Friday, September 26, 2003

American television executives should be eaten by rats.

The American version of the British sitcom Coupling debuted last night. I could only watch about ten or fifteen minutes of it before I turned the TV off. I taped it, but who knows if I'll summon up the strength I'll need to endure the rest of it. I don't know why American production companies feel the need to remake British TV shows. Almost always these remakes are horrible beyond comprehension. I suppose one of the things that made this new version of Coupling so tortuous was that I've seen all the British episodes several times each, particularly the early ones.

There's been some truly awful American remakes of British programs, like the three different versions of Fawlty Towers, that have been inflicted upon us in the past twenty years. One version had Bea Arthur (yes, Bea Arthur) in the Basil Fawlty roll.

Then there was that rotten remake of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, a very funny and fairly bizarre British sitcom from the seventies. The American version was called Reggie. I think it got cancelled after one episode; let's speak of it no more.

They haven't all been bad though. Sanford and Son was one the funniest American sitcoms of the seventies. It was a remake of Steptoe and Son, which I've never seen (but I did hear the radio version on the BBC World Service a few times in the early eighties). They even used the same scripts; somehow it all worked.

I recoiled in horror a month or two back when I read that there was going to be an American remake of Father Ted. A sane man can only take so much.

No comments: