Best TV Characters Added To Shows (And Then Forgotten)
Look, eventually TV shows start to get stale. We all know this; we like a show, it starts to stink, we move on with our lives. But it’s much more difficult for the people who make the shows (aka the people who profit from the shows) to give up on their creations, unlike all of our parents who gave up on us early and happily. So they do what any desperate creative type does; they add a new character. Does thi end up working? No, pretty much never. It’s kind of a mystery why they still do it in spite of it’s terrible track record. I mean, doctors don’t use leaches anymore, y’know? Anyway, here are the Best TV Characters Added to Shows (And Then Forgotten):
The most infamous of all desperate character additions, Cousin Oliver joined The Brady Bunch towards the end of its fifth season. The hope was that a fresh injection of adorableness (all the children were now at least twelve, a disgustingly high age for TV) would revitalize the show. This hope, like all hope, was unfounded and crushed when the show was cancelled six episodes later. Cousin Oliver is remembered only as the punch line to the cruel joke “Who Killed the Brady Bunch” (it’s not a hilarious joke).
The White Ranger
Despite having a name that sounds like he played a villain who took particular exception to the Black and Yellow Power Rangers, the White Ranger was actually the second Ranger played by the original Green Ranger, Tommy, who had been a bad guy controlled by Rita Repulsa until the other Rangers released him from her mind control, then he had his powers depleted, so Zordon created a new set of Ranger powers for him to utilize and become the White Ranger, and what am I talking about... this was a kids show and it was dumb even for a kids show.
Nikki and Paulo
The rare situation where characters were added not because ratings were flagging, but because the creative team just made a bad, terrible decision. Created to be more representative of the audience (it seemed like these two spent their whole time on LOST just asking questions), they only were a success if you consider the audience being represented to be the most irritating people on Earth. Viewers hated them so much that, not only were they killed off, they were accidentally buried alive by the original characters we were all so fond of.
Another quasi-example, Valerie Hogan was the star of the show “Valerie” but, after a contract dispute with the network, she was fired and replaced. Read that again: the titular character of a show WAS REPLACED. The show ran for three more seasons, killing Valerie off-camera and replacing her with her sister-in-law. The show is remembered fondly by no one other than Jason Bateman, but only because he thinks it’s funny that he almost carried the legacy of being “That guy from the show that fired Valerie Harper”.
A show made popular by being crasser and more frank about the seedier aspects of lower-middle class families introduces… an adorable cousin who is (wait for it) PRECOCIOUS! Who couldn’t see the hate directed this kids way coming?
A classic meta-commentary on the whole “Adding a character to spruce up an old show”, Roy appears in the Simpson house with no explanation, and is clearly a “hip” representative of your average Gen Xer. At episodes end, he announces he’s off to live with “two sexy ladies” and is never heard from again, completing the arc of the forced-upon-us character in remarkable time.
Introduced to appeal to the more hardcore “brony” fanbase, Killtron 9000 proved too upsetting to many of My Little Pony’s younger viewers.
What television characters do you pray you can one day purge from your brain? Let us know in the comments!