Why? Well, according to Deadline, because MGM is trying to turn as many of its movies into TV shows as possible. But also because — and at this point I must say spoiler alert even though the statute of “Fargo” spoiler limitations expired in 1997 — nothing screams ongoing series more than a movie in which Steve Buscemi gets chucked into a wood chipper.
The project is in the early stages of development, and reports only say it is “loosely based” on the film that made “You betcha” a catchphrase long before Sarah Palin did. But this announcement makes one wonder: What other Coen brothers movies might be ripe for TV adaptation?
I know. Your knee-jerk answer to that question is: “None! Leave the Coen brothers’s works of quirky cinematic genius alone, you horrible Hollywood plunderers of other people’s concepts!”
Okay, first of all, calm down. The Coens are behind the “Fargo” project. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the greatest show in television history, but at least they’re part of the process, which bodes somewhat well. And that’s more than I can say for at least four out of these five Coen brother TV show ideas I just came up with off the top of my head. None of these should go to series, ever. Well, except maybe that last one.
“Chigurh and Ross”
A combination adaptation of “No Country for Old Men” and much-anticipated reboot of “Friends,” this hilarious multi-camera sitcom will finally answer the often-asked question: What would happen if the ruthless, pageboy-haircut-sporting freak played by Javier Bardem and Ross Geller from “Friends” were roommates? The theme song will be performed by Sigur Rós. Which technically doesn’t quite rhyme with Chigurh Ross. But no one at NBC knows that.
“The Chad Feldheimer Work-out”
Okay, this won’t be a show so much as an informercial in which Brad Pitt, playing his “Burn After Reading” character, does aerobics and sucks on a water bottle while convincing us to buy more DVDs of him doing aerobics and sucking on water bottles. People would totally watch this.
“Raising Arizona: The Battle for Baby”
This one will be a game show in which various couples hoping to adopt a child must compete in a variety of challenges, including The Huggies Race-off, Beat the Bank Robbery Clock and Bounty Hunter Blow-Up. Whoever wins at the end of each episode gets a brand new baby. So it will be sort of a cross between “Wipeout” and “Extreme Home Makeover,” in that everyone will cry at the end and feel really great about helping people who are disadvantaged. Perhaps Randall “Tex” Cobb can be a celebrity guest judge?
“O Brother, Where Art Our New Appalachian Idol?”
A music competition show, executive produced by T Bone Burnett and the Coen brothers, in which aspiring singers compete to become the next true country star. Not country/pop star, but singers of true, moonshine-on-the-Appalachian-trail mountain music. Perhaps George Clooney can be a celebrity guest judge?
“Dude and Little Dude”
A single-camera, faux documentary, based on “The Big Lebowski,” that follows Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski’s daily adventures as he unwittingly gets mistaken for other men named Jeff Lebowski (What? There are a lot of them.), drinks a few too many White Russians and attempts to be a good husband to wife, Maude, and parent their 3-year-old son, Little Dude. Jeff Bridges would star, obviously. Oh, and at the end of each episode, The Stranger would show up and say something pithy that would help viewers understand the moral of the story, or at least make them laugh really hard since they’d probably be too high to process his words.
Um, shouldn’t this be on TV by now? At least in late night or Adult Swim or something?
Got any other brilliant Coen brothers TV adaptation ideas? Share them in the comments.