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Author Topic: Remakes of the TV kind  (Read 820 times)
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Urban Legend
« on: 04-28-2005 07:28 »
« Last Edit on: 04-28-2005 07:28 »

Now I appologise if there has already beena  thread like this (I serached but all I could find were threads on movie remakes).

Now while I was actualy looking for something else I stumbled on a thread about The Office on Imdb. More importantly it was thread complaining about the American ramake of the hit Uk show The Office. Now I have not seen the US version but it is kinda unimportant for my point.

What I am wondering is why American producers feel the need to remake UK comidies and Americanise them?

Now I know England has reamde American shows as well but for the most part they are quiz shows and remaking quiz shows in other countires makes sense. I mean the point of a quiz show if is to make the audience believe they could do the tasks set and win fabulous prizes, so it is only logical to localise them.

Now the arguments I heard are as follows:

1) We don't understand what the characters in the show are saying, either due to accents or colloqulisms.

2) Uk shows tend to look more low budget

3) The shows are much shorter than American ones.

Now I can kinda understand these but in responce.

1)We in the UK watch American shows and jsut learn the colloqulisms. As for accents, well shows need diversity of both language and people.

2) Ok fair enough UK show generally look lower budget that their American counterparts. This is mainlt dues to the fact that there are mostly funded but the licence fee rather than copious ads. Besides I think the lower budget adds a charm to the show.

An example of changed budgets would be Red Dwarf. The orginal series was very low budget but the models looked great and the lower budget added to the feel of the show. In the later series they got a higher budget and it removed that charm, a worse crime is when they wnet back and re did the effects for the orginal series.

3)Ok I can understand this. While I am not sure it is nessasry for a show to be 20 odd episodes long I do see why the networks wnat to have more to fill their timeslots with.

I do see it fortunate however that some shows just would not translate over (although I heard a very scary rumour of an American Black Adder)

The following is what I fear could happen

If you loved Little Britain be prepared to be blown away by Big America

See Gordon and his misadventures in wallstreet
watch Tex and Pete dig for oil in all the wrong places
Laugh as Candy the flat chested cheerleader tries for acceptance
And marvel as Gringo and his firends take a variety of different jobs from Average Joe

SO anyway, what do you think about remakes of TV shows?

Urban Legend
« Reply #1 on: 04-28-2005 11:54 »

I watched the whole run of the American version of The Office and I liked it quite a bit.  I haven't seen the U.K. version so I have no reference to say if it's better than the original or not.  I have heard from a number of people that the original is better though.

I would rather prefer to see the native show brought over here as is, but there are a few reasons why I don't think this happens.

1)  The media companies are mostly interested in playing it safe when it comes to new (or new to the US) programming.  They'll play to the lowest common demoniator of American culture, assuming the majority of viewers don't have the ability to be interested in a program that's not made specifically for them.  This would be my explanation as to why shows are Americanized.

2)  Original ideas are scary.  It's easier to take someone else's proven idea (the U.K. version of The Office) than it is to come up with your own idea.  Now, the show is a success "over there", but because of point number 1, surely it has to be changed to make it a success over here.  An accessory point to number 2 is that porting over an already made show from the U.K. doesn't stuff a slick pitch man's pockets with cash.  The show needs to be remade to give some director a job so he can "improve" the original with his vision.

My opinion here is pretty cynical, but I believe it holds a lot of truth about why foreign shows can't be left alone.  It's not all the disimilar to what was done to anime when it first started to come over here in the late 70s early 80s.
David A

Space Pope
« Reply #2 on: 04-28-2005 12:15 »

In addition to the above reasons, I think that it was "Americanized" so that they could put Steve Carell in it.

Unfortunately, he isn't actually very funny.
Mr Fuzzywuvems

Bending Unit
« Reply #3 on: 04-28-2005 12:36 »

Steve Carrell is hillarious, as is the american office.

i don't see what the problem with remaking british shows is. i mean if the show's good, who cares where the ideas came from. Sure there are alot of shitty remakes (coupling, cosby and the numerous attempts to remake fawlty towers spring to mind) but there's also some great ones (all in the family anyone?).
David A

Space Pope
« Reply #4 on: 04-28-2005 14:15 »

Originally posted by Mr Fuzzywyverns:
Steve Carrell is hillarious, as is the american office.

Wrong on both counts.

Steve Carrel is painfully unfunny in this show.  Also, his overacting makes me want to stab him with a spork.

As for the show itself, my initial reaction was, "Hey, it's like those Burger King commercials, only not as funny."  I kept watching, but not for the jokes.  To be honest, I watched it solely for the interaction between Jim and Pam.

Urban Legend
« Reply #5 on: 04-28-2005 14:22 »

Originally posted by David A:

Steve Carrel is painfully unfunny in this show.  Also, his overacting makes me want to stab him with a spork.

I have to partially agree.  I did love Steve Carrel when he was on The Daily Show, and laughed at him in Anchorman.  But I found The Office to be so unfunny it hurt.  He was trying to hard

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #6 on: 04-28-2005 20:20 »
« Last Edit on: 04-28-2005 20:20 »

Steve Carrel was great in Anchorman and Bruce Almighty and on The Daily Show. End of story.

As for the main point of this thread, I feel that the reason for "Americanizing" shows is for Americans to understand it more.

Three Reasons American Companies Remake British Shows
Number One: We are used to the one style of filming that seems less low budget.
Number Two: We like the actors in our accent rather than the British accent.
Number Three: Ch-ching.

I haven't watched The Office in either version, but if it gets high reviews in Britain, it should be at least average in America.

Bending Unit
« Reply #7 on: 04-29-2005 16:12 »

David A

Space Pope
« Reply #8 on: 04-30-2005 10:31 »

So, you guys are responsible for American Idol?  I hate you all.

I'm kidding.  I like British people, especially the ones who post on PEEL.

Urban Legend
« Reply #9 on: 05-02-2005 02:20 »
« Last Edit on: 05-02-2005 02:20 »

This is something that pisses me off more than most things ever. Ever. The office remake infuriated me, nearly as much as a great novel about football (fever pitch) was made in as a baseball movie in America. It just screems Xenophobia.
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