Film-to-television show adaptations have been popular across genres for quite some time. Most recently, there’s been the success (and undue cancellation!) of “Hannibal” and the eerie A&E drama “Bates Motel.” Noah Hawley’s brilliant reimagining of “Fargo” for FX is perhaps the most prominent example of the practice and has already been renewed for a third season.
Of course, there are certain television shows that spun-off popular films but didn’t pan out (looking at you, Jennifer Aniston in the short-lived tv version of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”), and we’ve found one in the lost episodes of “Fast Times,” a small-screen version of Amy Heckerling’s cult classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
Famously penned by Cameron Crowe and which provided his entry into filmmaking, the script for the film was based on his undercover observations of the teenage milieu in late ’70s/early ’80s San Diego for Rolling Stone Magazine. The film became an instant hit thanks to Heckerling’s knack for depicting high school hijinx, coming of age poignancy, and how Phoebe Cates filled out a red bikini.
The television show consisted of seven episodes that ran mid-season in March and April of 1986, four years after the film first opened in theaters. It focuses on the same characters played by some new faces (including a puerile Patrick Dempsey), with Crowe on-hand as a creative consultant and Heckerling helming a few episodes.
Rewatching the episodes now reveals a far more intriguing show than you might imagine, and though a reboot seems very unlikely, who can really predict what decades-old entertainment products will successfully be elevator-pitched by unimaginative studio execs? Watch the only seven episodes of the show below. [Dangerous Minds]