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BBC v. US?

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by islesfan, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. islesfan

    islesfan Hall Of Fame

    Oct 18, 2006
    I find it intriguing how some shows translate from UK to US well and others don't. I remember when they tried to bring the brilliant UK comedy Coupling to NBC. While the script was nearly identical (except that a 30 min. episode was cut to 22 min.) the NBC version was a disaster! It was like no one at NBC got the point of the original.

    Now, SyFy has re-done Being Human, and the script is nearly identical again, but this time the result is so far superior to the original. The pacing, atmosphere, and acting is much better in the SyFy version.

    How is it that the same script can be so different and why does it work in one case and fail in another?
  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    Wasn't the original "Friends"?

    Life on Mars was an interesting reimagination of a British show. These things are possible.
  3. Yoda-DBSguy

    Yoda-DBSguy Hall Of Fame

    Nov 4, 2006
    A Galaxy...
    It all depends on 2 factors. One is the creativity of the shows writer and the other depends on the actors chosen.

    A show only pulls it off if it appeals to the audience it will be targeting.

    You can have a great script but a crappy production that doesn't go over well. The exact opposite is also possible.
  4. Rob

    Rob Icon

    Apr 22, 2002
    Sanford and Son was much better than the brit show.
  5. crabtrp

    crabtrp Legend

    Sep 23, 2006
  6. cj9788

    cj9788 Hall Of Fame

    May 14, 2003
    I love Brit shows and hate BBCA they stopped showing alot of great shows Like Murder City, My Family, Mile High, The Inbetweeners. And countless other Brit shows. Now they primarily show the reality crap like Top Gear and Gordon Ramsey. Where is the second series of Ashes to Ashes the sequel to Life on Mars set in the 80's. Also why did they stop showing the UK versions of cops I really liked it. BBCA is not what it used to be. They used to have a comedy block on Friday night with clever UK shows. What happened to That. I know most UK shows have very short life spans but from what I understand My Family is still running new shows in the UK. Same with Gavin and Stacy. SO WTF BBCA GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!! I have no need to see STNG on BBCA just filler IMO.
  7. Supramom2000

    Supramom2000 In Loving Memory of Onyx-2/23/09

    Jun 20, 2007
    Colbert, WA
    BBC America used to have awesome mystery dramas as well. Like Prime Suspect, Second Sight, and several others I really liked. Those shows were my first introduction to Helen Mirren, Clive Owen, and many others. They used to show MI5 (Spooks), but they stopped carrying it as well.

    OT - has anyone seen the new Sherlock Holmes done by PBS? Set in the present, with some interesting character changes. Not sure I if I liked it or not.
  8. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    Jun 6, 2009
    BBCA has turned into the Star Trek channel.
  9. Rob

    Rob Icon

    Apr 22, 2002

    What's the connection to Great Britain again?
  10. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    Obviously nobody is following the big reshuffling and cutbacks at the BBC over the past year. Ton's of bickering going on, union action, attacks between in-house drama operation which was cut 16% and the producers of outside independent producers. Cutbacks in radio and on line. Imported shows (from the U.S., Canada, and Australia) drastically cut.

    What happens at the BBC is highly political. Here's speculation a year ago that led off the drama fight: Special Report: BBC Drama – Where Could the Axe Fall?. By October it went from speculation to comments like this:
    We come by our mean and nasty politics honestly - we inherited from the Brits.:rolleyes:

    While the BBCA operates independently, sort of, it still depends on the production of shows in Britain, though not entirely BBC shows. It's all very complex, but because it isn't our politics it's all kind of fun to follow.;)
  11. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

    Jul 8, 2002
    New Hampshire
    The American "Life On Mars" was wretched until they diverged from a straight copying of the British scripts. Once it got it's own legs, it was MUCH more watchable (with the exception of the scene that showed the World Trade Center nearing completion - that was fantastic).

    An American "Red Dwarf" pilot was pure excrement (never aired but I had a copy).

    In general, US copies take dialog from the UK version but forget the context and therefore lose the cohesion that makes a good show.
  12. MikeS.

    MikeS. AllStar

    Dec 3, 2010
    I prefer the BBC version of Being Human.
  13. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    I'm liking the SyFy version of Being Human. While the plots so far have been very close to the original, I do like some of the changes that they have made (sister storyline). With Being Human, they do need to keep some of the original storyline as a background, but it does seem like they might be moving out into their own world, so to speak.

    - Merg
  14. cj9788

    cj9788 Hall Of Fame

    May 14, 2003
    Imo ch4's sHAmeless remake on showtime sucks but then again i have been a die hard uk shameless fan since the very start.
  15. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    I haven't seen the UK version of Shameless, but I find the Showtime version quite entertaining. The cast is good and the setting is perfect.
  16. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    The US Coupling failed because the Actors and Actresses they chose for the US version were no good. No comedic timing at all.
  17. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006

    whoa, wait, did I just agree with Harsh?
  18. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

    Nov 13, 2006
    Fort Pierce, FL
    I just saw a commercial on BBCA for the new season of Being Human. So now what do I do? Follow both?:confused:
  19. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    Yeah... I just heard about it too. I still have a bunch of episodes of the BBC version on my DVR as well, so I'm a little undecided as well. I think I might end up watching both.

    - Merg
  20. Art7220

    Art7220 Godfather

    Feb 4, 2004
    Nobody likes Skins?

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