View Full Version : Why do Americans insist on ruining perfectly good TV shows?

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June 24th, 2011, 04:50 AM
I've often wondered why Americans insist on remaking English, Australian and New Zealand TV shows. Since all the shows are in English I don't see a reason why this is necessary. And all of them, with the exception of The Office, are horrible.

Off the top of my head:

The Office
The Inbetweeners
Life on Mars
Whose Line is it anyway?
Kath and Kim
Outrageous Fortune

June 24th, 2011, 05:30 AM
Whose Line Is It Anyway? was originally a British radio show, and then it became a British TV show, but the best version is the US one, and by far.

The reason is rather simple. The US is not the UK (Or any other country), and the markets are different. Yes, British shows do well over there sometimes, and US shows do the same over here (Fraiser, for example, is a brilliant US comedy), but we are two different markets. The production companies, et al, try to recreate those shows for a US audience in the hopes that it'll surpass the imported show.

It rarely works, of course, but there is a logic to it.

June 24th, 2011, 05:39 AM
The markets aren't that different at all really. Take The Inbetweeners for example - A brilliant show about the friendships and sexual awkwardness in teenage boys that's aimed at adults/young adults who have grown up and can laugh at it. Did American adults not experience this?

June 24th, 2011, 05:44 AM
Perhaps, but not in the same way. UK shows are filled with UK references, US shows with US references. Whilst I love Robot Chicken, a number of the references pass me by because I've not grown up in a US culture. It doesn't make the show less funny, it just means I don't get it as much.

As I've said, shows from each country do well on the other side of the pond to each other, but they're not made for that other market.

June 24th, 2011, 05:51 AM
Overseas shows do well here in Australia despite the differing cultures. Maybe Americans would know more about English culture if they watched some English TV

June 24th, 2011, 06:51 AM
Nope. Wouldn't do a thing.

You'd have to live over here all your life to understand many British jokes. I understand a number of them because I was born here and grew up here, and many things that pop culture here stems from don't exist anymore (The water in Majorca...), and I either experienced them when they did exist, or I experienced them via other means. The same goes with America. A lot of their pop culture doesn't exist over here, and we'd have to live in certain states/cities to understand certain parts of that. Ask someone what Kool-Aid is here, and many people will hazard a guess that it's some form of medicine rather than a drink.

Our education system, as an example, is different to that in the US, especially in the higher levels of education. You might have universities, just as we do, but many things are different over there, and as such having not experienced it, US school-based comedy might lose some of the subtle jokes and nuances over here because we just haven't got the experience to understand them. The same goes with UK comedy in America.

It's different on so many levels. Prevalent brands, experiences in life, cultural tastes and attitudes (Religion being mocked in comedy is probably much more acceptable in the UK, for example) and so forth play a massive part in why US comedy and UK comedy aren't the same. Again, as I said above, they often do well in the other market but they often were not created with that market as the main focus point.

June 24th, 2011, 07:03 AM
All those examples you mentioned wouldn't have a large effect because they aren't the basis of the show.

Take a generic show set in high school for example - while we don't have middle schools, cheerleaders and we don't shower in front of eachother just to name a few differences, we can still relate to the show because the references to Kool-Aid etc isn't essential.

June 24th, 2011, 07:08 AM
Never said it'd be a large effect. I said that things pass us by just as things from our shows pass the Americans by.

An American company taking the concept of a UK show and remaking it for the US market would result in a product that is more culturally relevant for the US.

June 24th, 2011, 10:39 AM
Not only is culture different, but what's each finds acceptable to show on TV. I would describe american TV as a little more "prudish" in what they allow on TV, at least on the major networks. I figure US remakes a lot of popular british TV to find a wider audience, rather than being forced to air the original on subscription channels like HBO.

June 24th, 2011, 10:46 AM
Most of the shows that I mentioned -apart from The Inbetweeners- could have easily come from an American network when it comes to its content.

How many shows that are re-made from another English speaking country are even on a major network?