1. “Freddy’s Nightmares” (1988-1990)
Based on: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Why it was a strange choice: Horror on TV is always a tough sell, especially when it’s as dark and gruesome as the Nightmare on Elm Street series. People don’t want to invite Freddy into their homes every week.
What made it weird: But there was very little Krueger in this show, despite the title. Instead, Freddy’s Nightmares became an anthology series, with Freddy introducing the stories. He had nothing better to do, apparently.
2. “Ferris Bueller” (1990)
Based on: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Why it was a strange choice: The movie is about one extraordinary day in a young man’s life. Who cares what Ferris does with the rest of his week?
What made it weird: The series decided to go meta and offer the real Ferris Bueller, who condemned the film adaptation of his life and even destroyed a cardboard cut-out of Matthew Broderick. You know, the only actor who could make that dick Ferris charming.
3. “Beetlejuice” (1989-1992)
Based on: Beetlejuice (1988)
Why it was a strange choice: The Beetlejuice character in the movie is malevolent and creepy, which doesn’t exactly translate well to a kids’ cartoon.
What made it weird: The show dropped just about everything from the film and chose to focus on Beetlejuice’s friendship with young Lydia Deetz. So, yes, it’s about a 14-year-old girl and her BFF, a dead guy who died during the Black Plague.
4. “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” (1973)
Based on: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
Why it was a strange choice: The movie is about a foursome. You can’t do that on television — especially not in 1973.
What made it weird: Nothing about the original movie screams “sitcom,” which is probably why this show flopped so hard. All of the content was toned down, so the only “sexual liberation” on display here is seriously repressed.
5. “Delta House” (1979)
Based on: Animal House (1978)
Why it was a strange choice: This was another film that just wasn’t TV appropriate, and without John Belushi, what’s the point anyway?
What made it weird: The solution to no Belushi? Cast an unknown actor as Bluto’s brother Blotto. Meanwhile, the show removed all raunchy humor and drug references, which kind of defeats the whole purpose.
6. “Casablanca” (1983)
Based on: Casablanca (1942)
Why it was a strange choice: Um, you don’t mess with perfection. Besides, Casablanca had already endured a TV adaptation in 1955.
What made it weird: David Soul is not Humphrey Bogart. Sorry. The cast was rounded out with Ray Liotta and Scatman Crothers, even though it was a prequel and Sam should have been younger. You must remember this… Oh, you don’t?
7. “Uncle Buck” (1990)
Based on: Uncle Buck (1989)
Why it was a strange choice: In the film, Uncle Buck’s visit was temporary. Making it permanent meant — oh, no.
What made it weird: Yep, in the hilarious TV adaptation, the parents die in a car accident. What a way to begin a series with laughs! Also, Uncle Buck was one of John Candy’s iconic roles, which makes recasting it all the more misguided.
8. “Mighty Ducks” (1996-1997)
Based on: The Mighty Ducks (1992)
Why it was a strange choice: Actually, this one makes total sense. A rag-tag group of kids playing hockey. Sounds great.
What made it weird: Except this show had nothing to do with the movie. This is a cartoon about humanoid duck aliens from Puckworld who face off against reptilian aliens called Saurians. Now let’s play some hockey!
9. “Friday the 13th: The Series” (1987-1990)
Based on: Friday the 13th (1980)
Why it was a strange choice: As with Nightmare on Elm Street, it’s hard to understand why anyone would try to adapt a slasher film series to TV.
What made it weird: It has nothing to do with the movie at all. In fact, aside from some producer overlap, it’s a standalone series about an antiques dealer who made a deal with the Devil. And nary a machete in sight!
10. “Party Girl” (1996)
Based on: Party Girl (1995)
Why it was a strange choice: The film is bittersweet and slight, with an iconic performance by Parker Posey. Not really sitcom material.
What made it weird: No Parker Posey. On the other hand, John Cameron Mitchell played a supporting role, which could have turned the show into a cult classic of its own, if anyone knew about it.
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