Thursday, June 28, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks-TV Spinoffs

I’m scared......why? I’m going on a plane! When I was young, I loved being on a plane and couldn’t wait to see the planes take off and land but now, I have become an idiot of nerves. The good news is that I am travelling to Vancouver to visit my dear friend, V.J. He will take me on the tour he works on where the tour group travels to Lake Louise, Banff and Lake Jasper. I can’t wait for this and I saved my coins to pay for the plane fare! I hope to write my posts ahead of time because I am off for 2 weeks and have no ability to place pics etc...on my blog because it’s not compatible with my IPad.  Isn't that the dumbest thing? This week, at Wandering Through The Shelves, it’s TV time and all about the spinoffs. I decided to stick to the 70’s which was full of comedies, dramas and variety shows and before political correctness, but full on cheesiness as well. Oh, if you check out my previous post there is the  movie blogfest where you pick 4 films that you feel define you and why. I felt it very freeing to write that post:) Ok so here are my 3...

1. THE JEFFERSONS-1975-1985

This series comes from the great show, All In The Family! The Jefferson used to be the neighbours of the Bunkers but they became rich from the laundry business and they moved on up to the big sky. Jefferson, played wonderfully by Sherman Hensley, is a jive talkin’ African American who could be a bigot, the opposite bigot to Archie Bunker. He is married to his strong, no nonsense wife played by Isabel Sanford. In the early episodes his wife must deal with her mother in law as well as George but “Weezie” can handle herself. They hire a maid  who can dish it out and take it and we meet their neighbours, one an Englishman, Bentley, who seems to be quite the lover but always needs George to walk on his back whenever he has back problems. Their neighbours, one floor above, are a happily married bi-racial couple who have a daughter. The Jefferson’s son and the neighbour’s daughter fall in love much to George’s chagrin. You hear Honky, zebra marriage and even that N word which I despise but this is the 70’s. I loved this show because George is always put in his place and despite his bellowing he defends his friends. I love this show and too bad it would never fly now, neither would All In The Family...the political correct police miss the point.

2. BRADY BUNCH HOUR-1976-1977

Oh..this is bad...very, very bad and Eve Plumb, who played Jan in the Brady Bunch Show was right not to join in this horrible show so we have Fake Jan. Robert Reed, who hated playing his character actually liked being on this show which is strange and poor Florence Henderson had to carry much of the singing and dancing since this was her true vocation (she did play Maria in The Sound Of Music). It starts that good ole Mike quits his architect job, uproots his family so they can star on their own variety show. Rip Taylor, plays the love interest to Alice in the show which just baffles me. The outfits and glitter and lack of singing talent from most of the cast is clearly evident.

3. MORK AND MINDY-1978-1982

Mork from Ork first came to be known on Happy Days, which was a show about the happy 1950's with The Fonz, the Cunninghams and Ritchie's friends, Potsie and Ralph. Mork comes to our planet to fetch a humdrum human, aka Ritchie and is foiled by The Fonz. from this humble beginning a superstar was born in the name of Robin Williams who played Mork on his own series. Mork is sent down to earth to learn more about our species and lives with a young woman who tries to teach him the earthly ways. Robin Williams often went off script (no kidding) and the show was a super hit for a while and made a huge star out of Robin Williams who I miss to this day.

What are your 3?


  1. I cringed at that Brady Bunch one. I never even knew it had a spinoff. Mork and The Jeffersons were great ones indeed. Your picks made me think of the spinoff Green Acres.

  2. Have a wonderful time on your holiday away, I hate flying and have to get there to give me a sedative so I can sleep through the journey so I hope you overcome your nerves and are able to enjoy....enjoy yourself xxxx

  3. I loved The Jeffersons! It was bombastic and shrill many times but also had the ability to be screamingly funny. Loved Florence, loved Mother Jefferson to the bottom of her condescending heart!

    The Brady Brides was bad but nothing in comparison to this train wreck with sequins!! I remember sitting in slack-jawed horror through the first show (need I say I didn't return for more). Poor Florence Henderson having to haul around so much dead weight.

    I liked Mork & Mindy but was never crazy about it the way I was Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley. Still Williams was a phenomenon and Pam Dawber very winning. I liked her later show My Sister Sam as well.

    My first originated from an All in the Family guest shot but my other two were long-time characters on their respective shows before branching off at the original’s conclusion.

    Maude (1972-1978)-Topical comedy of liberal feminist Maude Findlay (Beatrice Arthur) living in Tuckahoe, NY with 4th husband Walter (Bill Macy), divorced daughter Carol (Adrienne Barbeau) and Carol’s son Phillip and the social issues that she outspokenly debates with best friend Vivien (Rue McClanahan-playing a character very close to Golden Girls Rose Nyland), housekeepers Florida Evans (Esther Rolle-who eventually was spun off onto her own show Good Times), tippling Englishwoman Mrs. Naugatuck and her prig of a neighbor Dr. Arthur Harmon (Conrad Bain). While geared to comedy this tackled serious hot button issues such as abortion, alcoholism, facelifts, nervous disorders and prescription drug addiction. Maude was introduced as Edith Bunker’s cousin and Archie Bunker’s nemesis on Norman Lear’s groundbreaking “All in the Family” and proved so popular she was spun off to her own wildly popular show.

    Lou Grant (1977-1982)-Continuing his character from the iconic Mary Tyler Moore show Edward Asner takes Lou Grant from the cozy hilarity of the Minneapolis WJM-TV to the far more serious drama of the daily newsroom of the Los Angeles Tribune. Working closely with his two strongest reporters Joe Rossi and Billie Newman (Robert Walden & Linda Kelsey), managing editor Charles Hume (Mason Adams) and the paper’s publisher Margaret Pynchon (the great Nancy Marchand) they cover various stories each week. One of the very few shows to move a sitcom character to a dramatic setting successfully this became another awards magnet winning multiple Emmys including Outstanding Drama as well as for Asner who became the first performer to win the statue for the same character in both comedy and drama.

    Frasier (1993-2004)-When the sitcom Cheers closed up shop in 1993 hard luck psychiatrist Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) packed up his bags and moved from Boston back home to his native Seattle and became a radio shrink for 11 eventful seasons. He deals with life with his father-retired cop Martin (John Mahoney), dad’s live-in physical therapist-the somewhat psychic Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves), his fun-loving show producer Roz (Peri Gilpin) and persnickety brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) a psychiatrist as well. There’s also his perpetually unsuccessful love life including occasional drop-ins from his severe ex-wife Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth-another Cheers alum). Full of expert writing, superior comic performers and a satellite cast of daffy, endearing and hysterical characters (brash sportscaster Bulldog Briscoe, fussy food critic Gil Chesterton, Niles never seen but wildly eccentric wife Maris, and best of all Frasier’s agent Bebe Glazer-a woman totally without shame or scruple) this was as strong when it ended as when it began because the characters evolved over the season while remaining true to their original intent.

    Have a great vacation!!

  4. Don't worry about flying, that sounds like a wonderful trip! I'd love to see that area of Canada.

    I can't believe the Brady Bunch had so many terrible sequels when then show itself was so fun.

  5. Like you, I liked to fly when I was younger, but one bad bout with turbulence and now I hate to fly.
    Mork and Mindy - good choice. Lavern and Shirley came from Happy Days as well.
    Zena was a great spinoff from Hercules.
    And right now I really dig Better Call Saul, a spinoff from Breaking Bad.

  6. Of these, I've ever seen The Jeffersons. My dream trip is to ride the Rocky Mountain train from Vancouver to the Rockies and back. Maybe next year. Can't wait to read about your trip.

  7. Hi, Birgit!

    I enjoyed The Jeffersons but didn't care for their smug son Lionel. I also enjoyed Maude, another series spun-off from All In The Family. "God'll get you for that, Walter."

    That clip from the Brady Bunch Hour made me throw up in my mouth a little. Me no likey Fake Jan! Me want REAL Jan! Rip Taylor and Alice the maid as a couple? I just threw up again. Remember when Ann B. Davis played "Schultzy" on The Bob Cummings Show, later titled Love That Bob in syndication?

    I am one of the few people who didn't particularly care for Robin Williams' zany comedy style. He was always "on" and it became a bit too much. I did like him in dramatic roles. On M & M I liked pretty Pam's character, and I also enjoyed her later series My Sister Sam, remembered as the show that made a budding star of Rebecca Schaeffer, the actress who was murdered at her doorstep by a fan stalker shortly after the series ended.

    Thank you, dear friend BB!

  8. Birgit,

    I knew that "The Jeffersons" was a spinoff of "All in the Family" but I had no clue about the other two programs being spinoffs until now. How interesting is that? The 70s was an excellent era for TV. I loved the "Mork & Mindy" show!! :D

  9. I watched a bit of Mork and Mindy. Hard for them to top his "battle" with Fonz

  10. I trust your plane ride will be MUCH better than anticipated and your visit wondrous.

  11. I never saw "The Brady Bunch Hour," and I gather I didn't miss much based on many of the comments. I have a lot of respect for Eve Plumb, because she invested her earnings from "The Brady Bunch" in a house that she recently sold for some obscene amount, but also because she refused to be a part of a show that appears to be the epitome of bad entertainment.

    "The Jeffersons" was a riot. 'Nuff said.

    We watched "Mork and Mindy," but I remember being underwhelmed by it. Robin Williams could be funny, but after a while he really annoyed me.

    Shows that have already been mentioned that I liked were "Frasier" (better than the show from which it was spun, in my opinion) and "Laverne & Shirley" (even after it became just "Laverne" when Cindy Williams left).

    Some of my favorite spinoffs include "Family Matters," which spun off from "Perfect Strangers," "Pete & Gladys," which was a spinoff from "December Bride," "NCIS," a spinoff from "JAG," "The Facts of Life," a spinoff of "Diff'rent Strokes," and "Mama's Family," which was originally a recurring feature on "The Carol Burnett Show." One that never made it to TV was "Sunset Division," a planned spinoff from "Crossing Jordan" that featured Jerry O'Connell's Woody Hoyt character; an episode of "Crossing Jordan" was the pilot, and I was really looking forward to the series. Oh well, guess you can't have everything...

    Can you use Safari on your iPad to update your blog?

  12. I haven't seen any of these but my mother used to watch Mork & Mindy.

  13. My gosh, I've seen these 3 series!

    Have a great vacation! I have to get on a plane at the end of August; already anxious about it!


  14. Oh, I’m so glad you’re going on that trip! I remember you telling me about your friend the tour guide. It’ll be wonderful.

  15. I used to love to fly, but the restrictions, shoe removal, and body cams, etc. you must pass through just to get on the plane. And don't even think about bringing your own water/coffee/tea. They will confiscate it. But I am sure you will enjoy it, especially after you saved money just to fly there.

    Unfortunately, I have never seen any of these tv shows, although I saw a few episodes of All in the Family on Decades tv. Political correctness took over and network tv became unbearable to watch. I never saw Mork, but I miss Robin Williams, too!

  16. I've often liked what I call "legitimate" spinoffs, shows starring regular characters from a "parent" show. But every so often some program would introduce a handful of brand-new characters, while giving the original show's cast bit parts in their own series for that single episode. I call that type "illegitimate" spinoiffs. They don't really feature characters that we viewers already knew.

  17. I loved when Jonathan Winters played the son of Mork & Mindy. OMG, hilarious! The Brady Bunch was horrible, still I watched. Similar to rubbernecking as I pass by whatever held up traffic. My favorite spin-offs -- Young Sheldon and Petticoat Junction are two.

  18. Ah yes, I loved The Jeffersons and Mork & Mindy. I even had a Mork & Mindy board game back in the day. I loved The Brady Bunch, too, but I missed that spin off. There was another that came along later that I remember.

    Hmmm, what would I pick? Let's go modern. Okay, then, that would be The Flash (as it's kind of a spin off of Arrow), Major Crimes (a spin off of The Closer), and The Originals (a spin off of Vampire Diaries). I need more time to come up with my all time favorites, though (these would not be it).

  19. I loved Mork and Mindy, haven’t seen the other two. I love Frasier, but never saw Cheers for some reason.

    Benson was a spin-off of the hilarious Soap. Benson was the wisecracking butler in Soap. In Benson, he’s working for a dim witted Senator. Soap was a parody, but Benson was a standard sitcom.
    Another Soap actor, Richard Mulligan, played paediatrician Dr Harry Weston in both The Golden Girls and his own show, Empty Nest. He was a kindhearted and funny man.

  20. We have two matches! I love The Jeffersons and Mork and Mindy. Great choices, there. The Brady Bunch Hour? Ugh. So bad. So so bad.

  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  22. Howdy, BIRGIT ~
    I hope you enjoy the heck outta yer trip!

    Let's see... I do not like 'Happy Days' (even though I worked on it); I do not like 'Mork And Mindy'; I do not like 'The Jeffersons' (although 'All In The Family' is one of my all-time favorite TV shows).

    I thought 'Cheers' was kinda-sorta half-decent. It could be funny in moments, but I was never a die-hard watcher of it and to this day there are countless episodes I've never seen.

    BUT(!)... 'FRASIER', the spin-off from 'Cheers', is my second favorite TV series ever. It was, IMO, the funniest, wittiest, most clever and intelligently written series ever produced for television.

    In 'FRASIER', every single facet of good TV came together. The actors were perfect for their parts, and whoever was responsible for the casting had some strange mojo because, in all but a few instances, even the actors who played periodic or even one-time characters were perfect and extremely memorable. ("Bebe Glazer", Frasier's agent, is one of my favorite characters in TV history! She was totally channeling Norma Desmond!)

    But that writing! Even today I marvel at the talent of those writers and the astounding way they'd craft storylines -- plots and subplots -- that would somehow intersect and connect and merge at the end. It's not often that a writer's talent leaves me amazed and feeling like I'm almost watching magic acts being performed before my eyes, but the writers for 'Frasier' had that effect on me often.

    That was "SOME SHOW!" Almost too good for TV, really.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

  23. I am the same - loved flying when I was young and now it makes me a nervous wreck!! I hope you will have a fantastic time on your trip. Sounds wonderful!!! Enjoy! :)
    The Brady Bunch clip is hilarious LOL.

  24. Hi Birgit ... just enjoy Vancouver = I hope to get there in about 12 days ... so enjoy Canada etc ... and all the places you're going to see. I haven't seen any of the - but obviously Robin Williams had such a sad end ... cheers and enjoy the freedom of being away from the net - Hilary

  25. Have a wonderful time, Birgit.
    We'll leave the light on for ya.

  26. Your trip sounds great though I'd rather drive. I like flying--I just don't like the hassles involved or being crammed into the cheap seats.

    I can't recall watching any spin-offs as I was pretty much off of watching most TV during the 70's through the 90's. Don't watch much network TV now either.

    Tossing It Out

  27. Jeffersons and All In The Family were classics weren't they?
    Enjoy vacay!

  28. I remember re-runs of the Jeffersons when I was a kid, but I so didn't get it at the time. My family thought it was hilarious though. Don't imagine there's any chance in hell of seeing those re-runs now.

    The big spin-off I remember from my early days was a Different World. I loved the Cosby Show but I don't know why 10-year old me was into a Different World. I guess I just thought nerdy Dwayne Wayne was cool.

    Holy Crap - I just looked it up and had completely forgotten a young Marissa Tomei was originally in the first season.

  29. Thanks for all your efforts that you have put in this, It's very interesting Blog...
    I believe there are many who feel the same satisfaction as I read this article!
    I hope you will continue to have such articles to share with everyone!