By Savannah Lopez
Web Content Contributor
For years now, Hollywood has been running out of new ideas for movies and TV shows while, instead, choosing to make a lot of remakes, spin-offs and sequels. In January 2022, “How I Met Your Father” was released on Hulu, “House of the Dragon” (“Game of Thrones” spin-off) came out in August of 2022 and this past January, “That 90’s Show” premiered for the first time. A lot of people, myself included, aren’t the biggest fans of these unoriginal ideas and find them to be a bit tiresome; however, there are a few gems that have been released and live up to their predecessors.
“Better Call Saul”
“Better Call Saul” is a spin-off of the show “Breaking Bad” about Saul Goodman (aka Jimmy McGill) and his life before he was a lawyer for Walter White. With a show as successful as “Breaking Bad”, it’s not common for spin-offs to meet the expectations of its dedicated fans, such as, for example, when they tried to make the show “Joey” as a spin-off of “Friends”. However, “Better Call Saul” doesn’t feel like a continuation of “Breaking Bad”, but rather acts almost like a standalone show, which is why I think it did so well. If they were to make that show before they made Breaking Bad, I believe that it would have done just as good.
For some, this may come as a surprise, but the beloved show, “The Office” is a remake of the UK version, which aired in 2001 and finished in 2003. While some people do like the UK version, it is incomparable to the amount of people who love the US version. “The Office” is about the daily lives of several office workers at a paper supply company and the dynamic between the workers. Because you’re watching these realistic portrayals of people who are likable, this show has become very well-known and loved within many households. While some characters might feel unlikeable for in the US version, for many, they still remain overall more favorable compared to the characters in the UK version, which is another reason the US version did so much better.
“Degrassi: The Next Generation”
Based off its predecessors “Degrassi Junior High” and “Degrassi High”, “Degrassi: The Next Generation” is the continuation/spin-off of the long-running franchise, becoming arguably the best version of “Degrassi” that the creators of that show have ever made and popular amongst Millennials and Generation Z. The show is about a group of teenagers and the mostly realistic struggles they go through as they grow up. In “Degrassi: The Next Generation”, the characters have more personality than they did in the other versions, so you can relate to the characters better. Netflix did come out with another “Degrassi” called “Degrassi: Next Class”, which didn’t even light a candle to the 2001 version.
“Frasier” is a spin-off of the show “Cheers”. An odd and much older pick than all of the other shows I’ve listed, but still an amazing spin-off that, much like “Better Call Saul”, feels like it could be its own standalone show. The story follows the life of Dr. Frasier Crane, his brother and his dad. The show’s wittiness and sense of humor is what initially drew me into it, and it’s also just an overall easy watch for those looking to relax and enjoy something lighthearted. As like many shows nowadays, this spin-off is also getting a reboot on Paramount Plus, so we’ll see how that goes.
“Fuller House” isn’t technically a spin-off or remake, but rather more of a continuation of its beloved and well-known predecessor, “Full House”. Nonetheless, as mentioned earlier regarding reboots of successful shows or franchises, these comebacks tend to fail amongst old and sometimes new fan; but “Fuller House” managed to work. “Fuller House” focuses more on the children of “Full House” all grown up rather than the adults. There are many fans who grew up on “Full House” that have sent praises regarding the continuation of storylines from our favorite characters, excited to see that they are all grown up. It both connected to the emotional nostalgia of fans, while also providing entertainment that they were able to put on after a long day of work.
I do have a few honorable mentions, which include “Cobra Kai” and “Shameless” (US version). “Cobra Kai” is a continuation of the movies, but now Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence are much older. They kept in the karate elements that everyone loved from the movies, and they made the show funny. Technically the US version of “Shameless” is an adaptation of the UK version, so the reason for this show being so good are the same reasons why the US version of “The Office” is good.
Not all remakes and spin-offs are complete busts, but I wouldn’t mind an original idea for a show occasionally. The jury is still out on “How I Met Your Father” and “That 90’s Show”, but I’ll do my best to be optimistic if I watch them.
Featured Image by Laci Stautzenberger
Written by: Amaya Lewis