DEATHS ; Notable Passings; The Thread to Pay Last Respects

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Lady Day, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Some sitcoms translate successfully to another culture, The Office being a case in point. Many others don't. Brighton Belles is notorious as a UK attempt to do The Golden Girls. Six episodes were made, but as memory serves the first series was pulled midway so bad was the reception. It had good comic talent in it (including Sheila Hancock), but it clearly just didn't hold up to the original. I think ultimately some comedy has a universality to it beyond the geographical setting - a show like Faulty Towers or Father Ted is that. Those become very hard to remake, because there's nothing that really needs changed. As opposed to a show like Life on Mars, where so much of the humour came from cultural familiarity and nostalgia for an earlier time that was radically different in the UK and the US, where you need to change the details to make the same joke. Much like some of the names in Asterix books change across different language editions, allowing the audience to get the joke (many of the names being rooted in puns). One of the worst remakes I've seen in that regard was Days Like These, a UK remake of That Seventies Show. They did try to relocate it to the UK (set in Luton, references to the 77 jubilee, and all the rest), but there was far too much (including several characters clearly straight-lifted from US stoner culture in a way which was just totally alien for the suburbs in the UK in 1977) that didn't work.

    Of course, Fawlty Towers was also so much about the specific people: Connie Booth and John Cleese writing and portraying those characters became them so much that anyone else playing Fawlty is really just someone else doing an impression of Cleese. Same reaction from me as when I heard they were doing a stage musical of Groundhog Day - why would you even bother watching someone else pretend to be Bill Murray when you could just watch Bill Murray?
     
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  2. carouselvic

    carouselvic I'll Lock Up

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    R.I.P. Nanci Griffith
     
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  3. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    Relax pumpkin. I referenced FAWLTY TOWERS in my post as well as Till Death, and if you read closely, I noted it inspired Archie and Co.

    I have no idea whatever f•>|ing German show Trenchy did, I assumed he was talkkng about a FT remake, not a re-make of Till Death, and I was not talking about the tour de force.

    Sorry you were confused.

    PS - if you stopped copying UK shows, we would not have these issues.
     
  4. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    But I did prefer the US version of The Office.
     
  5. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I've seen both Till Death and AITF, and as groundbreaking as the latter program was it comes off as "Leave it to Beaver" next to the original. Johnny Speight was an absolutely uncompromising writer, and his show benefited from being solely his product, whereas AITF had to deal with varying quality of scripts from the various writers it used.

    Warren Mitchell and Carroll O'Connor, however, stood on the same plane for creating an indelible character. Alf Garnett and Archie Bunker would probably have hated each other, which is testimony to how real they both became.

    I know the German version Trenchy is talking about, where the Alf/Archie figure is "Alfred Tetzlaff," but it loses some of its bite when you have to watch it with subtitles and if you aren't all that up on 1970s German politics. It was directly adapted from the British version, rather than from AITF, and Mr. Tetzlaff seems lot more Alf Garnett than Archie Bunker.

    I can't imagine I'd want to see an American version of Fawlty Towers, which I imagine was even less satisfying than the American version of "Dad's Army."
     
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  6. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    That makes one of us.
     
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  7. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    What haven't you seen? If you mean Fawlty Towers, search for "Fawlty Towers, Fix Me a Waldorf Salad."
    An American couple arrives at the hotel late at night expecting to be served a hot dinner. But with the chef off for the night, Basil is forced to make the dinner himself. Things get even more complicated when the two Americans begin ordering meals that Basil has never heard of.
     
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  8. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    Relax pumpkin?

    Good Lord...pathetic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
  9. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots

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    RIP Tom T. Hall. A great storyteller.
     
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  10. carouselvic

    carouselvic I'll Lock Up

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    One of the best
     
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  11. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    The impression I have is that this is a cultural thing. I have seen both. I adored the original. The US version was pleasant enough, certainly a very well crafted sitcom. For me, the difference was that I was never unaware I was watching a very well put together fictional show, whereas when the original was made, although I was familiar with Gervais' previous work, the show was so believable that it regularly lulled me into a sense that it was completely 'real'. Of course, in part that was because it was so well observed in terms of the conventions of the 'docusoap' genre that had at that point been all the rage on UK TV for several years. The US version inevitably had to vary the formula a bit for the concept to work in relation to the US context (see also LIfe on Mars USA v Life on Mars UK). I've certainly encountered US base fans of the show who felt the US version was ultimately more 'believable' because of various details relating back to cultural contexts.

    I think Fruno meant All in the Family, which I've not seen but from what I gather above was their equivalent of Alf Garnett?

    The Waldorff Salad incident is a true classic of tv comedy. Every time I get a bus past the Waldorff in London (which for several years I did every Saturday morning at about 2am), I always wonder to myself whether they ever run out of Waldorffs.
     
  12. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    And I love Ricky Gervais work. I thought his 'documentary' of David Brent's hiatus from selling to renting a band and hitting the road was wonderul and excruciating to watch all at once.......because it was plausible and the Brent character painful to watch in his obliviousness. "Extras" was comedic genius as was his latest 2 season run. I think a big part of Gervais brilliance is not milking a product passed its best before date and I am always always left wanting more. But his "Office' just did not do it for me and I think it was both context and his ensemble cast of characters......in the US version Dwight, Jim, et al I found much more compelling.
     
  13. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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  14. OldStrummer

    OldStrummer Practically Family

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    Don Everly, pioneering Everly Brothers musician, dead at 84

    He was known for tracks like “Bye Bye Love,” “Let It Be Me,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and “Wake Up Little Susie"

     
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  15. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    No one... no group... no assemblage of voices can harmonize like family. Everly Brothers, Staple Singers, Pointer Sisters... Cash Family. One of the highest compliments I can pay any musician or group is that they had their OWN Sound...

    Worf
     
  16. Alex Oviatt

    Alex Oviatt Practically Family

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    Possible exception for the Beach Boys?
     
  17. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Brian Travers, founding member of the reggae band, UB40, which began in 1978. UB40 was a reference to the form that people used to claim unemployment benefit, when they were out of work, at the time. Travers, who was 62, played saxophone in the band.
    UB40-.jpg
     
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  18. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend

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    R.I.P..
     
  19. Worf

    Worf I'll Lock Up

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    Don't forget they had the Wilson Brothers in there and at least one cousin so... I guess they qualify, not as an exception either. Good lookin' out.

    Worf
     
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  20. steve u

    steve u A-List Customer

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    Back in the early '80 at work we used to play a rock trivia game by taking turns naming groups with siblings.
    To easy to cheat now.
     

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