Which TV Show Would You Watch as a Movie?

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A few recent stories made me think of this:

  • The Kingkiller Chronicles will soon have a TV show and a movie (today it was announced that Sam Raimi would direct the movie).
  • Deadwood, a show I fell in love with a few summers ago, has had numerous rumors about a movie. This seems to happen with many HBO shows, with some–Sex and the City and Entourage–actually happening.
  • Friends, the ’90s classic, had a fake trailer released a few days ago for a movie. It already has nearly 40 million views.

The Friends trailer isn’t even very good, yet I found myself wanting a real Friends movie as I watched it. I think it’s part nostalgia, part connection to the characters, and part entertainment. I enjoyed the show, and I think a movie could work.

So I started wondering about other shows I would gladly pay to see at the theater. Here are a few:

  • Game of Thrones: Every episode of this show feels kind of like a movie, and I think there’s a local theater that actually airs live episodes. I just think it would be awesome to watch a full-length movie in the theater in place of the final episode with a live audience.
  • Brooklyn 99: Even as a comedy, Brooklyn 99 has shown that it knows how to tell a story over multiple episodes, so I think it might work in a longer format. I’d also love to see Seinfeld and The Office in movie form.
  • Rick and Morty: I’ve been hooked on this show lately, and it would be awesome to see a full-length movie version. Plus, cartoons seem to convert well from TV to movie format (e.g., Southpark and The Simpsons).

While some of these shows might work, I also acknowledge that converting a show that succeeded at 21 or 42 minutest to 90+ minutes is a really tough task. The best episodes of Friends, in my opinion, weren’t the “supersized” episodes–rather, they were the normal, tightly edited episodes. So I think it’s a rare show that can pull this off.

What do you think? Which shows would you like to see as movies, and why do you think they would work on the big screen? I know for sure that I’m missing some fantastic shows here, so I’m hoping you have some great ideas!

4 thoughts on “Which TV Show Would You Watch as a Movie?”

  1. British spy thriller [Spooks] got a decently strong film sequel to it, and I believe the creator of the British con series Hu$tle has attempted to write a film for that series a few times – apparently his attempts to draft a script for those keep turning into heist films instead, so he keep having to scrap them because that’s not right for the characters.

    I’d love a film follow up to the British original Being Human, particularly with the downer ending of S5 – Would be nice to see the trio escape Satan’s fantasy world for them while he brings about the destruction of the world, but due to no S6 we didn’t even get the alternate cliffhanger ending of them realizing they’re in it – A Doctor Who film would be great, also, if it was able to be done with the current Doctor without interfering with the production schedule of the show, which is the issue with ongoing shows.

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  2. I think what needs to happen is more shows that show stories in the time that is needed. Even with shows that are only on streaming services like Amazon and Netflix they still stick with the 21/42 episode length or close to it.

    Mindhunter on Netflix has 10 episodes that vary from 34 minutes to 60 minutes, and tell a compelling story around the start of the Serial Killer Unit at the FBI. Most do get closer to the 60 minute mark, but its only the episode that’s an hour long.

    I think thats where your animated movies hit the mark so well. The South park and the simpson movies are basically an episode that is stretched long. Sometimes with To many storylines just to make them longer.

    Many times tv shows do two parters, and that makes them twice as long. With this day an age, I think that the length needs to be in service to the story. You have a movie that clocks in at 2 hours 44 minutes like Blade Runner, and you can tell it was just way to long. You also have the Dune movie which has some cuts that are 4 hours long and dragged out, and then the Tv Dune Sci fi series at 296 minutes that is still compelling because of the story.

    Star Wars almost was a disaster due to pacing and story telling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFMyMxMYDNk tells the story very well. One of the reasons it won Academy awards for editing and not for directing or best picture.

    Tv shows and Movies need to tell a better story, and do so in whatever time it takes to do it well.

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    • That needs to extend to episode lengths, not just series lengths, and with streaming series, that’s possible. You have a story that’s best told over 10 hours? cool, 10 episode series. But… Chapters 1 and 10 are best at 90 minutes, and Chapter 4 and 7 would both be stronger at 30 minutes? Cool. Whatever works best for the pacing of the story, make it that way, and streaming services should be able to support that much easier than traditional broadcasts can.

      You get more of it in the UK, I think, where 6-8 episodes is a standard season length, 10-13 is long but happens, and 3 episodes with 90 minutes an episode (120 on a commercial channel rather than the BBC)… Is actually surprisingly common for crime drama here considering how demonized feature length drama seems to be from US audiences – While Doctor Who is nominally 45 minute episodes sans commercials (Going up to 50 next season), that’s a very flexible 45 minutes, with episodes ranging from around 40 to 47 without them needing to ask for specific permission since it’s usually coming out of or going into a live show that obviously has more flexibility schedule wise due to that, but when the showrunners have asked the commissioning channel ‘Hey, I can’t do this story without 50 minutes, 60 minutes, 75 minutes’ that’s usually granted to them, albeit with no extra budget for it.

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