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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.

20 Worst TV Spin-offs ever. Pt.1 (20th-11th)

Cleveland Show

Kureen has explored the best TV spin-off shows ever during the past couple of days, now it’s time to take a gander at the bottom feeders, with a two part list of the 20 worst of all time.

*Years of broadcast and parent series in parenthesis

20. Saved By The Bell: The College Years (1993-94, Saved By The Bell)

Saved By The Bell followed the lives of half a dozen teenagers (and one principal) as they navigated their way through Bayside high school’s minefield. This follow up adapted the formula for a college setting, but the same goofy gags that had previously flourished fell flat coming from older students, with an 18 year-old  Screech (Dustin Diamond) one of the most abhorrent characters in sitcom history.

19. The Cleveland Show (2009-13, Family Guy)

With all of the entertaining characters in Family Guy to choose between for a spin-off, Seth Macfarlane opted for Cleveland Brown, the least worthwhile member of the FG ensemble. What resulted was lethargic and rarely worth a chuckle, mercifully Fox put the animated series out of its misery after four laborious seasons.

18. AfterMash (1983-84, M*A*S*H)

AfterMash wasn’t M*A*S*H, despite desperately trying to emulate it without putting forth any effort and praying for some chemistry from an excruciatingly bland cast. As the title track of the original aptly stated: “suicide is painless”, as thousands of viewers eyed up their AK-47’s and contemplated.

17. Top of The Heap (1991, Married With Children)

Check this out if you want to see a young, pre-Friends Matt Le Blanc… and then find a device to wipe any trace of the woeful rhetoric from your mind’s eye, or else take enough psychedelic drugs to lay waste to the part of your brain that threatens to store the criminally corny dialogue you’ve been subjected to.

16. The Golden Palace (1992-93, The Golden Girls)

The lifeblood of The Golden Girls was the snappy repartee between the four main pensioners, all enjoying their twilight years and each other’s company. CBS thought they would strike while the iron was still somewhat warm by bringing the remaining core cast (Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty) back with a new series and a slightly fresh situation, but the idea of them running a hotel was far fetched, and it bombed in the ratings.

15. Girl Meets World (2014-Present, Boy Meets World)

From 1993 to 2000, viewers followed the relationship of Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence-Matthews on “Boy Meets World.” More than a decade later, the couple’s daughter, Riley, is trying to navigate her ‘tween years with all of the panache and wit of a moribund tea cosy.

14. Hello Larry (1979-80,  Diff’rent Strokes)

“Hello Larry” was part of Fred Silverman’s attempt to ruin, er, resurrect NBC, a channel whose comedy had plummeted toward the ratings doldrums. Despite its abysmal badness, the show ran for two seasons simply because so many of the network’s other offerings bombed, so they had nothing better to run; a fact that beleaguered network execs cheerfully admitted to.

13. Hot Bench (2014-Present, Judge Judy)

In America the court TV show is a tried and trusted formula that has made stars of a myriad of judges. “Hot Bench” attempted to shake up the usual concept by employing a three-judge panel. Created by Judge Judy Sheindlin, the series’ main issue is that the judges crave the spotlight too freely, like attention seeking toddlers with overflowing nappies, and the cases are too puerile for viewers to invest any fucks.

12. The Tortellis (1987, Cheers)

“The Tortellis” was a spin off of “Cheers” featuring Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman)’s eccentric family, who were infrequent recurring characters.  All were hilarious in the context of the parent show, but gave the impression of fish out of water when dumped into a vehicle that lacked any concept or purpose.

11.  Three’s A Crowd (1984-85, Three’s Company)

“Three’s a Crowd” can be aptly summed up as boring, direction-less, and painfully unfunny. The producers made no attempt to create a new and exciting vehicle for John Ritter’s brilliant physical comedy, content instead to bask in the glory of the exceptional Three’s Company, all the while milking this obese cash-cow until its teats shrivelled like raisins in the Sahara.

Agree with Dom’s list? Let us know in the comment section below. The top (bottom?) ten will be published tomorrow, so keep your eyes open and share, share, share!

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.

John Carver and 10 other terrible EPL managers

John Carver’s reign as full-time Newcastle United boss has thus far proven little short of an unmitigated disaster, achieving the worst sequence for the club in 28 years by losing seven league matches in a row.

John Carver

Carver has previous failures on his CV; his track record was equally inept during his stint in the hot-seat, with just three points yielded from five matches as Leeds United’s interim boss, a similarly short and unsuccessful term at Sheffield United, and a woeful spell at Toronto FC, which ended with the club in the MLS relegation zone and Carver given his marching orders.

Mentioning that he’s a Geordie who worked under the great Sir Bobby Robson in virtually every interview may have been a ploy to garner sympathy from the Tyneside natives, but has in fact had the opposite effect, with the Toon Army soon tiring of JC reminiscing about getting the rub to justify his appointment.

Carver isn’t alone though, here’s a rundown of ten other terrible Premier League managers.

Iain DowieIain Dowie

Dowie has successfully led two teams to the Championship, as well as directly causing the relegation of a third. His top-flight career peaked in the mid-2000’s, as he tried admirably to save Crystal Palace from going straight back down, while at his next job, Dowie hopelessly kept Charlton in the relegation places, despite being given extensive funds, before getting sacked halfway through the 2005/06 season.

At Hull City, Dowie was brought in to keep the Tigers in the top tier, but once again, the former striker could not inspire any sort of survival. These facts speak for themselves and Dowie has to be considered one of the least inspiring Premier League managers ever.

Terry Connor

One in, one out: Terry Connor was out of his depth as a manager.
One in, one out: Terry Connor was out of his depth as a manager.

 

Terry Connor was Wolverhampton Wanderers’ assistant manager when Mick McCarthy was given the boot in February 2012. Despite having zero experience as a senior manager, Wolves entrusted Connor with keeping the club in the Premier League.

The 50 year old, who is back as McCarthy’s assistant at Ipswich Town, took over with the club in 18th position, yet by the end of the season, Wolves were at the bottom of the table. Connor failed to win a single game in his 13 games in charge, leading Wolves to seven consecutive defeats and life in the Championship.

Luiz ScolariLuiz Scolari

Scolari makes the list as he had a talented squad and excessive funds at his disposal; and this is without even mentioning his previous achievements, including a World Cup! His stint with Chelsea was in fact Scolari’s first (and only) job as manager of a European club and this may explain the reason why he didn’t even last until the end of the season.

The Brazilian boss endured a horrid run of form with the Blues and was replaced with interim manager Guus Hiddink in February 2009, who arrived to adjust the error of Scolari’s ways and win the FA Cup.

Les ReedLou Reed

Les Reed holds the record of having the shortest managerial reign in Premier League history, when he left Charlton Athletic by mutual consent, after just 41 days. He is regularly voted as the Addicks’ worst manager of all time and it’s to no surprise.

Reed’s stint of seven games produced one victory, one draw and five defeats, one of which was an embarrassing loss to League Two’s Wycombe Wanderers in the League Cup. He was swiftly replaced by Alan Pardew in December 2006.

Juande Ramos

The first of two former Spurs managers in this list did initially win the hearts of his supporters by clinching the League Cup over Chelsea in 2008. Yet, in his second season in charge, the former Sevilla head coach lost his way in spectacular fashion, amassing 2 points from the opening 8 league games.

That mark remains Tottenham Hotspur’s worst ever start to a Premier League season and an inability to speak English did not help matters for the increasingly forlorn gaffer. Surprisingly Ramos’ next coaching position was at the helm of Real Madrid.

Steve WigleySteve Wigley

Steve Wigley replaced the equally inept Paul Sturrock as full time Southampton manager in August 2004. Many were surprised with Wigley’s appointment as his only previous experience was that of a three year spell of non-league Aldershot Town.

Wigley lasted a total of 14 games, with the Saints’ board realising their mistake and the 51 year old quickly returned to his duties with the club’s youth teams. he managed only one win during his time as manager  but that was against bitter rivals Portsmouth.

Steve KeanSteve Kean

Blackburn Rovers fans reading this will surely be satisfied that bumbling Kean’s torrid Ewood Park tenure has been acknowledged. The Scottish coach miserably led Blackburn to relegation during the 2011-12 season, and somehow managed to evade “Kean out” demands for many months before finally getting the boot in early 2013.

The 45 year old, currently without a job, splashed £8.25m on the exceptional Jordan Rhodes, but still couldn’t inspire the Blue and Whites towards a play-off place, suffering 30 defeats in just 60 games all told. His ignorance to the fans’ calls to resign just beats Paul Ince to a spot in the list.

Jacques SantiniJacques Santini

Who? I hear you ask. Santini is the first of two Spurs managers in this list (and Christian Gross could also have been included). The French manager had worked wonders at Lyon and tried his luck in the Premier League with Tottenham.

However, he only lasted five months in the job and was soon replaced by his assistant, Martin Jol, who went on to do very well. The French boss had a decent record as Spurs manager but announced his resignation after just 13 games.

Alan ShearerAlan Shearer

A harsh choice perhaps, considering that the Geordie legend was afforded only eight matches in charge of his beloved Newcastle United, and inherited a squad choc-full of has-beens, ne’er weres and rotten to the core characters.

It was little wonder then that his final stats in charge read 1 win, 2 draws and 5 defeats, albeit three of those reverses were at the hands of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United respectively. Still, it was 1-0 losses to Fulham and Aston Villa that truly put paid to the club’s survival hopes, as Hull City escaped by a single point.

Brian KiddManchester United

After stints as manager at Barrow and Preston North End, Kidd became an assistant at Manchester United from 1988-98. While there, he learned from one of the all-time greats: United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Did Kidd take what he learned from Ferguson into the head job at Blackburn? Of course not. Instead he got Rovers relegated in 1999 — just four years after they were champions.

The most painful part for Kidd is the knowledge that the stinging words of Sir Alex were swiftly proved accurate. Fergie never forgave Kidd for walking out of United and in his autobiography, he described his erstwhile right-hand man as a worrier who could not evaluate a player and talked behind his back –something which was difficult to deny after Kidd oversaw a host of terrible signings, such as £9m dud-duo Ashley Ward and Jason McAteer.

Agree with our list? Feel that we missed out some truly horrible bosses? Let us know in the comment section below.

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.