Hollywood, always at a loss to keep churning out original entertainment often likes to take characters from other shows and give them their own vehicle. Some are successful... but others, you find youself asking - what if they took THIS character and gave them a spin-off instead?
After Homicide ended its run, John Munch got to mosey his way from Baltimore to New York to join Law & Order: SVU. Richard Belzer's a fine actor, but Andre Braugher's Pembleton was the backbone of Homicide. Imagine him and Ice-T on the same set?
Laura Winslow/Family Matters
This would have been a reward for Winslow's putting up with Steve Urkel. Urkel could have been on the first episode of the new show...and had a bank safe dropped on his head. Then she could have gone on dates with real interesting people that didn't involve a nerd stepping dangerously close to the line of stalking.
Dylan McKay/Beverly Hills, 90210
Brandon Walsh: too earnest. Kelly Taylor: too annoying. David Silver: Too generic '90s. Steve Sanders: Too many shiny teeth. Donna Martin: Ha ha ha. No. So Dylan, the world-weary fellow would have been perfect for his own show.
Shawn Hunter/Boy Meets World
There's a Girl Meets World spin-off/reboot happening, but Hunter should have had his own show after Boy Meets World. Rider Strong would have had to stop looking constipated when he was supposed to be feeling moody though. He could have ditched his half-brother Jack, but Eric Matthews would need to make appearances just to keep the comedy level high.
Joey Tribbiani got the spin-off, but the witty Bing would have been the better choice. Could it BE any more obvious? Monica would have had to go, but Matthew Perry could carry the show. Perhaps this would have halted Perry's horrible post-Friends freefall.
What, you thought I would suggest Niles Crane, which would mean another show featuring a stuffy psychiatrist? They could have had Martin go to Boston to get away from everyone and find a new aide for him. Ted Danson could take a break from CSI and reprised Sam Malone.
Dr. Dick Solomon/3rd Rock From The Sun
Any show with just John Lithgow would have been awesome and I know I don't risk incurring the wrath of the Big Giant Head by saying this. Lithgow has the face and personality to carry his own just as Solomon. He coud have a fake Inception dream scene with Joseph Gordon-Leavitt.
Jazz/The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Jazz could barely act his way out of a paper bag sometimes, but it would have been fun to see how many different ways he could get thrown out of houses in his own show. I always had a soft spot for him and his doomed courtship of Hilary Banks.
Sophia Petrillo/Golden Girls
Let's forget that Golden Palace dreck, shall we? Sophia deserved better and she could have ruled her own nursing home. Out of the four "girls," she was the most feisty, funny and quotable of them all. Forget Shady Pines - Petrillo Manor would have been infinitely better.
10. Ricardo Tubbs/Miami Vice
Tubbs was the smoother of the two on Miami Vice. I'm talking the Philip Michael Thomas Tubbs here, not Jamie Foxx. Thomas danced circles around Foxx when it came to suaveness. Tubbs could have opened up an agency in Los Angeles - that OTHER place with extremely attractive women and high style.
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A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.