • Bernadette Peters as a former Starfleet communications officer turned teacher at the school who’s always suspicious of Janeway because of her letting the Maquis be part of her crew on Voyager.  Ok, so I threw her in here because I had a crazy dream once that Bernadette Peters and Kate Mulgrew were BFFs.  Sue me.  And although I’m having trouble finding pictures of her in which she looks prim and uppity (especially circa 2002), I know she’d still be delectable as any villainess ever.
  • Reba McEntire in a recurring cameo as the school’s head cook.  Who’s better than Neelix?  Only Reba.
  • Dulé Hill as a young, idealistic teacher who also clashes with Bernadette Peters.  He’s got the charm to go toe-to-toe with Bernadette Peters.  Maybe they could have a tap-dance off?!?!?!?!
  • Various and sundry children and teenagers and aliens and monsters in other roles
  • And of course a million cameos by all the Voyager cast

#2: Snakes on Phonics

The Original: In Snakes on a Plane, FBI agent Samuel L. Jackson must rid the plane he’s carrying a witness on of deadly snakes.

The Proposed Sequel/Spin-Off:  Samuel L. Jackson will need to eradicate snakes who can read from an elementary school.

Why It Would Be Spectacular:  The title’s my favorite part (it came out of a theoretical discussion with Grace; the credit must go to her).  But it could be a gripping and campy thriller, just like the original.

Starring:

  • Samuel L. Jackson as the FBI Agent, who will have to censor himself because there are children around.
  • Mary McDonnell as the School Principal who knows how to use a pair of safety scissors and a stapler to her advantage.  How great would it be if Mary McDonnell delivered a double Oedipus bomb instead of Samuel L. Jackson?
  • Dennis Hopper as the Evil Genius responsible for the snakes.
  • Amy Adams as a Frightened Teacher who uses her sheer pluck to defeat the snakes
  • Channing Tatum as a Concerned, Redneck Parent with a shotgun and no shirt

#1: Undercover!

The Original: Law and Order: SVU chronicles the exploits of the elite team who investigate sex crimes.  Along the way, Special Agent Dana Lewis (Marcia Gay Harden) waltzes in for a few episodes in the later seasons and steals every scene she’s in.

The Proposed Sequel/Spin-Off: Dana Lewis, FBI, goes undercover.  Each season records a different assignment and of course her trials and tribulations of leading a dangerous double life.  Maybe some flashbacks and flashforwards à la Damages will be in order, to make the show darker and excitinger.

Why It Would Be Spectacular: Marcia Gay Harden shows off her acting range and her legs every week in different outfits.  She rides motorcycles, she dances, she sells drugs, she shoots guns, she swims the English Channel.  Who even knows?  Endless possibilities!  And plenty of potential for drama with superiors and criminals alike!

Starring:

  • Marcia Gay Harden as Dana Lewis, FBI
  • Cybill Shepherd as her Corrupt Superior.  Cybill Shepherd is not on TV nearly enough.  Give her a meaty, slightly over-the-top part and a lot of pant suits, and she could pull out her Southern accent and do great things.
  • Michael Hogan as her Gruff and Fatherly Superior.  Love this dude on BSG.  Even though he’s soooo Canadian and kinda looks like John McCain.  I want to see him have some more moral dilemmas!
  • Catherine Zeta Jones as the Leader of a Glamorous Crime Ring.  I won’t even make her hide her real accent.  All she has to do is show up in gorgeous outfits every third episode and say grandiose things until the season finale when she and Marcia Gay Harden (who has been edging into her inner circle) have an increasingly less friendly sword fight and Cathy finally figures out that MGH is an FBI agent and then there’s a cliffhanger in which they almost kill each other.
  • Various and sundry special guest stars including everyone awesome—Glenn Close, Bruce Willis, The Rock, etc.
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