On Friday, The University of Louisville held a somber press conference to announce a self-imposed ban on post season play for the 2015 men’s basketball team after reviewing credible evidence from an ongoing NCAA investigation into claims that escorts were provided to recruits in exchange for thousands of dollars. Addressing the media, coach Rick Pitino, flanked by athletic director, Tom Jurich, and University of Louisville President, James Ramsey, said that the decision, while hard, was made in “the best interest” of the University, program and fans. This announcement may be a huge disappointment for anyone who supports Louisville men’s basketball, but the punishment is meant to prevent further damage to the Cardinal brand.
This proactive and “decisive” approach to self-sanctioning which is intended to reduce further harsher punishment in the future, might actually be a good idea, one that some television and film executives should have engaged in long ago. Today I look at five television and movie franchises that should have protected their brand, by looking out for the “best interest” of audiences by self-imposing bans on further episodes or installments, while using actual quotes taken out of context from the recent University of Louisville press conference.
The Fast and the Furious
The Fast and the Furious (2001), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) , Fast and Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), Fast 8 (2017)
Self Imposed Ban: Next Years Model
If you’re looking for a 1995 Metallic Green Mitsubishi Eclipse, complete with racing stripes, a nitrous oxide booster, oversized rear spoiler, neon undercarriage lighting, extra large exhaust pipes and the Mitsubishi decal on the back window (just so you know it’s really a Mitsubishi), I’m almost certain Auto Trader has one on page 34. I know you’re yearning to become a Street Outlaw, but trust me, save your money and do the right thing: pop in that DVD of the original Fast and Furious movie. It’s action-packed with heart-pumping, adrenaline-fueled car chases, which will fulfill your need for speed, but it’s weak plot involving a well planned heist gone awry, incredibly attractive friends, shady and vengeful drug cartels, the Yakuza, and Vin Diesel, might leave you running on fumes after it’s over. The first movie was predictable and average at best, however, any movie building their franchise around the bald-headed gravelly-voiced actor Vin Diesel, “comes as a complete shock to me!” It’s certainly thrilling to see cars race about at break neck speeds, jumping off ramps and performing ridiculous moves, but let’s be honest and call this movie what it really is: Hot Wheels for Adults! Fortunately for fans of the franchise, you’re in luck, there are three more Fast & Furious movies in the works (they make them every 2-3 years). Unfortunately, for the rest of us, Hollywood executives should have pulled the emergency brake a long time ago.
1989 – Present
Self Imposed Ban: Eight is Enough
It’s “painful” for me to have to include one of the greatest televisions shows of all time on this list. Since their crudely drawn debut in the late 80’s, serving as buffers between commercials and live actions for the Tracey Ullman Show, I’ve been a fan. The Simpsons landed their own show in 1989 and began airing hilarious and sometimes controversial episodes regularly on Fox. The show became a huge success and with phrases like, “D’oh!”, “Don’t have a Cow Man!”, and “Excellent!” entering our American lexicon, it’s still a pop culture phenomenon making it the longest running American sitcom in TV history. While still widely popular, their strongest work was only limited to Seasons 1 through 8. Regrettably The Simpsons went on to air 19 more seasons, and even a feature film. With each new episode, it became apparent that the producers cared less about great storytelling and impeccable comedic timing, and more about the D’oh ($$$). But such is life, and we all need to “move past denying it happened and we need to deal with it”.
The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), Rise of the Machines (2003), Salvation (2009), Genisys (2015)
Television: 3 Seasons
The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Self Imposed Ban: The Second Coming
“I’ll be back!” That’s meant as a promise rather than a threat, since the Terminator franchise, like the killing machines it spawned, keeps getting rebooted. Skynet became self-aware around 1987 after the success of the first movie, of the potential cash cow this franchise could become, thus dazzling audiences with incredible special effects with each sequel. The role of the killing machine in the original Terminator ironically almost starred O.J. Simpson, however Arnold Schwarzenegger ultimately landed the role, and while only uttering 18 lines of dialogue, the indestructible robot solidified him as a Hollywood star. However, as more sequels were made, audiences began to scratch their heads with the various alternate paradoxes and multiple timelines portrayed in the Terminator universe. You’ll need to call Stephen Hawking to come over for some Netflix and chill just to explain the theories of time travel. Whichever robot Skynet sends back in time to attack it’s intended target, one thing’s for sure, “it’s never easy for the people who don’t deserve this” and get caught in the crossfire.
The Big Bang Theory
Self Imposed Ban: From Creation
Scientists commonly refer to the origins and expansion of our known universe as the Big Bang theory. This hypothesis is both widely accepted as the prevailing theory of the birth of our universe and yet heavily debated among many, much like the television show which shares its namesake. The shows premise involves a couple of nerds and various other geeky type characters, who despite their severe introversion and socially-awkward nature, befriend an attractive waitress, who (and get this) happens to be an aspiring actress and who just happens to live next door in their apartment complex. The show’s popularity has always been a mystery to me. I tried to watch it once, but it was “a night of extreme pain” and “I didn’t want to go through it anymore.” Billed as a smart comedy, each episode, just like deep dark space itself, sucks the life out of you. It took 13.7 billion years to create the universe, and only 9 seasons to end it.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
Self Imposed Ban: Chest Fever
Get your mind out of the gutter, “Yo Ho Ho” is simply a sea shanty that life-like animatronic buccaneer’s chant in the gallows of the Pirates of the Caribbean amusement ride located at Disneyland. This ride also has the distinction of serving as the inspiration for the aforementioned successful film franchise. Not many films can claim to be the tenth highest grossing movies of all time and in the same rum-scented breath say they pulled enough source material for 5 plot-lines from the upgraded exoskeletons of Chuck E. Cheese and friends. Sit right back and I’ll tell you a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, reminiscent of a “punishment I thought I would never see.” What began as a fun enjoyable journey, quickly veered off course inducing sea sickness among critics everywhere. Despite an all-star cast of actors, including Johnny Depp, who portrays the memorable Captain Jack Sparrow, the franchise simply became lost at sea after the sequel, Dead Man’s Chest. Watching the films that follow, feels like you’ve been “hit over the head with a sledgehammer.”