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The Spinoffs We Want to See

Ringer illustration
Ringer illustration

Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones was stuffed to the brim with WTF-worthy characters — badass tween Lyanna Mormont, Al Swearengen, the big dude with the burnt head — we still want to see more from. Thing is, those brilliant and underserved supporting characters crop up across the television spectrum. So, springboarding off this Twitter poll from Ringer pal Alan Sepinwall, we asked our staff for the spinoffs they’d most like to see.

Swiper the Fox (‘Dora the Explorer’)

Rob Harvilla: Here’s the deal. Swiper the emaciated fox wears a blue mask and gloves that confirm, rather than conceal, his identity; his sole raison d’être (or razón de ser) is to attempt to steal whatever bullshit maguffin Dora is after. To deter him, Dora implores her slack-jawed, pants-soiling viewers to intone, Swiper! No swiping! repeatedly; there are two possible outcomes.

Prevented From Swiping

SWIPER: “Ohhh, man!” [Snaps fingers, skulks off.]

Succeeds in Swiping

SWIPER: “You’re too late!” [Hurls object 20 feet, max.] “You’ll never find it now!” [Prances off; Dora goes and finds it.]

What’s the deal here, though, really. I need motivation. Is he a sociopath? Is he an orphaned scrounger feeding a fox family of [Googles] up to 11 brothers and sisters? Like most children’s TV villains, does he just want to play, too? It’ll be like Hannibal, except animated, in broken Spanish, and way less pretentious.

Gilly (‘Game of Thrones’)

Kate Knibbs: I think it was Chekhov who said if you put a fancy sword capable of destroying demonic Ice Curmudgeons on the wall in Act 1, Samwell Tarly better murk White Walkers in Act 2. But where does that leave Gilly? In Maester/Maestoria, she takes Sam’s place at the Citadel. Yeah, yeah, women aren’t allowed to be Maesters. Do you think Gilly’s stupid? She disguises herself as “Old Gil,” a late-in-life addition to the Maesterdom. Everyone thinks she’s an old white guy, so she ascends quickly through the ranks, even taking on her own pupil within the first year. That pupil? Oh, it’s just Podrick Payne — Sansa sent him to get schooled because she doesn’t trust the other maesters. This show will be a hilarious comedy.

Sue (‘Veep’)

Alison Herman: An essential part of the Veep cast’s incompetence is the characters’ inability to keep said incompetence under wraps. We know the perpetually sorry state that is Ben’s life. We know who called Selina Meyer a cunt behind her back. (It was everyone.) We know every detail — every single detail — of Mike’s surrogacy saga. But we know precisely nothing about Selina’s only competent staffer — which is precisely how she likes it. Unflappable secretary Sue keeps a triple-enforced iron curtain between her work and personal lives; she just casually dropped in Season 5 that she’s married. I’d give anything for a series-length glimpse at her off hours, immaculately managed and boring as they may be.

Chris Harrison (Host, ‘The Bachelor’)

Allison P. Davis: I’ve always assumed that divorcee Chris Harrison is secretly dating cast-off contestants, so I want a show that’s just about his love life. This is less a “25 women vying for Harrison” type thing than a dignified matchmaking show where they enlist someone to help Harrison find the kind love he’s helped so many sort of find. What would a date with Harrison be like, anyway? Helicopters? Or just … spaghetti and meatballs on the couch? Either way, would watch.

Cornelia and Algernon (‘The Knick’)

Juliet Litman: Season 2 of The Knick ended in a precarious state, which makes sense when you consider the painstaking work that Steven Soderbergh puts into every shot in every episode. It’s understandable if he doesn’t have time — or interest — to keep it going. But I can’t live without more Cornelia Robertson (Juliet Rylance) or Algernon Edwards (André Holland). Though the show is Clive Owen’s, my interest was always buoyed by these two luminous characters. Last we saw them, she was Australia-bound, fleeing her arsonist brother, while he was embarking on a career as a psychiatrist, forced to abandon surgery. Zero work has to be done to set up these new shows! Cornelia Down Under. The Algie and the Id. In both cases, the premise is already there. If either of these strands is not picked up for a third season, consider this my formal plea for a Neely and/or Algie spinoff.

The High Sparrow (‘Game of Thrones’)

Jason Concepcion: A bourgie young man, living a lifestyle filled with carriage rides, horses, ladies of the evening, jewels, falcons, and fine wines, finds that the best things in life can’t fill the hole in his spirit.

Mitchell (‘Modern Family’)

Claire McNear: In the first episode of Mitchell Pritchett’s spinoff, Fuck Everyone, Forever, he files for divorce from Cam, citing 12 years of misery, two of them coming in an openly hostile marriage. He is sad to see less of his daughter, Lily — actually, if he’s being honest, he’s not sad, because she is 100 percent going to grow up into a serial killer, and who wants to be there when the severed heads show up? In the second episode, Mitchell vows never to speak his family again, following a lifetime of being continuously insulted by them. Mitchell boards a flight out of California, leaving every last article of plaid behind. Episodes 3 through 10 depict Mitchell quietly living in a cabin somewhere in Canada, alone, reading. The show is cancelled after the first season, but a happy, free Mitchell lives on forever.

Richard Splett (‘Veep’)

Robert Mays: Finding a character to root for on Veep is harder than finding one on Game of Thrones, and the verbal beatings taken by Sam Richardson’s “Paddington Bear-looking fuck” Richard Splett trump any face-sticking Arya took from the Waif. The character’s value initially came from his tone-deaf approach (“I’m Richard T. Splett. … I don’t know why I said ‘T.’; my middle name is John” is the ultimate introduction). But this season, as every character on the show seems to prove how useless they actually are, Richard’s star has only risen. Splett’s storyline and the show’s weekly ramp up in cruelty have made it so we don’t need to imagine a show where Splett is the hero. We already have one. What is Splett may never die.