The first season of Netflix’s Love introduced fans to their new favorite fake TV show: Witchita, a bewitching teen soap opera that fuses The Craft with Pretty Little Liars. Unfortunately, Witchita is canceled… um, “given a reduced episode order” (the new TV-speak for canceled) in Love‘s second season, which debuted on the streaming service on March 10. That’s not great news for the show’s hard-working crew, but it does free up its young star, Arya (played by Iris Apatow, the youngest daughter of Love‘s executive producer, Judd Apatow), to pursue feature film opportunities and take her on-set tutor, Gus (Paul Rust), along for the ride.
So before you can say “forced hiatus,” the duo ends up in Atlanta shooting Liberty Down, a big-budget action picture with serious franchise potential. Helmed by one of South Korea’s top directors, Liberty Down casts Arya as the president’s daughter, who has to fend for herself after she’s abducted by bad guys. Based on the snippets we see in Love, the movie resembles a pint-sized mashup of Air Force One and Taken, which sounds like a blockbuster we’d pay top dollar to see. But how does Liberty Down stack up against other movies within TV shows? We look back at 10 other TV-derived fake movies.
As Seen On: Entourage (HBO, 2004-2011)
Genre: Superhero smash-up
Premise: DC Comics’s aquatic hero swims into his first live-action feature film, directed by a filmmaker who knows his way around an ocean-based adventure: Titanic‘s own James Cameron.
Our (Real) Review of the (Fake) Movie: The thought of Cameron behind the camera more than makes up for the presence of dubious “movie star” Vincent Chase in front of it. And the King of the World turned the King of the Seas into a box-office superpower, as Aquaman opened to a then record-breaking $116 million gross. Perhaps wisely, neither Cameron, nor Chase, returned for the sequel, handing the franchise keys over to the less impressive (and less successful) duo of Michael Bay and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Beverly Hills Gun Club
As Seen On: Action (Fox, 1999)
Premise: With a marquee-ready title like that, who needs a storyline?
Our (Real) Review of the (Fake) Movie: Uber-producer Peter Dragon nearly killed himself making it, but Beverly Hills Gun Club provided us with plenty of entertainment value — behind the scenes, at least. We have no idea how a production this chaotic will cut together for the finished product.
As Seen On: Seinfeld (NBC, 1989-1998)
Premise: There’s a dude named Death Blow, and he deals out… well, death blows.
Our (Real) Review of the (Fake) Movie: Almost more fun than watching Death Blow is inventing your own tag lines for Death Blow. Allow Kramer to demonstrate. And remember kids — movie piracy hurts everybody. So no bootlegging! No matter how professional your bootlegs look.
As Seen On: Community (NBC, 2009-2014; Yahoo, 2015)
Premise: In the distant future of 2006 (remember, Kickpuncher is a vintage ’80s production), a cybernetically enhanced Detroit police officer keeps the peace by causing mayhem.
Our (Real) Review of the (Fake) Movie: Love ya, Robocop, but Kickpuncher could totally take you in a fight. He certainly wins in terms of total movie count, inspiring four features, one spinoff, and a reboot to Robo’s measly three films and one reboot.
As Seen On: Friends (NBC, 1994-2004)
Genre: War movie
Premise: A group of soldiers — including temperamental thespian Richard Crosby (played by Gary Oldman) — attempt to survive the horrors of World War I.
Our (Real) Review of the (Fake) Movie: Joey Tribbiani in a war epic? Sign us up! Of course, it’s worth noting that Joey’s best work is done behind the scenes, tricking an inebriated Crosby into thinking that the scene they’re currently shooting is already complete. Sounds like someone’s auditioning for a cameo on the next season of Drunk History…
As Seen On: The Simpsons (Fox, 1989-present)
Genre: Superhero smash-up
Premise: The atomic answer to Superman comes to life in the muscular form of Austrian superstar, Rainier Wolfcastle.
Our (Real) Review of the (Fake) Movie: Springfield provides the not-so-epic backdrop to Radioactive Man’s inaugural Hollywood blockbuster. Say what you will about Milhouse; based on footage we see, he would have stolen the film as Fallout Boy.
The Rural Juror
As Seen On: 30 Rock (NBC, 2006-2013)
Genre: Indie drama
Premise: A heartwarming legal tale based on a Grisham novel. That’s Kevin Grisham, by the way, not John Grisham.
Our (Real) Review of the (Fake) Movie: Tracy Jordan’s filmography may be more extensive — we’re especially fond of Samurai I Amurai — but only The Rural Juror inspired a Grammy-worthy ballad. Kickstarter to fund a Jordan/Maroney sequel: Who Dat Rural Nina.
As Seen On: BoJack Horseman (Netflix, 2014-present)
Premise: The life story of the noble stallion that won the Triple Crown in 1973.
Our (Real) Review of the (Fake) Movie: BoJack Horseman’s nearly Oscar-nominated performance as Secretariat is so moving, you’d never suspect that it isn’t the real BoJack at all, but rather a CGI stand-in. Or maybe you would. The CGI Horseman is certainly less of an emotional basket case.
Threat Level Midnight
As Seen On: The Office (NBC, 2005-2013)
Premise: A secret agent — Scarn, Michael Scarn — comes out of retirement for one final attempt to defeat his longtime nemesis: Goldenface.
Our (Real) Review of the (Fake) Movie: Move over, Boyhood. Threat Level Midnight is a homemade blockbuster 11 years in the making. And the finished product is more than worth the wait. Flubs and all, it’s a better Bond movie than Spectre.
The Wedding Bride
As Seen On: How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 2005-2014)
Premise: A karate instructor saves his lady love from making a horrible mistake: marrying New York’s worst architect, Jed Moseley.
Our (Real) Review of the (Fake) Movie: They say write what you know. And The Wedding Bride‘s screenwriter, Tony Grafanello, knows all about what it’s like to nearly lose your girlfriend to a hated rival — New York’s neediest architect, Ted Mosby — only to snatch her back at the altar. Granted, Tony’s version of events is heavily skewed in his favor, which makes The Wedding Bridge delightful entertainment for everyone but Ted.
Love is currently streaming on Netflix.
Read more from Yahoo TV:
- ‘Julie’s Greenroom’: Julie Andrews Previews Her Star-Packed New Kids’ Series
- ‘Planet Earth II’ Preview: Love and (Near) Death in the Grasslands
- Ken Tucker Reviews the Final Season of Comedy Central’s ‘Review’