Last week, the creator of Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas, along with the show’s star, Kristen Bell, raised over three million dollars on Kickstarter to fund the movie version of the cancelled cult TV show. Through fan contributions and the power of the Internet, they exceeded their goal in a matter of hours, and it looks like Veronica Mars: The Movie will be coming to the big screen sometime next year. Judging from the explosion of the blog world, fans are rejoicing, the cast is psyched to reunite, and Hollywood insiders are beginning to take note of Kickstarter’s powerful new role in the film industry. There’s no question that what Thomas and Bell have accomplished is impressive. However, I believe that it’s a huge mistake.
I’ve never seen Veronica Mars. I have no doubt that it’s a good show, and that many people were disappointed when it was cancelled after just three seasons. Yet if they think that a movie version based off the show is a good idea, they’re wrong. More often than not, films based off television shows fail to capture the charm and vivacity of their original forms. The movie versions are flat and uninspired, leaving the viewers with unanswered questions and unresolved feelings. Need an example? Here are three: Sex and the City. Bewitched. Avatar: The Last Airbender. There are exceptions, of course, such as last year’s great 21 Jump Street, but they are few and far between. Most likely, the devoted, intense fans that watched Veronica Mars won’t be satisfied by a movie version of their beloved TV show, and it’s doubtful that it’ll give them the fulfilling conclusion they expect. If anything, the film will probably leave them more frustrated than they were back in 2007 when the show went off the air.
I know this must all sound cynical. I really do hope that the team behind the Veronica Mars movie makes a film that lives up to the series’ good rep. But judging from the past successes (or lack thereof) of films based on TV shows, it just seems unlikely to happen. I know that if I were a Veronica Mars fan, I’d be nervous for a movie and the frustration it’s likely to bring. Yet I also know that I’d still be excited by the prospect of my favorite show returning from the dead, and that I’d probably be first in line to see the film when it was released. And with the strength of the response to the Veronica Mars movie, it’s looking more and more likely that this will be a conundrum that I, along with many other fans of cancelled-too-soon TV shows, might face in the near future.
Pretty soon, there will be Kickstarter movements for all of my favorite cult TV shows. There will be fundraising efforts for film versions of Gilmore Girls, Friday Night Lights, Freaks and Geeks. They will find support from a small army of passionate fans, and soon, if studios provide backing and cast members sign on, the movies will be made. I won’t want to see them, but I know I will, because my desire to watch anything that’s related to my beloved shows will cancel out the likely regret I’ll have after actually seeing the films. I wish this weren’t the case. I don’t want my favorite TV shows to be revived as films, because I know I’ll be bound for disappointment once I see them. I love Gilmore Girls, but I was satisfied with its conclusion, and I don’t want the film version to possibly ruin the peace the finale allowed me to make with the show’s flawed last season. Friday Night Lights was an incredible show, and its ending was perfect, but as much as I love the prospect of seeing Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton reunite, it won’t be worth the strong possibility that a film version of the show will leave me with a multitude of questions and a long-lasting sense of frustration. Even a show like Freaks and Geeks, which didn’t have a satisfying conclusion, won’t benefit from being made into movies. No matter how hard the filmmakers may try, the movie versions will fail to live up to the greatness of their shows, and viewers won’t be given any sort of closure.
It’s still early, and who knows what will happen. The fundraising success of Veronica Mars could prove to be an anomaly, and the film versions of the other shows I mentioned above might never get made. I truly hope that’s the case, because I can’t bear to see lesser quality movie versions overshadow my perfect memories of my favorite TV series.
This article was originally posted on TheReelist.com.