Living the Good Life on the Big Screen

Frank Cady played Sam Drucker on Green Acres and other shows.  He died in 2012.

Frank Cady played Sam Drucker on Green Acres and other shows. He died in 2012.

Have I missed something, or has Hollywood failed to waste money on big screen remakes of classic shows like Green Acres and Petticoat Junction? And where is the Gunsmoke homage-flick? I couldn’t care less whose mountain has a broken back. I want some quality schlock entertainment. Give me more “bullets didn’t kill the beast; it was beauty killed the beast”.

And while we’re at it, how about a remake of, oh, Leave it to Beaver — without Jerry Mathers? The Beav should now be a Hispanic barrio kid whose only refuge from the crewl world of older brother Tony’s street gangs is a Hip Hop class taught by Jessica Alba (I’ll watch Jessica hop in just about anything).

The Green Acres remake can be placed in east Texas, where the countryside is green and lush. But Mr. Haney should be Mr. Jaime. Mr. Douglas will come from Dallas, and Lisa will have to come from India. India is more relevant to American racial sensitivity today than Hungary. I’m not sure most American students can place Hungary on the map, but they all know where India is because that’s where all the tech jobs seem to be going these days.

When Mr. Douglas needs to buy a new plow, Mr. Jaime can show up in his white pickup truck. “Jaime, I need a plow.”

“What for, Mr. Douglas?”

“To plow my field with.”

“Why would you want to do that?”

“Because I’m a farmer.”

“Shoot, Mr. Douggie. You ain’t no farmer. You’re a big city lawyer come out to the country. Let me round up a few friends and we’ll plow your field for you.”

“I don’t want you to plow my field for me. I want to do it myself.”

“But you’ll get your suit real dirty, Mr. Dee. How about I sell you some jeans?”

“You have jeans in your truck?”

“Oh, sure. I bought them for my cousin Orlando, but he won’t need them for a while.”

“Why won’t he need them?”

“Because he’s driving a semi down to El Paso and his girlfriend has loaned him her pants.”

“He’s wearing his girlfriend’s pants?”

“They’re big enough for both of them.”

Douglas rolls his eyes.

“How much are the jeans?”

Jaime walks around to the back of the truck and pulls out a box. “Um, $500.”

“$500 for a pair of jeans?”

“Oh, you’re not buying a pair, Mr. Dee. You’re buying a case.”

“Why would I want to buy a case of jeans? What would I do with a case of jeans?”

“I dunno, Mr. Dee. They’re your jeans. But that’s still $500.”

And it will go downhill from there as Oliver takes the case of jeans into the farmhouse and sees Lisa answering the telephone, “Hello. Customer service center. I’m sorry sir, I am speaking English. And I am in the United States. Well, that’s not very nice. I don’t think you want my service either. Good-bye!”

Of course, ethnic rights groups around the world will be up in arms. But a little controversy could sell quite a few tickets. So maybe Mr. Drucker should be a Native American running a casino with a dry goods store out back. Instead of playing checkers all the time, he’ll always be cleaning up a jackpot from a slot machine. When Mr. Douglas isn’t looking, Drucker will slip into the back and work on a science experiment that is sure to win him a Nobel prize.

“Mr. Drucker, I need to buy some groceries.”

“Mr. Douglas, there is a grocery store right up the street.”

“Where up the street?”

“About ten miles north of here.”

“That’s ten miles!”

“Well, have it your way. But it’s right up the street.”

“Just tell me what you have to sell this week. Got any chicken soup?”

“Sold out.”

“What about bread.”

“None of that, either.”

“How can you call this a store if you don’t have any food?”

“People keep buying it.”

“I don’t see how, since you never have any!”

“Well, they don’t stand around yelling at me, Mr. Douglas. When they see I’m out of something, they just go up the street to the next store.”

“Ten miles up the street.”

“Saves time.”

“But not gas.”

“Well, I can sell you some of that.”

“How much per gallon.”


“$5? That’s outrageous! I can get it for half that up the street.”

“Say, while you’re out, would you mind picking up some bread for me?”