SpeakeasyENT: TV Series We Want to ‘Kickstart’

Photo from Salon.

Photo from Salon.

If you ever doubted the power of a television show’s cult fandom, then you better check yourself, because the masses have spoken and now they’re makin’ movies.

“They,” specifically being “Veronica Mars” fans, who donated more than $3 million dollars through the Kickstarter program to help VM creator Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell, who played the titular perky blonde sleuth during the show’s three year run, fund a full-length feature film.

Here’s a quick Kickstarter for Dummies: launched in 2009, the program uses crowd funding, a.k.a. donations from fans or just regular people, to get projects made. It’s a popular strategy for documentaries, but the strength and speed of which “Veronica Mars” diehards threw cash at the system has caused ripples across the pop culture world, particularly among those who are still irked by that weird-ass “Lost” ending or left unsatisfied even after “Serenity.”

Rumors about other Kickstarter series (Joss Whedon’s “Serenity” predecessor “Firefly,” Bryan Fuller’s “Pushing Daisies” and HBO western drama “Deadwood” chief among them) immediately hit the Twittersphere, and while no other shows have officially announced a similar campaign, our daydreams went into overdrive. There are far too many too-good-to-be-gone shows we’d love to resurrect (miss you already, “30 Rock”), but here are four that we need to see likerightnow.

Get those piggy banks ready, guys.

Hot dudes in armor going off to battle? Where have we been seeing this lately? (Westeros). Photo from HBO.

Hot dudes in armor going off to battle? Where have we been seeing this lately? (Westeros). Photo from HBO.

“Rome” | Blake Tan

The “Game of Thrones” craze is at critical mass. Folks who’ve only heard of George R.R. Martin in passing are flocking to HBO’s grand fantasy series like flies to Wyman Manderly’s Frey pies. But the venture into Westeros wasn’t HBO’s first ranging into the realm of swords, lavish costuming and costly sets.

Before King’s Landing, there was “Rome.” Starring Ciaran Hinds as Julius Caesar and James Purefoy as Mark Antony, as well as soldiers Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo (Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson, respectively), “Rome” took us to the Eternal City during the momentous events that led to the fall of the Republic. The show had comparative rates of backstabbing and plotting as “Game of Thrones” with equally compelling characters (and, don’t forget, this is HBO after all, so — equally gratuitous sex).

Unfortunately, after a two-season run, “Rome” was not renewed by HBO, which cited the series’ humongous expense. And the show’s Italian set at Cinecitta film studios, which was called the largest standing film set in the world, burned down. But in 2008, Ray Stevenson commented that a “Rome” film was in development and would likely have featured his character Pullo and McKidd’s Lucius Vorenus, but more recent news indicate that the project has stalled.

Do I want to revisit “Rome” in the cineplex? That’s a silly question. Of course we want to revisit the Eternal City. The show only touched on Caesar’s rise and fall in the first season and Augustus’ rise to power in the second – the Roman Empire as a setting is rich with film opportunities. Viva la Roma!

There's no way in hell highschoolers are actually this attractive -- which is why we love them. Photo from Wikimedia.

There’s no way in hell highschoolers are actually this attractive — which is why we love them. Photo from Wikimedia.

“The O.C.” | Carina Belles

Without “The O.C.” we wouldn’t have Chrismukkah or Peter Gallagher’s amazing eyebrows. Whiny suburbanites would have never discovered Death Cab, and we wouldn’t have the adorable ball of sunshine that is Rachel Bilson (or that CW show where she plays a veterinarian who can somehow afford Manolos).

But that’s not why “The O.C.” deserves its own movie. Not only did it practically re-invent the teen drama, the show’s creator, Josh Schwartz (also the mastermind behind the “Gossip Girl'” TV adaptation), sold his first screenplay for $1 million when he was a junior in college. And the movie never even got made. (Yeah, what have you done with your life recently?)

Anyway, Josh deserves his movie. And “Fun Size” doesn’t count. “The O.C.'” and its gorgeous cast, outrageous plot lines and self-aware sense of humor revitalized a genre. I know Bilson, Adam Brody (a.k.a. your eternal boyfriend Seth Cohen) and Ben McKenzie would totally be down for another goofy adventure as Orange County’s most unrealistically beautiful teens. The only downside? We’d have to continue acknowledging the sadness of Mischa Barton’s life, which would probably just make her sadder. Whatever, that is such a Marissa Cooper move.

So colorful, so corny, so perfect. Bring it back. Photo from 2ndfirstlook.

So colorful, so corny, so perfect. Bring it back. Photo from 2ndfirstlook.

“Pushing Daisies” | Ross Dickerhoof

I’ve had plenty of shows I like get cancelled before their time, but none of those incidents broke my heart like the cancellation of “Pushing Daisies.” I’d always thought of it as The Little Show That Could, a charming, quirky crime-solving fairy tale that magically survived the 2007-2008 Writer’s Strike and came back stronger than ever. But, alas, ABC axed it due to low ratings, so they had to slap together a finale on short notice. I wish I’d had some of Ned’s delicious pie to fill the void left by its cancellation.But now that the “Veronica Mars” campaign has been so successful, I have new hope for “Pushing Daisies.” The idea of a revival or a movie provides all sorts of delicious possibilities. Will the power of Ned’s touch be revealed to the world? How will Chuck’s aunts react to that last-episode revelation? Will Emerson and his daughter finally be reunited? Will Olive find love? I don’t know. But I trust Bryan Fuller to give us all an ending that’s not only the ending we need, but also the ending the show deserves.

And the best part about all of this? That might actually happen! Emphasis on “might,” but I won’t stop hoping. I’d love to visit the Pie Hole one more time, and I don’t think I’m alone on that.

Um, we spy pre-Sexiest Man Alive Bradley Cooper, whattt. Photo from Alias-TV.

Um, we spy pre-Sexiest Man Alive Bradley Cooper, whattt. Photo from Alias-TV.

“Alias” | Holly Coletta

Sorry “Covert Affairs” and “Chuck,” but “Alias” was the best spy TV show of all time. The J.J. Abrams action-dramedy followed the adventures of secret agent Sydney Bristow (pre-Affleckified Jennifer Garner) as she kicked, screamed and badass’ed her way across the globe.

“Alias” was more than a typical drama set in the offices of a CIA-esque division, though – it was knee-deep in Abrams-y mythology thanks to the series-long arc about Da Vinci wannabe Milo Rambaldi and his miscellaneous world-saving or world-destroying riddles and devices. “Alias” featured an ensemble of heroes, sidekicks and villains who served as prototypes for typical Abrams TV: no one was inherently good or evil, and character development was just as fast-paced and engaging as Syd’s rooftop chases.

Plus, Sydney got to wear a different sexy outfit and use a different sexy accent for almost every episode.

“Alias” wrapped up with a finale that was maybe a little too tidy-box-with-a-bow for a series that made its name from cliffhangers and explosions, which is why a movie should never, ever be out the question.

Abrams has since proved himself to be king of the (pop culture) world, but let’s not forget that his first forays into film were action-heavy (um, hello, “Mission Impossible 3”). Even if he’s too busy Spielberg-ing the universe or flexing his fingers in Vulcan salutes, he could serve as a producer and hand the directorial reigns to someone else in his circle of nerdy/geeky/perfect bros.

At least one of the show’s major villains, David Anders’ charismatic, bratty, sneaky Julian Sark, survived, so it’s not difficult to picture a film that focuses on an op-ed mission that brings back Garner and TV-hubby Michael Vartan, plus Syd’s BFF/partner Dixon, and geeky comic relief tech guy Marshall. Victor Garber is absolute perfection as Syd’s stone-faced, warm-hearted dad, and though he SPOILER perishes in the series finale, he could come back in flashbacks or something. Please.

The entire series is currently available on Netflix Instant Stream, but that is not enough. I need an “Alias” movie to happen, even if it’s down the road, when one of Jen Garner’s adorable daughters is old enough to play a baby Bristow.

Whatever happens, just please god let there be a hot pink wig involved.

Which series do YOU want to see brought back to life via Kickstarter? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!

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