Spin-offs run the gamut from terrible to so terrible you have to love them to not so bad at all. It seems like you can’t go wrong: you’re using a character or situation people already love, so what could the problem possibly be? Well. There can be plenty of problems. Like Joanie Loves Chachi. Or The Bradys – a drama – yup, drama – starring almost all the original actors from the Bunch. Joey can happen. Things can go wrong. Very wrong. Joey wrong.
But this is a place of positivity! And sometimes spin-offs go wonderfully right. Here are some of my personal favorites:
Daria Morgendorffer is unarguably the coolest. She’s got a raging attitude, one awesome outfit and a super amazing best friend. It took me years to find out this was a spin-off from Beavis and Butthead. Without Daria, how would anyone have ever known teenage girls have brains? And that it’s okay to wear boots with skirts?
The Amanda Show
Kelly: Who’s Bob Hope?
Michael: God. He’s a comedian.
Kelly: Oh, like Amanda Bynes.
Michael: Who’s Amanda Bynes?
Kelly: She’s from What A Girl Wants.
Michael; Oh, I love that movie. Yes, Kelly is right. The person to replace me has to have a great sense of humor and they have to possess the leadership qualities of a Bynes or a Hope.
This exchange from The Office basically sums up my feelings towards Amanda Bynes. I used to enjoy All That tons, so obviously I was going to love The Amanda Show. And love it I did. Amanda then went on to make one of the greatest films of all time, She’s the Man. Miss Bynes, I salute you.
The Facts of Life
Another show I had no idea was a spin-off. Facts came from Diff’rent Strokes. I’ve discussed Facts before and it merits another mention. It tackled the tough issues – like how a girl copes with life where she can never remove her roller skates. Mrs. Garrett, Natalie, Blair, Tootie, and Jo were a gang I’d gladly join.
Mork and Mindy
So many spin-offs I had no idea were spin-offs! Mork and Mindy was birthed from the canal of Happy Days, strangely enough. What sounded like a horrible sitcom episode for Happy Days - Mork tries take Richie back to his home planet with him, but the Fonz stops him and then the whole thing turns out to be a dream – actually becomes a fantastic premise for an awesome TV show. I say Mork from Ork can visit Earth anytime. Na-nu na-nu, shazbot and all that stuff.
Does the series eventually go down hill? Mork and Mindy have a kid by way of Mork laying an egg. Mork lays an egg. It hatches a grown child. So. You be the judge.
Pinky and the Brain
They tried to take over the world, but only succeeded in taking over my heart. Pinky and the Brain were originally part of the Animaniacs family. It doesn’t get much better than watching a show about a genius mouse and an idiot mouse with nefarious intentions.