All good things come to an end. It is an inevitable truism that we all must face, especially us TV buffs. Fortunately, some shows have the ability to live on through spin-offs, movies, and revivals. Here are some favorites that come to mind.
1. Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek is a staple of the sci-fi genre. The original series, which premiered in 1966, lead to a series of spin-offs, films, and now even a J.J. Abrams movie franchise. Next Gen focused on Captain Jean-Luc Piccard upon the new and improved U.S.S. Enterprise. He had a bigger ship, a bigger crew, and better visual effects technology to boot.
Futurama was Matt Groening’s sci-fi spin-off from The Simpsons – The Simpsons itself being a spin-off from The Tracey Ullman Show. It follows pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry through his journey to the future after accidentally being cryogenically frozen for 100 years. Facing not one, but two cancellations, Futurama was a show that was clearly too good for this world. Luckily you can watch all ten seasons, including the made for TV movies made after the first cancellation, on Netflix.
3. The Colbert Report
Before becoming the future host of the Late Show, Stephen Colbert served as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In 2005, he was given his own satirical news show where he addressed the nation about everything that was wrong with America. Additionally, Stephen Colbert is one of the geekiest men in existence. He and his family even had cameo roles in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Every time I get a craving for tossed salad or scrambled eggs, I think of Frasier. This nineties sitcom was a spin-off of the classic show where everybody knew your name, Cheers. Starring Kelsey Grammar, Frasier followed the life of a radio psychiatrist starting a new life in his hometown of Seattle after divorcing his wife. The show lasted 11 seasons and won 37 Primetime Emmy awards, making it one of the most successful spin-offs in the history of television.
Any Doctor Who fan is familiar with the enigmatic Jack Harkness. This notable companion received his own spin-off back in 2006 called Torchwood. The spin-off follows the members of the Torchwood Institute, a secret organization introduced in Doctor Who. Created by Russell T. Davies, it has the feel of Eccelston and Tennant era New Who before he left and gave the reigns to Moffat who subsequently ruined everything. There, I said it.
As an avid Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I will be the first to admit to not wanting to give Angel a chance, for purely ship related reasons. All childish Spuffy grudges aside, Angel may be one of the best spin-offs of the early 2000’s. Leaving Sunnydale, Angel moves to Los Angeles where he works as a paranormal private investigator. He is joined by Cordelia Chase and visited by other Buffy familiars, like Spike and Darla. The show went on for five seasons and works in conjunction with the Buffy storyline. There are even guides on how to watch both shows side by side.
7. The Lone Gunmen
You must have seen this one coming. The Lone Gunmen were a set of amazing reoccurring chracters on The X-Files. Originally meant to be one-time guests (so much so that they cast the AD, Tom Braidwood, as one of the characters), Frohike, Langley, and Byers stole the show in their first appearance – Season 1 Episode 17: E.B.E. Eventually the group was given their own spin off and their storyline was even “resolved” in The X-Files itself in Season 9. The pilot is available on YouTube for any interested conspiracy theorists.
Though I was never able to get into Beavis and Butt-head, I have always been a huge fan of it’s spin-off, Daria. Speaking as a sardonic brunette (at least naturally) with glasses, I can relate to the show’s title character. Throughout it’s five seasons, Daria and her friend Jane survived their suburban high school existence with the help of bitting sarcasm and a general misanthropy, as one does.
9. Better Call Saul
Breaking Bad was a perfect show. It went on for the perfect amount of seasons. It completed all of it’s storylines. It was one of the best pieces of television that I have ever had the honor to consume. That being said, it was made clear from the get-go that Vince Gilligan’s prequel piece, Better Call Saul, would be an enjoyable watch. Though the show has only had one season, it promises to be an exciting ride, bringing back old favorites and delving into equally dark and criminal plots.
10. Agent Carter
One of my favorite things about Captain America is Agent Peggy Carter. Thus, I was stoked to hear she was getting her own show, and this first season did not disappoint. Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell, works as a secretary by day and secret agent by night, but the biggest villain she has to fight is sexism. While she works to clear Howard Stark’s name she also has to “keep up appearances” in the narrow-minded time of the 1940’s. Though the show is a period piece, it has elements that are all too relatable in today’s society. In summation, Peggy Carter is a badass.
Obviously, there have been a ton of TV spin-offs over the years, but these ten are some of my all time favorites. Let me know some of yours in the comments below.