MOVIES

Paramount’s Ferris Bueller Spinoff May Be Good

There’s one very memorable thing about “Ferris Bueller” — its utterly bizarre earworm of a theme song, which feels like a dance club practice run for the “Seinfeld” opening titles. Still, it’s hard not to at least give the TV adaptation credit for chutzpah. Opening with Charlie Schlatter declaring himself the true Ferris and the film a poor fictionalization of his life, this new take on the character puts a chainsaw through a cutout of the movie version before blasting into the first episode.

The remaining 12 outings of “Ferris Bueller” don’t move its characters in any new directions — most of the show’s plots are retrograde sitcom ideas, or repetitive notions scraped up from the film itself. Sloane (Ami Dolenz) and Ferris have an on-again/off-again romance, and Cameron (Brandon Douglas) feels small in his best friend’s shadow. Only one episode –  “Baby You Can’t Drive My Car” — dares to do something unique and has Ferris confront a ghost who doesn’t want him to claim his car.

Unfortunately, the show was creamed in the ratings and by critics when compared to yet another take on the Bueller ethos — “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose,” a Fox sitcom clearly inspired by Ferris’ devil-may-care attitude but which lasted two seasons longer. As for Jennifer Aniston, who only managed to get one spotlight episode for Jeannie before the series was canceled, she would bounce from the B-horror classic “Leprechaun” to the Fox sketch comedy show “The Edge” to the one-season wonder “Muddling Through” before becoming one of America’s favorite “Friends,” finally breaking her Jeannie-esque string of bad luck.

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