There's Greg, Peter, Bobby, Marcia, J-... hey, wait a minute, that's not Jan! Fans tuning in to the Brady Bunch Hour in 1977 found themselves squinting at the screen, thinking there was something different about Jan. Well, there was something different about Jan- instead of Eve Plumb we got the interloper Geri Reischl!
in-ter-lop-er (ĭn'tər-lō'pər) n. One that interferes with the affairs of others, often for selfish reasons; a meddler.
Sometimes, replacements come and go and no one even notices or cares. Soap opera viewers can attest to that. And did anyone really care when Becky changed faces on "Rosanne"? Not me.
Then there are those that more than meet expectations. Would anyone call Roger Moore or Tom Baker (Dr. Who) poor substitutes? How well an actor fills someone's shoes is often a matter of taste and can be complicated. There's even an MSN article about it.
Here's a tip. When someone asks for a beer, don't hand them a Zima. And when someone wants Van Halen, don't give them this guy.
Believe me, I understand that rock bands frequently change members. You just about need an Excel spreadsheet to keep track with the lineups of some bands (King Crimson, I'm talking to you!). However, it's when a central figure, a well-loved and respected member, gets replaced that there's a problem. Especially when the replacement happens to be Sammy Hagar!
Mr. Furley was a more than adequate replacement for the Ropers, but did Jenilee Harrison or Priscilla Barnes come close to measuring up to Suzanne Somers?
Maybe not. But I don't think a lot of you were complaining...
1. Edna Garret (played by Charlotte Rae) is replaced by the lame Adelaide Brubaker on Diff'rent Strokes."Wha'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" I'm talkin' 'bout a replacement failure
2. Cheryl Ladd replaces Farrah Fawcett on Charlie's Angels: a success
3. Al Molinaro replaces Pat Morita as the owner of Al's on Happy Days: a success (incidentally, Morita would then replace Molinaro in the last couple seasons)
4. Woody replaces Coach on Cheers: a success
5. Spencer Milligan (as Rick Marshall) is replaced by Ron Harper on Land of the Lost: abysmal failure
6. Marilyn Munster was originally played by Beverly Owen, and replaced by Pat Priest: ignored
7. Jeremy Gelbwaks was replaced by Brian Forster (the great-great-great grandson of Charles Dickens) for the role as Chris Partridge on The Partridge Family: ignored
8. Joel Hodgson was replaced by Michael J. Nelson as the host of MST3K; I wouldn't classify this as a failure by any stretch, but there's a debate on this at No Smoking in the Skull Cave
9. There were actually two failed attempts to replace Flo on the TV show Alice
10. David Garrison left Married... with Children to be replaced by Jump the Shark's patron saint, Ted McGinley, and I'm proud to say he finally passed.
11. Lt. Col. Henry Blake was replaced by Col. Sherman Potter on MASH: I'd have to say this was a failure, although I'm sure many would disagree. I'd also have to say B.J. Honeycutt failed as Trapper's replacement.
A more comprehensive list of TV replacements can be found here at Wikipedia; however, I tried to come up with as much as I could on my own and hit the highlights.
Tv.com has a discussion topic on whether Randy on "That 70s Show" is the worst replacement character in the history of TV here. That's a strong claim, but I must admit, I don't watch the show, so can't offer my opinion.
Tooling around the blogosphere, it doesn't take long to discover the consensus on the worst comic book replacement of all time: the second Robin, Jason Todd. Check him out with the cheap groin kick.I also must admit that I haven't followed comic books in a while (not a surprising admission from someone authoring a blog called retrospace, I know), so I'm not qualified to really comment on the Jason Todd deal. But I have to ask, what the hell happened to Aquaman? Apparently, we have (or had) a brand new Aquaman, reinvented for the modern day comic book reader. Now he's called Orin or something. WTF?