This year, X-Files fans were treated to a revival of their favourite show and also the announcement of a prequel book series to be released in January of 2017. With the fashion of the moment being to revisit old material, we began thinking about TV shows that would benefit from the sequel or prequel treatment, and here are some of our favourites.
The Shield was a show that managed to stick its landing so well that the idea of a sequel would only taint its fantastic ending. However, a prequel focusing on a young Vic Mackey would be incredible. The prequel show would follow Mackey as he joins the police force full of vim and vigor before gradually falling prey to disillusion and vice. We would see him go from beat cop to detective to joining the Strike Team before corrupting/being corrupted by the other members of the team. The setting of the show would be LA in the ’90s so there would be no lack of drama for a young cop trying to make his way with a young family. The only issue facing the creators would be casting as finding someone to embody young versions of Michael Chiklis and Walton Goggins would not be an easy task. The Shield never dives into the reasons behind Mackey’s fall from grace and, done well, that would be a very compelling story.
Game of Thrones
Rather than a long running series, a prequel to Game of Thrones could be a six part mini-series or a movie. Focusing on a part of Westeros history that we only hear tales about on the show and in the books, a prequel to Game of Thrones would focus upon Robert’s Rebellion, the catalyst event that put a majority of the characters in the places we find them at the start of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. The rebellion is the war waged by Robert Baratheon upon the mad Targaryen king that eventually puts Robert on the throne and shapes the way Westeros is governed when the series opens. Robert is a fat, lazy mess at the start of the TV series but the rebellion is when he was a true hero, swinging a war hammer and commanding an army led by his friends into battle against an oppressive king who would happily burn them all. A series or movie of this story would be a great way to flesh out a lot of characters who appear (and usually die) in the show, while also being an excuse to see a man break another man using a giant hammer.
Bojack Horseman is a show filled with flashbacks, and we’re given little chunks of Bojack’s past in order to show how he got to be the way he is. A prequel show could be one of two things. First, they could focus on Bojack’s early years as a fledgling stand up, watching him make the decision to get on stage and his early triumphs and failures. Or they could simply make a whole series of episodes of Horsin’ Around. Horsin’ Around, the show within the show, is a pitch perfect spoof of shitty ’90s sitcoms with canned laughter, weird unfunny jokes, and saccharine life lessons. A mini-series of just Horsin’ Around episodes with each episode coming from a different season of the show, gradually becoming more unhinged as we go, would be an incredible satire of a genre that, with the arrival of Fuller House, could be trying to make a comeback. And if the creators wanted to throw in an episode of Mr. Peanutbutter’s House in there too then the more the merrier.
Prior to the events of Fringe, Walter Bishop and William Bell (John Noble and Leonard Nimoy), were buddies and genius scientists working out of Harvard. Bishop, whose mind is lost when the show starts, often reminises about the adventures he and ‘Belly’ used to get up to. Later in the show, Bell takes over Olivia Dunham’s mind and in his new body works together with Bishop just like old times (I miss Fringe so much), and we get a taste of the old team. A TV show about two mad scientists working unchecked and getting up to mischief and mayhem is something I am surprised doesn’t exist already. From different episodes of Fringe, we learn that Bishop used to be a more arrogant, wicked man before part of his brain was removed and hidden from him (please, Fringe, come back to me), and we learn that he and Bell used to experiment with all kinds of mind-altering drugs in their heydey. A show about a calm, rational scientist and his partner, who is gradually drifting to evil, that is all about mad science conducted while high sounds like a hell of a lot of fun, and if you’re reading this, Netflix, you can make the check out to CASH.
Peaky Blinders is a beloved show here at Audiences Everywhere. It is a gorgeous period piece about crime and family centered around a group of characters all suffering from an ailment that has no name but which we call PTSD. Throughout that show so far we’ve heard stories and seen brief flashbacks of the time when seemingly every character fought in the Great War in France. Each character wears it as a badge of honour and also as an open wound. To see the Shelbys in the war with their childhood friends and bitter enemies would be an enlightening show. At some point in the past Tommy Shelby was a young man with nothing lying heavy on his back, while the man who came home from the war is broken in half, and to see that happen would be heartbreaking and give us a deeper understanding of the character. At the same time as the war, though, there is another prequel they could make. While the men were fighting the war the women stayed home and minded the family business. There are not many gangster stories with predominantly female characters, and giving Polly (Helen McCrory) the lead in a TV show where she is the Godmother to a crime empire would never be a bad idea.
The West Wing
The West Wing finished with a new president in the White House and Jed Bartlett going off to retired life. The West Wing team we knew and loved were moving onto bigger and better things with some staying in the White House and others to the private sector. A sequel to The West Wing could easily exist with a new president and new staff. Enough time has passed for Matt Santos to have finished his term(s) in office and the series could begin with the end of an election. Maybe this sequel could focus on a female president or a Republican in office. There is a rich seam of interesting political stories that have happened since the end of the original show, and characters like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump would make for some great entertaining/terrifying television.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If Serenity has taught us anything its that Joss Whedon knows how to follow up his TV properties without looking like a cash in. Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended in 2003, but its legacy lives on, and so far no other show has really managed to take the baton from Buffy and run with it. A sequel series or movie, picking up the lives of the Scooby Gang as full fledged adults, would always be welcome, and if it ended up serving as a backdoor pilot for Buffy: The Next Generation then that would work too. Joss Whedon might be too famous now to go back to his roots or maybe soemthing less stressful than juggling a half dozen Avengers might be just the remedy after the exhausing Age of Ultron shoot. Either way, seeing Buffy back on our screens in one form or another would be a much more exciting prospect than a sequel/reboot of Full House.
Parks and Recreation
The final episode of Parks and Recreation managed to wrap up everyone’s story, showing their futures after their time in the parks department ended. One mystery left over is where Lesley and Ben end up, as in one flashforward it is heavily implied that one of them has possibly become president. A sequel series could follow Lesley or Ben in the Oval Office, or, and this is what we want, we could follow America’s first co-presidents. A series about Ben and Lesley running America sounds so good that it’s too good. Taking the dynamic of the parks department and transferring it to the West Wing (and maybe bringing in a character or two) would be perfect, hilarious, and a wonderful way to satirize the political system in America.
Wacky Races was an incredible cartoon show which ended in 1969. It was the story of a group of disparate, insane race car drivers who raced somewhere in America each week and tried to avoid the tricks and cheats of Dick Dastardly. There have already been a few sequels including The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines, but a modern sequel featuring modern cartoons would be something very special. Taking the same basic premise and making the racers characters like Dexter of Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, Steven Universe, The Venture Bros., Finn and Jake of Adventure Time, the Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, and Ed, Edd, and Eddy, would be an incredibly difficult feat to put the varied creations together, but if it worked it would be an amazingly entertaining show for kids and adults alike.
Boardwalk Empire ended in 1931 at the tail end of Prohibition in a bookend to the pilot which began on the night prohibition was declared. However, the end of prohibition was not the end of organised crime. A history of the mob in America from the ’30s up the present day produced by Scorsese is a dream come true. Pick up the story of some of the supporting characters from Boardwalk like Meyer Lanksy, and follow their story by bringing in famous mob figures like Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Malone. Crime stories are always fascinating and we love a good anti-hero, so why not let the Boardwalk Empire story continue with the torch passed to new generations of criminals?
Featured Image: NBC