Speaking Of High School Shows

I forgot to mention, though it’s not exactly a new piece of information, that Parker Lewis, Fox’s attempt to do its own thinly disguised copy of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, premiered around the same time as an actual TV adaptation of Ferris Bueller, on NBC, with Charlie Schlatter as Ferris, Jennifer Aniston (who had something of a show-killer record until she got Friends) as his sister, and Brandon Douglas in the Alan Ruck part. It was a famous example of how the “official” adaptation could be worse than the ripoff; perhaps because they had the rights to the original film and therefore had to respect its style, the writing of the Ferris Bueller show was too tame, the visual style too safe, and the attempts to make Ferris cool tended to be like this:

Because singing Al Jolson songs is the epitome of cool cred.

Also, the theme song (which occurs at the end of the clip) must have been one of the worst of the decade.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.