One of Madison’s crowning moments in cinema is getting some respect in the form of reality television.
Variety reports that MGM Television is developing an unscripted documentary series based on Back to School, the Rodney Dangerfield-starring 1986 comedy. As a refresher, that movie — partially filmed on the UW campus — was about a rich old man who enrolls in college to keep his son from dropping out.
The new series “will follow college students with their surprise new classmates — their parents.” It also promises Comedy Gold™ like “geriatric beer pong” and “mismatched dorm mates,” plus the horrifying prospect of pledging a frat or sorority with Mom or Dad. No word yet on whether UW might reprise its role from the original film.
It will be co-produced by Dangerfield’s widow. MGM executive Barry Poznick says, “(Rodney’s) spirit is very much in the DNA of our show’s approach to a dual fish-out-of-water comedic format for audiences to experience along with our parents and kids.”
But the show will lack the element of life-altering surprise. In the film, Jason Melon had no idea that his dad, Thornton, was going to show up. And then Thornton started fucking shit up pretty much immediately. But here, the parents and kids will surely be aware of everything prior. Otherwise this is going to seriously scar some freshies. The first year of college is hard enough; imagine having your parents go through every minor embarrassment with you.
Regardless, it sounds better than the hideously cruel show that Netflix has planned with Dustin from Stranger Things!
No release date has been set. In the meantime, you can watch Back to School the movie for free, with ads, on YouTube: