Bad Education (and five other sitcoms that deserve the big screen treatment)
Since its launch in 2003, BBC Three has traditionally been home to most of the sitcoms broadcast by the network, housing overseas imports like Family Guy and American Dad, as well as home-grown shows like Little Britain and the BAFTA-winning comedy Gavin & Stacey.
In recent years though, one of the channel's most popular sitcoms has been Bad Education. Running for three series between 2012 and 2014 when its final episode brought the show to a close and based around the highly dysfunctional Abbey Grove school, Bad Education was created by comedian Jack Whitehall, who also stars as the school's most inept teacher Alfie Wickers alongside a cast that has included, at various points, Matthew Horne, Michelle Gomez and Harry Enfield.
Although the series received mixed reviews from critics, Bad Education had built a loyal following of fans by the end of its three-series run, enough to prove there was an appetite for a feature film. Sure enough, at the beginning of this year, a feature-length film featuring the exploits of Alfie and the degenerates from class XX arrived in UK cinemas and on Monday (December 14th) it also arrives in stores on DVD and Blu-ray.
As fans of the show will know, the final series ended with Alfie parting ways with his students, but the film's premise sees the teacher giving it one last hurrah and attempting to organise the ultimate post-exam school trip. When the school vetoes Alfie's plans to take the kids to Las Vegas, they settle instead on the more realistic destination of Cornwall. Or, as Mr. Wickers himself puts it: “I'm gonna give the kids a holiday so batshit mental, if it was a movie, everybody would be played by Nicholas Cage.”
He's not wrong. When the school party goes off the radar and neither the school nor the parents can contact them, Alfie and the kids remain blissfully unaware of the media storm and manhunt building around their 'disappearance'. To say too much more would be to reveal spoilers, but we'll say this: there is blood, there are riot police, there are some very posh people and there's a swan, but most of all there are plenty of juvenile laughs to be had.
Fans of the show will love it, new initiates may or may not be converted, but either way this is a fitting end to the show and even if you've never seen the series, if you've found yourself in hysterics watching the Inbetweeners films, this is well worth a punt.
You can find the trailer below, beneath that we've picked five other brilliant sitcoms that deserve an outing on the big screen...
If there was ever a sitcom that was ready made for big screen adaptation it's Arrested Development. The fly-on-the-wall comedy following the trials and tribulations of the highly dysfunctional Bluth family ranks as one of the best in recent memory and you can easily imagine a feature-length episode with even more guest stars and a larger-than-usual disaster waiting to happen. It's almost too easy, really, but how could an Arrested Development movie not be funny?
In some ways, it's surprising that a Red Dwarf movie hasn't already happened. At the height of its popularity, Red Dwarf had amassed a huge cult following and a movie would have been the next logical step, but for whatever reason it didn't materialise. Maybe the window of opportunity has closed, but the great thing about Rob Grant and Doug Naylor's writing is that it would still stand up even if you were to reboot the idea with a new cast, and the idea of the last human alive stuck in a far off galaxy has plenty of big screen potential.
Parks & Recreation
Much in the same way as Arrested Development, Parks & Recreation already has the cast and the wit to work as a feature film and it's a more likely candidate than most. All it would needd is a strong enough storyline, the cast is already painfully funny and it would be easy to throw a couple of guest stars into the mix and make this a big screen hit.
The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
It may be one of the most unusual and underrated sit-coms of all time, but the central premise of the surreal 70s show starring Leonard Rossiter is simple and strong enough to work as a film; a man bored with his life fakes his own death and reinvents himself, determined to start a business that can do nothing but fail, only to find it becomes a huge success – so much so he wants to fake his death again. A recent remake starring Martin Clunes missed much of the magic and weirdness of the original, but with the right casting and director this could be a bit of a cult hit.
The Simpsons have done it, South Park has done it, but as yet there has still been no Family Guy movie (although that could be about to change). Seth MacFarlane has mooted the idea of a feature film featuring the Griffin family many times, saying back in 2007 he had an idea for an “old-style musical”, but it never materialised. However, with a hit comedy in the form of Ted under his belt he may be tempted to return to the idea sooner rather than later, so who knows?