Friday, 24 June 2011

Shameless U.S. Series 1 Episode 1 – Are American Remakes the Ultimate Compliment?

Shameless is part of a long line of TV serials that have been noticed for their success in Britain and picked up by American producers to be remade for a U.S. audience. Other TV serials that have been adapted for the American market include The Office, Being Human, and Skins.

There is a popular notion that Americans are currently pining over anything British, whether it’s actors, singers, writers, directors, presenters, or royalty.  Yet it was only about a decade ago when British drama went through a crisis of wondering why it never lived up to the standards set by the U.S.  Shows such as The West Wing, 24 and The Sopranos stood on a pedestal, with their big budgets, beyond the reach of British drama.

Now it seems that the U.K. TV industry cannot help but blush at the dizzy heights of a U.S. network coming along to remake their show.  After American drama has been viewed as something to aspire to, it seems that interest from across the pond is now the ultimate compliment.

But do these inherently British shows translate successfully to U.S. TV?  British audiences are far more used to seeing American entertainment than the other way around and unfortunately it seems that British shows are not being given the same chance to infiltrate the American psyche to allow its audiences to relate to original British drama.  Instead, it seems they have to be remade, with almost the exact same script, plot, and storyboard but with American faces, accents, and locations.

Continue reading at Simply Television ... 

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