Tuesday, August 1


I'm a huge fan of the British version of "The Office," and am happy to see the stateside version is doing well, with most of the thanks going to Steve Carell. I can't help prefer the original, though. It's more depressing and has better looking people.

There are tons of American shows (some considered "classics") that started in Britain and were moved over here. The cable network TLC is notorious for this - almost every home and garden show they air is stolen from the U.K. Here's an incomplete and biased list of U.K. to U.S. shows, with my opinion thrown in for free.

The Office (The Office) - As stated, I'm a fan of both, I just think "Tim" is cuter than "Jim."

American Idol (Pop Idol) - Kelly Clarkson is awesome, so the U.K. verison really doesn't matter. Simon and I are still fighting, anyway.

Sanford & Son (Steptoe & Son) - I didn't know this was originally a British show until I was watching the special features from "A Hard Day's Night" and learned that the band kept calling Paul's grandfather "clean" because the actor was on "Steptoe & Son," and the show's catchphrase was "he's a dirty old man." Never seen the original, don't like the U.S. version, but I do enjoy that film.

What Not to Wear (What Not to Wear) - Holy Jesus, I can't even begin to explain what a pile of shit the U.S. version of this show is. The hosts are grating and tasteless, and it has an air of mean-spiritedness that I can't tolerate. The U.K.'s Trinny and Susannah are wonderful - classy women with different body types that explain how to highlight your strenghts and cover your flaws. Lovely ladies. The British contestants almost always end up with better clothes than their American counterparts, too.

Antiques Roadshow (Antiques Roadshow) - It's a tad bit unfair, but the Brits win this one only because their antiques are actually antiques, rather than some craft fair shit someone's aunt bought in the '70s.

Three's Company (Man About the House) - Americans win here. "Three's Company" is a much better name, and it had a totally awesome theme song. The guy who played the British Jack Tripper (called Robin Tripp over there - gay) now lives in a retirement home for actors which is kind of sad, but come on - John Ritter just up and died out of nowhere, which is totally badass.

Dancing with the Stars (Strictly Come Dancing) - I fucking hate this show, so no one wins.

Supernanny (Supernanny) - Both good. Jo Frost is wonderful no matter where she is, and shitty parents are all the same.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire/The Weakest Link (same for both) - Remember when people watched these shows? Wow, I do. Once again, no clear winner. While the Brits technically get more money during gameplay (£1,000,000 = $1,875,756.61), they have to answer questions about stupid things like cricket and Hugh Grant.

All in the Family ('Til Death Us Do Part) - Yep, what is generally considered to be one of the most groundbreaking sitcoms in television history was ripped off from the Brits. From what I understand, it was basically the same story about a working-class racist, etc etc. Of course, I've never actually seen the original so I can't fairly judge. The wikipedia entry on the show is pretty small, so I guess the States win again. Size matters.

Clearly an incomplete list, I don't have the willpower to discuss the differences between Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Genevieve Gorder today, so I'm not even going to bother. This exercise doesn't even really have a point. I would say I'm wasting my life, but I still need to take in this week's "Hell's Kitchen." That Ramsay!


Anonymous sharon said...

Re: 'Man About the House'

'Three's Company' (shit name) was never name-checked in a B&S song, so we win. It also had a spin-off called Robin's Nest (he's so not gay) which featured an armless Irishman. I'd like to see you guys write comedy gold like that.

I was surprised at how many of our 70s comedies were translated over there. I'd love to know if there were American equivalents of 'Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em' and 'George and Mildred'.

To summarise: The Americans invented 'Married with Children', so you win.


5:16 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home