ABC unleashed their musical remake of Dirty Dancing on Wednesday and the reactions were not pretty. The Atlantic called the TV movie a “tonally bizarro update” to the Patrick Swayze classic that aims to follow it scene-by-scene and add original songs based on the music that highlighted the original. When reviews compare it to Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho, you begin to piece together the type of wreck you’re about to witness.
Despite contentious reviews, many tuned in to see one of their favorites get what was supposed to be a fun update. The reality was a three-hour broadcast that took the moments they knew by heart and ruined them, at least it did according to the reactions. If you look through the several social media posts from during the movie, you’ll see a fanbase that is falling apart moment by moment. They can’t deal with the images they’re seeing on their screen, many are willing to toss in their DVD of the original film, and a select few are trying to summon Patrick Swayze to confront the executives at ABC.
The idea behind the TV remake musical is something that seems to keep trying to stick around for some reason. For most networks, the main draw is the “live” aspect of the productions and not the planned film aspect. The reaction to Rocky Horror on Fox should’ve been a signal. Then again, ABC might’ve had a hit with all the folks possibly hate-watching Dirty Dancing. Numbers are numbers at the end of day.
I would like to see musical remakes of other Patrick Swayze films. You could easily do Road House and toss it out as a blue collar trip back to the rowdiest bar in Missouri. You’d have to tone down the violence but people would tune in.