(Today we have a guestposter, Morgan Collins, who I came across via Twitter amid a conversation/debate we were having about Black movies. Please welcome her to the podium with a soul clap.)
Every now and then, a movie or TV show will have a supporting character that keeps our attention as much as the lead does. Here are a few characters I wish we could see more of in their own spin-off or sequel.
Roger from Sister Sister
After Tia and Tamera got boyfriends, went to GA Southern, and turned into some freaks, I still wonder what happened to annoying next-door neighbor Roger Evans? Yes, Marques Houston, the real-life Roger and Jaleel Whiteâ€™s half-brother, if you believe the Internet, went on to work on a solo music career with mild success, but what I still need the type of closure that a singing cameo on the showâ€™s finale episode couldnâ€™t provide. The first revamp of the Roger character that comes to mind is a show in which he helps police catch criminals using the advanced stalking techniques he groomed while living next to the twins, but more lighthearted fare would be better. No, Rogerâ€™s show would revolve around his relationship consulting business. Grown-up Roger, after trying to forget has mackless past, now helps other unlucky lovers–with the occasional slip-up. Har-dee-har-har!!!
Gerald from Hey Arnold!
Though Arnold was the coolest 4th grader, Gerald Martin Johansen was a close second, and even the second coolest 4th grader deserves his own show. Why? In addition to being a confidant and wing-man to Arnold, Gerald was the glue to kid culture in his role as the Keeper of the Tale (maybe a tribute to Are You Afraid of the Dark?). Just a little bit of bongo playing and Gerald would recite all of the legends of the hood with a flair deserving of a half-hour show. Imagine a mystery-adventure show in which the legends come to life as crimes. Gerald, the only person who knows the legends like the back of his hand, is forced to solve them and the save the day without messing up his (super) high-top fade.
Tyrone Biggums from Chappelleâ€™s Show
Itâ€™s been 10 years since Chappelleâ€™s Show and seven years since the show abruptly ended after host Dave Chappelleâ€™s received a fame reality check. And yet dudes still dress up as Tyrone Biggums for Halloween and sometimes just for an ultra casual Casual Friday. Though Chappelle had many great skits, a few I would argue that are better than the Tyrone series, this loveable crackhead still resonates with us, which is why Tyrone deserves his own feature-length movie. It may seem hard to imagine Tyrone being able to have the desire to do anything that lasts up to 90 minutes other than smoking rock, but as many an episode has shown us, if you give a crackhead the possibility of some rock, heâ€™ll ask you for some hot sauce. Tyroneâ€™s Excellent Adventure would be in the vein of National Treasure, only instead of money, thereâ€™s a giant, mythical crack rock hidden in an exotic locale. A repentant fellow crack addict passes on the Legend of the Golden Rock to Tyrone, who sets out on an adventure around the world to find this elusive treasure. Before he can reach it, he has to battle the toughest crackheads in the world and his own inner demons, brought out by his would-be Narcotics Anonymous sponsor played by Andre Royo, AKA Bubbles from The Wire, in an amazing cameo.
Daughter of a Son of a Gunfighter from Django Unchained
Most of the conversation surrounding Quentin Tarantinoâ€™s Django Unchained was about whether it was too racist, too long, or too anachronistic. This thought-provoking dialogue surely made for dozens of well-written pieces of film criticism. But with all this heavy analysis most people skipped over Amber Tamblynâ€™s brief cameo as the Daughter of a Son of a Gunfighter AKA That Girl In the Bandana. You probably missed this too if you took a quick nap around the time Django was having a good olâ€™ country shopping spree. Her characterâ€™s name is a little long-winded but not the product of a Tarantino cocaine-induced writing binge. Tamblynâ€™s father, actor Russ Tamblyn, made several westerns for MGM, including Son of a Gunfighter, in which Tamblyn Sr. seeks revenge for his motherâ€™s death. Supposedly intended as an inside joke for Western fans, this was a failed opportunity for an interesting character. Itâ€™s not surprising in a movie where all attempts at developing complex female characters were as half-hearted as throwing a tampon into a flood. To make up for this, and to give a job to an actress whose talents are severely underrated, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants notwithstanding, Tarantino could develop a Daughter of a Son of a Gunfighter TV show. The setup? Think Deadwood meets Xena. The Son of a Gunfighter is on his deathbed, and he needs his daughter to settle some unfinished business, and of course the Daughter will be able to fill his gun holster.
So, what other characters do you think should have a spin-off?
A graduate of The University of Florida, Morgan Collins writes about TV and film at www.nostoryboard.wordpress.com Soon she’ll learn how to write movies and TV shows as a graduate student at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. She currently lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter as @mashclash.