A TV spin-off is almost bad by definition: it's whatever is left when an executive draws a big circle around the characters people actually care about and says, "let's write a pilot without these people."
But the truly terrible TV spin-offs are awful on a whole different level. They take these characters and wedge them into some pointless or ill-fitting premise that makes us care about them even less. Here are five spin-offs that truly make us wonder what the fuck they were thinking.
Spun Off From: Baywatch
Bored in his position as resident police officer of Baywatch, Sergeant Garner Ellerbee forms a detective agency with Baywatch lifeguard and former Navy Seal Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff) with the intention of solving the apparently countless paranormal mysteries that plague the beaches of Los Angeles.
Given that 90% of American males envision their retirement from the corporate grind as some variation of an episode of Baywatch, it's hard to imagine that a man whose job responsibilities include "watching breasts bounce" and "confiscating recreational drugs from surfers" would endeavor to transition into a more demanding, more dangerous line of work.
Picture unrelated to article.
But beyond the Baywatch gang's incomprehensible motivation to change careers, the storylines of some of Baywatch Night's episodes are downright ridiculous. For example, take Episode 24: The Creature, wherein the detectives come face-to-face with an amphibious, serial-killing woman hell-bent on procreating. Or Episode 38: Zargtha, in which a man-wolf torments teenaged runaways living in an earthquake-prone abandoned building.
As you've probably deduced by now, the show was a cheap attempt to cash in on the X-Files craze. But there's a reason Mulder didn't wear zinc on his nose and Skully wielded a gun instead of a whistle: otherworldly encounters just don't occur on the beach.
Not pictured: A realistic setting for a show about monsters.
Spun Off From: The Golden Girls
Rejuvenated by seven years of living in a house together and discussing their unfathomably active sex lives, three of the four Golden Girls (minus Bea Arthur) open an upscale hotel in Miami. Because running a hotel slightly more work than these spunky 70-year-olds can handle, they hire Chuy Castillos (Cheech Marin) to run the kitchen and Roland Wilson (Don Cheadle) to manage the front desk.
While some projects, like putting together a bookshelf, only require elbow grease and a can-do attitude, we're pretty sure that opening an upscale hotel in one of the most expensive cities in the world takes millions of dollars and years of industry experience.
But that's not to say that these lively gals don't have one thing going for them: the second any of them mentioned sex in front of a guest, they wouldn't have to worry about paying the kitchen staff overtime that day.
"Picture us fucking!"
The show was canceled after one season, and producers resisted the temptation to generate another spinoff where the girls buy and run their own island nation.