Sometimes it’s fun to sit and count the trends in a contemporary Hollywood announcement. To wit: the news that the 1980 movie "Urban Cowboy" will be turned into a TV series.
Fox announced the pilot on Thursday. The description, via TV Line.
“Fueled with energetic music, [Urban Cowboy] follows Kyle and Gaby, two star-crossed young lovers, as they pursue their dreams and passions through the sweat of line-dancing in honky-tonks, the grime of the oil refineries and the glamor of modern Texas. It’s about family legacies, starting over, finding true love and the American dream.”
John Travolta and Debra Winger of course starred in the original, about — don’t pretend you don’t remember — the Texas-flavored romantic travails of Bud and Sissy, with more mechanical-bull scenes than you thought any movie could ever have.
Thursday's news caught our attention, and not only because a Turkish version of the original movie poster hangs in our living room (we wouldn't joke about such things) but because of how many current Hollywood trends the news encapsulated.
For example, there's the film-hit-as-TV-show aspect, as evidenced by “Fargo,” “Twin Peaks,” “Scream” and countless others. So trend No. 1.
The new "Urban Cowboy" series will be written, directed and executive produced by Craig Brewer, the “Hustle and “Flow” and “Footloose” director who, if nothing else, would confound a person in 2006 confronted by someone from the future asking them, “What do you think the guy who just made 'Hustle & Flow' will one day do?" He’s also a film director migrating to the small screen and thus trend No. 2.
The American Dream has been the purported context of many a recent show, including "Boardwalk Empire" (“Boardwalk is basically about the corruption of the American Dream”); "Nashville" (“a prism through which to see the American dream”); and Fox’s own “Empire” (“This story is not just the African American dream but the American dream,” per co-creator Lee Daniels). There's trend No. 3.
"Urban Cowboy" also appeals to a country-music audience, and as we know all too well Hollywood is eager, sort of, to capture a more red-state vote. Thus trend No. 4.
Also, TV networks seem very intent on bringing back things John Travolta made famous. And so trend No. 5.
Oh, and original producer Robert Evans will produce the new "Urban Cowboy." And Robert Evans is a trend in his own right. Trend No. 6.
Will it work? If you’re only supposed to remake movies that weren't exactly classics to begin with, “Urban Cowboy” certainly fits the bill.
It also bears noting that the “Urban Cowboy” film contains one of those overly serious tag lines about entirely unserious topics -- “Hard hat days and honky-tonk nights.” That, certainly, is a trend worth bringing back.