Saying goodbye is hard. A proper send-off sometimes just isn’t enough to satiate fans that would rather see the stories of their favorite characters continue. These diehards want a proper spin-off, not a send-off. A proper spinoff, one that keeps the integral panache of the original work while simultaneously injecting new ideas and energy, isn’t impossible, but it’s difficult. For every Facts of Life and Frasier, there’s a Joanie Loves Chachi and a Joey.
Usually shows that feature a deep roster of interesting characters are the ones that are ideal candidates to spring spinoffs. That’s why NBC’s Parks and Recreation, with its incredible ensemble cast, seems ripe for a good spinoff. Parks and Rec returns January 13 for its final season, but if we had it our way, some our favorite Pawnee friends would be gracing the TV screens again in the near future. Here are some potential ideas for Parks and Recreation spinoffs.
After Rent-a-Swag is sabotaged by Dr. Saperstein and eventually sold, Tommy Timberlake, always the entrepreneur, meets an investor who decides to help him start his latest business endeavor, Tom’s Bistro. A show centering on Tom running his new restaurant sounds perfect. Most of us know from real life experience, and we’ve seen in movies like Waiting…, that restaurants usually employ a colorful cast of characters, and Tom could struggle managing a comedic troop of misfits. Familiar Pawnee faces could drop in as difficult customers, and Tom’s famous food slang, like croissants being called “butter envelopes” and grapes being called “teen raisins,” could be a solid reoccurring joke.
April Ludgate, Pet M.D.
Though April decided against going to veterinary school in season five, and even though NBC has already had a flop with Animal Practice, we still think seeing April as a vet could be a pretty great show. She has compassion for animals, but imagine her interactions with their owners. April is the perfect comedic foil for just about every character, so stick her next to a bubbly co-worker or a clueless boss and watch the hilarity ensue.
The Ron Swanson Woodworking Hour/ Family Sitcom
Admit it, you’d watch Nick Offerman in character as Ron Swanson showcase his bitching woodworking skills weekly on NBC, showing you what type of wood is perfect for a chair, or maybe how to properly use a bandsaw, spokeshave, or oscillating spindle sander to make a nice mall harp. But Ron also has a brand new family, a beautiful brown haired woman, two rambunctious girls, and a new baby. We know watching Ron with kids is already funny, but watching him figure out how to raise a baby sounds like it holds an infinite amount of laughs in store. A baby can’t eat steak, or bacon and eggs, so what will he feed it? Ron Swanson adjusting to domestic life is a better idea for a sitcom than whatever other sitcom that’ll be cancelled in six episodes that NBC already has planned.
Donna Meagle enjoys the finer things in life, and she loves dating luxurious men, that’s why she’d be perfect for a faux-reality show that’s one part Real Housewives and one part The Bachelorette. Imagine Donna living large in a huge mansion as a horde of men fight for her heart. Perhaps the host of the show could be her cousin, Ginuwine, who caps every episode with a rendition of “My Pony.” Viewers not in the know won’t even know that this is a scripted comedy and will tune in thinking they have found a reality show even crazier than The Bachelor. If you don’t like the idea for Donna Dates, how about a reality show where Donna teaches poor losers about the importance of self-confidence and self-respect, titled Treat Yo’ Self?
Chris & Ann
He’s an extremely upbeat, near-cyborg health freak who’s body is treated as a microchip. She’s an exhausted new mom. What could go wrong? Imagine Chris Traeger trying to deal with a sick baby, or Ann Perkins having to put up with intense, specific, and unrelentingly positive ways that Chris will inevitably want to raise their child. It’s not the most original idea for a sitcom, but like I said, it’s probably better and more fully-formed than whatever NBC already has planned.
On Tour With MouseRat
Follow Andy Dwyer, Mark, Michael and Burly as they tour the country behind their megahit The Awesome Album, featuring hit singles “5000 Candles in the Wind,” their tribute to Lil’ Sebastian, “Sex Hair,” “The Pit,” and “Catch Your Dream,” featuring the elusive Duke Silver on saxophone. How funny would it be to see MouseRat out on the open road, obviously accompanied by their manager, April, getting into hijinks in every major city in the US? It could be the best fake rockumentary since Spinal Tap.
Burt Macklin, F.B.I.
The alter-ego of dimwitted Andy Dwyer, Burt Macklin is a super suave secret agent who arrives in Pawnee every time a major crime hits city hall or the park’s department. Watch as he grapples with his love/hate relationship with Janet Snakehole, the British aristocrat with dark secrets that Macklin finds himself drawn to, or as he rallies against evil Judy Hitler, the descendant of the monsterous dictator who is Macklin’s archenemy. A spy romp with Burt Macklin would be my idea of entertainment.
The Jerry Gergich Show
HAHAHAH! Just kidding! Who would watch that crap?! This will probably be the one NBC selects.