Every television show would be better with Jason Statham in it. Every one. It’s one of the things that is so upsetting about television these days. Everyone — me, someone else, probably — agrees that every show would be better with Jason Statham in it but no one does anything about it. It’s madness, bordering on negligence. And don’t say anything about his movie schedule, either. Movie stars find time for television all the time now. I’m not even asking for a whole Jason Statham series here, one where he stars and has to do all the heavy lifting over multiple seasons. I’ll settle for single season projects, or even guest spots, anything from a recurring multi-season arc to a single episode appearance. It should be easy.
How easy? Well, allow me to give you a few examples.
Game of Thrones
The seventh season of Game of Thrones was kind of a letdown. There was action, sure, and more than one scene that featured a dragon causing mass destruction from the skies using fire breath. But all the stuff between those scenes — the plot, the people saying things, the people doing things — left something to be desired. One way to fix that problem? Add Jason Statham to the cast.
It should be so obvious. He already has the accent. He’s good at fighting. He has experience joining huge franchises deep into their runs. And he’s Jason Statham. He should have been on the show already. He should have been there from the start. Would the show have been somewhat different if HBO had cast Jason Statham as, say, Jon Snow? Well, yes. For one, Jason Statham is only eight years younger than Sean Bean, so the whole “He’s my bastard son” thing might have been a little dicey. Also, he’s a balding 50-year-old man. Still, I’ll tell you one thing: Ain’t no dragon getting captured in an attempted wight kidnapping led by Jason Statham. You’ve seen The Italian Job. It would be like that, but now Ed Norton is the Night King. Mini Coopers every color of the rainbow screaming around a frozen lake and such, evading White Walkers and ice javelins. 100% success rate.
Halt and Catch Fire
Halt and Catch Fire is a very good show that more people should watch. It’s the best workplace drama since Mad Men and the relationships between the four main characters shift and adapt in really fascinating ways. It would also greatly benefit from adding Jason Statham to the cast. Let’s say, oh, I don’t know, let’s say he’s a British billionaire looking to invest in this new internet thing the show is focusing on in season four, now that it’s up into the 1990s. I’m thinking either like a Steve Jobs look, with a black turtleneck and glasses, or something very 1990s, like a Hornets Starter jacket and a pair of rollerblades. Probably the first, but please do enjoy the visual of the second.
Statham just sitting there at the conference table, listening to Joe and Gordon go on and on, until Joe says something dismissive or shady and then THWAP Statham smashes his head on the table. Just once, like as a warning. Then he tells them to continue like nothing happened. Maybe this is just a one-episode guest spot. We’ll see how it plays.
“Oh no, the robots are learning and starting a revolution. Oh no, they’re going after the human guests. What are we going to d-”
[Jason Statham rides in on a horse and freaking judo chops all the robots in their necks, leaving the whole park a mess of mangled sparking limbs and dying-battery moans for help, then he tips his cap and rides back off into the sunset]
“Hmm. Never mind, I guess.”
Big Little Lies
Everything about the show is exactly the same except one of the townspeople getting interviewed by the police is now a very annoyed British man played by Jason Statham. That’s it. Just a little dollop of Statham dropped in every so often, giving the cops some attitude. And the show never announces he’s in the cast, so everyone is just watching the first episode like “Well, I guess I see what’s happening here with Reese Witherspoon’s charac-… wait. Is that Jason Statham?”
Yes. Yes, it is.
Better Call Saul
The tricky part here is threading the needle between this show and Breaking Bad. Like, how do you introduce a handsome British martial arts expert into the world of Saul that wouldn’t make Breaking Bad feel unrealistic in hindsight because no one was all “Hey, remember that handsome British martial arts expert?” But if we can do that with Kim Wexler, we can do it here, especially if we give him a smaller role. Working theory is that he’s the son of one of Jimmy’s elder care clients and he decides to take the law into his own hands once Jimmy gets suspended. Or maybe he and Mike do a mission together. I think Jason Statham and Mike Ehrmantraut would get along. Maybe he could be Mike’s old cop buddy. Maybe they can build a house. I don’t know. There are options here. That’s all I’m saying.
“It’s a demogorgon, innit?”
Look, I’m having fun with most of these, just bending myself into pretzels trying to figure out ways for Jason Statham to roundhouse kick bad guys in popular television shows, but this one… this one, I am very serious about. I want to see Jason Statham on Veep. I don’t care who he plays. Make him the damn Prime Minister for all I care. He would be so good. If you don’t believe me, go watch Spy. Jason Statham is hilarious in Spy. It was a total revelation. His timing is perfect. Put him in a room with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Sam Richardson (Splettttt), let him roast Jonah, do it all. And the swearing. The swearing! Imagine Jason Statham stringing together Veep-level cuss runs. My God. We have to get on this. There’s only one season left. It’s almost too late.
Put Jason Statham on Veep.
The Young Pope
If we can cast Jude Law as a New Yorker named Lenny Belardo who becomes the Pope and has a pet kangaroo and literally prays a crooked nun to death, there is no reason — not a single one — why we can’t have Jason Statham be the Pope in season two. Go ahead. Try to think of one. Because the closest you’ll come is “It would be too awesome,” and I don’t see why you would go out of your way to deny yourself that kind of joy. Jason Statham in a full-on Pope get-up, giving speeches to adoring crowds and maybe also single-handedly breaking up a human trafficking ring in Rome. Bad guys all “Wait a second, are you… are you the Pope?” as Statham bonks their heads together like coconuts, rendering them incapacitated as he screeches off in the Popemobile with half a dozen newly freed teenage girls riding behind him in a U-Haul, like someone just up and made his character from The Transporter the head of the Catholic Church.
Quite frankly, I’m amazed this one doesn’t exist already.