Tag Archives: Britain

20 Worst Spin-offs Ever. Pt.2: Top 10.

Little Britain Neighbours

In the final edition of our four part look at TV spin-offs, Dom Kureen names the ten worst to ever ‘grace’ the goggle box.
*Year of broadcast and parent series in parenthesis

10. Models Inc. (1994-95 Melrose Place)

Long before Hollyoaks there was Models Inc., a tawdry soap where pretty, affluent people became entangled in barely believable shenanigans for the benefit of booze addled late night channel surfers.

9. Baywatch Nights (1995-97, Baywatch)

Take Baywatch, remove any prospect of red swimsuit clad attractive people bouncing around in super slow-mo, add some paranormal activity and you have Baywatch Nights. A terrible spin-off that removed all the fun and sexiness of the original, but increased the terrible acting in spades.

8. That 80’s Show (2002, That 70’s Show)

Lifeless characters, actors so wooden they wouldn’t look out of place in a forest, and low budget cinematography reminiscent of a poorly connected webcam; It wasn’t clear if any/all of the above was done intentionally for effect… but the resulting dump ensured a rapid cancellation for this shameless attempt at a cash in.

7. Rock and Chips (2010-11 Only Fools and Horses)

Rock & Chips was a strange affair, a 90-minute amplification of one of the running gags in “Only Fools and Horses,” that concerning Rodney’s dubious parentage. A blurred narrative contributed to an unsatisfactory hybrid of classic Trotter cheekiness and something much more melancholic and heartfelt – neither of which hit the mark.

6. Buddies (1996, Home Improvement)

Dave Chapelle and friends

13 episodes of this spin-off were recorded, with only 5 reaching television screens before it was cancelled – the reason? As lead man Dave Chapelle himself stated: “It was a bad show. It was bad. I mean when we were doing it, I could tell this was not gonna work.”

5. Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere (2004, That Peter Kay Thing)

Peter Kay and Patrick McGuinness starred in this spin-off based on the two bouncers from “That Peter Kay Thing”. Unfortunately this lacked the sparkle of previous Kay efforts, as the once hilarious rotund comic began his decade long disappearance up his own arse.

4. Time of Your Life (Party of Five)

On “Party Of Five,” Jennifer Love Hewitt played a character named Sarah. Although this show was supposed to be a spin-off about Sarah, in reality it was little more than an audition reel for Hewitt, the popular teen icon unable to compensate for a painfully slow and boring narrative.

3. Little Britain USA (2008, Little Britain)

In its infancy “Little Britain” could be described as ground breaking and down right absurd in the best possible way. The second series started slowly, but gathered momentum, but by the third messrs Walliams and Lucas had resorted to shock tactics. By the time the show made it over the pond it was little more than a caricature of the past brilliance.

2. Joanie Loves Chachi (1982-83, Happy Days)

A mere seventeen episodes of this spin-off were made. As slight as that sounds, it still served as an overdose of sub-Laverne and Shirley unfunniness; songs that would offend Mr Blobby, supporting characters who warranted regular beatings, and story lines spread so thin that the penultimate episode was forced to resort to Happy Days flashbacks in lieu of a script.

1. Joey (2004-06, Friends)

This desperate spin-off of “Friends” tried to launch Matt LeBlanc’s Joey Tribbiani into his own sitcom. All kinds of production woes (re-casting, shifting behind-the-camera personnel) followed “Joey,” but NBC committed to two full seasons of the series in the hopes it would eventually land on its feet. Sadly, despite more changes in its second year, it ended up as just another failed spin-off in the annals of TV.

Thus concludes spin-off watch. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and please remember to like and share the Kureen Facebook page!

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me.
I meditate and wash daily when possible.

His greatest achievement so far?

Exhausted and emotionally drained, Andy Murray fell to the ground, finally releasing the iron grip that carried Great Britain to their first Davis Cup triumph since the days of long trousers and cigarettes between points.

It had been 79 years since Britain last accomplished the feat, sustained by the dream team of Fred Perry and Bunny Austin.  

As Murray’s conclusive, sublimely executed backhand lob sailed over a prone David Goffin and several inches inside the baseline, the Scottish superstar crumbled to the ground in elation, having carried his team throughout the competition. 

Andy Murray
Andy Murray

Belgium’s Flanders Expo in Ghent provided the stage from which the drama unfolded, with the home side selecting a slow clay surface in an attempt to negate Murray’s influence.

That theory proved futile, with the world number two virtually as adept on all surfaces in 2015, as showcased in a thrilling French Open semi-final earlier this year, where world number one, Novak Djokovic, required five sets to dispense with the Scot in one of their many memorable encounters.

Others contributed to GB’s four excellent wins. James Ward’s unexpected 15-13 fifth set triumph over USA’s John Isner proved pivotal in a 3-2 first round victory, and Jamie Murray backed up his younger bro’ in the doubles, with the pair winning both of their encounters against France and Belgium.

David Goffin

Still, this would not have been conceivable without the unwavering desire of the squad’s talismanic spearhead, who ticked another goal from his bucket list often, at the expense of results within solo competition.

Indeed, Andy entered the ATP World Tour Finals clearly distracted by the impending Davis Cup decider. Having trained almost exclusively on clay courts in the build-up, he struggled to adapt to the harder surface of London’s O2 Arena, crashing out in the group stages, although in retrospect those extra recovery days proved beneficial.

From the street of Dunblane to British sporting royalty, a Knighthood is destined to come his way, although preferably only after retirement has kicked in; tribute to a remarkable career.

With his first child on the way, life is rosy for a 28 year-old at the peak of his powers. He should retire from Davis Cup action immediately to focus on four final career goals;

  • Become world number one for the first time

  •  Win the French Open

  • Win the Australian Open

  • Win the ATP Tour Finals

Achieve those and his career will have a feeling of finality about it, although with the irrepressible Djokovic on the scene (and born within a week of Murray), all may not be plain sailing.

For now it’s only right that Murray should bask in the glow of arguably his most unlikely triumph to date. To cajole glory from a team that in recent years lost matches to Ecuador, Lithuania and Morocco, is an accomplishment that deserves to be savoured.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me.
I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Murray and Murray = The Winning Formula?

Andy Murray and Dan Evans will carry British hopes on the final day of the Davis Cup semi-final against Australia in Glasgow.

Victory in either of their singles ties would take Great Britain through to a first final since 1978.

This follows a thrilling and potentially pivotal five-set doubles success for Andy and older brother Jamie on Saturday, as they re-focused after missing out on match point in the fourth set tie-break to vanquish Aussies Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.

Andy Murray RobinsonsSunday Service

Murray, the world number three, is likely to play world number 23 Bernard Tomic at 13.00 BST, while Dan Evans, all the way down at 300th in the rankings, will face talented teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis (world no.72), selected in place of the controversial Nick Kyrgios.

Belgium host Argentina in the other World Group semi-final in Brussels, with that tie poised at 2-1 in favour of the South Americans.


History Makers

It was 34 years ago that Britain last made the Davis Cup semi-finals, 37 years since they reached the final, and 79 years since they lifted the trophy courtesy of dream team pairing Fred Perry and Bunny Austin in 1936.

Wins over the USA and France, plus the absence of powerhouses such as Serbia, Switzerland and Spain from the semis, have raised the prospect of a 10th title.

Australia have won the Davis Cup 28 times, with veteran Hewitt, who is set to retire after this campaign, leading the way during their most recent triumph 12 years ago.


Controversial Selection

Leon Smith’s decision to select the unpredictable Evans over the more acclaimed James Ward and Kyle Edmund was a surprise, and the biggest gamble of his five-year captaincy, but almost paid dividends on day one, with the diminutive Brummie taking Tomic to the limit.

Despite this, it is two brothers who grew up in the small Scottish cathedral Town of Dunblane that have carried GB’s hopes most recently, with Andy previously winning both of his singles and the doubles with Jamie to secure victory over France at the quarter-final stage.

An Evans victory today would be a bonus, but it is the broad shoulders of Andy Murray that will once again carry the load if Great Britain is to secure the spoils and head into a shoot-out with Belgium or Argentina for the trophy.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me.
I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Live Review: Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Dom Kureen was kindly allowed a press pass for the recent Ventnor Arts Festival – On Sunday the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain hit the strip.

Ukulele Orchestra of GBCorny gags and jaunty cover versions were abundant, as the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain serenaded a sold out Ventnor Arts Festival marquee on Sunday evening.

The 8-piece ensemble, now in their 30th year of live performances, entered the fray composed of seven ukulele practitioners and a single bassist, a set-up consistent since 2005.

In a move that added instant lustre to proceedings, the half a dozen male members took to the stage adorned in black-tie attire, with the two female acts in chic evening dress.

The stimulating nimble ‘Hollywood,’ based on Richard A. Whiting’s 1937 ‘Hollywood Hotel’ soundtrack, got things off to a flyer and was played in tribute to Marilyn Monroe.

Shifting gears, a startling cabaret depiction of Prince’s 1980’s boudoir tour de force, ‘Kiss’ gave the first hints of a tongue-in-cheek theme that ran for the show’s duration.

 

‘Get Lucky’ was given a new lease of life, despite the Daft Punk/Pharell Williams collaboration having already spawned several dozen increasingly naff covers. This effort bypassed the stigma of cliché with a fresh glaze of silliness, including a host of animal noises and on-stage shape cutting.

Missing the mark, a parody of Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ became painstakingly hokey in parts and a couple of overly rehearsed gags played out to a handful of reticent courtesy chuckles.

Thankfully, the purity of ‘Dancing Barefoot’ got things back on track, capturing the spirit of Patti Smith’s canticle without breaking stride.

The engaging ’32 Bar Blues’ and convivial ‘Should I Stay or Should I go’ provided a buoyant close to the gaiety, with the string octet receiving not one, but two lengthy standing ovations.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me.
I meditate and wash daily when possible.