7 Shockingly Dark Spin-Offs of Classic TV shows

This Website's PREVIOUS owner loved to review random, individual Television Shows, much to the indifference of his readers.

But we SOCIAL Critics at the NEW WorldsGreatestCritic.com like to look at TV Shows on the whole with all their spinoffs and Titanic-like sinking quality and moral mores.

Occasionally even the most beloved TV shows reinvent themselves as dark, frightening parodies of themselves that keep us awake at night and terrify us every time we walk near a cathode ray tube (plasma screens we're cool with).

And you know what? We love it! Yes, Yes, folks, and that's why we proudly present these shockingly dark spinoffs of classic TV shows...

The Bradys

Unless you're a strange visitor from another planet who lacks the technology of "Rabbit Ears", have been living under a rock that would give Mount Rushmore penis envy or have been living a life so sheltered that Mitt Romney defines "Edgy" to you, you know all about the man named Brady, who was bringing up three VERY Jew-Froed Boys and the blonde harem they spent the next five seasons surrounded by. Hell, if you grew up around the time I did you first wet-dream was accompanied by your own loud cries of "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" as your syndication-fueled fantasies rushed over and out of you like a full bottle of Mrs. Brady's own Wesson Oil!

And the adventure didn't stop with those five years (much to Robert "Mr. Brady" Reed's often constipated consternation)! No, much like the less-funny and more colorful bastard step-cousin of Star Trek, The Brady Bunch did so incredibly well in the syndicated market (becoming young every young lady's after-school viewing choice and every young gent's spanking material) that sequels and spinoffs were as in-demand as fur blankets in a fucking igloo, man!

And Spinoffs and Sequels they got in SPADES, dudes and chicks. From the ridiculously retarded The Brady Kids (1972) to the inexplicable and totally uncalled for 1976 variety show The Brady Bunch Hour (which was just about 59 minutes too long in most episodes), to the faux mini-series The Brady Girls get Married (1981), which spun off the ten-episode tie-died explosion on the senses known as The Brady Brides (also 1981, because I know I couldn't get enough... how could ANYone?).

Sadly, those attempts and the TV movie A Very Brady Christmas(1988) failed to capture the zeitgeist in any MEANINGFUL way (aside from those of you out there with Davy Jones chest tattoos)! Thus creator Sherwood Schwartz decided to try a different angle. After all, the only real "unanswered question" from these repeated attempts at Brady Gold was why in the name of Timothy Fuck Robert Reed (who reportedly hated the increasingly silly show agreed to appear in almost every one of these, while Cindy, Jan and Marcia had to be repeatedly recast for the sake of their actress' integrity.

Hence was born THE BRADYS and here's where shit got shockingly dark!

Not Pictured: The Cruel Hand of Fate!

See, figuring they had gone as far to the Candyland realm as possible with his other attempts, The Brady Mythos went all the way into the shadows of Nighttime Soap operas with their intrigue, backstabbing and real-world pain

We're talking way, way, way darker than those "Evil Hawaiian Idol" episodes from the classic series!

Reportedly, Robert Reed was, at long last, all over this incarnation like a butterfly collar sale at Sears!

Don't hate me ‘cause I'm Beautiful, bitchez!

How dark could it be, though? We're talking the Brady Bunch here, right? Well, flipping through the channels and coming across The Bradys was a little like walking by Huey Lewis in the mall. You stare for a moment because something SEEMS familiar, but pretty soon you get embarrassed and move on!

How dark could it be, though? We're talking the Brady Bunch here, right? Well, flipping through the channels and coming across The Brady Bunch was a little like walking by Huey Lewis in the mall. You stare for a moment because something SEEMS familiar, but pretty soon you get embarrassed and move on!

In the very first episode, in what is either the best or the most HORRIFYING idea ever to slam into the Brady household, youngest son Bobby (now a racecar driver) has an accident and becomes a Paraplegic!

Uh-huh! Yeah. Bobby, the little kid, is stuck in a wheelchair for life... in the first episode... of the Brady Spinoff. Holy fucking shit!

But is the darkness localized to Bobby? Hell no! Over the subsequent five episodes, little Cindy gets involved in a torrid and tawdry affair with her much older boss (and gets a promotion out of it), Mike becomes a Politician and gets blackmailed while trying to save the iconic Brady house from being razed, Peter almost dies in a choking accident (and must now become Greg's "Servant for Life"), Marcia hits the bottle and becomes an unemployed, self-pitying alcoholic and Jan... well Jan is as boring as ever, discovering she is as biologically infertile as she is creatively infertile.

And that's just the first six episodes. So, did they finally get their footing and turn things around or did things get even darker until they resembled the fifth ring of Dante's Inferno? Thing is... we don't fucking know! The show only lasted six depressing, agony-centric episodes before being cancelled.

Yeah, it turns out that turning America's most skittles-colored, happy family into a train-wreck of depression, injury, addiction, political corruption and cradle-robbing was just a LITTLE bit harder for audiences to warm-up to than switching Darrens on Bewitched.

So, next time you're going to crap all over those spoof Brady Bunch movies, remember this... without them, the legacy of The Brady Bunch would be Bobby stuck forever in a wheelchair, Cindy learning the sex ropes from some old guy (and probably being told "this is your Job we're talking about, here!"), Marcia pulling a redemption-free Betty Ford and Mike right in line to become leader of the free world with access to "The Button". Woe to thee who enter here!

Galactica 1980

No, no, no, we here at WorldsGreatestCritic.com are not confusing the darker, grittier 2000s reimagining of Battlestar Galactica with this short-lived silly sequel series called Galactica 1980, in which the intrepid crew finally finds Earth... but way too late for the absent Apollo to finally sample a slice of Deep Dish.

But Adama's Santa Beard had NO equal!

But, hey, you've seen some episodes of this thing, right? It's basically as campy, cheesy and light-hearted as the main show, it's hardly as dark as, say Twin Peaks or, hell, The Bradys, right?

Well, that's pretty much true... until you get to the final episode, teasingly called "The Return of Starbuck" in which the star of the PREVIOUS series crash lands on a deserted planet where he enters into an unhealthy relationship with a Cylon who goes from Mortal Enemy to Bosom Buddy in the time it takes to tell one of the coffee-namesake's anticlimactic anecdotes.

Don't worry, it happens to LOTS of Cylons!

Yep, Sci-Fi fans are sure to enjoy the fun of discovering that Commander Adama is really the great grandfather of the hero from Farscape (it's true, kind of, look it up) and those who were dying to find out what the hell happened to everybody's favorite Han Solo Rip Off from the main series are about to have their dreams come true!

That is until the episode takes a turn for the dark, weird and crazy and... shockingly dark.

If it isn't weird enough that Starbuck's new friend "Cy" (really) stops speaking in that electronic Cylon drone and starts speaking in the voice of Gary Owens (voice of the Blue Falcon... Really), Cy, Starbuck and a surprise mystery lady soon enter into a bizarre love triangle. The whole thing culminates in a Western-Style gunfight with some ACTUALLY bad Cylons and a daring escape.

But not for Starbuck who... title-be-damned never, ever, ever returns. Yeah, boys and girls. As far as we know the fucker is now a skeleton, desperately reaching for a rusted blaster on some lame-ass planet nobody has ever visited. Yeah. That's how the hero went out, man... probably starving to death with his only friends having either abandoned or forgotten his ass. Holy fucking shit, man!

And that's the legacy of Battlestar Galactica's action hero... because before Glen A. Larson could come up with his planned sequel, hell, before he could even finish producing the very next episode the damned show was cancelled. Most Sci-Fi fans would call that a Mercy... for everybody except STARBUCK, that is!

And that's the legacy of Battlestar Galactica's action hero!

Greg the Bunny

Muppets from... JAIL!

We realize that, minor cult appeal aside, Greg the Bunny hardly qualifies as a "Classic Series"... but for a short-lived TV Sitcom, it sure as hell has its fair share of Spinoffs... all of which are... shockingly dark.

While the Fox TV show Greg the Bunny, about a sarcastic, drinking living puppet, could be considered a "dark spinoff" all its own (having been spawned from Junktape and the IFC series that led to the sitcom, what came after made the Fox show look like Sweetknuckle Junction!

Yeah, after the cancellation of "G the B" in real life, MTV produced a spinoff featuring supporting character Warren the Ape trying to get his life back together amid addictions to drugs, alcohol and sex and a short-lived career in PORN!

When the whole MTV thing didn't work out (our guess is that there was too much music in Warren's show to qualify for exposition on MTV), Greg and Warren headed back to The Independent Film Channel where the new show became a series of movie spoofs. For example, "Bunny Hall" (the spoof of Annie Hall) features Greg murdering a Cabbage Patch Doll he was dating, then entering into a sexual relationship with a Lobster.

Don't worry, this happens to LOTS of Lobsters!

And to think we once watched Greg with the kids! To be both fair and honest, "Bunny Hall" is one of the most innocuous of the spoofs with even more shocking crap hitting the fan in parodies of Fargo, Natural Born Killers and... oh no... Pulp Fiction!

The "Gimp" scene was too disturbing even for US!


Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction show in history and even at its scariest, its themes have been primarily safe for kids. That's why its biggest spin-off to date, the BBC's Torchwood is shocking in its darkness!

From half-created cyber-women to major characters dying off, this show makes The X-Files look like Romper Room!

But when the show jumped the pond (and many would say, the Shark) to bring the show to a wider audience (courtesy of Starz) the Alien Hunters of the Torchwood Institute hit the shit-storm of ALL TIME!

What are we talking about? Oh a little gift in the form of nobody dying... ever.

Sound good? Sure... for the moment... until you realize what that means for the planet... Nobody dies... from child murderers (oh, yeah, that's a thing in Torchwood to innocent kids who threaten to overpopulate the world...

Starting to sound Shockingly Dark? Yeah, well that's the bright part of the fourth season... we're now about as far away from cute robot dogs and spunky sidekicks as one can get!

Baywatch Nights

After the Sunset, Lifeguards become DEATH GUARDS!

The most popular Television show in the WORLD received an X-Files treatment that went all the way to HELL before its second season ended. And this is WHILE "Michael Knight" and the slow-mo bikini squad was still running around happily during the day.

Pay no attention to that CRASHED UFO!!!

Millennium/ The Lone Gunmen

It's not so much the shows themselves that we're talking about here, but the fact that these spiritual and literal spin-offs of The X-Files actually had to Spin Back IN to finish their stories, having both been cancelled prematurely.

And Lance baby couldn't be more pleased!

When we thought Millennium couldn't get any DARKER, the titular episode of the X-Files that finished it out features the main character Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) declining to be of any assistance to the FBI in spite of the fact that Mulder and Scully are looking to save the world from ZOMBIES RISING FROM THE GRAVE! Then again, to be fair this could have something to do with the fact that since we last saw Frank he's been CONFINED TO A MENTAL INSTITUTION!!!!

But that's nothing compared to how these next guys fared!!! The Lone Gunman, stars of the light-hearted spinoff actually DIE in their story ending X-Files episode!

We're starting to think that Starbuck guy got off easy!!!


Remember Corporal Walter "Radar" O'Reilly, lovable innocent character M*A*S*H and the only character to appear with the same actor in the movie, TV show and TWO spinoffs?

It's the second spinoff, W*A*L*T*E*R, the one that Radar was intended to be the central character in, where SHIT GOT SHOCKINGLY DARK!

What are we talking about? Well, Radar, the guy everybody loves like a little brother loses the family farm, sends his mommy off to live with relatives is left by his wife for another man (IMMEDIATELY after the Honeymoon) and ultimately attempts to COMMIT SUICIDE!

Yeah, RADAR!!!

And with subsequent concepts including his becoming a cop and resolving gritty disputes between exotic dancers, it's a damned lucky thing this pilot didn't get picked up.


J.C. Macek III used to watch BAD MOVIES (and TV shows) so you wouldn't have to at WorldsGreatestCritic.com back when he owned the site and can be followed (as he is by many ninjas) at Twitter and Facebook!

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