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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

English adaptations of American TV

People complain a lot.
I complain a lot.
I hear people complain about American adaptations of popular British TV shows, and whilst a couple tend to have some degree of success and use it merely as a platform and not an entire ideology (The Office), many others are for lack of a better phrase, fucking awful.

This is the American version of Spaced. It's like going from a warm bath to getting buckshot in your gullet.

There's currently an adaptation of 'Only Fools and Horses' being worked on, not to mention failed Pilots for 'The I.T Crowd' and 'The Thick Of It' floating around on the internet. There's also being Human (Because apparently being a werewolf is all about geographical background and not the fact you're a a BLOODY werewolf.), America's got talent, Life On Mars, Whose line is it anyway....yadda yadda yadda.

I've decided to take a few hit US TV shows (Some I've seen, some I haven't) and adapt them to a British Market based entirely on a crude IMDB-esque synopsis.

Breaking Bad

The Wikipedia synopsis: Breaking Bad is the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at the beginning of the series. He turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), with the aim of securing his family's financial future before he dies.

Now, I've seen this show and it immediately neck punched it's way into one of my top 10 shows I've ever seen. I watched the first episode at about...7.40 am one morning and then crammed the entire 4 seasons into 10 days, which as somebody who doesn't have a girlfriend was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. But anyway, bias notwithstanding, here is my KOOKY adaptation.

Drug Numptys is the story of Willy White (James Corden), a struggling insurance salesman who is diagnosed with a *BAFTA award sympathising Illness* . He turns to a life of moderate hilarious shenanigans, producing and selling 'meow meow' to impressionable awful teenagers. The show revolves around Willy falling over, showing his fat rolls, and occasionally engaging in turf wars with gang leaders. The show would be a studio sitcom, and as such this would all be revealed in hilarious witty dialogue with an out of touch elderly stereotype of a character.

Mad Men

Wikipedia Synopsis: Mad Men is set in the 1960s, initially at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City, and later at the newly created firm Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The focal point of the series is Don Draper (Jon Hamm), creative director at Sterling Cooper and a founding partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and the people in his life, both in and out of the office. As such, it regularly depicts the changing moods and social mores of 1960s America.

I've never really seen this show, I know it wins all the Emmys and is the reason The Walking Dead had it's budget halved for season 2. From what I've seen and read, I frankly don't care for it.

Mad Bad Ad blokes is a new high pitch reality TV series whereby the heads of major channels (and ITV) are propositioned by low level employees in major companies (runners, security, mop...people) who have advertising ideas for the products of their respective employers. Unable to reach the higher ups, this is their chance for their ideas to be heard. Of course, the companies will have the final the advert anyway...and whichever channel invests can be the only one to show it, severely limiting the viewing audience.

Fuck it, let's have 28 minutes of ridiculous Japanese commercials.

The Big Bang Theory

Wikipedia synopsis:The show is centered on five characters: roommates Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, two physicists who work at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech); Penny, a blonde waitress and aspiring actress who lives across the hall; and Leonard and Sheldon's equally geeky and socially awkward friends and co-workers aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Rajesh Koothrappali. The geekiness and intellect of the four guys is contrasted for comic effect with Penny's social skills and common sense.

As somebody who inhabits certain manifestations and enjoys elements of 'geek culture' I hate this show. I absolutely loathe it's patronising, stereotypical, outdated insulting views on people of 'higher intelligence' or Star Wars fans. The guy who likes Star Trek can't talk to women? Every time a character says 'Super Nintendo' the audience howl with laughter as if he's completely detached from the rest of society? This is Geek Blackface. This is one of those crude 30s anti-Semitic drawings towards anybody who is a fan of science fiction.

Outdated Stereotypes focuses on a regular ordinary member of the human race (Benedict Cumberbatch) called Phil. He enjoys foreign food, Korean cinema, 19th century Art, is a great hockey player and enjoys socialising at quiet pubs. He also is a fan of Star Wars and computers, these two facts overshadowing his entire persona and reducing him to a 2d vacuous cardboard stereotype of a human being who can't go a sentence without these things being mentioned:
  • He is intelligent
  • He likes obscure sci-fi or things deemed 'uncool'
  • He cannot talk to the opposite sex
  • He enjoys video games and culture therein
  • Referencing a popular icon in the fantasy community (Leonard Nimoy or George Takei)
  • He lives with his mother.
The show will get 15 million viewers an episode and successfully undo all the positive stereotype destroying work of 'The Simpsons' 'Futurama' and 'Spaced'.


Imdb synopsis: (Wikipedia was too long)
A smarmy lawyer, whose education is deemed void by the bar, is forced to attend a local community college with an extremely eclectic staff and student body.

Just kidding! If anybody touches this show I'll personally call upon the celestial forces of the known universe to destroy them under a canvas of asteroids and really big pieces of hail.

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