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A Three's Company movie is actually going to happen

04.20.2016

three's company, suzanne somers, john ritter, joyce dewitt

There was a time in the mid-90s where movies based on once-popular television properties were all the rage. There were a few successes in there like THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE and a pair of ADDAMS FAMILY flicks, but, if you sift through the rubble, you'll find more duds like THE HONEYMOONERS, LOST IN SPACE, BEWITCHED and so on and so forth than real gems that have stood the test of time. But, as we all know, show business is cyclical, and what is old is new again. That means more TV adaptations the last few years - DARK SHADOWS, 21 JUMP STREET, etc. All it takes is one hit to send the studios looking under rocks for the next old thing they might be able to dust off and find some money in, which is the only explanation I really have for the news that New Line is hoping to secure the rights to THREE'S COMPANY in order to make a movie based on its premise. 

Oh, for the love of God...

New Line has tapped Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, who penned HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU back in 2009, to hammer out the screenplay that is said to take place in the 70s, much like the original THREE'S COMPANY television series. Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with what THREE'S COMPANY was about, it revolved around a young 20-something guy named Jack Tripper, who found a roommate situation where he'd be living with two women. However, at that time, inter-gender cohabitation was hardly the norm it is today, and, in order to convince his landlords that no funny business would be going on, he had to pretend to be gay. What would then follow is plenty of sexual innuendo and miscommunication that would send the show's characters into your typical sitcom hijinks on an episodic basis. 

Now the problem one should see with a THREE'S COMPANY adaptation today, even if it is set in yesteryear, is that none of what made the show work then is particularly funny by our standards and sensibilities in 2016. Guys and girls share apartments for all sorts of reasons, whether it's because they're in a relationship or good friends looking for a situation to save some money. In addition, pretending to be gay in order to gain some sort of advantage could easily be seen as offensive to anyone struggling to find acceptance in their own homosexual realities. Besides, Jack Tripper had to play up his "gayness" to cartoonish levels, in order to keep his landlords from asking any further questions, and that type of portrayal wouldn't exactly fly right now. 

A THREE'S COMPANY movie is chock full of issues that I'm not sure anyone here has thought through, setting off huge red flags around every facet of this idea. Granted, THREE'S COMPANY was hilarious in its day, and, as someone who watched plenty of reruns of the show growing up, it held up remarkably well, with John Ritter turning out something amazing every episode. But for people being exposed to the property in this way, I can't see this working out well in the end at all. 

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