Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A Spin-Off too far...!

Spin-Offs are a tricky thing to pull off in the TV World – they need to appeal to the legions of fans that worship the parent show like Russell Brand worships his own Dick, whilst at the same time be completely original in both its content and storytelling. It may sound easy, but look at the number of extremely successful spin-off series over the years...see, you can count them on your fingers. Hell, one hand is all you require!!!

For every decent spin-off, there’s about a million other miserable failures burning in the darkest, foulest pits of hell, waiting to be tortured with thumb-screws, nipple clamps or endless reruns of Ghost Whisperer. Finding a spin-off that is both imaginative and entertaining is akin to finding Jesus in a strip club – it’s possible, but a rare concept, and highly unlikely. Hence the multitude of god-awful claptrap that passes for spin offs. And sadly, the floodgates for absolute drivel remain open, with the latest pointless and unnecessary Spin-off hitting the airwaves, and proving that some ideas should be destroyed, along with their creator!!!

The Cleveland Show (E4) is a spin-off to the popular animated US sitcom Family Guy. For those unaware of what Family Guy is (in which case, you must either be a prisoner in a mental institute, or Osama bin Laden), the best thing to do is fart, vomit, and follow that up by making a couple of inappropriate racist/sexist jokes. That s the best way to sum up what Family Guy is all about. And The Cleveland Show is pretty much more of the same...except much worse. And not just in terms of the quality of it’s so called jokes, but also in terms of its entire concept!!!

The story: (so-called) popular recurring Family Guy character Cleveland Brown moves away to his old home town, where he and his overweight 14 year old son meet Cleveland’s old high school flame, who has a teenage tearaway for a daughter and an infant son who is both smart and dangerous!! The two get married, and settle down, kick starting all sorts of hilarious adventures!!! A simple Sitcom idea, with tons of supporting characters, makes this sound rather watchable. Well frankly, it isn’t!!!

Like its parent show, The Cleveland Show prefers to go with juvenile and frankly unfunny humour to get its audience laughing. Saying the F-Word about 19 times in a row hardly constitutes comedy; it’s just pure playground pratting about, and something I stopped laughing at when I was 15. One Episode’s main comic moment is when the lead character vomits about six times before collapsing in a pool of his own filth...I’m sorry, that’s not funny, that’s just disgusting, and about as funny as setting your trousers on fire whilst sitting on a pile of dynamite!!! Racist jokes seep in from all angles, and instead of making you laugh, merely leave you sitting there, staring at the screen, feeling uncomfortable!! A 5 Year Old could have wrote this better, and made it funny as well!!

Both The Cleveland Show and the long running Family Guy are absolutely not funny, the latter having become stale and predictable over the years, whilst the former has decided to follow suit from the get go. The Cleveland Show's main problem is that it simply feels like something we've seen been done before!! And in todays cash strapped TV Industry, it's a travesty that this is favoured above more original and worthy ideas!!! A sitcom that only makes you laugh once or twice an Episode cannot and must not be deemed a success, regardless of how many idiots hail it as the greatest thing since the discovery of sex!!!!

There are a number of things that are greatly wrong with The Cleveland Show. There’s no originality, no ideas, no imagination, and worst of all, no humour whatsoever!! If it had been a straight faced new show, and not a spin-off of an already successful sitcom, then no doubt it would have been canned by now!! Unfortunately, extremely dedicated Family Guy fans are not known for their smarts, and are sadly watching this poor excuse for hilarity like the mindless drones that they are.

The Cleveland Show now joins the ranks of unsuccessful spin-offs, that fail to bring something new to the table, and instead just sit there feeling unwanted and useless. Hopefully cancellation will follow swiftly. At least that way there’s more of a chance to get a decent spin-off commissioned for once...

Anyone else excited by the prospect of a Cash in the Attic spin-off?!!

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