Thursday, May 20, 2010

Three British Shows That Should Never Be Remade In The U.S.A.

We all know who Ricky Gervais is right? He is the mastermind behind The Office and has his fingers in all of the subsequent regional spinoffs. His show is an example of taking a British show idea and successfully translating it into a foreign country. But this is a very rare phenomenon. What happens to most Brit shows that become Americanized? Well, they suck. There are many reasons for why the sucking factor for the British to American shows is so high, but here are the main reasons. One, the actors: not to be mean but when you think of British TV you generally don’t think of really good looking actors, you instead think of really talented actors. British shows tend to be more character driven so they need a talented cast to pull in views. That means the actors must be funny, clever and relatable. This is where the difference can be seen in the Americanized versions of British shows, they always get better looking actors who can’t act very well. Two, the language: what makes British shows endearing to non Brits are all of the colloquialisms that go unused here across the pond. Certain jokes, explanations and just general word play can’t be Americanized it just don’t work. Three, the season length of a season/series: British shows only go on for about 13 episodes a season or less, which means the creative story telling must be very focused otherwise the season will be a very short disaster. American shows can run a whapping 24 episodes within a single season, leading to filler episodes and episodes of low quality. And you can really tell which episodes were thought up by the American team while watching through a season of an Americanized British show. What often happens is that the content and story of one British episode will be stretched out over two or three American episodes, this leads to some very weak episodes that lack any real draw.

Here are some U.K. shows that should not be Americanized. Although, I know that two of them are definitely being redone in America. Even so, these shows will not be successful and here’s why:

Peep Show: This show is great but if Americanized it will go from being a zany comedy about two amoral men who are completely codependent into Accidentally On Purpose.

Being Human: What could be hotter right now than a show about Vampires, Werewolves and Ghosts who all live under the same roof? This show is very well done in the U.K. but if remade over here I guarantee it will turn into a Three’s Company mixed with Moonlight.

The Inbetweeners: A show about a group of teen boys trying to survive high school. A classic story, but here is the twist. You know how all American shows about teens are bullshit and are obviously written by 50 year olds who don’t want parents yelling at them over their shows content. The Inbetweeners, though over the top ,depicts teeniness as it really can be. What do these boys want? Beer, Sex and good times, unlike American shows their attempts to get these things are done in a manner that is incredibly funny and true to life (and vulgar). There is definitely no pandering to the more reserved members of the TV watching community, who believe children will act out anything they see on TV. To remake this series without the cursing and British verbal crudity would rob it of its very soul.

What do you think?