Sunday, October 18, 2009

Just leave it alone!

We have just finished watching the second series of the BBW Wales production, 'Mistresses". It was a very watchable show and focuses on the love lives of four 30-something women friends and and their involvement in an array of illicit and complex relationships. It features a 9/11 widow mother of two (Trudi), a doctor (Katie), a successful lawyer whose husband is obsessed with trying for a baby (Siobhan) and a single career girl (Jessica) who is a mistress to many. The plot had a lot of twists and turns, some humor, some sex, some was pretty good.

Then we discovered that an "American version" of the series is due to be made. Disaster! Why oh why do the US TV companies insist on taking a successful British TV show then remake it for an American audience? Do they think that Americans are unable to appreciate a show where the characters speak with a, dare I say it, British accent? Many of these remakes fail to take off in the US because the remake misses a lot of the charm or impact of the original version. Take Coupling or Men Behaving Badly as examples. By the time they had been dumbed down and sanitized (i.e. removed all possible swear words and sex references) they were a shadow of the original. Some have been successful (The Office) but as usual the US TV companies don't know when to stop; we are up to season 6 of The Office now and it's starting to lose its appeal. Other US remakes of British TV shows are Til Death do us Part (known the US as All in the family), Changing Rooms (Trading Spaces), Footballer's wives (Football wives), How clean is your house, Life on Mars, Pop Idol (American Idol), What not to wear, Who wants to be a Millionaire.

There are also some British remakes of US TV shows but this is much less common. In the UK it is not unusual to see shows with American actors and settings. Examples are Blockbuster, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Family Fortunes (Family Feud), The Apprentice, Saturday night live and Queer Eye for the straight guy.

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