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US version of Life On Mars.... Why can't you guys just watch the original!!!


Television

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Why do you Americans need to remake everything and when you do its never quite as good as the original. Has your entertainment industry run out of ideas.

The Office, Life on Mars, Cath and Kim (That was terrible), Red Dwarf....

Please enlighten me

Osirion

Because the BBC doesn’t broadcast in the US. To get any of the good British shows we have to get premium content for cable or satellite TV and even then there is no guarantee the region your in will have the BBC channel. Those of us who are willing to pay extra and can get the BBC channel still can only watch a small percentage of what the BBC actually shows and on top of all that the show we do get are over a year old.

Hollywood has had a drought of any new ideas since the 50’s. It’s safer for the studios to steal a show that is proven a success in another country than risk loosing money on an original show that might not work. There are a few shows that are original like Lost, CSI and Heroes amongst a sea of vapid soaps and ‘reality shows’. The producers of those shows had to go outside the Hollywood system just to make a pilot and then promise the executives the world just to get the show on the air.

The BBC makes shows based on artistic/comedic value; the Hollywood system makes shows based on how much money it will make.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Has your entertainment industry run out of ideas?

Yes it has. When it cannot remake things from aboard, it is reduced to making new versions of old shows.


Ubermench wrote:

Because the BBC doesn’t broadcast in the US. To get any of the good British shows we have to get premium content for cable or satellite TV and even then there is no guarantee the region your in will have the BBC channel. Those of us who are willing to pay extra and can get the BBC channel still can only watch a small percentage of what the BBC actually shows and on top of all that the show we do get are over a year old.

Hollywood has had a drought of any new ideas since the 50’s. It’s safer for the studios to steal a show that is proven a success in another country than risk loosing money on an original show that might not work. There are a few shows that are original like Lost, CSI and Heroes amongst a sea of vapid soaps and ‘reality shows’. The producers of those shows had to go outside the Hollywood system just to make a pilot and then promise the executives the world just to get the show on the air.

The BBC makes shows based on artistic/comedic value; the Hollywood system makes shows based on how much money it will make.

Kinda makes me glad that I live in one of the "Colonies"(Australia) Our government controlled TV station usually buys its content from the BBC...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Has your entertainment industry run out of ideas?
Yes it has. When it cannot remake things from aboard, it is reduced to making new versions of old shows.

Worse. Great ideas are out there.

But because of the way that movies now have to be pitched to production compaines, the only way to get a film made is if it is "like" something else that has already been successful.

Of course, we Americans haven't yet caught onto this, and rebelled by refusing to go to the movies anymore (or getting them on DvD, or Pay-per-View, etc.).


The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Why do you Americans need to remake everything and when you do its never quite as good as the original. Has your entertainment industry run out of ideas.

Remakes/Localizations are not inherently bad, per se. There are plenty of series concepts that were made elsewhere in another language/culture but *could* be adapted for the local audience. It takes skilled writers with a respect & understanding for the material to pull it off, but a good idea really knows no boundaries.

Now, of course, the problem is often lack of talent & respect, as well as differences in standards & practices. When NBC adapted "Coupling", I figured they would tone down the sexual humor of the original, but play up the relationship humor to compensate. Instead they made the show patently *unfunny* by any standards. Conversely, Showtime kept the sexual content in "Queer as Folk", and adapted the attitudes/characters to American culture, and it mostly worked ('til the soapiness got unbelievable).

Nothing's wrong with recycling ideas, it's just that the same old rules about quality storytelling apply. If they pulled Stephen Cannell or Don Bellisarius out of semi-retirement to make good-quality sequels/remakes of "The A-Team" or "Quantum Leap", I doubt anybody would be groaning (as compared to that trash remake of "Knight Rider"... *ugh*).

Oh yeah, and who said anything about remaking "Red Dwarf"?


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Hollywood specializes in such "recycling". A show of imagination and art--and perhaps guts--would be much appreciated.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

As bad as us recycling British TV ideas is the fact that we don't tend to publicize the fact--I wouldn't be surprised to learn that most Americans have no idea The Office is a BBC clone; and most of us would probably think you stole it from Hollywood. We're very Chekovian that way...


I watch BBC America, and I absolutely refuse to watch the American remakes of those shows. I remember the remake of Cracker (that one didn't last too long, did it?)

Osirion

I wish i still got bbc America...lots of good stuff on there


Whereas I feel that a LoM clone is almost a crime, I am looking forward to it (it's about to show here in Australia) hoping that the US version lifts itself by tackling issues that were burning in 70's New York (of which, I admit, I know none).

Cheers
Mark

Paizo Employee CEO

Andrew Turner wrote:
As bad as us recycling British TV ideas is the fact that we don't tend to publicize the fact--I wouldn't be surprised to learn that most Americans have no idea The Office is a BBC clone; and most of us would probably think you stole it from Hollywood. We're very Chekovian that way...

How about the fact that American Idol is really just a redo of Britain's Pop Idol? Heck, we even stole Simon. :)

-Lisa


Andrew Turner wrote:
As bad as us recycling British TV ideas is the fact that we don't tend to publicize the fact--I wouldn't be surprised to learn that most Americans have no idea The Office is a BBC clone; and most of us would probably think you stole it from Hollywood. We're very Chekovian that way...

Heck, Three's Company was a remake of a British show...it's been going on for a long time.


Lisa Stevens wrote:

How about the fact that American Idol is really just a redo of Britain's Pop Idol? Heck, we even stole Simon. :)

-Lisa

I am very sure that most of the population of the UK is happy for you to keep him.

I can see it see it now ((Warning: Bad English stereotypes)as perceived by an Australian).

Bobby: Allo Allo what's going on ere then.

Cockney: Ello guv ahh noffingk. Me and me mates were down the rubidy dub, we were about to hit the Frog and Toad,when dis geezer was trying to flog off some of these toasters. The trouble and strife all ways wanted one.

American: Yeh what he said

Cockney: Shtum mate or the bobby will twig, and it will go all pear shaped, he will nick us and we will end up doing serious stir in porridge.

American: Blank look

Bobby: Give us a look in the box. Blooming eck its a perfectly good Simon Cowell. You've nicked it, ere are you selling it to the Yanks. Ermm ok then move along.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
I wish i still got bbc America...lots of good stuff on there

I wish Sci-fi carried Tochwood. I found it funny that BBCA had a more edited version of Dr. Who than Sci-fi did.


mandisaw wrote:


Oh yeah, and who said anything about remaking "Red Dwarf"?

It was already done, it was utterly dire.

Osirion

Zombieneighbours wrote:
mandisaw wrote:


Oh yeah, and who said anything about remaking "Red Dwarf"?

It was already done, it was utterly dire.

Who, what, where...point me to this dung pile.

Pathfinder Creative Director, Frog God Games

The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Why do you Americans need to remake everything and when you do its never quite as good as the original. Has your entertainment industry run out of ideas.

Short answer: Yes....long ago.

Osirion

Matthew Morris wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
I wish i still got bbc America...lots of good stuff on there
I wish Sci-fi carried Tochwood. I found it funny that BBCA had a more edited version of Dr. Who than Sci-fi did.

Wish is till got sci fi as well

and yeas torchwood is just brilliant

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Sorry, but the American remake of The Office really is better. Not to mention it is three seasons longer than the British original now.

Also this phenomenon is in no way unique to America. All countries producing tv are doing it. Greece remakes Spanish shows, Latin American countries clone successful shows done by their neighbors. Pop Idol is in nearly every country. I'm sure that the UK is doing the same.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Here are a few examples of UK TV remaking American shows:

Law & Order: London (in production)
Days Like These <--- That 70's Show
Brighton Belles <--- The Golden Girls
The Upper Hand <--- Who's The Boss
Nobody's Perfect <--- Maude
Loved By You <--- Mad About You
The Fosters <--- Good Times


ithuriel wrote:

Sorry, but the American remake of The Office really is better. Not to mention it is three seasons longer than the British original now.

Also this phenomenon is in no way unique to America. All countries producing tv are doing it. Greece remakes Spanish shows, Latin American countries clone successful shows done by their neighbors. Pop Idol is in nearly every country. I'm sure that the UK is doing the same.

Yes, but we mostly do it with crap shows. We make a hell of a lot of original telly thanks to the BBC.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Likewise the American networks make a lot of original tv- good and bad. Remakes are there, but they are a minority. As they are for UK tv.

To be honest- what I hate more than shows cloned from other countries is the tendency for networks to knock off each others shows /within/ the US. Really- how many freaking forensic crime lab or hospital dramas do we need?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Yes, but we mostly do it with crap shows. We make a hell of a lot of original telly thanks to the BBC.

Wait- maybe I didn't understand you there. It seems like you are justifying the UK's imports because they choose crappy shows to remake instead of good ones?

I don't know why I'm defending the networks here. Just playing devil's advocate I guess, but for those of you who seem to think we are only banging out rehashed shows and that the entertainment industry is out of ideas I offer:

LOST, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights, 24, Gossip Girl, 30 Rock, & Pushing Daisies off the top of my head only from shows that are still running and excluding HBO (because it is a pay network though they are making some of the best of what is out there) and reality shows (because I can't stand them ;) )


Sometimes good things come out of crap remakes - Jeffrey Donovan was cast reasonably well in the unreasonably bad "Touching Evil" crime drama remake in the US. After the show was mercifully canceled, his slightly-crazy, slightly-snarky detective was recast with a new premise and slicker production values on "Burn Notice", with wonderful results.

And though I loved the original "Touching Evil", it's not much of a leap to think of it as an Anglicized "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit". [edit: or vice-versa, as the dates would imply...]

Considering how much people complained (rightly, IMO) that American culture was plowing over global audiences via television, this sort of cross-cultural pollination is a good thing. You just have to watch out for "remakes" that outstrip the "original" back in their own home territory. (e.g. "Law & Order: London"? Seriously?! L&O is already a US-cop version of British buddy detective shows anyway... The wheel goes all the way 'round, I guess.)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

What was that line in the premire of Torchwood? "CSI: Cardif. Quick how long does it take to smoke a kipper?"


Ubermench wrote:


The BBC makes shows based on artistic/comedic value; the Hollywood system makes shows based on how much money it will make.

Well, thinking about it, there is some sort of balance:

Would never have been made in the US originally :
Doctor Who, Life on Mars, Red Dwarf, the Office, Monty Python

Would never have been made in the UK:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek,Babylon Five, Firefly

Should never have been made:
(Pick any soap from either country....and plenty of other stuff besides.)

Remember , only the better programmes make it across the pond- alot of dross doesnt (mostly from ITV)...

Although, admittedly I do think British TV is better than US if you were to take it on average - there's still plenty of good & bad both sides !

Contributor

Lisa Stevens wrote:
How about the fact that American Idol is really just a redo of Britain's Pop Idol?

You're both just ripping off NZ's Popstars.

Spoiler:
On behalf of my country, I appologise.


Truthfully? I think it's the teeth. Not because people in the UK have poor dental hygiene, but because Americans are fixated on super-straight nuclear smiles. Just look at the British performers who work for American television. Nuclear smiles. I love watching British television simply because the people look normal. Just part of the reason I loved Catherine Tate as a Doctor Who companion; she was an "anyperson."

Qadira

The 8th Dwarf wrote:

Why do you Americans need to remake everything and when you do its never quite as good as the original. Has your entertainment industry run out of ideas.

The Office, Life on Mars, Cath and Kim (That was terrible), Red Dwarf....

Please enlighten me

You're echoing questions I've been asking for years. And yes, they have run out of ideas. We're not just remaking British TV. Studios apparently have departments of people sifting through old movies to see what to remake and stick in theaters. We're not even making sequels, just remakes. It's terribly depressing.

What they should be doing is sifting through all the crap that's come out for decades, picking up scripts and saying "Let's remake this turd. Now, how can we improve it?" It would beat the heck out of movie versions of old T.V. shows and lame remakes of old classics.


What Ithuriel said. UK copies American tv as much as anyone, so don't get all fancy pants about it. You'll be copying Dexter soon, I'll bet.


mwbeeler wrote:
Truthfully? I think it's the teeth. Not because people in the UK have poor dental hygiene, but because Americans are fixated on super-straight nuclear smiles. Just look at the British performers who work for American television. Nuclear smiles. I love watching British television simply because the people look normal. Just part of the reason I loved Catherine Tate as a Doctor Who companion; she was an "anyperson."

I agree. There's too much of a "90210" look to those on American television and film.


mwbeeler wrote:
Truthfully? I think it's the teeth. Not because people in the UK have poor dental hygiene, but because Americans are fixated on super-straight nuclear smiles. Just look at the British performers who work for American television. Nuclear smiles. I love watching British television simply because the people look normal. Just part of the reason I loved Catherine Tate as a Doctor Who companion; she was an "anyperson."

Those are two totally different things.

The dental hygiene issue is almost certainly due to water fluoridation & high availability of public/low-cost basic dental care. And the affordable cost of braces makes it typical for all middle-class kids and many working-class kids (and adults!) to get their teeth straightened. Widespread teeth-whitening is relatively new (last 10yrs or so), but Americans have had healthier teeth than Europeans for several decades.

As for "anypeople", there's more ethnic/cultural/class diversity on British TV than on American TV, without a doubt. For whatever historical reasons, Hollywood either makes shows about white, middle-class people, or about white, rich people, with sort of neutral-conservative politics (with some notable exceptions). It's a problem that'll hopefully get fixed with the current/next generation of industry-types. Maybe if they remake more So. American shows, we'll get a better mix, like with "Ugly Betty".

Qadira

Ubermench wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
mandisaw wrote:


Oh yeah, and who said anything about remaking "Red Dwarf"?

It was already done, it was utterly dire.
Who, what, where...point me to this dung pile.

Me too!!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The OP wrote:
US version of Life On Mars......Why cant you guys just watch the original!!!

Because it's apparently never going to be released on Region 1 DVD due to music clearance issues, and I have to gain access to a Windows laptop and find a serial cable to hack my DVD player into being region-free before I can buy the Region 2 discs. (I really, really try to avoid Windows, and I had really hoped that I'd never have to touch another serial cable in my life. It's the 21st century!)

And even then, I *still* can't watch the *original* original, because even the UK DVDs had a few music clearance problems, so several music tracks have been replaced since the original broadcast.

(Err... you did want a *literal* answer, didn't you?)

Silver Crusade

ithuriel wrote:
Sorry, but the American remake of The Office really is better. Not to mention it is three seasons longer than the British original now.

The British know when to cut a series, before it becomes a dung pile. Most British shows are short lived and exist only for a short run (two or three seasons).

Why run a show to the point where no one can stand to watch it anymore. I couldn't imagine the Black Books being run any more than three seasons, but the American remake would go on and on... until it became dull.

As for the American remake of The Office. Well, I think the British version is more clever, but I prefer British humour. The American remake is good, but at least it is now focusing more on American humour rather than copying the British version outright. It has become a lot better.

Silver Crusade

ithuriel wrote:

Likewise the American networks make a lot of original tv- good and bad. Remakes are there, but they are a minority. As they are for UK tv.

To be honest- what I hate more than shows cloned from other countries is the tendency for networks to knock off each others shows /within/ the US. Really- how many freaking forensic crime lab or hospital dramas do we need?

Ugh!

In Australia, all we get are shoddy drama or soaps. Our comedy shows are disappearing, except for a few notable exceptions, and our action series are CRAP!!!

Our remake of Top Gear (a fantastic British show) was so bad, it was painful to watch... also, we get local content such as All Saints, Home and Away, Neighbours or some other show that should never have seen the light of a TV tube. In Australia we have this tendency to see anything Australian as awesome, like our movies.

Has anyone seen 'Australia' by Baz Luhrman? Utter garbage... 150 million dollars spent on a remake of Gallipoli would have been better.

Australian movies are usually awful, but no, no, no... If it was made in Australia, it has to be the best darn thing since They're a Weird Mob! Really, Australians shouldn't be throwing too many insults at Hollywood, since our content is usually crap. Instead, we rely on American and British television to get us through...

So, now, can I claim sanctuary in the US? I might need it after that rant!

Silver Crusade

Ubermench wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
mandisaw wrote:


Oh yeah, and who said anything about remaking "Red Dwarf"?

It was already done, it was utterly dire.
Who, what, where...point me to this dung pile.

Yes, there was a pilot made for a remake of Red Dwarf. I believe Terry Farrell, some actress from a Star Trek series, was cast to play Cat. Apparently it was awful and wasn't picked up.

I read this somewhere...

Silver Crusade

What about Firefly?!

Now that was an excellent series and from what I have heard was totally screwed up by Fox.

Why is it that Joss Whedon always seems to lose his television shows? There was problems with Buffy, Angel was cancelled.

Shows like Carnivale, Deadwood, Dexter, Supernatural are all great shows.

Osirion

Chubbs McGee wrote:
ithuriel wrote:

Likewise the American networks make a lot of original tv- good and bad. Remakes are there, but they are a minority. As they are for UK tv.

To be honest- what I hate more than shows cloned from other countries is the tendency for networks to knock off each others shows /within/ the US. Really- how many freaking forensic crime lab or hospital dramas do we need?

Ugh!

In Australia, all we get are shoddy drama or soaps. Our comedy shows are disappearing, except for a few notable exceptions, and our action series are CRAP!!!

Our remake of Top Gear (a fantastic British show) was so bad, it was painful to watch... also, we get local content such as All Saints, Home and Away, Neighbours or some other show that should never have seen the light of a TV tube. In Australia we have this tendency to see anything Australian as awesome, like our movies.

Has anyone seen 'Australia' by Baz Luhrman? Utter garbage... 150 million dollars spent on a remake of Gallipoli would have been better.

Australian movies are usually awful, but no, no, no... If it was made in Australia, it has to be the best darn thing since They're a Weird Mob! Really, Australians shouldn't be throwing too many insults at Hollywood, since our content is usually crap. Instead, we rely on American and British television to get us through...

So, now, can I claim sanctuary in the US? I might need it after that rant!

Anzacs was really good though.


I have to say the math confuses me, to be honest. It's difficult to imagine how paying for the rights and then producing your own version of someone's show is more profitable than simply buying broadcast rights for the original. I suppose it's a question of whose pockets are being filled, and there's always DVD sales to consider if something does well (a fairly big if).

My personal preference would be for making something original over redoing someone else's work, but then, I'm not a studio executive, so what do I know?

Thankfully, the entertainment industry over here is small enough that remakes are mostly out of the question (plus the originals get broadcast anyway), with the notable exceptions of Idol and Top Model, curse their easily portable nature.


Vic Wertz wrote:
...find a serial cable to hack my DVD player into being region-free before I can buy the Region 2 discs

"Phew! All this computer hacking is making me thirsty!"

Why not skip the hardware middle-man and just download it, then?

Osirion

Zombieneighbours wrote:
mandisaw wrote:


Oh yeah, and who said anything about remaking "Red Dwarf"?

It was already done, it was utterly dire.

Oh thank god I missed that remake!!!

The cast of Red Dwarf was dead brill...

It's that American Corporate TV thinks we're all complete morons and we can't understand anything they didn't make directly for us.

Osirion

Chubbs McGee wrote:

What about Firefly?!

Now that was an excellent series and from what I have heard was totally screwed up by Fox.

Why is it that Joss Whedon always seems to lose his television shows? There was problems with Buffy, Angel was cancelled.

Shows like Carnivale, Deadwood, Dexter, Supernatural are all great shows.

Fox definitely screwed Firefly...aired the shows completely out of order...then cancelled it before they aired the whole series...stupid Focks..err Fox.


Lisa Stevens wrote:


How about the fact that American Idol is really just a redo of Britain's Pop Idol? Heck, we even stole Simon. :)

-Lisa

Lisa, we may have stolen Simon...but what we got was a limp-wristed and patheticly nice version of what Pop Idol was all about. I saw it in England back in about '02...and I'll tell you...the judges would FLAY the contestants alive with their comments. Literally enough to make most people break down and cry let alone re-consider their life long dreams...

I almost died laughging a year or so ago when people here were saying that American Idol was "too harsh on it's contestants"....


Where we were completely and utterly (like feel the hands on your hips) screwed was in NOT getting Spaced or The Fast Show....those shows were jaw droppingly amazing...


The US remake of The Office is pretty cool; its become its own thing. The WORST remake the US has done is Kath and Kim! It's awful.

Life on Mars in it's UK form was probably too in-jokey and needed to be remade for those colonists... :P *scarpers off, quick smart*

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Krypter wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
...find a serial cable to hack my DVD player into being region-free before I can buy the Region 2 discs

"Phew! All this computer hacking is making me thirsty!"

Why not skip the hardware middle-man and just download it, then?

Please note that our messageboard policies require that you do not advocate illegal activities or discuss them with intent to commit them. I must therefore assume that your post is referring to a legal download option of which I'm not aware. (If it's available on iPlayer, that doesn't work in the US.)

In any case, I support the rights of creators to make money from their labor. (Or, in this case, their "labour.") Even if it's hard for me to do so.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Vic- I don't know if this works with many dvd players, but we hacked ours into being region free just by entering a 4 digit code with the remote. Look up your model on the web and see if you can find a code. The retailer actually gave us the code when we bought it which he had printed out from a website.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

You can probably find an unlock for your player here:

http://www.videohelp.com/dvdhacks

Typically it is just a matter of pushing a few buttons on the remote, opening the disc tray, and turning the power off and on. You should be able to watch any region dvds in about 2 minutes or less. I assume this is okay talk because the codes are built in by the manufacturer, you just have to unlock them.

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