Arnold Schwarzenegger to Kindergarten Cop: “I’ll be baaaaaack . . . sort of.”
Once again, Universal Studios appears to be mining the murky, much-abused mother lode of 90s movies to find something old and a just bit crusty that’s worthy of receiving a fresh coat of paint and being designated a “Hot New Television Show!”
This time around, the prize goes to Kindergarten Cop, a 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle (his favorite film, no less), based on the premise that the absolute best way to catch a violent and dangerous drug kingpin is to find out whether his 5-year-old son’s favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle is Raphael, Michelangelo, or Donatello (because, let’s face it, nobody ever really likes Leonardo).
Apparently, Universal has decided to retool this moderately successful comedy, best known for teaching viewers how to determine whether or not they, in fact, have a tumor . . .
. . . and how to tell the difference between male and female genitalia . . .
. . . into a direct-to-DVD film, with the ultimate goal of eventually converting it into a new primetime television series.
The premise of the “prequel” film will be, more or less, similar to the original . . . with an “Indian sidekick named Sanjit” (because that character description doesn’t sound culturally insensitive at all) replacing the unsmiling ginger lady from the first film, and an EEEEEVVVVIIIIL flash drive hidden in a tot’s backpack replacing “drugs.” Also, no Arnold . . . because he’s . . . like old now and stuff.
(Presumably, “adorable children” making age inappropriate dirty jokes, a hot female elementary school teacher just looking for love, and a bunch of foreign and vaguely terrorist-looking bad guys will still be in the mix.)
Of course, the problem with converting a film like Kindergarten Cop — even a “hipper” and slightly modernized but still patently ridiculous version like the one described above — into a television series remains the same as it did back in 1990. Namely, once the “drug”or “flash drive” is retrieved and the bad guys neutralized, there is actually no rational reason for the grizzled and hard-boiled cop to continue teaching kindergarten.
And since finding a “flash drive” in a tot’s backpack and mowing down a bunch of really shady looking, mustache-twirling, “I am obviously the bad guy” t-shirt wearing, terrorist-types would presumably only take three or four episodes tops, the titular “Kindergarten Cop” would eventually have to be placed on another undercover assignment, presumably one in a place where a significantly higher percentage of his “marks” are potty trained. (Unless, of course, all the kindergarten kids’ parents in this particular school district just so happen to be stereotypical terrorist types?)
So Kindergarten Cop would have to become Kindergarten Cop.
Fair enough, but let’s, just for argument’s sake, assume that after the EEEEEVVVVILLLLLL flashdrive is retrieved and the stereotypical terrorist types are murdered or arrested, the grizzled cop type decides he just loves those rascally, inappropriate joke-making kids too much to leave them for the oh-so-dull world of undercover copdom?
Well, that’s a lovely thought. But it still doesn’t solve our problem. Because in that case . . .
Kindergarten Cop would become simply Kindergarten Cop.
The truth of the matter is that undercover cop shows that are not episodic in nature (i.e. shows featuring one new case/undercover assignment per week) have a hard expiration date built into their premise. Heck, even 21 Jump Street had to become 22 Jump Street when Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill got WAY TOO FRIGGIN old to conceivably pass for anyone under the age of 35 . . .
I guess Universal is hoping us nostalgic Kindergarten Cop fans are simply too enchanted by a bunch of so-sweet-you-can-get-a-cavity-just-by-looking-at-them kids saying the “darnedest things” to care too much about silly/unimportant things like “logic” and “plot consistency.”
In that case, bring on The Kindergarten Cop show . . . and my apologies for being “the party pooper.”