Friday, December 09, 2005

Dare I say...spin-off

(Oooh, a super CONGRATULATIONS to blogger Sara, who gave birth to a little boy, Asher Daniel!! Looks like Sara has a spin-off of her own! Welcome SpyBaby!)

Now, before I launch into my feelings on a spin-off show, I would like to request your full open-minded attention. This is a touchy subject for some and I like to think I went about it in a respectful manner. This is purely my opinion, but I hope my powers of persuasion and my ability to back up my ideas will help you to see that a spin-off might not be as bad as you think!

The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. I was in denial, but now I am not. Alias, as we know it, is ending. However, that doesn’t mean that the elements that make Alias Alias won’t or couldn’t be housed in a different form.

TV Guide placed an article in this coming week’s addition, stating that ABC executives, such as Jeff Pinkner and JJ Abrams, have discussed the possibility of carrying on the show in a new and different capacity- starring everyone’s favorite baddie from across the pond, Julian Sark, newbie Rachel Gibson, and the don of all Vitos, Arvin Sloane. This, ladies and gentleman is what is called a spin-off. Spin-offs, deemed knock offs of the originals by hardcore fans, aren’t necessarily bad, if done correctly. Keep in mind, executives are not looking to continue Alias without Sydney, they are looking to create an entirely new show, with some of the same characters, minus Sydney. Two different things people! Two different things!

Alias has spin-off potential. It’s spun a story. The show has us caught in its web and it seems only natural that executives, producers and writers alike would want to continue weaving this web. There is plenty of content on the table and on the writing room floor for ABC to launch an entirely new type of show, still slathered in intrigue, super spies and yes, even sexy outfits. Sloane’s character alone has enough back-story to give us 5 years worth of deep international terror and crime. We still know nothing of Bill Vaughn and his connection to Irina. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go back in time and explore all that created Alias in the first place, before Sydney, before Vaughn, before SD-6 and APO?

Fans may also be apprehensive about a spin-off because historically, spin-offs tend to dwindle and die. Case and point? Friends and Joey. For ten years we were welcomed into Monica’s apartment to hear the stories of six close friends. Now, we are left with Joey, the half-wit, unemployed actor and his nephew. I don’t know about you but I feel gypped! Spin-offs tend to ignore the lives of the people who left the show, or the characters lives before, on the old show. Bad idea! Technically, a show would be a continuation of Alias. It would be poor judgment on the writer’s part to completely avoid Sydney as a topic or as a piece of the storyline. Jack would still be her father, Nadia would still be her sister. Sydney would essentially still BE, just not in the picture. Personally, I think if execs can get enough of the Alias cast to return (Will, Weiss, Nadia, Irina, Jack, Marshall etc.), the show could very well go on in a new direction.

The show has evolved so much in the last year. The show has taken different turns, brought new characters. Shows run their course, and I think Alias, in regards to Jennifer Garner, has run its course. I whole heartedly believe that Alias is, but not limited to, Sydney Bristow. Alias is her life, her story, but Sydney’s story, her spy days are numbered. Do not misunderstand me, I love Sydney Bristow, she is the heart of Alias and I love Jennifer Garner, she gave us kick-ass sporty girls a good name, but it’s time for both Sydney and Jennifer to move on with their lives. With that said, many fans are up in arms about Rachel’s character. Since day one, Rachel has been held as the replacement, the new girl, the alien spawn sent in by the writers and ABC executives to push Sydney out of her position. Hardly! Rachel and Sydney are two different characters. They handle situations and emotions in a completely different way. Of course, Rachel’s character has many of the traits that Sydney’s character does; determination, sassiness, etc. But, Rachel is not Sydney and I don’t think the writers are attempting to make her Sydney.

Aside from my thoughts on carrying on the plotline, I do believe writers would need to develop the characters more. Though I love Rachel and her character’s shy, somewhat na├»ve innocence mixed with a fiery determination, she isn’t strong enough to carry the show on her own. Either is Thomas Grace. We have hardly seen his character, and what we have seen is a quiet loner. Sloane and Sark however, are very capable characters who would fair well in leading roles. Their characters are strong; we have an understanding of who they are and where they came from. It would be great to explore their lives under the microscope, like we have with Sydney these five long years.

Bottom line? I would support a spin-off, with the understanding that the new show would NOT be Alias. Alias is Sydney Bristow. And if she ain’t there, it ain’t Alias. So, go to it writers. Give us something to fondly remember Sydney and Vaughn and the fabulous adventures they experienced, but give us something new and different, lead us to a new place with some of the same familiar faces we know and love!! Good luck!

Okay, let me have it! Give to me straight. Are we in the same boat or have I jumped ship?

18 comments:

Robetron said...

I am so with you on this. The only thing I might say differently is that the show should not be restrospective. It should be more of a parallel off-shoot. What I mean is, if we are filled-in on Arvin's or Jack's background, let it be only as it affects a present day story.

It is going to take some serious-minded writers to handle this job without bungling the ALIAS storyline, but I believe it can be done. Picture this:

As Vaughn and Syd drive away from thier weding on the beach of Santa Barbara in a white convertable, Wiese asks Nadia to marry him. Jack and Irena stand next to one another pretending not to have heard the question. Jack restrains Arvin from turning in their direction. Before Nadia can answer in her lacy matron-of-honor dress, everyone's cell phones begin to ring at once. Three of the President's Cabinet have been kidnapped in three different countries. Langly wants the off-book group of agents to find and rescue them before there global incidents, while the government publicly pretends that nothing is happening.

What do you say? Does it have potential?

Kiki said...

Okay, Robetron (I am going to call you Robby from now on) you and I need to get to LA and knock down the doors of the ABC writer's room and say "hey, we are up for it." I think we could come up with the best stuff. I think it would be important to bring back old writers, writers that know the ins and outs of Alias. These new writers are killing me!!! JJ come back!

Tammy said...

I love your idea for the spin off Robetron! I would be all in favor of a spin off - with the right writing of course! I have grown to love Alias for much more than Sydney. If they could keep some of the elements of the show, but take off with different characters, etc. I think it could work! I'd be up for a try at the very least!

~Keri~ said...

Soo i was reading entertainment weekly and it metioned maybe just maybe that Alias is meary taking a break (maturnity leave) for a year or two and might return bigger and better than ever... Would not see that twist coming would you?? Think about it what other show could pull that off? FOx did it for family guy with a good reaction.. (PS. i dont like the moral corruptness in family guy, my husbands a fan) sara (with the super adorable new baby) thought that might be a possibility too.. as for a spin off.. umm yah not gonna work for me.. Rachel, sark and sloan... Too much.. Not my favorite idea, but a totall possibility.

Kiki said...

Oooh Keri, nice with the year off info. I love that. I just heart JG and I know she hearts playing Sydney. In some of the DVD commentary she talks about summer break then she felt lost without Sydney and without JJ and the cast. She'll miss it too much!

Desiree said...

I agree with you that I would support a spin off with an open opinion. However, if it sucked, I totally would ditch it. You are right Alias is Sydney.

uncle111 said...

A successful spin-off would need Jack, Sloane, Irina, Marshall, Sark as the core group. Throw in Dixon and Wiess for continuity and familiarity. You could add Tom, Renee and Nadia. But I just don't think Rachel is working and will end up diluting the whole thing. I also don't think you are going to find a successful replacement for Syd. They'll do better to just leave that slot blank.

slingshot said...

ohh good point uncle111, the are better off leaving that spot blank...no one can replace her!

paul said...

I don't know. I like Rachel, and I think with good writing, she could be successful. The problem is that I think most fans will think that she "replaced" Sydney and will rebel against the idea, so I agree with uncle111 that this would probably be unsuccessful.

Rachel could easily be written out at the end of this season though. If Sydney gets written out and all the bad guys after her are gone, then all the bad guys after Rachel would be gone too! Graceful exit...:)

birdietwoshoes said...

What's wrong with Rachel? I like her. And a spin off... Yeah, the whole Friends/Joey thing. I own every season of Friends on DVD and probably know as much about Friends as GS knows about Alias and I NEVER have seen an episode of Joey. Not even interested. They'd have to bring A LOT of characters from the current Alias to the spin off to even make me want to watch it.

And I'm kidding. There no way I know as much about Friends as GS knows about Alias. Her knowledge is just ridiculous!... :) (Kiddin' ya, GS. This blog is great and hey, if you want to be obsessed, you go girl! ;) )

SuzieQ said...

I may be the voice of dissent...but I'm ready for Alias to come to a conclusion. I'm confident this sentiment in no way diminishes my fan-hood, but may in fact be a symptom of my true devotion to what is easily the best show ever written.

Hear me out...say you're in love with a person, but the relationship comes to an end. Do you date his brother because at least he's related to the one you love, kindof looks like him, and has the same family members? Unlikely. If you can't have the one you love, you wait to find a new one to love, you don't settle for a second-best just to fill the time.

A spin-off might be a very good show, but without Sydney I just couldn't see it being AS good. I've been emotionally attached to a ridiculous degree for a long time now, and now that we've been faced with the end, I'm ready for it to come to a close naturally, respectfully, and gracefully. You have to know when to say good-bye when the time is right, and with everything that happened last season, it seems to me the time is indeed right.

I would watch a spin-off because I have a strong need to know what happens with the story and to not miss anything. But back to the ex-boyfriend metaphor, I would feel somewhat like the girl who keeps driving by her ex's house just to get a glimpse of him, or keeps hanging out with his friends hoping to hold on as long and painstakingly as you can. Ultimately, you're just slowly and agonizingly peeling the bandage off, when it would be so much better to give it one final tug and then you're free.

Like I said, these are MY feeling and the reasons I'M ready to move on. I COMPLETELY RESPECT the opinions of all the other posts, as we are all entitled to our opinions. In fact, I would be delighted to find out that I'm wrong and that a spin-off left the first incarnation in the dust. But I would still want it to be markedly different than the original to give us something new to chew on. Like I said, I'm an Alias purist.

Kiki said...

SuzieQ, great comments! Everyone is allowed to have their opinion and I think you make some great points. I guess we will just have to wait and see what producers do.

srg-alias said...

suzieq, I understand what you're saying, I think that's a pretty good analogy w/ the exboyfriend concept. I do, however, think robetron's spinoff idea has merit...it would have to be done VERY carefully, but I think they could pull it off if they tried. GS is right though, they would have to make it a different show, it couldn't be ALIAS Cont. or something, that wouldn't work. I'd be interested to watch it if they did make a spinoff, just because along w/ the characters I also love the spy show aspect. Birdie - I'm like you, was a huge fan of Friends and never had any interest in watching Joey for some reason, I guess I just didn't really "care" to watch his character's continuing story. With Alias, I not only enjoy the characters, but all the missions and such, so I'd give it a chance.

M said...

Its funny... as much as I hate the Joey spin off (because it all but ignores his previous 10 years as a "Friend"), I think Sark could handle his own spin off...

I also really like the idea of a prequel, so to speak... to see how Jack, Irina, Sloan and everyone else got started on the Rambaldi cycle to begin with... then you couldn't miss Sydney as much, because she wasn't even around... and also it would give the writers an opportunity to answer questions that may not be answered by Alias' finale. What do you guys think potential titles could be? The immediate title that came to mind (but was just as quickly shut down) was "Alias: Beginnings"... but that made me think that a great title would simply be "Beginnings".

Kiki said...

I thought a good title would be Truth be Told or So It Begins, as a nod to the pilot and the second eppy. Prophet 5 would be a good one, or if the show continues they could call it APO.

jess517 said...

hmmm....I think I really like the idea of a prequel. If the writers could go back to the beginning and show how events which occured back then play into the things that are happening now, it would complete the puzzle. Also I would love to see how Sloane and Irina became involved in Rambaldi. Another idea also would be to show how Prophet 5 began. That could be a way to answer all the questions about P5 more completly than the writers may be able to do in this season.

Dannielle said...

I just found this website today and am pleased to find I'm not the only person out there TOTALLY OBSESSED WITH ALIAS. My family thinks I am absolutely crazy but I have all the DVDs and I have DVR'd all of this season's episodes so I can replay them to my heart's content.

I would definitely give a spin-off a chance if most of the characters were present AND if Syd & Michael get the appropriate send-off for what they have created together for ALIAS.

amy said...

hmmmm....this is very interesting. i do not know what i think about this. i am pretty much with suzieq that i am ready for it to be over and have my solid 5 DVD sets to rewatch to my hearts content. i wouldn't want them to do anything to let it slide downhill and i think with the overall sentiment (not OURS on this blogsite) being that Alias isn't AS good now as it was before that it might be a great time to end it well and be done with it. i have to mention that i love rachel and think she is a great addition to the show but i am a HUGE jennifer g. fan and cannot wait for her post-baby return!!!!