Friday List: Nine half-baked True Blood spin-offs that would be better than True Blood

If you’re a regular reader of TV Surveillance, you know I love a good list. Or a mediocre list. Or even a horrible list. The point is I have a lust for lists. This fall, I’d like to provide you folks with more lists than ever and hopefully that will result in a weekly or bi-weekly feature I’m going to christen the Friday List. Creative, right? Anyway, some of these lists will be very serious, others will be less so, but my hope is that they are all fun and also catalysts for some discussion either here on Twitter

I have to be honest: Today’s list is just goofy. I had a few other half-baked “real” ideas, but none of them developed in the way that I hoped. They’re on the shelf for future listing and I figured that I could have some fun this Friday afternoon at the expense of a series that makes me hurt on the inside so often: True Blood. You’re probably aware of this, but True Blood has way too many lead characters and most of the time these folks are trapped in terrible plotlines that no one watching the series actually cares about. True Blood has many likable characters, they’re just stuck. So a lot of the times I’m watching, I’m actually just thinking about better spin-offs I could put these characters in. That’s what I’m here to do today. This is obviously a fun exercise, but I would also seriously rather watch these series than watch the characters stay trapped in their Bon Temps-related hell. Here we go.

After everyone she loves finally dies, Sookie Stackhouse leaves Bon Temps for the greener pastures of the Midwest where she gets a gig waitressing at a small diner. Ever the perky one, Sookie decides to use her abilities to solve crimes she has no business solving. We forget the fairy stuff ever happened. Throw in a troubled, attractive short order cook and a grizzled old local sheriff who reminds Sookie of her grandpa. We’ll call it The Waitress.

Eric Northman is a time-traveling vampire. After the government creates technology to travel backwards in time so that they can rid the world of vampires before they rule, Eric is given a deal: Help us clean up your kind’s murky history and we’ll you leave for last. Eric’s desire to see his family again and his disinterest with the 21st century spur him to quickly sign up. Pam can come too. But during one trip back to the civil war era, Eric discovers a terrible secret. Let’s call this one A Bloody History.

Jason Stackhouse is a has-been high school football stud who has nothing to show for his former glory but post-concussion syndrome. He’s a dumb, quasi-drunk stuck in Bon Temps with no life prospects, until he’s given a chance to coach the sad-sack local high school football team led by a brash, mouthy freshman QB who just happens to be the son of a single mom Jason had relations with when he was a freshman. As Jason tries to determine the family history behind his best player – and get closer to his mom – the team starts to make a turn around. It is Ed meets Friday Night Lights meets October Road. I call it Stack the Line.

Fed up with the vampire league’s control over his kind’s public persona, Bill Compton decides to run for the U.S. Senate. Sure, he’s undead and overly idealistic, but man can Mr. Compton give one hell of a speech and the young people are in love with him (especially Twlight fans). Each episode tracks a week in the campaign as Bill takes on the Fellowship of the Sun, foreign policy and his more-liberal democrat supporters. People can’t stop asking for his birth certificate. Written by Aaron Sorkin, welcome The Game-Changer.

Tara Thorton stumbles into an episode of a Criminal Minds-like world and finds herself kidnapped and tortured on a weekly basis. No one ever saves her and the kidnappers just let her go because she won’t stop talking about how this always happens to her. Rinse, repeat. Let’s name this one Captivity, or conversely, The Worst Person on Earth.

Sam Merlotte and Alcide Herveaux decide that their lifestyles are too dangerous for loved ones and they’re on the run from the feds for a crime that didn’t commit. While they crisscross the country in a beat-up van, they can’t help but get involved in small crises and crimes. They help people and take their shirts off. Think Supernatural only they aren’t brothers and maybe even more homoerotic, if possible. How about The Night Shifters?

Lafayette Reynolds and Jesus Velasquez and Terry Bellefleur and Arlene Fowler are two couples living next-door to one another. Jesus is ready to get married but Lafayette’s commitment issues are weighing them down, so Jesus decides they need to spend more time with their married neighbors. Wacky hijinks ensue, particularly any time Lafayette is possessed by the dead black woman who steals Terry and Arlene’s baby. But as Lafayette and Jesus teach Terry and Arlene how to be more welcoming of other lifestyles, the former learn what it really means to be in love. It’s Yes, Dear meets…these characters: Brujos and Neighbors.

Jessica Hamby has decided to hide her vampire identity and become a doctor. There’s only one problem: She loves blood. In her first night in the emergency room, she drinks a car crash victim to death and has to bury the evidence. Can she manage her hunger and become the great doctor she so desperately wants to be? Can she keep her forceful, bossy ways in check and get along with her peers? Every episode ends with her saving the patient by giving them her blood – no matter the illness. Let’s call this one Type A.

Dejected and depressed over Jessica, Hoyt Fortenberry decides to pursue his dream to become a professional wrestler. After a few terrible try-outs with a construction worker gimmick at a local promotion, Hoyt makes a decision that will alter his life forever: He takes V. The vampire blood gives him the strength, agility and personality to become the total wrestling package and Vince McMahon comes a-calling. Thrown right into a main event push as an anti-vampire heel, Hoyt discovers that pro wrestling isn’t as glamorous as he remembers it being on TV (he didn’t see The Wrestler): drug use, sex and a whole lot of backstage politics. Maybe his mom comes on as a manager. The title: The Champ is Here (The WWE loves synergy, alright).

What True Blood spin-off would you like to see? Pitch ’em!

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