Friday, 15 August 2008

The Jennifer Lopez Spin-Off Showcase

It was revealed yesterday that ABC is working with Jennifer Lopez to create a TV adaption of her mediocre film Maid in Manhattan. This is one pitch you can’t help but wish had been killed in its early stages as a result of the writers strike this year. But it did give rise to an interesting question: what could possibly be a worse J-Lo film to adapt for TV:

The Wedding Planner – This movie had Jennifer Lopez as a wedding planner (the title isn’t exactly misleading) who “breaks the most important rule of all: she falls in love with the groom”. Let’s take this to the next level. Re-establish the premise as a reality show where Jennifer Lopez plans a wedding for a random lucky couple (read: desperate fame seeking morons whose marriage will likely last as long as their 15 minutes of fame) all the while secretly trying to steal the groom for herself. Jennifer Lopez is perfect at the actual planning of a wedding since at this point she has said “’til death do us part” at least as many times as Pete Doherty has stated he’s clean. The finale should feature the wedding and Lopez making a grand attempt to ruin it, steal the sap from his unsuspecting bride and score ratings success win her man and find true love. And of course, edit the show so that Lopez looks heartfelt and endearing throughout, not like the fickle, heartless whore that she is.

Anaconda – In this film Jennifer played a director (laughable in itself) caught up in an attempt to catch an anaconda. As a TV show, J-Lo and her crew travel around the world, finding rare and dangerous animals, especially anacondas, and wind up in a variety of perilous situations. An anaconda on a plane, for example, that’s not been done at all. Shoot it like a documentary, handheld camera, Cloverfield style. This way you stand a chance of hiding the dodgy CGI snake and also if the camera is shaky enough then it might disorient people so much they are so busy vomiting they are unable to change the channel. Instant ratings smash.

Gigli – Simple one this: find some contractual obligation that requires Ben Affleck to return and play out the movie on a weekly basis: the same flimsy plot, same awful dialogue and the same terrible acting. But with Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck having to perform love scenes together now as exes the awful onscreen chemistry would create a new apex of cringe comedy. It could even surpass the level of awkward Showgirls managed to create by having Jesse from Saved by the Bell flop around like a dying seal while having sex in a pool. People would tune in just to see how big a train wreck it turned out to be. Plus it could do us all some favours in the long-term, the film did. It destroyed Jennifer Lopez’ career, sent Ben Affleck into hiding and toward better prospects and added the term “it’s turkey time, gobble gobble to the lexicon of things to never, ever say when attempting to seduce someone.

The Cell – The film is about a child psychiatrist played by Lopez who has developed a technique that allows her to travel through the minds of her patients and uses it to go into the mind of a serial killer. The show could be a decent twist on the standard procedural. Each week simply unveil a new mystery and have Lopez enter the mind of a killer to find clues so that she can solve it. Each mind could be vastly different and the concept leaves huge room for creativity, to create amazing, imaginative sets and worlds ruled by clever conceits such as a mind ruled by OCD or an adult with the mind of a child. It could create some interesting drama and raise intelligent questions. What makes a man kill? What happens when you begin to understand the motive for murder or even begin to empathise with a murderer?

Okay, so the last one could actually work. But the overall point is clear: Jennifer Lopez makes bad, trashy movies; we really don’t need her to start making bad, trashy TV too. We have The CW for that.


STUART THORNILEY

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