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Paulie Walnuts - spin-off shows we demand to see

Features

Five spin-offs we demand to see

2 Comments 19 August 2011

Spin-off shows are a strange beast. Attempting to ride the wave of what once made an existing programme so popular while simultaneously striving to put their own spin on proceedings, the writing and production staff responsible have an incredibly tough juggling act to maintain.

And it shows. For every Frasier or The Colbert Report that strides triumphantly out from the shadow of its cherished big brother, there are countless others in the mould of Joey, Baywatch Nights or *shivers* Sesame Tree. Done right, the spin-off show can be spectaular — but it’s rare to come across an example that finds a truly original voice rather than simply going through the motions to cynically cash in on the name of an old favourite.

Whatever your view on the quality of the shows, the unstoppable juggernaut that is the CSI franchise shows that spin-offs are an entirely viable proposition if the demand is there, so we think it’s high time we saw some new TV shows featuring favourite characters from existing shows.

We wanted to make a ‘One and a Half Men’ gag here, featuring Bronn and ‘The Imp’ Tyrion Lannister from HBO’s Game of Thrones — but it turns out somebody’s only gone and done it already, in a much, much more inventive way than we would have done:

 

 

So, with our best idea down the toilet, we’ll have to make do with a bunch of ideas cobbled together loosely around some horrible pun-based titles. Like these:

 

Dutch Courage

The Shield’s Holland ‘Dutch’ Wagenbach is shot in the line of duty when protecting an informant from his former Los Mags associates. Forced to take early retirment, Dutch Boy is awarded some kind of bravery medal or something so as to justify the show’s title. Finding life without a badge hard to come to terms with, Wagenbach sets up as a private investigator and for convoluted reasons is forced to take on Steve Billings — he of the patented ‘Billings Bare Minimum’ work ethic — as his partner. Odd Couple-style hilarity inevitably ensues. Think Midnight Run but with more cat strangulation.

 

Walnuts In May

Former Soprano family captain Paulie Walnuts (real name Peter Paul Gualtieri) is diagnosed with dangerously high blood pressure, which his doctor advises is likely linked to the stresses of mob life. The prescription? A relaxing summer of care-free living in the form of an extended camping holiday away from the  cut and thrust of organised crime. But when a series of ruffians pitch up next to his tent and proceed to transform the peaceful retreat into a rowdy party zone, it’s only a matter of time before Paulie reaches for the concrete boots.

 

Beaten To The Bunch

Animated farce following the adventures of Mr Bananagrabber, the lisping cartoon mascot dreamed up by Arrested Development’s G.O.B. Bluth to promote the family’s frozen banana stand. With his best banana-grabbing days way behind him, Mr B finds himself  frequently outwitted by a younger, fitter fruit pilferer by the name of Phillip J. Yellowskin — but he’s got a plan to take him down once and for all. Okay, so it’s not particularly high concept but that’s a pretty good title, no? COME ON!

 

Saul In A Day’s Work

Filmed in a mockumentary style, this light-hearted drama follows Breaking Bad’s morally bankrupt attorney Saul Goodman and the cases he takes on when he’s not saving Walter White’s skin. The pilot episode features cameos from Badger and Skinny Pete, as well as that massive security guard from the opening episode of Season 4. You know, the one that’s built like a wall (an incredibly overweight wall, granted) and breathes louder than any regular person speaks. Essentially, anything with Bob Odenkirk in it is automatically better than 95% of the guff pumped through our TV screens so this is an automatic winner.

 

Banned Meeting

With Bret and Jemaine deported and the Crazy Dogggz outed as song stealers, Flight of the Conchords’ former manager Murray Hewitt sets out to find his next hit act. But when his strict new supervisor puts a stop to the auditions being held in Murray’s office at the New Zealand consulate, old Ginger Balls decides it’s time to leave the comfort of his desk job and set up his dream business: Murray’s Interesting Building Tours. You know, band rotundas — that kind of thing.


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