Here are ten spin-offs that fared better than their parent originals
Spin-offs are a perennial favourite with filmmakers. Some exist to satiate the unquenched thirst for stories from a franchise; some to do justice to small threads left unfulfilled in an old story; while others exist simply so the production company can ride the wave of success and make a bit of money. Here, we take a look at 10 spin-offs (shows and films) that unexpectedly became better than their parent originals. These are all available on OTT platforms currently.
Better Call Saul
Following the success of Breaking Bad—about a Chemistry teacher, Walter White, transforming into a drug kingpin—maker Vince Gilligan, along with Peter Gould, went on to create a spin-off. Based on lawyer Saul Goodman, who was a supporting character in the periphery in Breaking Bad, the show has been earning rave reviews and can arguably be said to have already eclipsed the greatness of the parent.
Minus oddballs such as Elektra and Catwoman, some of the by-products from the Marvel Universe and DC have been pretty enterprising. There’s the all-women superheroes film, Birds of Prey (Amazon Prime), the ‘Merc with a mouth’, Deadpool (Disney+ Hotstar), and even the Oscar-winning Joker (Amazon Prime). But one spin-off that truly surpassed the limitations is Logan. Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine shows us how superheroes can also be damaged and vulnerable.
Amazon Prime Video
Once you watch Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory, you have to know ALL about him. Creators Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro give us just that. Focusing on the childhood years of the most popular character—Sheldon—the series focussed simply on being a family drama with comedy befitting the characters. It also touched on the childhood of the other important characters from the original.
Not many know that The Simpsons—now in its 31st season—is actually an offshoot of The Simpsons Shorts that appeared in The Tracey Ullman Show (1987-1990). While the shorts served to introduce the characters, the spin-off is a detailed satirical look at the lives of the American working class. With more than 600 episodes and still running, the animated comedy’s depiction of everyday life with humour has struck a chord with millions.
Get Him to the Greek
This one is a surprise. No one expected a by-product of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It saw the return of Russell Brand as Aldous Snow, the free-spirited rock star of the group Infant Sorrow, along with Jonah Hill, who appeared as a waiter and a fan of Aldous in the first film, but a record company employee in the new film. Their stellar chemistry made it one of the best comedies in recent times.
Fear the Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is without competition. Period. But Robert Kirkman, along with Dave Erickson, dared to create a spin-off. It follows the story of Madison Clark and her family. After season four, one of the main characters from the parent series, Morgan Jones, also joins the regular cast. While the parent series follows the journey of Rick Grimes, the spin-off is about the beginning of the apocalypse when Grimes is still in coma.
The Good Fight
An offshoot of the hit legal and political drama The Good Wife, it is similar to Better Call Saul. It follows the trials and tribulations of a lawyer—Diane Lockhart—a senior partner at the law firm in the preceding series. After an enormous financial scam destroys her savings, Diane must team up with Maia and Lucca Quinn at one of Chicago’s pre-eminent law firms. Legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott oversees the project as executive producer.
The first instalment of the Star Wars anthology series, Rogue One, is unique. Set right between the prequel and original trilogy, the plot focuses on a group of rebels who band together to steal plans to the Death Star though we know that the space station is very much intact.