Friday the 13th is Coming to TV with a "Grounded" Jason Voorhees

Illustration for article titled Friday the 13th is Coming to TV with a "Grounded" Jason Voorhees

Part of what makes the Friday the 13th franchise so much fun is the absurdity of Jason Voorhees as a killer. He’s an impossibility, which makes him scary, but now The CW is developing a new TV show that will most likely change that by grounding him in reality.


Deadline broke the news of the new Friday the 13th show. It’s being written by by Steve Mitchell & Craig Van Sickle, who did the of the 1996 NBC series The Pretender.

The new series is “described as a sophisticated, horror/crime thriller” and will follow “the ongoing quest of a detective’s search for his missing brother that is somehow tied to Jason Voorhees, a long thought dead serial killer who has now returned to wreak havoc in the new Crystal Lake.” And that’ll be done in a more “grounded reality.”

A few things here. One, Friday the 13th was on TV in the past. Kind of. A series in the late 1980s used the title as a way to trick fans, but had nothing to do with Jason. Second, while Jason’s supernatural elements are what makes him so iconic, the idea of a detective story centered on Jason doesn’t sound that bad. Okay, yes, it sounds bad but not that bad.

Haven’t you ever watched a Friday the 13th movie and — during the killing spree — thought, “What’s the aftermath here? How does actual society react to this?” I feel like there’s some fertile ground for story there.

And maybe that’ll end up being the show. An interesting, creepy, supernatural detective story with a realistic base. Then again, this is The CW, not HBO. I imagine this’ll be less True Detective and more Pretty Little Liars.

It’s also important to remember this project is in its very early stages. The show is still being figured out, so though The CW is developing it, there’s no guarantee we’ll actually ever see it on air. On the other hand, there’s is a new Friday the 13th film coming out on May 13, 2016. Jason Voorhees truly will never die.




old Shuck ate bob_d

So many problems with this. The basic problem is that Jason isn’t actually interesting. He’s a masked cypher, a supernatural serial killer with no motivation, character, backstory or anything else to give him flavor besides being an undead monstrosity, and thus a “grounded” version of him is just a (pointlessly) crazy dude with a mask. I just can’t see where you go with this to actually make it worth watching. Detectives trying to deal with the aftermath is more interesting if he’s actually a supernatural, unstoppable serial killer because it raises all sorts of disturbing questions and it also renders them interestingly impotent. As a crazy guy wearing a hockey mask they presumably can’t catch, it just makes them weirdly incompetent. I mean, I guess they could make it interesting, by creating a whole new character that happens to share the name, but that makes it as connected to the franchise as the old show about the cursed antiques was...