That gum you like is coming back in style

TV spin-offs, continuations and prequels that might work

Spin-offs, prequels and continuations of popular TV shows are hit and miss. Sometimes you get The Jeffersons, Family Matters and Frasier, while other times you get The Ropers, 90210 and The Golden Palace. With half a season of an unwatchable Boy Meets World continuation, this week’s news of a Twin Peaks continuation, a so-bad-it’s-bad Batman prequel (Gotham) and Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul set to disappoint next year, we thought we’d throw a few ideas at the flat screen to see what sticks.

(Also - Lorde could play just about any female character’s daughter on the new Twin Peaks. Those eyebrows! That hair! She looks just like Maddy Ferguson/Laura Palmer, Shelly the waitress, Donna AND Audrey, for reals.)

Other Friends

Gunther gets a job managing Alessandro’s, which Janice has just taken over with money from her third divorce. Things get kooky when she hires Ursula as the head waitress. Or maybe Ben, Emma and the triplets take over. Anything to help us forget that Joey existed.

Found

Lost’s Desmond and Penny star in this hilarious sitcom in which, for some reason, Des is hired to become the new bassist in Driveshaft, penning the band’s comeback single “Not Penny’s Boat (RIP Charlie).” Walt is their neighbour, and every 108 minutes he has to push a button or Weezer’s Hurley album will play. 

Mr. Omar’s Neighbourhood

This prequel to The Wire focuses on Honey Nut Cheerio lovin’ Omar’s high school years (he’s a few grades behind Bunk in school, so he’s there too - maybe we’ll get to see when he tries his first cigar!) It’s a character study of a young man coming to terms with his sexuality, being raised by his understanding yet strict grandmother and dealing with the aftermath of receiving a disfiguring scar. Like The Carrie Diaries, it winds up on The CW, though, so it’s a little watered down.

Gigi

Everyone’s second least favourite Girlmore Girls character is at Chilton, and she’s one of the mean girls. Gigi has to learn to be nice when headmaster Charleston pairs her up with Martha (ignoring that the two are different ages) as a study buddy. Lane Kim’s dad appears (finally) as Kirk’s new boss, after Taylor is murdered by Davey, which causes everyone to finally relax and slow down when they speak. Melissa McCarthy does not appear in the series, but directs the pilot.

That ‘90s Show

Hyde works at a laserdisc (ask your parents) rental store with Eric and Donna’s adopted kid (Willow Smith) and the two get into all sorts of ‘90s trouble (bootleg Tamagotchis?). Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry has a recurring role as Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. 

Miss Porter’s

Mad Men’s Sally Draper has a few good times during her teen years at this boarding school, especially when Creepy Glen (now Hot Glen) shows up as a guest star. Sarah Silverman is the firm but fair headmistress with a potty mouth, while Mike Epps shows up as the colour barrier-breaking math teacher. 

The Fresher Prince of Bel Air

Little Nicky is all grown up and taking classes at Bel Air Academy. Even though actor Ross Bagley is now 25, producers see no problem setting the show in a high school environment. Phil and Viv have moved away, but they don’t want to uproot Nicky so they leave him in the hands of the never before mentioned Uncle Artis (portrayed by Coolio) who teaches the young Mr. Banks the ways of the world.

Langdon Alger

He’s very quiet and enjoys puzzles, but when this off-screen Simpsons character (voiced by Adam Driver) moves to Capital City, joins a cult and becomes a Twitter sensation, he begins to pine for the simpler life. Thankfully his good friend Üter comes to town for a chocolate convention in episode four, reminding him that a noble spirit embiggens the smallest man while presenting him with the gift of a Poochie t-shirt.

Published in Volume 69, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 8, 2014)

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