Tag Archives: Joanie

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.

Joanie ‘Chyna’ Laurer Dead at 45

She was a pioneer in a choreographed world, a woman who empowered female athletes in a predominantly male industry. So what led to the demise of Joanie Laurer, better known as Chyna, and why was she whitewashed from the professional wrestling history books by the industry’s head honchos?

She stood alone at ringside, a looming figure of square jawed, jacked up peril. It was clear that Chyna wasn’t the usual spectator during her inaugural appearance on WWF(WWE) television.

So it proved, as the 26-year old titan aligned herself with real life beau, Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque at the 1997 In Your House 13 Pay-Per-View, when choking out the rather daintier figure of Marlena, a diminutive female valet with pendulous, surgically enhanced bosoms; Chyna stood prominent as the antithesis to the titillation embodied by her victim and the women’s division in general, flying in the face of pillow fights and gravy bowl contests.

Initially mute, Chyna was officially installed as a bodyguard shortly after the PPV, and later attached herself to the federation’s counter culture collective, D Generation X, a fraternity style faction spawned in response to rival wrestling conglomerate WCW’s hugely successful New World Order.

Chyna and Eddie

Over the next four years Chyna’s influence grew; she was the first female to enter the prestigious Royal Rumble event in 1999, the only woman ever to win the fed’s secondary strap, the Intercontinental title, and was allegedly offered the World Title if she turned down a Playboy shoot in late 2000.

Ultimately, the now heavily ‘beautified’ grappler, who despite her previous claims of beauty coming from within had resorted to extensive procedures in order to soften her jaw, augment her breasts and straighten her nose, chose to bare all.

Despite her integral role within DX and trailblazing run, Chyna never fully recovered from her real-life break-up with Levesque, who from late 1999 was dating company owner Vince McMahon’s daughter Stephanie, and whose influence within WWE was ever-increasing.

With her star dimming, Chyna was released from her contract in 2001, and effectively blackballed from company events, spiralling into drug and alcohol dependence, and starring in half a dozen adult movies from 2004-2013.

She did, briefly, return to the squared circle with Total Non-stop Action wrestling (TNA) in the Spring of 2011, cutting a bloated caricature of the once imposing figure as she entered and exited the company to little fanfare.

Chyna before after

Her absence from the WWE’s Hall of Fame remains one of wrestling’s most damning indictments. A glorified popularity contest, unlike other high profile hall of fames, induction often has less to do with in-ring merit, and more with nuzzling the bosom of the company’s upper echelon.

Why else would Triple H have stated that Chyna’s absence is due to her pornography career and yet induct Tammy ‘Sunny’ Sytch, an individual with an extensive blue movie back catalogue, who fingers herself on Skype for a small fee and who put her Hall of Fame ring up for auction on eBay?

Transparently, although WWE can never admit it, the reason why they refuse to induct the woman they once labelled ‘the ninth wonder of the world‘, is purely personal.

Tragically, it may have taken her death and the expected subsequent swell of fan reaction to force Vince McMahon and co’s hands. Chyna is surely destined for a 2017 induction in the wake of this tragedy.

A demise by suspected overdose does highlight the question of why a company that repeatedly assisted struggling ex-pro’s such as Scott Hall, Jake Roberts and Sytch could not find the compassion to do the same for a woman clearly struggling with her identity and craving validation for her endeavours.

Like so much in wrestling, the truth may be far less palatable than any of the scripts that unfolded during Chyna’s career.

Her final desperate pleas for a reconciliation ignored, it appears that the helplessness she felt was the final cause of the once proud warrior’s death.

In truth, and tragically, this is a fate that has been on the cards for 15 years, and could probably have been avoided with a simple extension of an olive branch, an offer of hope for the hopeless.

R.I.P Chyna.

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.