TV Shows are a central part of modern society. And of course being that they’re such a big part of our society, they’ll have a number of “spin offs”. This could be movies, books, hell even video games.
But what we’re going to focus on today is the movie aspect. A lot of TV Shows I watch have direct spin offs to the show itself. It usually occurs when the show is either on hiatus or after it has ended. Examples of confirmed spin offs are The Bad Education Movie and the infamously bad Avatar: The Last Airbender movie.
Now those may be more remembered because they’re directly associated with the show. What you may not remember are those movies that are based on TV Shows, however not confirmed to be a part of the shows canon. By not being apart of the canon and just using the characters, we can declare it a spin off. So the previous paragraph where I said The Bad Education Movie is a spin off, well, that’s a lie.
So you’re probably rummaging around in your mind trying to think of movie spin offs of popular TV shows now. One of my favourite spin offs is my third favourite film of all time.
Guest House Paradiso was received fairly poorly by critics on its initial release way back in 1999. However over the course of a few years, critics and fans alike have begun to warm up to the spin off to successfull BBC sitcom Bottom. Ade Edmondson and the late Rik Mayall technically reprise their roles from the TV Show of Richard and Eddie. But unlike the TV Show, there are some notable changes to the characters.
First and foremost, the names have changed. They’ve kept the names Richard and Eddie, but their second names have changed. Instead of Richard Richard and Eddie Hitler, we’re introduced to Richard Twat (pronounced Thwate) and Eddie Elizabeth Ndingombaba. While Eddie hasn’t changed much in appearance, Richie has. Gone are the jeans and shirt with underpants on show, in comes in the yellow cardigan and brown chinos.
These small changes were enough for both Edmondson and Mayall to say that this wasn’t the Bottom movie. But when the film initially released, it was released as “The Bottom Movie” to sell more copies. It’s an interesting paradox created here. It’s officially the Bottom movie, but the creator, director and star (Edmondson) along with Mayall, have both stated it’s not Bottom.
Infamously, Edmondson and Mayall jokingly stated in an interview that they had been playing the same characters for years.
Right, so what about a movie that is definitely 100% a spin off? Well we can always turn to In the Loop, a spin off of BBC political comedy The Thick of It. Both the film and TV Show are regarded as some superb comedy, with In the Loop being nominated for an Academy Award for best screenplay and The Thick of It earned itself a Bafta.
In the Loop is an example of TV Show spinoffs done right. It held the nature of the programme up well while only mentioning one character from the TV Show, Malcolm Tucker.
On top of movies, we have TV Show spin offs based on other TV Shows. You may not remember it, but Joey did happen. It was a Friends spin off based on the character Joey. But of course the reason we liked Friends was for the chemistry between the characters. We may have loved individual characters, but they wouldn’t have been able to stand up alone, as evident by Joey which was cancelled halfway through its second season.
But while Joey is a travesty to television, there are some spin off TV Shows that are quite good. If anybody remembers Buffy The Vampire Slayer then apparently Angel was extremely good but cancelled when the creator asked for a renewal on their contract too soon.
So even the best of TV Show spinoffs can lose their footing, even if the quality of the show far exceeds that of the original content. Still, whatever it is, it doesn’t happen anymore and it’s unlikely it ever will.