New ‘Friday the 13th’ TV Series is a Meta Turd Fest That No Jason Fan Wants
Some new details on the forthcoming 'Friday the 13th' TV series revealed that Jason Voorhees will not be the show's villain and that its creator has no idea why the franchise is popular.
So there's a 'Friday the 13th' TV series on the way and initial reports indicated that it would not be like the previous show of the same name, which only had the title in common with the slasher film series. However, new details reveal it does have something in common with the 1987 show, in that Jason Voorhees is not a character in the show... well, sort of. He is in it, but not really. Let me explain.
What's The New Show Going to Be About?
According to Cinema Blend, Sean Cunningham, the producer of the new series and director/producer of the original 'Friday the 13th' film, let loose some more details about his forthcoming 'Friday the 13th' TV series. Apparently, the series is to be set in a world where the 'Friday the 13th' films exist, but were based on a true story. So the show will focus on the town and the actual killer that those movies were based on. It's all very meta and a bit confusing, but think of how the 'Stab' movies existed in the 'Scream' sequels and you're in the right neighborhood. He also dropped the bombshell that there will be more than one killer in the show, but none of them will be Jason Voorhees. What?
Fans of the series, like myself, are going to be pissed if this is actually the case. It's like saying, "We're doing a Batman TV show... but Batman isn't going to be in it." Oh wait, that happened already and people inexplicably love it. Let's try a more direct example -- It's like saying, "Hey, let's do a 'Friday the 13th' TV show and not include Jason Voorhees." Wait, that already happened once before too. God dammit!
History Repeats Itself
I was really excited about the prospect of seeing the fallout of Jason's murderous rampage through Camp Crystal Lake. Now that I know that is not the show we're getting, I am pissed off... but the more I think about it -- I'm not surprised. The reason I'm not surprised is because the man behind this show is Sean Cunningham, whose distaste for Jason, his hockey mask and what became of the franchise he started are not a secret.
Sean brilliantly borrowed elements from other movies in the still-new slasher sub-genre to create a movie that would launch an empire -- 'Friday the 13th.' His involvement pretty much ended after the first film, which features Jason's mom Pamela as the killer. Jason did appear in a dream sequence at the end of that film, but that was the brainchild of special FX master (and future horror legend) Tom Savini. Since the script didn't have a true ending, Tom suggested ending with a last-minute scare gag like the one he had recently seen in the film 'Carrie.' Cunningham never wanted Jason to be a character in the movies, so you can imagine his dismay when he became what the series at large is best known for.
Sean did eventually return to the franchise and if you don't already know when, go ahead and guess before you continue reading...
That's right! He returned for what is considered by many as the worst entry in the entire franchise -- 'Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.' The first thing they did was blow up Jason in the opening sequence... and didn't bring him back until the end. That film's director, Adam Marcus, revealed in the documentary 'Crystal Lake Memories' that the plot was dictated by Sean Cunningham, who told him "I want that damn hockey mask out of the movie! So whatever you come up with -- let's make that movie." To Cunnigham's credit, at least he had the good sense to bring back Kane Hodder as Jason.
In fairness to the cast and crew of 'Jason Goes to Hell,' I thought that 'Jason X' was worse. Even the music sucked in that one. By the way, 'Jason X' -- also a Cunningham joint. So, by my count, he's responsible for the worst two Jason films in existence.
Can This Show Still Be Good?
Absolutely. I could be completely wrong about this. It is kind of a high concept that's just crazy enough to work. It might be incredible... it's just not going to be the show Jason Voorhees fans want. I get that Cunningham likes his initial Friday the best -- a lot of people agree with that. However, those people usually aren't fans of the entire franchise. They're like the "Pearl Jam fans" that only like 'Ten.' Pearl Jam doesn't make music for those people, they make music for their real fans. That's what these filmmakers need to do, because the real fans are clamoring for more Jason.
It's pretty comical (and sad) to see professionals struggle to give us what we want. It's not rocket science -- these are pretty much the easiest movies to make. You need teenagers, a camp, cool kills, boobs and Jason in a hockey mask. Rinse. Repeat.
Many other articles are focusing on the CW's interest in the show and how that could be a bad thing for the amount of gore necessary in this type of show. They keep citing 'Arrow' and 'The Flash' (both great shows) as beacons of hope for the show's integrity, but I have yet to see anyone mention 'The Vampire Diaries.' Yes, it is a show about teenage vampires, but I've seen some gory s--- go down on that show. It's not quite to the level of 'The Walking Dead' or 'Hannibal' in terms of gore, but it's light years ahead of what you see in the TV edits of 'Friday the 13th' movies. So the CW isn't automatically a kiss of death here.
What About the New Movie?
Good question. That project is unrelated to this TV show and it's still unclear if it's a sequel to the initial series, sequel to the reboot, another reboot altogether or if the rumors are true about it being a found footage movie. It is said that they might explain why Jason can't die, but who knows until they actually have a script (which still hasn't happened). They do have a release date though -- May 13th, 2016.
Fans of Mr. Voorhees' work know that it doesn't really matter whether the new TV show, movie and video game suck ass or not. If there's one thing we know for sure about Jason -- it's that nothing can kill him... not even Hollywood morons.