I have a thorn in my side and I’m going to blog about it. An entire series on why British TV rocks my socks and why Americans need to stop trying to recreate it.
There’s something about British TV that is so great, great in an entirely different way to anything we watch on American television. It’s hard to describe… the humor is different, it’s more dry and requires a bit more brain power to pick up on. I guess it’s not as in your face and obvious as a lot of US shows. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of American TV I enjoy, but I just despise when they try to go out of their element and try to recreate something that they are just incapable of pulling off.
I love that the characters are more real. They live in real houses, have real friends and wear real clothes. They don’t all live in fancy apartments or mansions, they don’t all have money and their storylines aren’t as outlandish and unrealistic. It’s easier to relate to the characters on British TV because they are more like the average Joe, rather than seeming a world away from the viewers.
This irritation was kicked off recently when I saw an ad on Facebook boasting about Showtime’s Original Series, Shameless. Original series my ass! This has been going on for NINE seasons in the UK, and much better too, I might add! I will talk about Shameless later though.
I know that a lot of people on the other side of the pond don’t even realize that some of these shows were happening before they came into existence there, and that’s sad, because the originals are SO much better. I think the most glaring example of this is Coupling.
The original series, and by that I mean the first one that actually existed, was in the UK, and it was fantastic, the American version. Not so much.
Well, that just says it all, doesn’t it? There is no competition really…
I watched only one episode of the US version of Coupling and it was painful. Very very painful. Mostly because of Jeff. In the UK version he pretty much makes the show. Anyone I’ve ever spoken to agrees that he is by far the best part of the series, because he’s funny and awkward in a way that none of us have ever seen in a television character before. Here’s one example…
Now try to imagine some random American douchy actor trying to pull this off, because that’s pretty much what happened. It just does NOT work! Without the OJ (Original Jeff) there is no way this show can be remade. The program also relies heavily on a certain type of humor that also cannot be Americanized.
Ok, I won’t try to explain it any further, look for yourself…
See what I mean?
In some cases I think the American versions of British shows do ok because the American viewing audience has never experienced the real thing, but I don’t think that was the case with Coupling. Even having never seen the British version, people still thought it sucked because I don’t think it even lasted an entire season.
THANK GOD FOR THAT.
If you’ve never heard of this show and have never watched it, search high and low until you find it. The only way I can describe it is that it’s like Friends, only… better.
If you don’t use BitTorrent, umm, why not? No seriously, you can watch it online here.
If you use newsgroups, you’re on your own I don’t know how to use those.