5 Differences Between 'Dirty Dancing' And The ABC Remake
Dirty Dancing is an '80s classic, and now 30 years later, ABC is attempting to recreate the movie's magic for the small screen.
Although the 2017 version of the movie is pretty much a shot-for-shot adaptation of the original, ABC does include some pretty obvious departures from the 1987 original.
For one thing, the new film is notably longer, stretching the original's hour and 40 minutes to two hours and 10 minutes. Abigail Breslin and company fill that extra half hour with a bunch of added scenes, including new musical numbers, and new storylines for some of the film's side characters.
As you hunker down to watch the new Dirty Dancing Wednesday night on ABC, I'll break down all of the biggest differences between the remake and the classic film.
1. It starts in 1975 New York.
The most glaring difference in the new movie happens right away, as we begin with a grown-up Baby Houseman (played by Abigail Breslin) walking into a Broadway show called "Dirty Dancing." We're told that it's 1975 in New York City, 12 years after the original movie takes place.
After that little meta nod to the viewers, Baby begins reminiscing about the summer of 1963, and the movie begins to settle into the mold of the original one. This New York framing device comes back in the last few minutes of the movie to update us on what Baby and Johnny are up to nowadays.
2. The parents get a plot.
In the original Dirty Dancing, Baby's parents don't really get much to do. Sure, her dad saves Penny and forbids her from seeing Johnny, but Mrs. Houseman pretty much just sits around the whole movie, which is a shame since the original role was played by Gilmore Girls favorite Kelly Bishop.
The ABC producers must have felt the same way about Marjorie Houseman because they really beef up her story in the new movie for Debra Messing. There's a whole new storyline about Marjorie attempting to rekindle the romance between herself and her husband, which eventually leads to talk of divorce.
3. Lisa gets a love interest.
In the original, Baby's older sister Lisa is ditzy and boy-crazed, spending her whole summer fawning over the philandering waiter Robbie only to walk in on him with another girl at the end of the film.
Sarah Hyland makes Lisa a lot more grounded in the new movie, and she gets over Robbie within the first half hour of the movie after he tries to force himself on her. For the rest of the movie, Lisa takes music lessons and falls for the completely new character of Marco (J. Quinton Johnson).
4. Vivian gets a lot more screen time.
Along with Marjorie Houseman, the other character who you'll see a lot more of in this remake is bungalow bunny Vivian Pressman.
Vivian is only in a few of the final scenes of the original when she frames Johnny for stealing her husband's wallet as revenge for him refusing to sleep with her, but Katey Sagal's Vivian is a main part of the new movie from the very start.
Unlike the original, we see Johnny and Vivian getting it on a few times at the beginning of the movie, even performing a seductive dance to "Fever" together. The other big difference is that Sagal's Vivian isn't cheating on her husband — in the new movie she's divorced and is one of the reasons Marjorie considers divorce in the first place.
5. Johnny gets a whole new backstory.
We never really find out too much about Patrick Swayze's Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing, but near the end, we do hear his father wants him to follow in his footsteps and join a union for house painters instead of following his love of dance.
Colt Prattes' Johnny in the new movie gets a much more fleshed-out backstory, which includes him being dyslexic, dropping out of school, learning to steal cars, getting thrown in prison, and getting kicked out of his parents' house at the age of 15.
Dirty Dancing will premiere Wednesday night on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.