Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #1060: The Return Of Rambo?

Sylvester Stallone is considering doing a television series.

Not just any television series, but a RAMBO TELEVISION SERIES.

Now I'm not going to run around screaming "Oh, for the love of Xenu, no!" Instead I'm going to take a look at the PROS & CONS!


1. STALLONE: Stallone is still considered a big movie star, especially in Europe and Asia, and signing him to a television series is a big get. 

2. RAMBO: The Rambo franchise is still considered viable, the last instalment made over $100 million worldwide.


1. STALLONE: Stallone's movies don't do as well as they used to and they haven't for a very long time. Even movies like the Expendables franchise which features him and just about every other actor who has ever thrown a punch on-screen have a hard time cracking the $100 million mark domestically. In fact most need the combined North American and International box office to hit that vital benchmark. Which means the actual rentals and profits are a lot smaller than Stallone and the makers want you to think.

Then there's his image, which went from underdog makes good (Rocky) to action star (Rambo: First Blood Part 2) to cartoon (Rambo 3) to failed clown (Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot) back to cartoon (Demolition Man) to the aging, bulging steroid addled bulging veined freak he is today (Expendables +) peppered sparsely with attempts to be a serious actor again (Cop Land).

People may be willing to look at him once or twice a year on the big screen, but I doubt enough will want to see him week after week.

2. THE GENRE: I want you folks to name a truly great action-adventure TV series. One that operates along the shoot-em-up punch-em-out lines of the Rambo franchise, and remember, no irony.

I'll wait.

Having trouble thinking of one outside of 24, which was more of a suspense/thriller/mystery procedural?

That's because most attempts at translating the action/adventure genre to the small screen tend to compress all the worst elements of the genre while losing the character development and clever plotting that would make a show stand out in this hyper-competitive era.

That's what I think, what do you think?


  1. I can't think of one that has shoot-em-up as its main thing, but many genres have action sequences in them as part of the formula. westerns usually did, cop procedurals sometimes too.

    maybe the reason is network TV (and even niche cable TV now) is shooting for a maximal audience, aiming to some degree at all demographic groups, to get the highest rating possible. this leads to mixing in different elements (romance, character development and conflict, etc) and resolution of various plot points, both within an episode and week-to-week- to keep people from changing the channel. also, TV has a lower threshhold for violence, for obvious reasons.

    whereas the "die hard" genre (which also contains many of the same non-action elements- buddy comedy, saving damsels from danger, getting the bad guy at the end, etc.- not only shoot-em-up and punch-em-out) is aimed at a certain male demographic, so can dispense with or minimize the other elements- as part of its design and packaging.

    this could be entirely wrong, though. i suppose there's room on cable for a die-hard type show. maybe that's what the rambo-for-TV producers are thinking- why not? if there's a whole channel like spike for that kid of fare. i agree with you that stallone is not the right vehicle, though- too old and spent, plus the vietnam war era setting is extremely out of date.

  2. Perhaps it will be a "Reality TV" kind of thing, where Stallone and Seagal get together to discuss their washed up careers while attempting to catch criminals on the streets.

    I'd buy that for a dollar.

  3. Rainforest Giant here,

    I am a fan of the Rambo franchise. I believe that if Stallone digs deep he can find that part of himself that made Rocky and Rambo. People forget what kind of writer and actor he was.

    Give it a chance.

    Rainforest Giant

  4. Sandy Petersen24/9/13 1:11 pm

    I can think of several that focus very heavily on fighting. Fortunately for your thesis, they are all from years ago. No one has been able to pull it off since, I admit.

    1) Untouchables, with Robert Stack
    2) Combat, with Vic Morrow
    3) Walker, Texas Ranger

    Etc. I agree that even these didn't JUST rely on fighting and action, but hey.