Today in 'Huh?' Ideas: 'The Blues Brothers' TV show

Blues-Brothers

Image Credit: Everett Collection

Though I’m a sentimental guy, there are actually very few movies that are so revered in my own mind that a remake is immediately blasphemous. So I’m not offended by the news that Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s wife, Judy, are plotting to adapt The Blues Brothers into a television show. The original film was a rambling wreck of a road-movie duct-taped together by the magnetic Belushi and a series of thrilling musical sequences. But any remnants of the original film’s magic were trampled upon by 1998’s Blues Brothers 2000, the head-scratching sequel that co-starred John Goodman and a 10-year-old orphan in shades. (To say nothing of the frequent Blues Brothers reunion tours over the years.) The property is anything but sacred at this point.

Still, Variety‘s report about a revival — which is still just a concept at this point — was littered with enough screaming STOP signs that even Jake and Elwood might be inclined to take their foot off the gas. One, Elwood sets out to find his real father. No further comment necessary. Two, “We’re not trying to replicate Dan and John but Jake and Elwood,” co-writer Anne Beatts (Saturday Night Live) told the paper. Well, that’s the rub, isn’t it? Who is Jake Blues but John Belushi? As Jim Belushi and John Goodman have proven, you can’t just put a hat and some shades on a stout comic and call it Blues. John Belushi was Jake, and Aykroyd was Elwood. As futile as the effort might seem, the goal has to be Belushi, not Jake. Not an imitation, per se, but the white-hot energy has to be there.

Finally, “It would be Route 66 meets Glee, and it all goes to hell in a handbasket,” Beatts said. For people not around in the 1960s, Route 66 was a TV show about two young road-dogs cruising the country in a Corvette. The Glee reference reflects an intention to include a musical number in each episode. Unfortunately, both shows seem like something Belushi would raise an eyebrow over.

More than anything else, the original Blues Brothers were cool. Maybe Jake and Elwood can be cool again, but singing about the search for your long-lost dad sounds about as hip as the word “hip.” If this show does happens, I hope the new Blues are protected behind a curtain of chicken wire because them doggies be rollin’. Of course, as Hawaii Five-0 and Charlie’s Angels have proven, the 1970s are alive and well on network television. Who knows? Maybe Jake and Elwood are ready to ride again.

Can you envision turning in for the new adventures of the Brothers Blue? Is there any network that would give you hope, if you heard they were associated with a Blues Brothers TV show? For example, if FX landed the show, would you be more intrigued than if CBS signed on?

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Comments (25 total) Add your comment
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  • Templar

    The desperation of uncreative writers to co-op anything that once made money is beyond pathetic. Leave it alone and get an original idea.

    • LOL

      This show would be about as good for America as the Bush presidency.

      • TR

        Get over it, it’s 2011.

  • Fred

    It’s the same before each season starts. Everyone in an uproar about who’s picked, not enough “stars”, etc., etc. Then Week 2 or so into the season all is forgotten and you really get into it.

    • JimmyH

      Fred, I do believe you commented on the wrong article.

  • JimmyH

    Totally agree Templar. Hollywood has officially run out of original ideas.

    • Clete

      I await the call from Hollywood about my idea for a Doctor-Lawyer-Western….Sioux the Doctor.

      • Templar

        Will that be on before the one about the med student who moonlights as a magician [Abracadaver] and after the one about the drive thru funeral home [ Remains To Be Seen]?

      • nope

        Both of those sound better than a Blues Brothers’ TV show.

      • aps

        i’m not exactly sure how exactly that works, but Remains to be Seen sounds wonderful.

      • Templar

        Dysfunctional family in the mortuary business. Hi-jinks ensue.

  • bfett

    They’re remaking the 3 stooges, why not the Blues Brothers? They can’t think of anything else to do in Hollywood.

    • Scott

      OH,NO! Not the stooges too! Love the Blues Bros and the stooges but please, please, please NOT TV Remakes!

  • Steve

    Leave it alone in my opinion. Its a cult classic, one of the best. I havnt watched the movie that came out 10 odd years ago, cause this was the original.

    However if you are going to make it a tv show, and i wish you wouldnt. Let a cable channel get it. that way your bound to get one season out of it and 3-4 eps if it crashes and burns! Plus a cable channel wont interfere as much as network channel would, so creativity will remain higher.

    But in my opionion this should be left alone!

  • kathy griffin

    I’d rather see “Two Wild and Crazy Guys” as a series than “The Blues Brothers.”

  • Stormy

    How about a Tango & Cash TV show? Or McCloud, McMillan & Wife, a reboot of Hart To Hart, or bring Ocean’s Eleven to the small screen.

  • Esox

    No. Please……..no.

  • Peter

    Huh. Interesting reactions. This doesn’t sound too bad to me. The musicians this would involve aren’t too big to appear on TV, the way the top 40 stars that Glee covers are. It’d be neat to have a show that featured *good* music.

  • MissM

    Regarding the plot to find Elwood’s dad – sure that sounds ridiculous, but if someone had told you in 1979 that the plot of the first Blues Brothers movie would be about the brothers on a Mission From God to save an orphanage, that would have sounded even worse. You never know.

  • TR

    Danny must need the money…and Anne Beatts did Square Pegs back when Sarah Jessica Parker was still a fresh-faced kid.

    I have a better idea: a FAITHFUL remake of HaveGun – Will Travel.
    Watch a few episodes on Encore Western channel and you’ll be impressed.
    The trouble is, the lead would have to be someone other than a 20’s prettyboy.
    I’m not sure if there is anyone in Hollywood that fits the bill.
    A half-hour tightly scripted western with an interesting lead.
    Some were very non-tradional, coming across more like a Twilight Zone with horses. Several of the episodes were written by Gene Roddenberry and you can see his Star Trek social values creep in…not always successfully, IMHO. Others were gentle semi-comedys.
    Why not? Heck, film it in black and white.
    It beats most other remakes.

    • Templar

      How about Tim DeKay as a modern Paladin? He’s rugged, mature, tall and rides horses. Also a good actor with a sincere mein.

  • hell no

    Why can’t they understand that no one can replace Belushi? This is disgraceful.

  • rachel

    i don’t think that they should make it a TV show but they should maybe make a remake of the movie…or just make a blues brothers 2!!!

  • Used Cisco Reseller

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  • Business Service

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