Did Dan Aykroyd learn nothing from Blues Brothers 2000? I hate to run two articles within seven days dumping on the man - I loved him when he was in his comedic prime, and he is one of the more influential and great members of the original Not Ready For Primetime Players - but when he makes such rotten decisions how can I avoid it?
The rotten decision in this case is a TV series based on the Blues Brothers characters that Aykroyd and the late John Belushi created. The Blues Brothers were born on Saturday Night Live in one of the show’s recurring Bee skits, with Belushi singing ‘I’m a King Bee.’ Yes, the Blues Brothers spun out of Belushi and company wearing dumb bee outfits.
The characters were refined and given a story, which was turned into the Blues Brothers movie, directed by John Landis, which remains one of the great shaggy films of all time. Loose and screwy and loud, the film is a classic. The sequel, Blues Brothers 2000, is probably one of the worst movies of the last few decades. It’s utter trash, and it has a kid joining the band.
The TV series would follow Jake and Elwood Blues as they get out of prison and Jake searches for his real father. Each episode would feature a musical number. There’s no casting on the characters yet, but it won’t be Aykroyd as Elwood. “We’re not trying to replicate Dan and John but Jake and Elwood,” says writer Anne Beatts.
I guess I should be more optimistic about this (even though Beatts goes on to describe the show as “It would be ‘Route 66’ meets ‘Glee,’ and it all goes to hell in a handbasket,” which is not only nonsensical but fucking infuriating), but everything here feels like necrophilia, plain and simple. Judy Belushi, John’s widow, is one of the producers on it as she, along with Aykroyd, owns the rights to the characters. Judy should be able to make some money, sure, but does it have to be like this?