Oh, God, Please, No, Anything But That. No.


When I first saw this story I thought the headline was a cruel, cruel joke. But it’s actually the cruel, cruel truth.

A spokesperson for The CW confirms what has been buzzed about for months: The network is developing an update of Melrose Place. Details remain sketchy, but it’s believed Melrose 2.0 would launch next fall.

A 90210 revival was at least something that made a certain amount of theoretical sense. Other high-school shows have had “next generation” revivals. But Melrose? Without Aaron Spelling or Darren Star (who will not be involved with this one either), what’s the point? Unlike 90210, with its valuable life lessons and PSAs, Melrose didn’t have much redeeming social value once they added Heather Locklear; it was a Spelling trashfest, a tribute to his genius at appealing to our worst instincts without ever making us feel guilty. (Most TV producers clearly have contempt for this kind of material and would prefer to be doing something better. With Spelling, you knew that trash was what he loved and what he wanted to be doing; as a commenter of mine put it, “his shows were dumb, but they weren’t dumbed down.”) It would be great fun to see a gleefully trashy show in that style, but a more “sophisticated” version of Melrose is not something to look forward to — 90210 is having trouble handling the writers’ attempt to make it less trashy than the original, but if you take out the trash from Melrose, you’ve got nothing.

What comes next? A remake of the Melrose spinoff Models, Inc?

Filed under:

Oh, God, Please, No, Anything But That. No.

  1. Reading this article, I had thoughts of cleverly hypothesing about a remake of Models Inc., until I arrived at the last sentence and was beaten to the punch.

    i seem to recall an old adage about the tendency of great minds.

  2. I’d be curious to hear your top list of spinoffs Jamie. Also, any idea what the longest chain of spinoffs was? That is, 90210 beget Melrose Place, which beget Models, Inc., which beget…

    Just on spinoffs in general, is there ever a good dramatic reason for a spinoff? Seems like most of the time it’s just an attempt to leech off of the popularity of the first series.

  3. Also, any idea what the longest chain of spinoffs was?

    I’m really not sure. We can all think of other chains of three — as in, All in the Family begat Maude begat Good Times — but I’m having trouble thinking of a chain of spinoffs with four links, i.e. a spinoff of a spinoff of a spinoff. There’s got to be one, though. Maybe someone else will know.

    Just on spinoffs in general, is there ever a good dramatic reason for a spinoff?

    I think a spinoff is justified if a character or an actor is clearly too good to be just a supporting player. If this character can clearly carry a whole show, and if he or she isn’t getting all that much to do on the original show, then it makes sense to build a show around that character. (For example, I think it’s not a coincidence that Rhoda got her own spinoff after a couple of seasons where her character was becoming less important than she was in the early years. The show didn’t need her as much as it did, but she was still a very popular character, so why not spin her off and give her more to do?)

  4. Do the various Star Treks count as spin-offs?

  5. I had thought of the Star Treks as well. It mainly depends on how you define a spinoff. For me, a spinoff could be defined two ways. Either a spinoff is when one or more characters from an existing series is given their own show (such as Private Practice, Angel, etc.), or more broadly, a spinoff occurs when a new show’s first episode involves a character from an existing show.

    Using the first definition, none of the Star Treks would count. Under the second definition, I believe you would get the chain Star Trek->TNG->Deep Space 9->Voyager, but not Enterprise (although the last episode of Enterprise did feature some of the TNG cast).

    Personally, I would prefer to only use spinoff when a character from an old show is moved to a new one. Shows that simply exist in the same ‘universe’ seems like too broad a definition.

  6. Webster’s goes with:
    “a television show starring a character popular in a secondary role of an earlier show”.

Sign in to comment.