It stands to reason that with movie theaters being swarmed with sequels and franchises, or would-be franchises, in the case of R.I.P.D., TV might get in on the fun (for everyone but viewers). And slowly, it has: spinoffs are now A Thing again, after mercifully lying dormant for years. There was the aborted The Farm, the technically successful Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and still-to-be-evaluated Saul Goodman Power Hour, which could be very good, and whichever Dexter character producers decide to turn into a serial killer, which will be bad.
There are very few characters who actually deserve a spinoff show, but here are some we think do.
1. Leon Black (from Curb Your Enthusiasm)
A common theme you’ll find in this post is that a spinoff can be an effective stall tactic. Take Larry David, for instance. No one knows if he’ll do another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, not Jeff Garlin, not HBO, not even Larry David himself. That’s a damn shame for all the obvious reasons, but also because the last two seasons of Curb were it’s best, largely due to the presence of Leon Black, who joined the cast in season six and really took in seven and eight. If Larry wants to give himself a well-deserved break from acting, while still continuing to write for Curb, give Leon his own show. J.B. Smoove deserves to be a mega-star, and letting his Leon run wild in New York or wherever would accomplish just that. Without Curb and soon Eastbound & Down, HBO needs another comedy to step up.
2. Wynn Duffy (from Justified)
As Danger gleefully pointed out, Wynn Duffy, who reacts to things like no other, was already supposed to have died on Justified…twice. Thank you, Timothy Olyphant, for telling producers to not kill him, and thank you producers for presumably giving Olyphant an ol’ fashioned during season four, when Duffy was maybe the best non-Boyd character on a show full of great non-Boyd characters. I hate the thought of Wynn stepping out of Harlan, but I love the idea of following his exploits in all towns east of the Mississippi, distributing heroin to the adults and life lessons to the kids (“Now, if someone accuses you of being a fake blonde, threaten to break their spine over a step ladder”). Or if not God, Thy Name is Wynn Duffy’s Hair, there’s always Jackie Nevada: Foxy Grifter.
3. Marissa Wompler (from Comedy Bang! Bang!)
Technically, Marissa hasn’t appeared on IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang! yet, but podcast listeners know how great the Grimace-meets-pyramids-meets-upside-down-blueberry-muffins is, and how much TV needs a Womp It Up! talk show. Or if not that, at least a chronicle of Marissa’s life in Marina del Rey, where she spends her days with Gutterballs and Listler and nights with Seth. Traci Rearden can drop by, too, during sweeps week.
4. Tyrion Lannister and Bronn (from Game of Thrones) (counting a pair as one)
If David Benioff and D.B. Weiss want to give George R.R. Martin a little more time to finish writing books six and seven of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, something he sorely needs (especially with football season right around the corner), do what we’ve been requesting for years and: THE ADVENTURES OF TYRION AND BRONN. In this week’s episode, Tyrion helps Bronn search for a last name…and then they have sex and drink. I’d watch that.
5. Coach (from New Girl)
Damon Wayans, Jr. is a lucky man. Not only did he get to play husband with Eliza Coupe on Happy Endings, once that show was sadly, unfairly, cruelly, tortuously cancelled, he was able to come back to the series he unceremoniously left to join Happy Endings: New Girl. We know almost nothing about Coach, other than he’s a coach, isn’t Craig T. Nelson, and he lived with Nick, Schmidt, and briefly, Jess. He’ll return during season three, though, for at least six episodes and possibly more. Not only should there be more, there should be a Coach spinoff, in which he lives in the same building as Jess & Co., but in a different apartment, with new roommates who are very similar to his old ones. I’m mainly pitching this idea because I want to know who the black Zooey Deschanel is.