TV

Dear TV Executives, Please Don’t Ever Make Spin-Offs About These Characters

Yesterday’s report that a Married… with Children spin-off about Bud “Grandmaster B” Bundy is very alarming. Sure, people are very excited about the prospect of a beloved TV series getting a piece of that sweet, sweet nostalgic action, because one of the reasons that Married… with Children was on TV for so many years was because its crude ridiculousness appealed to the blue collar dolt in all of us. The series, despite its many shortcomings and offensive jokes, ultimately redefined the way that we looked at the typical sitcom family that had dominated TV in the 80s, with dorky and “traditional” tribes like the Huxtables, Seavers and, to some extents, the Tanners.

A series about Bud Bundy is not a good idea, no matter how much any of us ever loved the original series. Every now and then, I watch old reruns on TBS in the morning, and the show has not aged well. David Faustino, as we saw in his appearance on Modern Family, has that same young face, but he still looks like someone’s dorky uncle. Looks aside, do we really need to know what Bud Bundy has been through in the 17 years since the final episode of Married… with Children aired? No. Not at all.

But with our constant need to ask each other, “Hey, remember that person, place or thing?” there’s a good chance that Faustino is already buying a new Starter hat to turn backwards, and other TV execs are asking each other, “So who is next?” With that, I want to implore the TV execs who will read this, because they will all read this, to find it in their cold, Satanic hearts to stop the madness and make sure that none of these characters ever gets his or own spin-off.

20) Donna Martin, Beverly Hills 90210

The CW already did the right thing last year and took 90210 out behind the Peach Pit and blew its brains all over the dumpster. But as we’ve already seen, Tori Spelling needs money and she’d probably do everything short of a Beverly Hills 90210 porn parody to get another paycheck, and I’m never ruling that idea out. Spelling reprised her role as Donna Martin for two episodes of the 5-season reincarnation of the classic story of affluent jackassery, so there’s little doubt that she’d be on board for any new adventures of the 12th-best character from that 90s show.

19) Joffrey, Game of Thrones

I know, it’s basically impossible unless this series would be some sort of side story that explains what Joffrey was up to on any given day, when he wasn’t being the biggest dick in all of the seven kingdoms. But I just want to reiterate that unless it’s a series that has Joffrey being murdered in a new way each episode, there’s absolutely no reason that he should ever wind up in his own series.

18) Larry Bloom, Orange is the New Black

As we’ve previously discussed, nobody likes Larry Bloom. He’s a human potato and he’s the worst, and it certainly doesn’t help that he’s played by a douche weasel like Jason Biggs.

17) Lettie Mae Thornton, True Blood

In a spectacularly bad final season that was highlighted by a lot of terrible acting and really lazy storylines, Lettie Mae Thornton was probably the worst character in the dumbest story. I’ve made my case for a True Blood spin-off about Eric and Pam traveling the world and kicking everyone’s asses, but no other characters, especially Lettie Mae, should be considered for a spin-off, as we should treat True Blood like Bill Compton, and leave it buried forever.

16) Josh, 30 Rock

I love 30 Rock. It’s my all-time favorite series, and I still watch it religiously on Netflix with the sole purpose of eventually having every episode memorized, so that when our dystopian future arrives, I’ll be able to act all of the episodes out to entertain my tribe of nomadic cannibals. But Josh was the worst character on a show that had maybe three bad characters. Now, a jerk like my colleague Josh Kurp might argue that Kenneth was the worst character, but Kenneth was the heart of that show. Josh was the worst, followed by Phoebe and Angie’s meth-addicted nephew. Please don’t ever consider it, NBC. (But bring back 30 Rock.)

15) Gerry Gergich, Parks and Recreation

We certainly love Jim O’Heir and everything about Parks and Rec, but a show about Jerry/Gerry/Larry would be, like the character, the worst. Now, a show about Gerry’s three daughters trying to find love in a big city could be something that we could get behind, but only if Gerry’s presence would be limited to him breaking chairs, sitting on poop-colored foods and/or being hit by cars.

14) Ann Veal, Arrested Development

I’d take an Arrested Development spin-off for just about any character on the beloved series, but Ann Veal? I’d rather watch softcore pornography on PBS.

13) Janice Litman, Friends

Despite all of the people who still celebrate it in ridiculous syndication, Friends was a terrible TV series about awful people. One of the absolute worst of the so many terrible characters was Janice, who was randomly brought back for cheap laughs, despite the fact that her stupid voice and laugh were so obnoxious. I could have made this list all about Friends characters, and the banner image obviously gives another one away, but I had to be fair to the rest of the TV universe.

12) Jake Harper, Two and a Half Men

Angus T. Jones already basically made sure that he’ll never star in another TV series again, but we can’t put it past Chuck Lorre to try and milk the Two and a Half Men title for as long as they can until the cow is shooting dust. The half man deserves to be fired on a rocket into the sun with the rest of this series, as soon as we discover how to travel back in time and do it two years ago.

11) Six, Blossom

Now that the Full House nonsense is happening, too, I’m worried that Blossom will be the next of the nostalgic resurrections. But instead of focusing on Mayim Bialik’s character, it’ll be Jenna von Oÿ as the star. The only problem is who the hell cares what Six is up to now? She’s more useless than Bud Bundy.

10) Richie, Family Matters

I don’t like to make fun of children, because they’re our future or whatever, but they can also grow up and then come after me when I’m old and unable to defend myself from assassination attempts. Bryton (McClure) James, the actor who played Richie, is actually enjoying a pretty decent career as an actor on The Young and the Restless (unless that was canceled or he was fired), but he probably wouldn’t turn down a chance to have his own sitcom on ABC Family, where no idea is too awful.

9) Manny, Modern Family

Unless the characters on Modern Family start evolving and become more interesting, the Emmy darling series is going to get really old, really fast. When that day comes, some ABC exec is probably going to be like, “We should spin one of the characters off into his or her own series,” and his cocaine dealer is going to respond, “People seem to like that Manny kid, right?” Don’t listen to your dealer, fictional ABC executive. Manny is the worst.

8) Turtle, Entourage

With the release of the Entourage movie next year, bros everywhere are probably going to want to know what’s next for Vinny Chase and his gang of cool p*ssy-slayin’ brochachos. Turtle could start his own shoe company to rival Nike, and each week a new pro athlete would stop by to try on some kicks and help Turtle with his lady problems, all while helping him pick out the dopest backwards hats.

7) Fez, That 70s Show

Poor Wilmer Valderrama. All he wanted for the last decade or so was to star in a big screen adaptation of the 80s TV series CHiPS, even though nobody in America gives a rat’s butt about that show anymore. Now, Dax Shepard is starring in CHiPS: The Movie, so Valderrama has to find something new to do. Bringing Fez back to life is probably something that he’d love to do, since he has never been able to do anything else.

6) Pete Campbell, Mad Men

I gave up on Mad Men a long time ago, but my best friend, Danger Guerrero, constantly reminds me that Pete Campbell is the worst. I am inclined to believe him. (Although, I left out Oliver from The O.C. because I hope he gets a spin-off, because Danger would lose his mind.)

5) Buddy Lembeck, Charles in Charge

Long before Joey Tribbiani played a smooth-talking ladies’ man who gradually morphed into a simple-minded dolt, there was Buddy Lembeck. We don’t talk about Charles in Charge enough, which is a shame because it was a great show, between Nicole Eggert stealing our hearts and… well, just that. Buddy Lembeck, though, was a blueprint for what not to do with a TV character over the span of a series, and even if the idea of a spin-off did occur, I’m pretty sure he’d be in prison or dead from sheer stupidity.

4) Screech Powers, Saved by the Bell

If someone told me that Dustin Diamond showed up to studios daily to offer sexual favors in exchange for a Screech TV series, I’d probably say, “Yeah, and?” Now that the painfully terrible Saved by the Bell Lifetime movie has come and gone, Diamond should do the same and move on. Maybe find a tent to live in somewhere in the wilderness, as far away from a camera or casting director as possible.

3) Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

I know that a lot of people loved the CBS series How I Met Your Mother and they’re all bummed that it’s over, mainly because fans really hated the ending, but I couldn’t ever get into it because Ted Mosby was the worst. He should have ended up alone, so maybe he’d realize that he was the problem the whole time. He was lucky that he had Marshall and Barney to make everything seem more interesting around him, because Ted all by himself would be the second most depressing series in TV history.

2) Ross Geller, Friends

Remember how awful the spin-off series Joey was? Imagine that it had been Ross instead. Wait, no, don’t imagine that! You’ll lose your minds and end up crying for the rest of your lives in mental hospitals. While I don’t think that Ross was necessarily the worst character on Friends, a show based on him would be an incredibly terrible idea, because he wouldn’t have the luxury of characters like Janice and that cop that didn’t arrest Phoebe for impersonating an officer and then later used his standard issue handgun to kill a bird to make him look better.

1) Ted Mosby and Ross Geller together

Two awful divorced bros living together in New York City… it’s the perfect storm of terrible sitcom characters. Somehow it would put up the greatest ratings in sitcom history, and eventually every network would cancel all original shows and only air Ross and Ted every night in primetime. A faction of humans would try to take out the network satellites and free the rest of the world from this hypnotic dumpster fire, but the rebels would fail and David Schwimmer and Josh Radnor would be recognized as gods. Eventually, every male human would be named Ross or Ted until childbirth completely stopped, because women suddenly had no attraction to men anymore. Only a few decades later, the last humans would pass away, and the world would become an empty wasteland filled with nothing but TVs playing Ross and Ted until energy sources finally dry up.

What hell hath you wrought, TV executives?

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