Best and Worst TV Shows as Movies
With 'Charlie's Angels' turning 15, we look back at the hits and misses of shows making the transition from the small screen to the big screen.
BEST: 'Charlie's Angels' (2000)
TV show: Charlie's Angels (1976 - 1981)
Why it worked: Ultimate girl-power trio Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu reignited the cheesy 1970s TV series with more butt kicking, heart, and campy fun. What it lacked in plot, it made up for in sharp dialogue, fun fight scenes, and nonstop thrills.
WORST: Sex and the City 2 (2010)
TV show: Sex and the City (1998 - 2004)
Why it didn't work: There was little sex and not much city in this sequel to the big screen version of HBO's long-running dramedy. In its place, we step into an overstretched two and a half hour Middle East vacation that quickly runs out of steam.
BEST: Mission: Impossible (1996)
TV show: Mission: Impossible (1966-1973)
Why it worked: There's a reason this action-packed flick is a pop culture powerhouse. Besides bringing back the captivating team of secret agents popular enough to stay on our screens for several seasons and reintroducing that unforgettable theme song, Mission: Impossible delivered everything an action fan could ask for: nail-biting stunts and clever special effects.
WORST: Speed Racer (2008)
TV show: Speed Racer (1967 - 1968)
Why it didn't work: This box office-flop based on the beloved 1960s car-crazy animated series suffered from too many dizzying special effects and not enough plot development. Our hero, Speed, spends all 135 painful minutes chasing after the same thing. As EW's Lisa Schwarzbaum put it, ''Forget what happens on the racetrack. This is one vehicle that stalls.''
BEST: 21 Jump Street (2012)
TV show: 21 Jump Street (1987 - 1991)
With all due respect to its acid-washed source material, the Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill buddy-cop comedy improved the original concept by divesting any suspension of disbelief and turning the tables on Tatum's once-on-top jock. All that and it had a Johnny Depp cameo. Everybody wins — well, except up-to-no-good PhysEd teacher Mr. Walters' (Rob Riggle) nether regions.
WORST: Wild Wild West (1999)
TV show: The Wild Wild West (1965 - 1969)
Why it didn't work: Will Smith's expensive western was all concept and no delivery. While the sci-fi drama kept the spy gimmicks and tech-wielding criminal masterminds of the TV series, the actual script struggled. The lame jokes didn't help. But with six writers and eight producers, we can't say we're surprised.
BEST: Star Trek (2009)
TV show: Star Trek (1966 - 1969)
Why it worked: It's hard not to salute J.J. Abrams' retooling of the popular geek-culture series. The space saga gave depth to the supporting characters around Spock and Kirk while delivering a fresh, fast-paced thrill ride, pleasing Trekkies and those who still can't utter a Vulcan blessing.
WORST: The Last Airbender (2010)
TV show: Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005 - 2008)
Why it didn't work: When we heard suspense mastermind M. Night Shyamalan was bringing Nickelodeon's popular animated series to a big screen, we expected drama, suspense, and excitement. Instead, we got a silly, muddled storyline that spent more time explaining its hard-to-follow plot points than entertaining us.
BEST: The A-Team (2010)
TV show: The A-Team (1983 - 1987)
Why it worked: The revival of the story of four war vets who become mercenaries for hire took the cartoonish chaos of the TV series and pumped it with constant action, snarky one-liners, and daring explosions. The result: an energetic and entertaining blockbuster that any devoted action fan would love.
WORST: Bewitched (2005)
TV show: Bewitched (1964 - 1972)
Why it didn't work: The setup for this remake of the classic television comedy was clever. Nora and Delia Ephron wrote a script about a real witch and an actor who get cast in a revival of Bewitched, the series. An A-list cast including Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell only added to the intrigue. So what went wrong? According to EW's Lisa Schwarzbaum, ''they lose of the magic of the com as they mess with the sit.''
BEST: The Muppets (2011)
TV show: The Muppet Show (1976 - 1981)
Why it worked: Watching this big screen reboot was like reading a heartfelt love letter to childhood. The filmmakers breathed life into the charmingly silly franchise and brought us a new bout of comic zeal, catchy songs, and wit.
WORST: The Avengers (1998)
TV show: The Avengers (1961 - 1969)
Why it didn't work: This embarrassing movie translation barely scratched the surface of the quirky TV spy series. As EW's Owen Gleiberman put it, the film came ''about as close to capturing the eccentric, trapped-in-its-time sauciness of the TV series as you would by devoting a theme restaurant to it.''
BEST: The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
TV show: The Brady Bunch (1969 - 1974)
Why it worked: The Brady Bunch Movie served as a great homage to the iconic 1970's TV family. Down to the orange-shag carpeted stairs, this campy adaptation managed to simultaneously dole out chuckles, poke good-natured fun at itself, and rouse a serious case of nostalgia.
WORST: Land of the Lost (2009)
TV show: Land of the Lost (1974 ? 1977, 1991 - 1992)
Why it didn't work: In this big screen revival of the cheesy '70s Saturday morning staple about a scientist who believes time travel can cure all, you want to root for the juvenile hijinks and humor. In fact, there are even moments when Danny McBride and Will Ferrell's natural charisma spills onto the screen. But overall, the laughs lost their way in this 102-minute bomb.
BEST: Jackass: The Movie (2002)
TV show: Jackass (2000 - 2002)
Why it worked: The MTV crew of playful masochists brought out their best gags and stunts for their move to the big screen. From making urine snow cones to crawling into mousetraps, this too-extreme-for-television version captured everything that made the series an unlikely success. It might not be award-winning filmmaking but it is definitely sidesplitting, mindless fun.
WORST: The Mod Squad (1999)
TV show: Mod Squad (1968 - 1973)
Why it didn't work: We didn't ask for this resurrection of the vintage '60s TV series, and the worn out slang and lack of wit reminded us why. In fact, it's hard to even stay awake through this incoherent storyline about a squad of one-dimensional outlaws who redeem themselves by joining the LAPD, you dig?
BEST: Get Smart (2008)
TV show: Get Smart (1965 - 1970)
Why it worked: Director Peter Segal resurrected the popular 1960s-era comedy series with this family-friendly re-do. The spy spoof is as hilarious as it is action-packed. It also ''references just enough of the original touchstones and punchlines to please those who lived it the first time,'' says EW's Lisa Schwarzbaum.
WORST: Scooby-Doo (2002)
TV show: Scooby Doo, Where Are You? (1969 - 1972)
Why it didn't work: Zoinks! This reboot of the beloved pop culture staple had just enough inside jests and lingo to keep faithful fans happy. Unfortunately, between the burping and the gags, the film couldn't decide whether it was for goofy teens or classy adults.