The summer’s long break from network TV has given us plenty of time to over-analyze our favorite shows. One thing we’ve noticed while longing for new episodes of everything from Parks and Recreation to Mad Men is that the characters we miss most — and the ones we find most fascinating — aren’t always the show’s principals. With this in mind, we realized that there are plenty of minor players on TV who merit their own spin-off. We suggest ten after the jump. Let us know who you would add in the comments.
Carla, Mad Men
We have many reasons to hate Betty Francis, and one of them is that she fired poor Carla for letting Sally see Glen Bishop one more time before the family moved. This apparently intelligent and caring housekeeper suffered countless abuses and humiliations during her time with Betty and the kids, but we’d be surprised if she averaged one substantial line per episode. And that’s a shame, because while Mad Men gives us a complex portrait of ’60s life, it tends to confine itself to the troubles of its white, upper-middle-class principals. We would love to see both this world and Carla’s through the eyes of a character who truly has a stake in the civil rights movement and the era’s other campaigns for justice. So, while we wait for her to get a spin-off, at least we have her Twitter feed.
Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, Parks and Recreation
NBC recently posted a video compiling “The Complete Jean-Ralphio.” It’s only five minutes long. This is a tragedy. Ben Schwartz’s Jean-Ralphio Saperstein is like Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford, exaggerated to a degree of hilariousness that can only be rivaled by one Ron Swanson. Jean-Ralphio is hilarious because he’s exactly the kind of nightmare douche-bag “entrepreneur” who can be found in second-tier clubs around the country, trying to pick up women who are way out of his league or sell you on his latest terrible idea. An entire show that revolved around him would have to be something like Jersey Shore, if Jersey Shore were funny instead of painful.
Pepper Saltzman, Modern Family
If you think Eric Stonestreet’s Cameron Tucker is flamboyant, then you surely haven’t met his ex, Pepper Saltzman (Nathan Lane). Since Mitchell isn’t a big fan of Pepper, we don’t get to see him too often, but when we do, he makes quite an impression. Pepper’s thing is over-the-top themed brunches, from Oscar Wilde and Crazy to Seder-Day Night Fever (oh yes he did). We find Lane’s character, and his bizarre fêtes, fascinating and would love to spend a whole half-hour with him every week.
April Rhodes, Glee
Real-life Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth is brilliant as Glee‘s April Rhodes, a singer and friend of Mr. Schue who became an alcoholic after trying and failing to make it on the Great White Way. A year after getting sober, coming into a great deal of money, and vowing to mount the first all-white production of The Wiz in Season 1, she returns to McKinley High. Her show is a disaster, and now she wants Will to help her with a new musical about her life. But for all her incredible back story, she’s only appeared in three episodes. We would surely watch an entire show devoted to April’s life in New York, from the challenges of sobriety to the undoubtedly Waiting for Guffman-esque process of putting together both shows.
Creed Bratton, The Office
The best thing about The Office‘s Creed Bratton is that he’s based on and played by the real Creed Bratton — from your mom’s favorite band, The Grass Roots. Now Dunder Mifflin’s quality assurance director, he lived the ’60s to their fullest, and his constant use of psychedelics has taken its toll. Not only is he totally confused, he’s also a kleptomaniac and scam artist, although none of this takes away from his general good nature. We don’t see Creed nearly enough on The Office, and we still know almost nothing about his current personal life — but we’re willing to bet that it’s pretty entertaining (or maybe kind of sad).
Sammi Greene, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Although she’s only appeared sporadically in the past seven seasons of Curb, we find Sammi Greene all kinds of intriguing. We first met her as Susie’s pride and joy, a kid who had a lot more enthusiasm for singing than talent. Lately, however, she’s come out from behind her mother’s mouthy shadow, demanding that Larry David confront Susie about the irritating noise she makes after each sip of any beverage and blackmailing him when he doesn’t want to do it. We would be excited to see a show that gives us a teenager’s view of what it’s like to live with Jeff and Susie Greene… but maybe that’s just because we enjoy Susie’s ranting so much.
Godric, True Blood
There’s always been something creepily magnetic about this 2,000-year-old vampire in a teenager’s body, a gentle soul who offered himself up as a martyr to atone for his kind’s sins against the human race and then chose the true death after being rescued. So it’s true that Godric is dead, but when has a little thing like that stopped True Blood from reviving old characters? He already popped up this season, in Eric’s dreams. Considering that fantasy is having a moment right now (hello, Game of Thrones), we think that a show that follows Godric back in time through his lengthy life could be very popular.
Angie Jordan, 30 Rock
Let’s be honest: Sherri Shepherd is the most annoying co-host of The View, and that’s a show that also includes the deluded political stylings of Elisabeth Hasselbeck. So it’s a shame that we have to see her there every day of the week when she’s so wonderful in her occasional appearances as Tracy Jordan’s wife on 3o Rock. We didn’t understand the true brilliance of the character until last season, when Angie got her own Real Housewives-style reality show, Queen of Jordan. We want to see this spun off into a standalone mockumentary series ASAP.
Georgina Sparks, Gossip Girl
Ever since Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf got caught in an endless, on-and-off feedback loop of a love affair, Georgina Sparks has been the most exciting character on Gossip Girl. First of all, Michelle Trachtenberg acts circles around the rest of the cast. But even more importantly, Georgina is delightfully twisted, amping up the drama with everything from a lovechild to a stint as a born-again Christian. In fact, she is a large part of why we’re still watching the show. So why not trim the fat and give us all Georgina, all the time?
Okay, we’ll be honest — we really just want to know if he can say anything besides “Pop, pop!”