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Bigger, younger, spoofier! When TV series head to the big screen.

Bigger, younger, spoofier! When TV series head to the big screen. (photo)

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From the moment 1979’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” brought the cult show back to life, critics have reflexively moaned at whatever new resurrection gets trotted out. And who can blame them, when it’s led to things like “Car 54, Where Are You?” Still, it’s interesting to see how a movie based on a TV show will often travesty the most recognizable elements of the series to which it’s ostensibly paying homage.

Almost every post-“Star Trek” TV adaptation has skewed in some noticeable, often drastic way from the source material. (The “Star Trek” franchise itself instead went with the overly reverential approach.) “Dragnet” — one of the most humorless shows ever broadcast — became a goofy Dan Aykroyd-Tom Hanks comedy, with Aykroyd as a decidedly anachronistic Jack Webb type going up against Hanks’ smartass.

“The Brady Bunch” went from being saccharine to mocking the same. And J.J. Abrams’ “Trek” reboot gently poked fun of Gene Roddenberry’s conception of the USS Enterprise as a kind of model UN, giving us a Russian whose accent confused everyone to no productive end.

Action shows get technological upgrades and age downgrades: the cast of the original “Mission: Impossible” looks antiquated compared to Tom Cruise & co. The recent “A-Team” adaptation achieved the minor victory of more or less staying true to the original’s tone, while considerably upping the expensive eye-candyness of the action sequences.

07082010_charlies.jpg“The Mod Squad” went from counter-culturally preachy to late-’90s “edgy” (or at least there was a Bjork song on the soundtrack). “Charlie’s Angels” became a good deal brighter and more self-reflexive while still delivering titillation for 13-year-old boys.

It’s a no-brainer that TV shows that are made into films become glossier, younger and more action-packed — unless they’re comedies, in which case they tend to actively mock the most dated qualities of what they’re ostensibly derived from, exaggerating cluelessness for its own sake.

The most interesting TV-show-update rumors of late surround “The Sweeney,” a widely beloved ’70s ITV show featuring tough and not always by the book London cops conducting awesome car chases with near-“French Connection” levels of proficiency. Alas, lightweight, photogenic types like Orlando Bloom are being bandied around now as casting prospects, and you’d have to imagine an update would be heavier on the CGI and less on the squealing rubber. Still, the show’s a treasure trove of crisply shot high-speed chases. Here’s a sample:

[Photos: “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” Paramount, 1979; “Charlie’s Angels,” Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 1976-81; “The Sweeney,” ITV, 1975-78]


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.