Netflix’s Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story has taken over our timelines – and people are swooning over the chemistry between the young queen and King George III of England.
The limited-run series follows the early life of Queen Charlotte, a character in Bridgerton, as it explores the monarch’s long marriage to King George III, the way her racial identity affects her experience and her country, and her early relationship with her dear friend Lady Agatha Danbury. When the first two seasons of Bridgerton first dominated the internet, Queen Charlotte was a supporting character who stood out the most. Everyone was curious about her background – so much so that Shonda Rhimes had to give her her own stage to shine. Unlike Bridgerton, the spin-off/prequel isn’t a direct adaptation of any of Quinn’s novels.
This isn’t the first time that a character or a subplot stole the spotlight so much that they had to give them their own. ‘Spin-offs’ of already classic shows/movies to provide even more context or give a backstory to the original piece of art seem to be a rising trend these days, with Pearl and the Star Wars series of spin-off shows including Solo and The Mandalorian.
The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) was one of the most successful sitcoms of the 2010s and one of the show’s main characters, Sheldon Cooper has certainly been a staple of pop culture with his witty quotes and reactions. Young Sheldon puts him in the spotlight, giving us an even deeper look into why he is the way that he is. The coming-of-age series, set in the late 1980s and early 1990s, is a spin-off prequel to TBBT and follows a 9-year-old Sheldon growing up with his family in East Texas. The show doesn’t involve other characters of TBBT – although you might find some easter eggs sprinkled occasionally. So, it also makes for a great standalone show if you don’t have the time to sit through TBBT’s 10+ seasons.
Better Call Saul
Breaking Bad is a classic show, and it’s found a new and wider audience lately thanks to the absolute meme-material that the show’s main anti-hero character Walter White provides. Viewers are bound to fall in love with another major character of the show, Saul Goodman – first introduced late in Season 2 of Breaking Bad, Bob Odenkirk’s sleazy criminal lawyer extraordinaire immediately became a scene-stealing fan favourite. Of course, the writers had to give him his own show. Better Call Saul follows the transformation of Jimmy McGill, a former con artist who is trying to become a respectable lawyer, into the personality of the flamboyant criminal lawyer Saul Goodman, over the six-year period prior to the events of Breaking Bad. It’s a wonderfully witty show that does justice to this iconic character, while also providing some context for his actions in Breaking Bad.
Rings of Power
The epic drama set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power isn’t based on a book the way that the other films are. The series is actually an adaptation of a singular part of one of Tolkien’s books, called The Silmarillion. Its core plot revolves around the eventual forging of the 19 rings by elves under the influence of Sauron, the evil lieutenant of the dark lord Morgoth and the primary antagonist in Lord of the Rings. As fans of the epics and the films know, Sauron secretly forged the One Ring which eventually gave him the power to rule over the three races.
As you probably could tell from its title, the show is set in the iconic city – the home turf of the DC anti-hero Batman. But the show’s central character is actually someone else. The show picks up right as a young Bruce Wayne loses his parents in a dark alleyway, and follows GCPD lieutenant Jim Gordon as he fights against corruption, criminals and lunatics in the most morally bankrupt city on earth. It’s a truly well-written and underrated show, and if you’re even remotely a fan of DC comics – you will absolutely geek out every episode watching the origin stories of your favourite Gotham City antagonists. The show follows Gotham at a time before Batman, something that we haven’t really explored outside of comics. It’s really exciting to see the events that transpire, and how they transform a young, innocent Bruce Wayne into the iconic vigilante.
House of the Dragon
The long-awaited prequel to the ‘Game of Thrones’ follows the family intrigue of the Targaryen dynasty around two hundred years before Queen Daenerys set out to reclaim the Iron Throne. The fantastical world, based in part on the best-selling Fire & Blood, by George R.R. Martin, picks up in the ninth year of the reign of King Viserys. In Game of Thornes, most of the Targaryens were dead as well as all of their dragons. They ruled Westeros for 300 years before being ousted 14 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon portrays the events leading up to the beginning of the decline of House Targaryen, a devastating war of succession known as the Dance of the Dragons.
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller ‘Psycho’ introduced us to one of the most chillingly horrifying killers in cinema history, Norman Bates. Bates Motel, which came out in 2013 is a contemporary prequel to the movie and gives a portrayal of how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years, and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma, truly is. Although, the show is more of an alternate retelling of Psycho that pays tribute to the classic movie. If you consider yourself a movie buff, Psycho is definitely a must-watch – and if Bates’ character doesn’t horrify you enough already, perhaps Bates Motel will change your mind.