Ah, the short-lived Ferris Bueller television series from 1990, which aired on NBC for only 13 episodes. Certainly hurting from the competition of the far more popular Parker Lewis Can’t Lose (which, you might say, was spiritually the real Ferris Bueller TV series), it also suffered from a strangely off-putting performance by Charlie Schlatter as the title character.
What was so off-putting about it? Schlatter’s Ferris just seemed a little bit…angry. This was never more evident than the very first scene of the very first episode, in which Ferris dons a pair of goggles and uses a chainsaw to decapitate a life-sized standee of Matthew Broderick from the 1986 movie.
Whose genius idea was it to kick off this series by basically saying: “you remember why you loved the original movie? well fuck all that, this show won’t be anything like that”?
But thanks to the magic of slowing down the audio track to a nice creepy drawl, this off-putting effect is taken to the Patrick Bateman level, with Schlatter licking his lips and speaking into the camera about things that sound so much more unpleasant and ominous in retrospect.
Bonus: note that the TV Ferris doesn’t just break the fourth wall, as his predecessor did, but he sort of breaks another wall by referring to the movie even existing in his universe. How did that all work, exactly? He is still just an everyday teenager in the TV series. How was an entire movie made about him, without that impacting the life of him and his family?
Unless…Ferris is the Dimension Master!
Here is the slowed-down creepy version:
And the original: