November 20th, 2004

Beatles

Re-makes

"Sally: Mary Kelly thinks you're a complete idiot.
Patrick: Then why does she keep looking at my arse when we're talking?
Sally: She's lip-reading."

- Coupling, BBC

They're showing the NBC version of the Britcomedy "Coupling" here, and why do they keep trying??

I've seen several attempts of making successful British TV-series in an American Version.. "Men Behaving Badly", "Fawlty Towers" etc.. And not a single one of them has been close to fun.

"Coupling" is one of my absolute favorite series, but seeing the American Version (Which I understand was shortlived) it's impossible to see it's the same series..

Even if they're using basically the same script.

The difference, as I see it.. The American version is shorter to allow for commercials, and one of the greatest thing with most Britcoms is the way they're written, with several stories working in parallel and then all of it coming together.. (The very best of those are the episode in Fawlty Towers when Basil (John Cleese) gambles on horses despite not being allowed to, where you have 3 very distinctive storylines interacting with each other, and in the end brings him to his fall). Not as much in Coupling, but you have the same idea with at least 2 stories being told, the girls' side and the mens' side, and how it all comes together.

The main difference is the fact that with the British version, it's like it's them. Not actors playing a part. While, with the American version it feels like actors looking at a screen and trying to be the ones in the British version of it. Stiff, to say the least.

The language is sort of different. The British version is very blunt and open-minded, people talking before they think.. or saying the things they do think.. and getting into problems. For some reason, the American version tries to be more polite.

Sally: I don't want to look great. I want to look thin.

The thing is.. Has there ever been a successful re-make?

Nope.. not really.. not even in film, where the successful remakes can be counted on one hand..

So why do they bother?

What make them think they can pull something off, nobody has done before?

Re-makes are, 95% of the times, just bad (Quality), even if I prefer say.. "Three men and a baby" before the original French version, but that's mostly because I can't stand French comedy (Except for Luc Besson).

I think it has to do with them trying to make something original and repeat that, instead of making something entirely different from the same people and situation, and sort of make it an original story.

Now I think I'm gonna watch Coupling - Season 2 again.. (Having all 4 series on DVD)

Jane: I'm not pregnant! It's a miracle! I shagged and shagged and shagged and all the little bastards missed!
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